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Japanese Beauty Secret - Binchotan Charcoal Facial Soap

Lilian’s skin profile: Age range: 28-32, Skin type: Eczema, Dry

Quick Takes: Cleanses my face like no other. Leaves my extremely dry skin feeling balanced and moisturized.

1. Facial bar soap? Do people really use those?

I often ask my friends in Japan what they think the secret is to beautiful skin.  Many respond, “washing your face and cleaning out your pores with the right natural bar soap is most important.”

In the U.S., consumers tend not to use facial bar soaps because they falsely assume that bar soaps altogether are extremely drying. However, in Japan, using facial bar soap is quite common, and probably even more common than using face wash. With these thoughts in mind, I ventured out to see which natural bar soaps work best for me.

I’ve tried a good number of facial bar soaps at this point - organic, olive-oil based, rice-bran based. They were all okay, just never fantastic. They always left me wanting for more, especially with my eczema and extremely dry skin. (FYI - my skin is so dry that if I don’t slather moisturizing cream on my face the second I get out of the shower my skin starts pulling and feeling tight!)

2. The revelation

I happened to pick up Morihata’s binchotan charcoal facial soap as we were hunting for beauty products at Peach and Lily. The Japanese have used Binchotan charcoal in skincare for centuries to naturally detoxify, exfoliate and moisturize skin.

After using this soap, I am officially hooked. Living in Manhattan wreaks havoc on my already dry skin, but since I started using the binchotan charcoal soap, my skin feels CLEAN (really clean!), more radiant, and moisturized (big pluses all around).

3. Why I love the Binchotan charcoal soap over others:

  • I love the rich creamy foam texture and how the fine charcoal powder really gets into my pores to draw out dirt.
  • My skin feels VERYrefreshed after. Again, because I have eczema, this is a pretty bold statement for me to be making about a facial soap. But it really works and I love how clean (and I mean seriously clean) my face feels and looks after I use it. (Note – it may take a couple of rinses to get all of the binchotan charcoal off your face, but I don’t mind this because the charcoal powder is in all those crevices and pores for a reason.)
  • Once I get out of the shower, I don’t have to put cream on as immediately because of the soap’s moisturizing properties. My face doesn’t pull and feel tight like it normally does. Instead, it feels soft and prepped for the rest of my skincare regimen.
  • My skin absorbs toner, serum, and cream more effectively 
  • Extra tip - you can couple the soap with Morihata’s facial puff to very gently exfoliate your skin without any irritation (I like to use the puff after the soap. Others like using it with the soap.)

4. The downside:

  • The only downside to the soap is that it can get messy if you wash your face in the sink, so I recommend using the soap in the shower.

A lot of our friends at Peach and Lily who have acne have used this soap and seen a lot of clarifying benefits. Has binchotan charcoal worked for you too? Let us know!

Hope you enjoyed the review! Arigato!

-Lilian -

(Lilian is Peach and Lily’s Director of Japan Business Development. She’s our guru on all things skincare and wonderful about Japanese beauty products!)

Posted on July 06, 2015
by Alicia Yoon
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