We take every opportunity to use bamboo charcoal in our products as a healthy colorant or as an active ingredient due to its many beneficial properties.
When we first started researching this ingredient, we were surprised to learn that bamboo is not a tree but is actually a fast growing grass - in fact, the world’s fastest growing woody plant. Guinness World Records lists bamboo as one of the fastest growing plants on record, with one species growing up to 91 cm per day (about 1/2 the height of a refrigerator) or as fast as 0.00003 km/hour. Bamboo has grown as tall as 40 m in the tropics (the height of a 12 story building) and 20-30 m in the USA and has a lifespan of 6-8 years. Once bamboo is cut, the stalks regrow from the root and it is therefore a very sustainable resource. Amazing.
When mature bamboo pieces are burned at 800-1200 degrees Celsius (that’s hot!), bamboo charcoal is created. This bamboo charcoal has been used for centuries, particularly in Asian countries as a purifier and medicinally. It is sometimes called the “Black Diamond” or, in Japan, Takesumi 竹炭 and is valued for its incredible absorbency. One gram of charcoal has up to 600 metres of surface area (bigger than a basketball court) and can absorb four times as much as other types of charcoal.
We have long used bamboo charcoal in our regular line of soaps for a lovely black colour. We are now highlighting charcoal in specialty soaps that feature the many beneficial properties. The charcoal makes our soap a deep black or dark grey colour (depending upon the soap recipe) that we love.
Charcoal soap provides a deep clean for the pores by acting as a natural exfoliant and bacteria killer while absorbing toxins and impurities from the skin. Charcoal soap does not leave a residue on the skin so allows the pore to continue to breathe and allows the body’s natural moisturizers to work effectively. For this reason, bamboo charcoal soap is particularly beneficial to acne-prone skin.
We now make two bars that provide an intensive bamboo charcoal experience: a charcoal facial bar that is particularly good for acne-prone skin (and smells divine - one of our favourite scents) and a minty charcoal body bar. Try them and see what all of the fuss is about!