If you’re battling oiliness, odor, body acne, hyperhidrosis, or keratosis pilaris (KP), charcoal soap is good for your skin.
However, you might be looking for the best charcoal soap for another reason. It’s pretty popular for detoxifying the skin. Activated charcoal is incredibly absorbent, which is why it’s used in air purifiers and water filters.
Before we get to reviews of the best brands of charcoal soap, let’s discuss what it can do for you.
- Can I use charcoal soap every day?
- What makes charcoal soap effective?
- What is charcoal soap?
- Best Charcoal Soap in 2021
- Herbivore – Natural Bamboo Charcoal Soap Bar
- Bioré Charcoal Pore Penetrating Bar
- Keika Naturals Charcoal Black Soap
- The Yellow Bird Activated Charcoal Soap
- Aspen Kay Naturals Dead Sea Mud Soap Bar
- Renpure Plant-Based Organic Charcoal Body Wash
- Southern Natural Store Activated Charcoal Soap
- SUMI HAIGOU Settuken Charcoal Bar
- One With Nature Dead Sea Salt Charcoal Soap
- Art of Sport Body Bar
- MARLOWE. Charcoal Face & Body Soap Bar No. 106
- Jack Black – Double Play, Charcoal Body Bar Massaging Soap
- Viking Revolution Activated Charcoal Soap w/Dead Sea Mud
- SheaMoisture Face and Body Bar
- Grandpa’s Soap Co. – Face & Body Bar Soap Charcoal
- Yardley London Activated Charcoal Moisturizing Bath Bar
- NIVEA Men Active Clean Body Wash, Natural Charcoal
- Dove Men+Care Elements Body and Face Charcoal + Clay Bar
- Irish Spring Men’s Charcoal Bar Soap
Can I use charcoal soap every day?
As long as your skin can tolerate it, you can use charcoal soap daily.
Persons with oily skin are likely to benefit from regular use of activated charcoal soap. Since it’s a natural exfoliator, it may help lighten skin and fade acne scars, too.
Sadly, if you have dry skin, it may worsen the dehydration. If you’re serious about trying charcoal soap anyway, look for a moisturizing formula and apply moisturizer after bathing.
What makes charcoal soap effective?
Besides its exfoliating ability, activated charcoal is absorbent. That’s why it’s marketed for purifying the pores and detoxing the body. Theoretically, it should be excellent for absorbing excess oil and removing pollutants. Unfortunately, there’s no scientific evidence that it actually pulls toxins from the skin.
On the other hand, medical-grade activated charcoal saves the lives of people who’ve overdosed or accidentally poisoned themselves. But in those circumstances, it’s used internally (1).
So, why all the fuss about charcoal soap? Is it worth trying or not?
Although we didn’t find studies stating that charcoal was helpful for the skin, we saw lots of anecdotal evidence. There are lots of ordinary people who claim cleaner, smoother, healthier skin from using charcoal soap. Therefore, we say why not give it a shot – it’s an inexpensive thing to try.
What is charcoal soap?
Charcoal is made from wood, nutshells, peat, and so on. You might have used briquettes of charcoal the last time you had a barbecue.
Activated charcoal is different from regular charcoal in that it’s processed at high temperatures with hot air and steam that opens more pores on the surface. It’s generally free of toxins found in regular charcoal.
Charcoal soap contains activated charcoal alongside other ingredients like moisturizers and surfactants. As we go through the reviews below, we’ll point out the highlights.
Best Charcoal Soap in 2021
Herbivore – Natural Bamboo Charcoal Soap Bar
Who can resist handcrafted soap? We can’t. This one’s even more attractive because it’s all-natural and makes a ton of lather. It’s a mild soap that can smooth away KP bumps and diminish blackheads.
The primary ingredient is activated charcoal made from bamboo. The tiny particles are porous and absorbent to pick up and sweep away debris. The extra exfoliation comes from kaolinite, also known as white clay.
Next, there’s tea tree oil, which is a potent acne fighter. It calms the redness and swelling associated with blemishes.
After that, there’s bergamot essential oil to balance the skin’s oil production. It makes the soap smell like citrus. All the oils are food-grade cold-pressed or steam-distilled therapeutic-grade.
The soap base consists of saponified coconut, olive, and sustainable palm oil, plus vitamin E. It contains no sulfates, parabens, phthalates, petroleum, or chemicals.
Bioré Charcoal Pore Penetrating Bar
If you like peppermint, try this soap that will leave your skin tingling. It feels refreshing while it scrubs away excess oil and impurities.
It’s not as gritty as some soaps because it uses exfoliating jojoba beads, not rough particles. In fact, you can use it up to twice per day on both the face and body.
Nevertheless, if you find that your skin is red, irritated, or extra-dry, try using it less frequently.
Keika Naturals Charcoal Black Soap
This handmade charcoal soap comes from Canada. It’s vegan, chemical-free, and made with non-GMO ingredients.
Actually, it comes from a very eco-friendly company that plans the tree for every soap they sell. But if you aren’t thrilled with the soap’s performance, they offer a full refund.
What’s nice is that the giant bar lasts longer than the typical bath soap. It has a light fragrance from a therapeutic-grade peppermint and tea tree oil blend.
The Yellow Bird Activated Charcoal Soap
If you’re tired of seeing large pores, try this charcoal soap. It softens and removes the body oil that stretches the pores and makes them more visible.
Unlike some charcoal soaps, it’s very moisturizing and gentle to the skin. It’s mild enough to use on the face, not just the body. Reviewers report that it’s helped them with eczema, acne, and rosacea.
Moreover, none of the sodium hydroxide used to create the soap remains in the final product. Most of the ingredients are organic, and the palm oil is from sustainable sources, too.
The soothing fragrance comes from essential oils of lavender and lemongrass.
By the way, you can get the maximum mileage out of soap like this by making sure it has a chance to dry between uses. Don’t leave it in a puddle of water. Instead, place it in a soap rack with good drainage.
Aspen Kay Naturals Dead Sea Mud Soap Bar
Did you know that many of these soaps can double as shave cream? It’s because they’re based on natural oils that lubricate the skin.
For example, this one has organic sustainable palm oil, shea butter, and olive oil, for starters.
Then, alongside activated charcoal, it has Dead Sea mud from Israel. This mineral-rich ingredient has healing properties.
Lastly, there’s an essential oil blend of peppermint, eucalyptus, and lemongrass. It makes for a stimulating aroma.
Renpure Plant-Based Organic Charcoal Body Wash
Let’s switch from bar soap to body wash for a moment. You may find that a bath product like this is more suitable for dry skin.
For instance, many people with KP and ingrown hair also struggle with dryness. But body wash like this one gently exfoliates and moisturizes to solve the problem.
It contains charcoal derived from bamboo, plus other plant ingredients like lemon sage, coconut, and tea tree oil. There are no harsh chemicals like parabens, sulfates, artificial colors, propylene glycol, or phthalates.
The scent is mint, violet, and wild fern.
Southern Natural Store Activated Charcoal Soap
Here’s another charcoal soap for dry skin. It’s suitable for persons with psoriasis, eczema, and acne. Use it for the face and body.
No, this isn’t a vegan product. That’s because the company’s founder had success treating her skin condition with goat’s milk. Now, their activated charcoal soap also contains goat milk alongside plant oils, Dead Sea mud, and botanicals.
It has an uplifting aroma and leaves the skin soft, clean, and comfortable.
SUMI HAIGOU Settuken Charcoal Bar
Do you know what cypress smells like? You’ll experience it when you try this Japanese charcoal soap. It’s superb for treating oily skin and exfoliating the body.
The ingredients list is a little unusual. It includes bamboo vinegar. But don’t worry, the soap has a subtle clean fragrance. Be prepared for gray-colored suds that rinse clean.
One With Nature Dead Sea Salt Charcoal Soap
Do you know why triple-milled soap is better? The bars last longer because they are denser and don’t melt and fall apart as easily.
This soap is triple-milled by a family-operated business near the Dead Sea. It contains Dead Sea mineral salt, activated charcoal, shea butter, argan oil, and sustainable palm oil.
In this case, the salt is just as important as the charcoal. The Dead Sea is rich in essential minerals like sulfur, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. These help the skin heal.
Users say that the soap is drying unless it’s used on oily skin. But it works very well at reducing oiliness and odor.
Art of Sport Body Bar
Even though it’s marketed as men’s soap, we suggest that it’s made for anyone who wants to stay fresh and clean throughout the day.
You might’ve seen it mentioned in Forbes, ESPN, or Sports Illustrated. It comes in three scents, including cedar and vanilla, cool eucalyptus, and energizing citrus.
It was developed as an athlete’s soap to battle odor and sweat. It makes a lot of lather and has a smooth texture. Users say it’s surprisingly moisturizing.
The formula contains no parabens, phthalates, or sulfates. It’s vegan and dermatologist-tested.
MARLOWE. Charcoal Face & Body Soap Bar No. 106
It has a manly scent from sandalwood, musk, and agarwood. Therefore, this charcoal soap may not appeal to everyone.
On the other hand, it’s perfect for deep-cleansing the skin. It has a blend of green tea, willow bark, and passionflower to rejuvenate the skin and accelerate repair. Those botanicals are packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Jack Black – Double Play, Charcoal Body Bar Massaging Soap
Are you wondering why it’s called a “massaging soap”? Take a look at the picture. It has an intensely bumpy texture for literally massaging the skin.
It features charcoal for extra deodorizing power and jojoba beads for smooth exfoliation.
Furthermore, like every product from Jack Black, it’s paraben-free and vegan. It has no artificial dyes, and it’s safe for sensitive skin.
Viking Revolution Activated Charcoal Soap w/Dead Sea Mud
As with everything they sell, Viking Revolution offers a satisfaction guarantee on this soap. It’s a big bar that makes a lot of lather.
It has a masculine fragrance based on peppermint and eucalyptus. But the most appealing part is how it removes grime, oil, and odor and leaves the skin smooth.
Some men find that it helps with blackheads as well.
SheaMoisture Face and Body Bar
Here’s African black soap with charcoal. It may be just what you need to clear up pimples and maintain a shine-free complexion.
This soap is perfect for oily skin. It has tea tree oil, tamarind, oats, and aloe for the right amount of exfoliation and moisture.
Grandpa’s Soap Co. – Face & Body Bar Soap Charcoal
Did you know that this manufacturer is Leaping Bunny certified? Their soap is certified gluten-free by the Celiac Support Association.
If that wasn’t enough good news, how about this. It’s free of parabens, sulfates, artificial colors, perfumes, but phthalates, and even EDTA (which is common to many bath soaps).
It’s recommended for combination and oily skin because it soaks up impurities and oil to decongest pores.
Yardley London Activated Charcoal Moisturizing Bath Bar
It’s hard to resist this charcoal soap because we have a weakness for bergamot and spearmint. That’s the fragrance that lingers on the skin after you use it.
The formula features bentonite clay to remove impurities and dead skin. Thankfully, there are plenty of moisturizers to condition the body, or else it would be too drying.
NIVEA Men Active Clean Body Wash, Natural Charcoal
If you prefer a clean-rinsing soap, lots of guys seem happy to use Nivea’s charcoal body wash. They say it rinses clean with no residue. Then, the clean scent lasts for hours afterward.
We were a bit disappointed to see that it contains an artificial fragrance and parabens.
Dove Men+Care Elements Body and Face Charcoal + Clay Bar
It’s not surprising that Dove’s charcoal soap is more moisturizing than some of the competition. After all, their bar soap tends to be popular among people with dry skin.
Yes, this is a men’s product, but don’t let that discourage you if you don’t mind the masculine fragrance. It’s a gentle way to experience the benefits of charcoal soap without dehydrating the skin.
Irish Spring Men’s Charcoal Bar Soap
This manufacturer also developed charcoal bar soap, and it’s made headway based on the strength of the brand name. Yet we noticed that reviewers complained that the charcoal consisted of tiny “freckles”.
On the bright side, it promises twelve hours of deodorant protection with a fresh fragrance.
Charcoal soap can help with odor control, oiliness, and other undesirable skin conditions. The right formula may be all you need to clear up acne and enjoy softer skin.
Although it may not be the miracle-working detoxifier we all hope for, it’s definitely valuable in its own right.
If you’ve had a good experience with charcoal soap, we’d love to hear about it. Please leave us a comment below.
1. https://www.popsci.com/story/health/activated-charcoal-beauty-skin-care/ The truth about activated charcoal in beauty products, by Kat Eschner, published December 13, 2019, accessed March 23, 2021