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5 Reasons You Should Not Use Charcoal Soap for Acne

Activated charcoal has become a buzzword in the world of skincare. From face masks to toothpaste, it seems like this powerful ingredient is everywhere. While activated charcoal has several beneficial properties, using charcoal soap for acne may not be the best solution for everyone.

This blog post will dive into five reasons to think twice before swapping out your current acne cleanser for a charcoal soap. Keep reading to get protect your clear and radiant skin.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • While popular for its detoxifying properties, activated charcoal can strip the skin of essential natural oils, causing dryness and irritation.
  • Not all charcoal soaps are equal; they can contain various other ingredients like palm oil and synthetic fragrances that may not suit all skin types.
  • Frequent use of charcoal soap can lead to premature aging, as it might remove too much natural oil, leaving the skin dry and less elastic.
  • For a more balanced and scientifically backed skincare routine, consider Exposed Skin Care products that are formulated to work in harmony with your skin’s specific needs.

Male hands holding activated charcoal soap

Activated Charcoal May Over-Dry Your Skin

Activated charcoal is known for its absorbent qualities. It can absorb toxins and excess oil, so many believe it's good for oily and acne-prone skin. However, there's a flip side to this powerful absorbency.

Over-Drying and Irritated Skin

While activated charcoal can absorb excess oil, it often goes a step further by removing your skin's natural oils as well. This can leave your skin feeling dry and irritated, especially if you have sensitive or dry skin.

The Importance of Balanced Skincare

Moisturizing is a crucial part of any skincare routine. Even if you have oily or acne-prone skin, removing too much oil can actually make your skin produce more oil to compensate, leading to further breakouts.

Charcoal Soap and Scent Sensitivity

Charcoal soaps often come infused with essential oils for added fragrance. While the scent of lemongrass or lavender might be alluring, essential oils can also irritate the skin.

Reactions to Essential Oils

If you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergic reactions, the essential oils in charcoal soaps might cause your skin to react adversely. Scents and fragrances can be harsh and lead to redness or itchiness.

Woman with curly hair checking her skin with mirror

What About Unscented Charcoal Soap?

Even so-called "fragrance-free" soaps can contain some form of scent or preservative that might irritate your skin. So, if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, be cautious when choosing a charcoal bar.

The Downside of Exfoliation

Activated charcoal has natural exfoliating properties that can help slough away dead skin cells. While this may sound like a benefit, especially for those looking to cleanse their skin deeply, it comes with its own challenges.

Over-Exfoliation Risks

Over-exfoliation can strip your skin of its natural protective barrier, leading to sensitive and irritated skin. When your skin is already dealing with conditions like acne, this added irritation can exacerbate the problem.

Alternative Ways to Exfoliate

Rather than relying on the harsh exfoliating properties of charcoal soap, consider a gentle daily cleanser that can effectively remove dead skin without compromising your skin's natural barrier.

Woman pumping face toner to cotton pad

The Inconsistency of Natural Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal soaps often boast their natural origins, which appeals to those looking for organic skincare options. However, "natural" doesn't always mean better.

Variability of Natural Ingredients

Natural activated charcoal can be inconsistent in quality. Unlike formulated skincare products designed specifically for treating acne, the potency of natural activated charcoal can vary significantly from one soap bar to another.

Are Customer Reviews Reliable?

Many people love this soap based on customer reviews, but it's essential to remember that everyone's skin reacts differently to skincare products. What works for one may not necessarily work for another.

Charcoal Soap May Not Target the Root Cause of Acne

Acne is a complex condition that various factors, including hormonal imbalances, stress, and diet can trigger. While activated charcoal soap might offer a quick fix for surface impurities, it may not address the underlying issues.

Woman with towel on her head checking her ance

Limitations of Surface Cleansing

Charcoal soap helps remove impurities from the skin's surface, but acne often originates deeper within the pores. A surface cleanse might not be enough for those dealing with more severe forms of acne.

The Importance of a Comprehensive Skincare Routine

Instead of relying solely on charcoal soap for acne, consider a more comprehensive skincare routine that addresses your specific skin type and acne triggers. This could include a variety of cleansers, moisturizers, and treatments to promote overall skin health.

Switch to Exposed Skin Care for a Comprehensive Approach to Acne Management

While the pitfalls of using charcoal soap for acne are worth noting, it's essential to mention the proven benefits of using Exposed Skin Care products. Our product range offers a comprehensive approach to managing acne and improving skin health.

Exposed Skin Care Basic Kit

Here are the benefits of Exposed Skin Care:

  • Detoxify and Soothe: Unlike activated charcoal soap bars that can over-dry the skin, our products are formulated to detoxify your skin gently while providing soothing effects. Ingredients like salicylic acid ensure that your skin remains moisturized.
  • Premium Lather, Minus the Clog: Exposed Skin Care face washes produce a rich foam that cleanses without clogging your pores. The formula is free from harmful elements like parabens and sodium hydroxide.
  • Tailored for Oily Skin: Our Clear Pore Serum effectively targets oily skin, absorbing excess oil without stripping your skin’s naturally occurring moisture.
  • Cruelty-Free: Our products are made cruelty-free, giving you peace of mind with each purchase.

So, when considering your skincare routine to prevent breakouts and improve your complexion, take a more nuanced approach with Exposed Skin Care. Feel free to leave a comment sharing your experience!


While the allure of charcoal-based products, like activated charcoal bars and charcoal face washes, might seem tempting, it's crucial to weigh the pros and cons. Activated charcoal helps detoxify the skin but can also strip the skin of its natural oils, potentially leading to other issues.

The high surface area of activated charcoal is excellent for absorbing impurities, but it can often remove too much, leaving the skin dry and prone to premature aging.

Moreover, many charcoal soaps include additional ingredients like coconut oil, palm oil, and body butter, which can benefit or harm your skin, depending on your skin type and sensitivities. 

Products with these natural oils might claim to counteract the harshness of charcoal, but they might not be sufficient for everyone. When contact occurs with these ingredients, sensitive skin can suffer from irritation or even exacerbate existing blemishes.

In contrast, Exposed Skin Care offers a more balanced approach to managing acne and improving skin health. Our products are carefully formulated to address various skin concerns without the potentially damaging effects of charcoal powder or other harsh exfoliants. 

So, before you dive into the seemingly miraculous benefits of using activated charcoal for your acne facial routine, it might be worth considering a more comprehensive, scientifically-backed option like Exposed Skin Care. 


Why is activated charcoal popular in skincare products?

Activated charcoal is known for its high absorbency and detoxifying properties, making it popular in skincare products aimed at oily and acne-prone skin.

How can charcoal soap harm sensitive skin?

Charcoal soap can strip natural oils away from the skin, causing irritation and dryness, especially in sensitive skin.

Are all charcoal soaps made with natural ingredients?

No, some charcoal soaps include synthetic fragrances, preservatives, and other additives that may not be suitable for all skin types.

What ingredients are commonly found in charcoal soaps?

Common ingredients include activated charcoal, coconut oil, palm oil, and sometimes essential oils for scent.

Can I use charcoal soap as a daily cleanser?

While some people use it daily, frequent use can lead to dryness and irritation. It's essential to assess how your skin reacts to it.

Why should I consider Exposed Skin Care instead?

Exposed Skin Care offers a balanced and comprehensive approach to acne management and skin care. Our products are scientifically formulated, cruelty-free, and made to work in harmony with various skin types.