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Found: a Japanese charcoal cleanser in the US

Is a Solution for:
Dull Skin, Oily Skin
January 24, 2008 Reviewed by Marta 7 Comments
I was given a tube of Japanese black charcoal facial cleanser by someone who travels to Tokyo frequently and have written about how effective it is for breakout-prone, oily skin. The problem has been tracking it down in the US. As of today, problem solved: Dr Ci:Labo's Basic Black range is readily available via http// or

I can take no credit for this one. I was sent a link by a friend in the UK. The Basic Black range looks extremely promising. It uses black charcoal, is dermatologist-developed, and Ci:Labo is Japanese. The Basic Black cleansing gel looks a lot like the product I was given and I have read positive reviews of it.


The Basic Black moisturizing gel, however, gets mixed reports. Some people say its the best thing they have ever used. Others say that it made their oily skin even oilier.


Behind Dr Ci:Labo is one Dr Shirono, who is a dermatological laser surgeon. The product range is fragrance-free and also avoids using petroleum surfecants.

Dr Ci:Labo's anti-aging range, Perfect Ageless, looks interesting as well. It uses Coenzyme Q10 as an anti-oxidant and matrixyl to stimulate collagen production. Matrixyl is a peptide that is contained in one of my favorite products, Image Skincare Ageless Serum.
  • August 16, 2009

    by admin

    Mike, this is very timely - I am ready for a new body wash. I'll be trying this out. Thanks!

  • August 15, 2009

    by mike30

    I also love Giovanni's D:Tox System Purifying Body Wash. No argument here that Socal Cleanse is the purest and arguably the best but here's my case. Giovanni's first six ingredients are: Acai, Goji, Fig, Green Tea, Activated Charcoal and volcanic ash. Yes, there are a few culprits in there (phenoxyethanol and Tetrasodium EDTA) but wait for the coup de gras: you can get it on Vitacost for $5.84. You can't beat that with a stick.


  • May 6, 2009

    by marta

    Michelle I get there using the link you typed here.

  • May 6, 2009

    by Michelle

    hm..the first website worked, but I can't seem to access the second website link. I copied and pasted it on my internet explorer, but it redirects me. I even tried typing in, but the same thing happened.

  • May 6, 2009

    by Michelle

    Thank you Marta! I'd leave your appreciative thank yous on pages where I leave questions/comments, but sometimes I can't seem to find and/or remember the page/blog I commented on. I tried to look at the "previously commented pages" under my community profile, but those aren't updated. =/ Sorry for the lag, I just found this blog and saw your response. Thank you again!

  • May 1, 2009

    by marta


    Thanks so much for your finds. For body how about Collective Wellbeing's charcoal body wash:
    or socal cleanse (might be the better of the two):

  • May 1, 2009

    by Michelle

    Hi Marta,

    While looking for the Dr. Ci:Labo cleanser on Amazon, I came across some other Charcoal cleansers with positive reviews. Just thought you might be interested in checking them out since you said Charcoal cleansers are hard to come by in the U.S. The ones I found were:
    1.) Sumi Haigou Settuken Charcoal and Bamboo Vinegar Bar Soap - 3 bars, 135g each,
    2.) Deitanseki Soap (Clay and Charcoal Facial Cleansing Bar), and
    3.) Japanese Natural ''Takesumi'' Bamboo Charcoal($12.75).

    Also, do you have a recommendation for a black charcoal body wash/cleanser? I tend to have breaksout on my back, and I was wondering if a good body wash or cleanser would remedy this since the body scrubs aren't doing much in that department. Thank you!

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