Activated charcoal has been considered an insider tip for beauty products for quite some time. This sounds unusual at first, but activated charcoal actually has a lot to offer cosmetics. It cannot be compared with charcoal on the grill, although charcoal can also be the starting material, as can lignite and hard coal. Other raw materials for activated charcoal are peat, olive stones, coconut shells and bamboo.
Applications of activated carbon
Activated carbon filters and carries catalysts, which makes it valuable for various applications. Among other things, it is used in water filters (activated carbon filters), and in cosmetics it is called charcoal. Their manufacturing process is extremely complex. Made of 90%igem carbon, activated carbon is very porous, it resembles a sponge. For cosmetics, it is often extracted from bamboo, for which the by-products of the production of bamboo vinegar are used. The large-pored bamboo activated carbon still contains the valuable bamboo ingredients. It is even approved as a food additive E153.
Use of the Charcoal in cosmetics
Charcoal is often found in masks, deodorants, scrubs and other products. It absorbs strongly and therefore cleanses the skin particularly thoroughly. Residues from environmental pollution, dirt, sebum deposits and bacteria are deeply extracted from the skin and can then simply be wiped off. The principle works in the same way for facial masks and peelings, for applications against pimples and skin impurities, and even for deodorants. Charcoal is now even available in dental care products. It appears as extremely fine microparticles, which gently and softly remove discolorations even on teeth. Fortunately, cosmetic products with charcoal are very skin-friendly; no side effects or disadvantages are known so far. Even allergies occur so rarely that they are hardly mentioned. This applies to external applications. There is also an internal application of activated charcoal, it is contained in some medicines. This application is only on a doctor's instructions, because the activated carbon also absorbs vitamins and minerals with the water in the body.
What should be considered when using cosmetic activated charcoal?
Peelings with Charcoal do not have an unlimited shelf life. They can become rancid after the expiration of their time. But they are very ecological products, which are popular in Asian countries soaps. These carefully cleanse the skin and at the same time give it enough moisture. Such soaps contain other valuable contents such as rice milk or coconut oil. Charcoal has practically no disadvantages, which is why its areas of application are growing. Any prejudices are therefore superfluous, health-conscious consumers may trust these products without hesitation. The only thing to be aware of is possible chemical additives. These could trigger intolerances in some skin types. In principle, however, pure Charcoal greatly enriches cosmetics.
How is activated carbon produced?
Activated carbon gets its name because charcoal is activated for its production. There are two processes for this:
- In a gas activation process, coke is exposed to a gas stream consisting of carbon dioxide, water vapor and air at 700 - 1,000 °C. The coke is partially burned to form a highly porous active carbon skeleton. The coke partially burns to form a highly porous, active carbon skeleton.
- In chemical activation, uncarbonized material and dehydrating, oxidizing chemicals are mixed together and heated to 400 - 800 °C. The material is then activated. Activating materials can be sulfuric acid, zinc chloride or phosphoric acid. These substances are completely recovered after the coal is activated.
Other uses of activated carbon
The importance and value of activated carbon can be seen in its wide range of applications. Medicine, the food industry, the chemical industry, and water and wastewater treatment also require activated carbon, which is contained in countless products that we come into contact with every day. For kerosenes, enzymes, glycerin, waxes, organic acids, activated carbon is needed for purification as well as for deodorization and decolorization of gelatin, purification of sugar solutions and starch products as well as for treatment of edible oils and fats, soup seasonings, glutamate, fruit juices, beer & wine and extracts. The effect of activated carbon is based, among other things, on attractive forces in the molecular range on the huge surface of the porous carbon particles.