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Charcoal powder


Charcoal powder



With charcoal, we’re a bit like an early Beatles fan grumbling ‘I saw them at The Cavern before they got famous’. Because at Lush, we definitely sang the benefits of charcoal before it became a cosmetic superstar!

What is charcoal?

Charcoal results from the combustion of carbon-full materials, such as wood. Traditionally, it is made by stacking dried wood in kilns to burn until completely charred, which can last up to sixteen hours. Used as fuel for thousands of years, it is also a natural black pigment much appreciated by cavemen and modern artists alike. Charcoal has, in fact, countless game-changing applications, such as a water purifier, gunpowder, medicine or even
 cosmetic ingredient!

Charcoal or activated charcoal?

What really sets charcoal apart is its porous nature. Charcoal particles are full of holes and crevices called micropores, which give the material adsorption powers. Adsorption means that the holes help external molecules and atoms adhere to the charcoal's surface and be transported with it. After these properties were documented in the 1700s, they were tested for medical applications in the 1800s and found success as an antidote to some ingested poison.

Activated charcoal or activated carbon, as you may sometimes see it labelled, is charcoal pushed to its limits. Simple charcoal goes through a complex chemical process that not only removes every possible impurity but also increases the porosity and, therefore, the adsorption capacity of charcoal. This highly improved material is included in the WHO list of essential medicines.

What are the benefits of charcoal in cosmetics?

  • It gives a deep cleanse by attracting excess oils and impurities.
  • Depending on its particle size, it can gently exfoliate the skin from dead skin cells and polish the teeth.
  • In deodorants, it helps control sweat and limit the growth of body odour-producing bacteria.
  • In haircare, its cleansing properties can leave the hair feeling lighter, which results in extra volume and bounce.

Where does Lush source charcoal?

To find out more about our suppliers, browse your Lush product’s list of ingredients and click on the ones you are interested in. This should take you to a page full of details!

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