Nowadays, charcoal soaps are making their way into many people's hygiene routines. And it's no surprise since they are said to do an excellent job of purifying your skin by drawing out excess oil, residues, and other impurities. Depending on their additional ingredients, they can also be a source of many skin benefits.
You can find charcoal soaps with emollients that moisturize your skin, and you can even spot ones with anti-bacterial agents. With that said, you might now have an idea that charcoal soaps are not created equally. Thus, to help you get a good one, we have a list of recommendations and a buying guide containing a run-down of the essential features to look for in charcoal soaps.
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz is the face behind Ask Your Derma. She is a board-certified dermatologist in Metro Manila. She is also an educator and digital creator on all things skin, hair, and nails. She is a Diplomate of the Philippine Dermatological Society and offers online video consultations. You can also catch her on her Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube channel.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
Experts featured in this article only reviewed the content of our buying guide. They had no part in the selection or ranking of products or services listed.
The products and services listed are ranked independently by the editorial team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide (as of 01-16-2023).
Here are some key points to consider:
Know your skin type to get a charcoal soap with ingredients that are suitable for you.
Stay away from charcoal soaps that use a significant amount of harsh chemicals.
Look for expert-approved products to ensure safety.
Choose your preferred soap type.
Face or body: check the scope of the charcoal soap.
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
The first thing to consider when buying charcoal soap, or any soap for that matter, is your skin type. Certain skin conditions, such as dry and oily skin, require certain ingredients that might be helpful in addressing these skin problems.
Charcoal soaps can sometimes leave your skin dry and chapped. Fortunately, some brands have addressed this problem by incorporating a moisturizing feature in their charcoal soaps. These moisturizers help hydrate the skin, prevent extreme dryness, as well as prevent other skin problems.
Common moisturizing ingredients which can be found in charcoal soaps are aloe vera, glycerin, coconut oil, and shea butter. But you can also spot eucalyptus oil, mulberry root extracts, and grape extracts that boost skin's hydration. Picking a charcoal soap with moisturizing feature can save you time and money as it means that there is one less thing on your shopping list and skincare routine.
For years, charcoal has been used as an antidote for poisonings. Fast forward today, and it has now been incorporated into different products, soaps included! While a lot of claims of its effectiveness for various uses ranging from acne to anti-aging abound, experts are still on the fence on this one as clinical trials are still in the works.
There are charcoal soaps that go well with oily skin. Through deep cleansing, these charcoal soaps can minimize oiliness, especially in areas such as your T-Zone. To experience this benefit, you can look for charcoal soaps that contain ingredients such as tea tree oil, Moroccan ghassoul, and beta hydroxy acids, like salicylic acid, known to have the ability to decongest pores and eliminate oil.
Some also contain activated charcoal that can draw out dirt and deep clean your pores for a fresh and matte look. It is equally important to steer clear of some ingredients if you have oily skin. You might want to avoid those with harsh chemicals and fragrances because they can cause irritation.
For oily skin, one of the top picks would be salicylic acid! The reason why salicylic acid is an attractive ingredient for oily skin is that it is lipid-soluble. Thus, it has the ability to penetrate inside pores and remove oil and debris.
If you are aware that you have sensitive skin, it is important to look for soaps with milder or less harsh ingredients in their formula. Usually, this means natural ingredients such as aloe vera, calendula, chamomile extract, and elements with antibacterial properties like rosewood oil and licorice root.
Aloe is known for moisturizing while gently cleansing the skin. Meanwhile, calendula is best for preventing skin irritation and its anti-bacterial properties. Lastly, chamomile is soothing, and lastly, oatmeal is soothing and anti-inflammatory on the skin.
It is also advisable to steer clear of certain ingredients which might be harmful to your skin. These include soap formulas with fragrances, essential oils, alcohol, or other formulas which use a significant amount of harmful chemical ingredients. This is because they can dry out your skin and cause other skin problems.
When you have sensitive skin, it means that you have higher chances of reacting to a product and developing signs of inflammation such as redness, flushing, stinging, acne-like eruptions. Thus, it's important to check the ingredients as well as to make sure you're not sensitive to any of those listed.
A general rule is that as much as possible, choose soaps with fewer ingredients or those that use natural or organic elements. It is because they tend to be gentler on your skin, as they typically contain fewer chemicals, wherein irritations usually stem from.
If you have sensitive, it is even more advisable to stay away from those that use a significant amount of harsh chemicals such as lead, phthalates, and fragrances that can cause irritations instead of lending benefits to your skin.
Definitely, checking the ingredients is a must. I always emphasize the importance of patch testing! Remember, personal sensitivities and personal tolerances dictate how our skin reacts to a particular product—with or without fragrance!
If you have limited knowledge about charcoal soaps, there is definitely nothing wrong with seeking expert advice. When you're unfamiliar with a charcoal soap's ingredients, try to look it up, or better yet, listen to expert medical advice from dermatologists and physicians.
Also, be wary of brands resorting to false advertising and making false claims about the benefits of their products. Lastly, take into consideration honest customer reviews about charcoal soaps as they can be extremely helpful, especially if you haven't seen or tried the product before.
When in doubt, Ask Your Derma! Check-in with your dermatologist before adding different products into your routine so that they can identify your skin type, address your skin concerns, and suggest a routine suited to your needs (minus the irritation!).
It is equally important to check the scope of particular charcoal soap. While using the same charcoal soap for your face and body may sound convenient and economical, it might cause more harm than good if it's not intended to be used like that.
The skin in your face is more delicate than the other parts of your body. Hence, body charcoal soaps that typically have more chemical concentrations may be too harsh for your face. But fret not, as apart from charcoal soaps specifically made for the face or body, you can also find ones that you can use for both.
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Activated Charcoal Whitening Soap
Detoxifies Skin and Balances Complexion With a Blend of Activated Charcoal, Salicylic, and Kojic Acid
The Body Shop
Himalayan Charcoal Clay Wash
Enriched With Bamboo Charcoal to Remove Impurities and Dirt
Detox Foaming Body Wash Charcoal
Highlights a Triple Detox Technology That Lifts Away Germs, Sebum, and Dirt
Pore Gentle Black Charcoal Soap
Charcoal and Ghassoul-Infused Soap to Absorb Excess Sebum and Decongest Pores
Human Nature Bamboo
Bamboo Charcoal Body Wash and Shampoo
A 2-in-1 Purifying Charcoal Wash for Men
Activated Charcoal Soap
An All-Natural Soap That Helps Lighten Age Spots and Unclog Pores
Coalface Facial Soap
A Gentle Face and Body Soap With Licorice Root and Antiseptic Rosewood Oil
Be Organic Bath and Body
Apple Cider Charcoal Soap
Reduce Blemishes With This Apple Cider-Infused Charcoal Soap
Milea All Organics
Charcoal Clarifying & Detoxifying Soap
Made From All-Natural Ingredients, Like Virgin Coconut Oil That Deeply Moisturizes Your Skin
Charcoal Foam Cleansing
Non-drying Charcoal Soap With Anti-bacterial Properties
Do you want to exfoliate your skin and lighten your complexion at the same time? This affordable 2-in-1 soap from Dr. Sensitive might be able to help you with those skin goals. It aims to help remove skin impurities while helping you achieve a balanced complexion as well. Based on its reviews online, buyers have found this soap moisturizing to the skin and able to clear dark spots.
This face and body soap has natural activated charcoal, which helps in detoxifying your skin. It also has kojic acid, an ingredient that is well-known for its whitening properties. Lastly, it has beta hydroxy acid, which helps exfoliate the skin. You don't have to worry about dryness because this soap is formulated to whiten without drying the skin.
This charcoal facial soap by The Body Shop purifies your skin after every wash. Formulated with bamboo charcoal from the Himalayan foothills, tea tree oil, and eucalyptus oil, it can cleanse dirt and impurities and reduce excess oil.
Its formula is also enriched with shea butter, known for its moisturizing properties. Plus, it's 100% vegan and dermatologically tested, making it safe for your skin. Overall, this is an excellent product if you're looking for one made with natural ingredients and works well with normal to oily skin.
This charcoal body wash from Safeguard is perfect for cleansing and detoxifying your skin. With its Triple Detox Technology, you can experience gentle yet powerful deep pore cleansing that can eliminate sebum, dirt, and germs from within your pores. Its 500ml formula is stored in a pump dispenser bottle, convenient and sufficient for family use.
Its detoxifying feature can also be attributed to its foaming quality. A single press of this product can give you lots of foam with triple detox agents 100x smaller than pores. Apart from that, this charcoal body wash is easy to apply and lather yet effortless to rinse off thanks to its dense bubble texture.
If you're struggling with excessively oily skin, this facial charcoal soap by Dear Klairs might be a good match for you. It does an excellent job of eliminating pore-clogging impurities and absorbing excess sebum, so many use it as an oil-control soap.
It is said to work like an exfoliator but much milder. It contains charcoal that removes dead skin and organic Moroccan ghassoul to unclog pores. It is also infused with black sugar that imparts glycolic acid to reveal newer and healthier layers of skin.
This body wash and shampoo from Human Nature can purify and effectively clean your hair and body with its bamboo charcoal ingredient. Aside from that, it also has aloe extract and plant oils in its formula for added moisturizing benefits.
Also, since this liquid charcoal soap is infused with peppermint oils, expect to feel cool and refreshed every shower as it offers a cooling sensation and a minty, natural scent. It is made from natural ingredients and contains no harsh chemicals, perfect for sensitive types of skin.
Made from activated charcoal, this soap by Lana makes a perfect addition to your skincare routine if you need one that can cleanse the skin and unclog pores. Apart from activated charcoal, it contains all-natural ingredients, like mulberry root extract that hydrates the skin and lightens dark spots and discoloration.
It also has grape seed extract, a known active antioxidant rich in vitamin E that helps in moisturizing the skin. Aside from its benefits, it is also a sustainable and cruelty-free charcoal soap. So if you care about the environment as much as your care about your skin, this charcoal bar soap can address that both.
If you're on the hunt for something gentle, Lush has got you covered! This charcoal soap features a formulation that is gentle enough for your face, but you can also use it for your body. It contains charcoal that absorbs excess oil, licorice root that softens the skin, and antiseptic rosewood oil that helps combat breakouts.
Due to its lineup of ingredients, it can work well with oily and acne-prone skin. To use it, simply lather it in your hands and massage it on your skin before rinsing it away. Its pretty floral shape and earthy Sandalwood scent that makes you feel calm and collected as you shower are just a bonus!
This charcoal soap from Be Organic Bath and Body is infused with apple cider, making it the perfect solution for skin blemishes. It dries them out and removes dead skin cells, helping you bring out healthier and glowing skin. The apple cider ingredient, combined with the activated charcoal, aids in the exfoliation process, making it more effective while still also natural.
Besides those two ingredients, this soap also has tea tree oil that soothes your skin while also leaving your skin with a crisp, clean scent after wash. Overall, this charcoal soap with apple cider is best for removing impurities and reducing blemishes for a healthier and glowing skin from within.
If you are looking for a charcoal soap that purifies your skin while also nourishing it, then look no further because this charcoal bar soap is for you. Milea All Organics Charcoal Soap is a virgin coconut oil-rich soap packed with anti-oxidants that softens and deeply moisturizes your skin.
This soap cleanses, purifies, and balances the oil level on your skin, leaving it thoroughly cleaned, moisturized, and glowing. This soap also acts as a disinfectant and fights off germs that cause skin irritations like acne. Although it comes in a small bar, this charcoal soap is a great deal considering its price point and skin benefits offered.
If you're looking for a deep cleansing facial foam, then this charcoal cleanser is for you. This foaming face wash effectively washes away impurities, dead cells, and even make-up residue. It also absorbs excess sebum from deep within your pores, thoroughly cleansing your skin for a fresher finish.
Because of its non-drying and shine-free formula, this charcoal facial soap can be used by those with dry, oily, acne-prone, and even sensitive skin. This deep cleansing facial wash is great for giving your skin a thorough cleanse and a smooth finish. To top it off, it also has anti-bacterial properties.
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz.
Clinical studies on the lightening ability of charcoal have yet to be done.
Charcoal soaps have been posited to have clarifying abilities, hence, its proposed use for acne. The thing is there's still little science to back up these claims. Besides, there are so many tried and tested alternatives in the market.
There are so many safe and effective alternative options to charcoal available in the market. When pregnant, it's best to err on the side of caution and prioritize the safety of your baby above all.
Our skin is the largest organ in our body. Taking care of it might be expensive and laborious, but it will definitely benefit us in the long run. Below are links to our articles about other skincare products that can help you care for your skin.
Author: Katrina Balingit
Re-editor: R. Victoriano
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
No. 1：Dr. Sensitive｜Activated Charcoal Whitening Soap
No. 2：The Body Shop｜Himalayan Charcoal Clay Wash
No. 3：Safeguard｜Detox Foaming Body Wash Charcoal
No. 4：Dear Klairs｜Pore Gentle Black Charcoal Soap
No. 5：Human Nature Bamboo｜Bamboo Charcoal Body Wash and Shampoo
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When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.
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