How to make activated charcoal

How to make activated charcoal

So you want to know how to make activated charcoal?

Activated charcoal has many health benefits. Click here to read about the many benefits of activated charcoal in skin and body care products.

Activated charcoal is not just crushed up charcoal from your outdoor BBQ. It is formed in two ways: steam activation and chemical activation. Both processes require specialist skill, the preparedness to invest in the right apparatus’ and the financial resources to sustain the cost of production over time.

Many people have the misconception that activated charcoal is easy to make. We would encourage you to instead purchase activated charcoal from a reputable seller. Why? Because if you are going to use this activated charcoal on your skin topically it needs to be formed correctly and under certain conditions to ensure that activated charcoal is safe to use on your body.

What is standing in the way of me making my own activated charcoal?

For personal use we would not recommend making your own activated charcoal for the following reasons:

1. There is a huge cost involved in terms of production

2. You would need an industrial furnace as your conventional oven will not be able to reach the very high temperatures required for steam activation

3. To activate charcoal correctly you need a sophisticated delivery system of heat and steam which requires skill and knowledge

4. You would need to find a way to dispose of the waste ash and manage exhaust gasses

5. Cooking temperature and timing is critical and requires specialist knowledge of the charcoal activation process

Where can I get activated charcoal powder?

When you are looking for activated charcoal for personal use we would highly recommend you skip the production phase and purchase activated charcoal powder from a reputable online store or bricks and mortar store. There are many places you can find high quality, even food grade activated charcoal powder.

Here are two examples of activated charcoal powder ready for you to try:

Essential Elements Food Grade Activated Charcoal Powder

Zen Charcoal Hardwood Activated Charcoal Powder

Activated charcoal in its powdered form can then be:

  • Mixed with other ingredients if you are looking to make your own skin and body care products such as face masks, toothpastes, soaps, body scrubs and the like
  • Used on its own as a tooth cleaner and brightener
  • Used to make a range of other skin and body care products with full control of your ingredient list

What to look for when buying activated charcoal

It is very important that you are confident with the way manufacturers have formed activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is considered GRAS – “Generally Recognised As Safe”. However some manufacturers have their product certified under several different agencies which gives you an extra level of comfort that the activated charcoal has been created by an approved process. Look for food grade and pharmaceutical grade form for the best quality activated charcoal.

Activated charcoal powder can be made from bamboo, coconut shell or hardwood. You can buy it in a tub, sachet or in capsule form. If you are only going to be using a very small amount of activated charcoal to test it out before adding it to your body and skincare routines and rituals, we recommend you purchase activated charcoal in capsule form. This means less mess and less fuss.

Nature’s Way Charcoal Activated, 100 Capsules, 280 mg

Check out a range of activated charcoal powders we’ve rounded up for you by clicking here.

We would love to hear how you incorporate activated charcoal powder into your body and skin care routines and rituals. Let us know in the comments section below. C&B

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