It’s been years since the skincare market was flooded with charcoal products. This natural material found its way into peel-off masks, drugstore shampoos, pore-clearing clay treatments, and over 100 different newly launched bar soap SKUs in more than 50 countries. ¹

Charcoal-based products still top retailers’ best-sellers lists, and the inky material has officially graduated from a trendy ingredient story to one that is trusted by consumers and is here to stay. As innovators in the skincare space, how do we bring newness to a charcoal concept? The answer lies in a tiny bead.

Charcoal Skincare Claims

TextureTuesday_CharcoalBurstMany claims can be attributed to charcoal when it’s included in a skincare product. It is antiseptic and anti-fungal, can help reduce odors, and can be positioned as anti-aging since it helps to remove impurities from pores. In soaps, its detoxification claims are the most powerful that can be made, as it is able to absorb sweat, dirt, and odors. Activated charcoal traps toxins and chemicals, but is not absorbed by the body.²

Traditionally, charcoal powder is added to skincare formulations to achieve these claims. This results in a dark grey or black final product, which is visually appealing, but no longer unique or eye-catching on a store shelf. At Twincraft, we’re always developing new functional and visual concepts to incorporate into bar soap and liquid skincare formulations to address this problem and bring newness to our natural customers.

With activated charcoal, that newness comes in the form of a small bead with encapsulated technology. These beads are available in a range of colors and sizes, and when agitated, they burst, releasing and dispersing the encapsulated material. This technology can be applied in many different types of skincare formats, from masks to moisturizers, and it’s featured in our Charcoal Burst Cleanser.

Charcoal Burst Cleanser

Animated GIF of the Charcoal Burst Cleaner applicationIn our Charcoal Burst Cleanser, encapsulated beads of charcoal are suspended in a mild cleanser base. When these beads are massaged into the skin, they burst and the encapsulated charcoal is dispersed throughout the cleanser base. After additional massaging, the entire cleanser turns a milky grey shade.

This effect is both visual and effective. The visual transition that occurs when the base changes from a clear color to a dark grey one is impactful and highly “Instagrammable,” which is a claim that many brands look to make on the increasingly crowded platform. Customers want unique experiences from their skincare product, and that Instagrammability translates into likes, marketability, and ultimately, sales.

Regarding efficacy, this color change ensures that customers are using the product long enough for it to work. Quickly splashing water and rubbing a cleanser on the face before rinsing for a few seconds doesn’t completely remove dirt, oil, or pollution from the skin, resulting in clogged pores. If there are active ingredients in the cleanser, such as brightening acids or salicylic acid, these must also be left on the skin for a longer period of time before they start to take effect.

Because of the suspending agent in this formula, our Charcoal Burst Cleanser is not natural. It is free of PEGs, sulfates, ethoxylates, and parabens, and has an EWG score of 2, qualifying it as a low hazard product.

To learn more about this bursting bead technology and additional formulation opportunities, please contact our sales team.


Source: ¹,² Mintel, Charcoal Soap for the Locker Room


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