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Japanese Charcoal Soap For Natural Skin Cleansing

Updated on January 24, 2011

Using charcoal for beauty is an ancient Asian beauty secret.

Did you know that charcoal is good for the skin? That's right, charcoal soap has been used by the Japanese for many years to detoxify and clarify their skin.

Hold on, I'm not talking about the coal we use for BBQ. There is a specially processed activated charcoal, particularly from bamboo, that can attract and absorb impurities effectively. This is how it is able to unclog pores and remove dead skin cells from the top layer of the skin, which results in smooth, clear, radiant and healthy skin.

A lot of Japanese beauty products contain active bamboo charcoal in the ingredients and I've listed some of the ones I could find online -and more- below. Please read on if you'd like to try out this Asian skin care trend.

Photo of Nippon Kodo Deitanseki Soap Bar courtesy of Amazon.

Charcoal Facial Soaps from Japan

Japanese Natural Takesumi Bamboo Charcoal Soap - Eco-friendly, non-toxic, highly porous charcoal made from mature and regenerating bamboo.

Takusemi Soap is a unique product from Japan. The bamboo charcoal soap deodorizes as it cleans, absorbing dirt, odor, and oil completely and naturally. This moisturizing glycerin soap is lye and paraben free and recommended for dry skin, oily skin and for treating acne. The embossed soap comes in pretty Japanese packaging which is wonderful for gift giving.

Japanese Natural "Takesumi" Bamboo Charcoal Soap - 100g Bar
Japanese Natural "Takesumi" Bamboo Charcoal Soap - 100g Bar

Imported Japanese Natural "Takesumi" Soap made of bamboo charcoal lifts dirt, oil and other impurities from deep inside your pores. Gentle enough for all skin types... dual use as a facial and body cleanser and deodorant. Product Size: 1 round bar, aprox. 2.75 inches in diameter and 1.25 inches thick. Net Weight: 100 grams, or about 3.5 US oz


Cleaning Bar Soap with Charcoal and Hinoki Oil - A gentle cleansing charcoal soap with the subtle scent of Hinoki.

A Japanese skin care product that gently cleanses without drying out the skin. Contains 99% Natural ingredients and is ideal for easily irritated, sensitive skin. Infused with the unique scent of Japanese Cypress Hinoki. Comes in a dramatic black color.

Cleaning Bar Soap with Charcoal and Hinoki Oil
Cleaning Bar Soap with Charcoal and Hinoki Oil

This unique blend of natural ingredients provides gentle skin care. Ultra fine particles of natural charcoal powder cleanse, absorbing impurities Papain (enzyme from papaya fruit) helps to remove dead cells White clay makes your skin soft and enriched with minerals Bentonite clay cleans pores, revitalizing the skin. Subtle natural aroma of Hinoki (Japanese cypress) oil leaves you feeling fresh and clean.


Nippon Kodo Deitanseki Soap Bar - A well-kept skincare secret that has been in use for ages in bath houses and hot springs in Japan.

Deitanseki soap, a full-sized and black-colored soap bar from Japan. The best selling charcoal soap bar at public bath houses (sentoh) and hot springs (onsen) is now available in North America. This soap has three active ingredients working together to deliver the freshest clean.

Nippon Kodo Deitanseki Soap 5.3oz
Nippon Kodo Deitanseki Soap 5.3oz

Enriched with Kaolin Clay and selected Carbon Powder, this soft facial bar gently cleanses your face with micro-porous active ingredients. The Bentonite helps skin retain its natural moisture. Experience the fresh, clean moistness of your skin after washing your face.


Shizen Gokochi Facial Cleansing Set - Charcoal Bar Soap with Nylon Foaming Net Bag

An activated charcoal soap product that contains micro particles of mud (bentonite) that removes excess oil and dirt from pores effectively and completely. Helps treat oily and acne prone skin. Contains natural Hyaluronic Acid to protect moisture in your skin. Has a calming forest green scent. Made in Japan, but comes with English ingredients and usage instructions. The foaming net bag produces extra rich elastic lather for gentle cleansing.

GYUNYU Shizen Gokochi Facial Cleansing Bar Soap, Charcoal
GYUNYU Shizen Gokochi Facial Cleansing Bar Soap, Charcoal

Facial cleansing bar with unique nylon net bag to enhance foaming. Charcoal-based with micro particles of mud (bentonite) for effective deep cleansing. Place bar soap inside of included foaming net bag, wet and create lather. Take the rich lather onto palms and massage into face gently. For more aggressive cleanse, massage with cleansing brush, pad or included foaming net bag. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.


Sumi Haigou Settuken Charcoal Bar Soap - Medicated charcoal soap that effectively extracts skin impurities.

This charcoal soap is a terrific choice for the whole family to use in the bath or shower, face or body. Helps treat oily, acne prone skin, exfoliating and moisturizing the body. Has a clean fresh scent of Cypress. Comes in a Japanese package with English ingredients and usage instructions. Emulsify with water, massage lather in, rinse thoroughly with warm water.

SUMI HAIGOU Settuken Charcoal Bar Soap, 3 Bars, 135g
SUMI HAIGOU Settuken Charcoal Bar Soap, 3 Bars, 135g

Medicated charcoal in a plant based moisturizing soap cleans dirt and oil in pores and removes dead skin cells all over your body. Bamboo vinegar disinfects without drying, and soothes rough or sensitive skin.


Other charcoal soaps on Amazon - Soap bars that contain activated carbon.

UK beauty brand Lush has a product called Coalface Skin Cleanser - Watch this video preview for it.

Coalface Cleanser is an exfoliating bar that contains charcoal which is good for balancing the natural oils the skin produces which can help with spots and blackheads. There is a light dusting of charcoal on the top of every truckle, which provides a gentle exfoliant suitable for all skin types.

Charcoal Facial Washes and other Bath and Body Products

Dr. Ci:Labo Basic Black Charcoal Gel - Contains charcoal that absorbs excess sebum and helps maintain clean skin

From Japan's leading cosmeceutical company, Dr. Ci:Labo and developed by Japan's most innovative dermatologist, Dr. Shirono, this product was formerly called Basic Black Blemish Control Gel or Pore Cleansing Gel. Artificial colorant-free, artificial fragrance-free, paraben-free and mineral oil-free. This gel helps keep oily areas clean and clear.

Dr.Ci:Labo Basic Black Charcoal Gel 2.11oz/60g
Dr.Ci:Labo Basic Black Charcoal Gel 2.11oz/60g

Charcoal, the key ingredient that absorbs thousands of times its own volume of oil, is the new rescue platform for blemish-prone skin, and it anchors the Basic Black Blemish Control regimen. Medicated charcoal and gentle botanical extracts in Blemish Control Gel help prevent the problem of oily skin and leads to smoother skin without shine by removing excess sebum. It also keeps your skin "squeaky clean." Blemish Control Gel is also an excellent makeup base for oily areas to achieve longer-lasting makeup. Great for both men and women. Apply liberally to troubled areas. Let dry. Bask in the sensational results.


Dr. Ci:Labo Basic Black Charcoal Cleansing Gel - Great makeup remover for oily skin.

This product contains charcoal that absorbs excess sebum and helps maintain clean skin. From Japan's leading cosmeceutical company, Dr. Ci:Labo and developed by Japan's most innovative dermatologist, Dr. Shirono. Artificial colorant-free, artificial fragrance-free, paraben-free and mineral oil-free.

Are you going to give charcoal soap a try? - Do let me know, I'd love to hear what you think.

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    • crafters6 profile image

      crafters6 3 years ago

      May have to gice it a try.

    • OUTFOXprevention1 profile image

      OUTFOXprevention1 3 years ago

      First time hearing. Thanks for the share!

    • ramonabeckbritman profile image

      Ramona 4 years ago from Arkansas

      I have never heard of Charcoal soap till now. Very Interesting.

    • profile image

      bender2003 4 years ago

      I use it for seboreic problems of my skin

    • victoriahaneveer profile image

      victoriahaneveer 5 years ago

      Bet it's lovely

    • HomeDecorKnight profile image

      HomeDecorKnight 5 years ago

      Really, Charcoal soap is good for skin. Wonderful lens with great info about charcoal soaps

    • ClassyGals profile image

      Cynthia Davis 5 years ago from Pittsburgh

      Just the name charcoal soap sounds like it might actually color your skin. But after reading all the facts that you've presented, I can't wait to give it a try!

      Angel Blessings**

    • pinkrenegade lm profile image

      pinkrenegade lm 5 years ago

      Interesting lens. You have a lot of great information here about charcoal soap. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      oiloflife 5 years ago

      That is wonderful! Looks like a lot of fun :)

    • profile image

      newsarticlesonhealth 5 years ago

      Wow!!!!! This is nice, great info here.... No matter how hard you try to fight it, you are always growing older. However, that doesn't mean that you have to look older. Knowing how to look years younger can give you a newfound confidence in yourself... Thank for the great information

    • profile image

      Natural_Skin_Care 5 years ago

      It's amazing the different types of soap there are.

    • profile image

      nelsonkana 5 years ago

      Thanks for this lens. I like Japanese stuff.

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 6 years ago

      Charcoal soap? Even if it absorbs excess oil I think I'm too put off by the association with BBQ and drawing material to use it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      very good lens.this Charcoal soap seems to be a nice product to use.I have been hearing a soap of this kind for the first time.I like it .Thanks a lot for sharing such a nice piece of information.:)


    • ananimoss2 profile image

      ananimoss2 6 years ago

      I will definitely have to try some. It was really an interesting lens. Thank you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This is so interesting! I went to Asia and was told by the Japanese women that they used charcoal for beauty purposes. Now I know why! Thanks for sharing! This will be my next product to review!

    • Candlemakingsup profile image

      Candlemakingsup 6 years ago


    • ultimapalabra profile image

      ultimapalabra 6 years ago

      I know a charcoal creme which helps agains akne and other skin problems. That is very good. I didnt know about charcoal soap before. Thank you for that great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I'd sure be willing to give charcoal soap a try, sounds interesting!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I've never heard of this soap either, but it sounds great!

    • joanv334 profile image

      joanv334 6 years ago

      Hello, thanks for the tips!

    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 6 years ago

      hmmm the jury is still out on whether I will try it, but it sure is different

    • BubblesRFun profile image

      BubblesRFun 6 years ago

      Wow! I have never heard of this type of soap before...Very cool!

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 6 years ago from UK

      I'm intrigued... I'd like to give charcoal soap a go. You always give such good skincare advice to us all here.

    • profile image

      KarenCookieJar 6 years ago

      I saw this at Lush and thought it was weird. I thought it would smell bad? Does it lather?

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 6 years ago

      Nicely done & great resource. Angel blessed & featured on "My Life with Angel Wings" lens ... :)

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 6 years ago

      It looks like it is worth a try. I am glad I stumbled upon this lens. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • profile image

      Craftybegonia 6 years ago

      Really interesting! Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      LOLteez 6 years ago

      Interesting! I had not heard of this before!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Do you have any idea about how to get rid of acne naturally? I found a few tips here for natural skin treatment...What's your opinion?

    • newbizmau profile image

      Maurice Glaude 7 years ago from Mobile, AL

      I have seen the 100% African Black soap sold at different markets, like the Eastern Market in Washington, D.C. but never a charcoal soap. This sounds very interesting. Thanks

    • profile image

      TWOnline2 7 years ago

      i had no idea there was such a thing. the only black looking soap i've seen is the african black soap that thousands of usa citizens use..except me. i have yet to the that or yours.

    • Kimsworld LM profile image

      Kimsworld LM 7 years ago

      I had never heard of charcoal soap, now you have me interested. My skin is never happy and I have tried MANY kinds of soap and remedies. Sound like this might be just what I need.

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 7 years ago

      Charcoal is well known for its properties. So, I'm pretty sure charcoal soap would be a great buy... I'm surely going to give it a try whenever I find in my area!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      You know something? I do believe it was charcoal soap that I used as a child when I was plagued with eczema on the inside of both my elbows. Good stuff!

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Well you've persuaded me to try charcoal soap - at least added it to my Christmas wish list!