Private Label believes that we have combined the best ingredients to actually utilize charcoal in the correct way for maximum benefit.
Activated charcoal skincare products are cool. They’re black, they’re science-sounding and they’re said to extract dirt out of your pores like a magnet – what’s not to like? The reality is a little more complex than that…
WHAT IS ACTIVATED CHARCOAL?
Activated charcoal is carbon soot that’s been treated to give it a sponge-like structure, with lots of holes. If you zoom into activated charcoal, it’s very jaggedy, giving it a huge surface area. It’s estimated that 1 gram of activated charcoal has a surface area of 3000 square metres, which is the same as 3 Olympic swimming pools, 7 basketball courts or 230 car parking spaces
In medicine, activated charcoal is mostly used in poisoning cases, where a large dose is fed to the patient alongside other treatments. A lot of the poison sticks to the charcoal instead of absorbing into the body.
HOW DOES ACTIVATED CHARCOAL WORK?
At a molecular level, things are sticky. It’s why the wax in a candle stays together as one big clump instead of splaying everywhere, and why you must put in a whole heap of heat to get water molecules to separate and turn into steam. This stickiness is known as intermolecular forces – interactions that stick molecules together. Without them, everything would be a gas.
There are a few types of intermolecular force – the one that activated charcoal uses is called dispersion forces. Absolutely every substance has dispersion forces, whether it’s a vitamin or a poison.
Remember the large surface area that activated charcoal has? This means there’s a lot of space for things to stick to. And since everything can form dispersion forces, activated charcoal soaks up all sorts of things, including nutrients like vitamins, meaning you don’t get the full health benefits of your food.
Activated charcoal can stick to medications as well, if they’re still in your digestive system. This means that you might not be getting the right dose.
In a poisoning situation, you’re probably not worried about whether you get enough vitamins, but in everyday life it’s not such a good idea to prevent your body from taking up random nutrients and medications on a regular basis. So, don’t make activated charcoal part of your regular diet!
SO, DOES IT WORK LIKE A MAGNET?
Here’s the thing about dispersion forces – they fade out very quickly over distance. For those of you who are mathematically inclined, it’s inversely proportional to the sixth power of distance (1/d6). This means that to stick to something and trap it, the activated charcoal needs to basically be touching the substance.
This isn’t much like a “magnet for dirt” – more like blu-tack for dirt, or a ball of chewed chewing gum for dirt, or sticky tape for dirt. Much less catchy, but less misleading too!
HOW ABOUT IN SKINCARE?
In beauty, there isn’t really anything on your skin that you want to stay on there when you’re ready to wash your face (except maybe good bacteria, but they multiply quickly), so it’s OK to use charcoal regularly. There isn’t any good data on whether it works, but theoretically, it may well work. In our many tests, we have found the best combination of ingredients such as: clay and scrub beads, to both clean, exfoliate, and utilize Charcoal for the most benefit to the skin. Also effective for may types of skin problems like, Acne, rosacea, and other skin conditions.
Surfactants? We don’t like them.
Surfactants don’t really get into pores. On the other hand, activated charcoal can potentially absorb oil from pores like a clay mask, so it could draw out dirt within a pore. When used with Clay, it is extremely effective in cleaning pores.
This means it can potentially clean more deeply inside the pore. However, I’m not sure the typically short amounts of time that these products stay on your skin is enough – in studies with activated charcoal, it typically takes a few hours for it to take its full effect. It is not necessary to user for hours, the effects are still incredible when used for around 15-20 min., especially when combined with clay.
Here at Private Label Skincare Florida, we use both activated charcoal and charcoal lipo-beads, which break open when rubbed to effectively clean your pores. It becomes a double-whammy, slam dunk for cleaning troubled skin. Whether you are trying our masks or our scrubs, cleansers, or other charcoal products, you will find ours are some of the very best on the market.