Charcoal Powder

What is it?

Charcoal powder  is made from burning organic material such as wood, peat, bamboo or coconut husk, and then treating the resultant carbon with steam or oxygen. “Activated” charcoal simply means that the charcoal has been treated to increase its surface area.

What does it do?

Charcoal Powder (activated charcoal) is typically used in industry to remove unwanted substances.  For instance it is most commonly used in water treatment systems where it is used to remove unwanted compounds from water. Activated charcoal has also been used in many cosmetic treatments where it is used to exfoliate or purify the skin. Additionally, it has been used in tooth cleaning since the Roman times.  

In our toothpaste it has been shown to provide a unique gentleness benefit to our whitening formula. The addition of the charcoal powder (activated charcoal) that we use allows our whitening formula to maintain the formula’s cleaning and whitening benefits, while making the formula less abrasive and more gentle overall. In our antiperspirant we use activated charcoal to opacify the stick.

How is it made?

Our Stewardship Model guides us to select ingredients which have been processed in a manner that supports our philosophy of human and environmental health.

The charcoal powder we use is derived from responsibly sourced peat.  The peat is burned in controlled kilns, then steam activated, purified and milled before being used in our products.

What are the alternatives?

While there are other gentle whitening toothpastes on the market, we have found the activated charcoal provides a unique gentleness benefit in our whitening toothpaste formula.

In personal care other opacifiers are used that would not meet our stewardship guidelines for natural including ethylene glycol distearate, glycol distearate or styrene/acrylates copolymers.  Activated charcoal and zinc oxide are ingredients that opacify some of our products, and meet our stewardship standards.

Is this the right option for me?

Tom's of Maine recognizes that no two people are alike, and even with naturally derived ingredients, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction that is unique to them. As with any product, be sure to discontinue use if you experience discomfort or other indications that the product may not be appropriate for your individual body chemistry.