In today’s world, full of beauty tips and tricks, of new hacks and ideas it is difficult to know what products are actually beneficial to us. However, if you’re anything like me, constantly online, sifting through hours of information, there’s a high probability that you’ve come across the term “activated charcoal”. Multitudes of beauty bloggers have created videos about the substance, and there are numerous brands advertising its use in their products. It has been used as medication. The product even  sits in my shower, my curiosity piqued. What is ‘activated’ charcoal? We know it is beneficial to us, but in what way? How many other ways can it be utilized?

The first question most people ask is “what is activated charcoal”?  The general term refers to charcoal with enhanced absorptive properties. There are many materials from which it can be produced, and each type has its own specific benefits. The most common type of charcoal is made from coconut shells, and this is primarily the type used in beauty products. There has also been a recent increase in the use of bamboo charcoal for hair products.


Activated charcoal is negatively charged with electrons, so it attracts positively charged particles (toxins, gases etc.) and subsequently eradicates  them. In simpler terms, if your skin has dirt particles, the charcoal will stick to the dirt and pull it out, leaving your face squeaky clean.  The charcoal is a fine, odourless, tasteless and pulverised substance (often in powdered form) . Initially, people only used it as medication, by ingesting it (as treatment for certain poisons or organ problems). However, it has been a popular product for very long in the skincare world. Here are some of the multiple benefits activated charcoal provides;

  1. Skin - applying charcoal to your skin draws bacteria, poisons, chemicals, dirt and other micro-particles to the surface of the skin, helping you to achieve a flawless complexion and fight acne. 
  2. Teeth – this black powder is a great tooth whitener, as it attaches to the plaque and other staining compounds, removing them.
  3. Hair – our scalp is skin too, so using charcoal on it also unclogs the pores on your head thus detoxifying the follicles. Clear follicles mean no itchiness, faster growth and many other perks,  including a beautifully voluminous mane.
Charcoal Hair Care   Charcoal Soap    Charcoal Scrub

Personal Review

To test these benefits myself, I brought home three charcoal-induced products. These were Maroma’s charcoal shampoo, conditioner and body wash. The products all smelled great, and I was really enthusiastic about using them, as I enjoy using organic products. The item I appreciated most was the conditioner, as true to its label, it removed all the knots from my generally unruly locks, and smoothed them out. The shampoo worked as a good precursor to the conditioner, removing the dirt and allowing the next product to do its job. In the case of the body wash, I didn’t see much of a difference from the other products I generally use. However, I did notice that my skin was not as dry as it usually is (and it smelled great!). Overall, I was pleasantly surprised, and I recommend the products to everyone.

 Do you have any experience with using charcoal in your beauty routine? We are curious to hear about your routine. Please let us know in the comments.