Activated charcoal has millions of tiny pores or pockets that exfoliate the skin and bind to dirt, oil, and toxins.
If you’ve tried other products with activated charcoal, you probably know that it is very different from the charcoal intended for Dutch ovens and outdoor grills. Activated charcoal is made by first super heating carbon-rich substances (Redmond’s activated charcoal is from hardwood and coconut shells). It then undergoes an activation process that removes impurities, increases the number of microscopic pores or pockets in each particle, and decreases the size of the pores. The ultimate result is a substance that is slightly abrasive and highly adsorptive (it binds to other substances), making it a great ingredient for exfoliating and cleansing the skin.
The porous nature of activated charcoal makes it slightly abrasive. It is so gentle that you may not be able to feel it, but it exfoliates dead skin cells–cleansing pores in your skin and increasing circulation–which may increase your body’s own collagen production.
The millions of pores or pockets in activated charcoal also adsorb (bind to) other substances, such as toxins, dirt, and oil. Activated charcoal is used in carbon filters because it is good at binding to contaminants. Research shows that activated charcoal can adsorb heavy metal from water, and has antimicrobial properties that control infections and reduce healing times. Research also shows that, if taken quickly enough, activated charcoal can help in some types of poisoning because toxins bound to activated charcoal cannot be absorbed by the body.
We haven’t found any studies focused solely on whether activated charcoal binds to dirt, oil, or toxins on the skin, but we also haven’t found any studies suggesting that its adsorption and antimicrobial powers are limited to the lab setting. To the contrary, we’ve heard lots of stories from friends, family, and customers telling us that the activated charcoal in Redmond Clay Charcoal Masks leaves their skin feeling extra clean and refreshed.
Want to read more about activated charcoal’s amazing properties? Check out these sources:
- Research: Effects of an activated charcoal silver dressing on chronic wounds with no clinical signs of infection
- Research: Heavy Metals Removal Using Activated Carbon, Silica and Silica Activated Carbon Composite
- Article: Continuing Education Activity Discussing the Use of Activated Charcoal in Poisonings
- Article: The Science Behind Activated Carbon Water Filters