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Carbon Theory | Charcoal & Tea Tree Oil Break-Out Control Facial Cleansing Bar | My honest review

At the time of updating this article, the bar has over 6k reviews on Carbontheory.com website. The bar claims to prevent breakouts by using charcoal to draw out bacteria & excess oil; tea tree to reduce inflammation plus other benefits. See how I get on using it on my acne-prone, 30-something, oily skin.

I was targeted for this on Instagram (of course) and decided to purchase it, as it helps with acne which I suffer from.

It cost £6 from their website + £1.50 delivery. Quite expensive for what’s essentially a soap, but I wanted to try it after reading lots of positive reviews from adults experiencing acne, which I suffer from (at the grand age of 33). Okay, I say it’s “essentially a soap” but it’s much more than that. Not only is it vegan and cruelty-free, it includes lots of fancy inflammatory products to clean your face and it actively reduces spots from looking big and red. I can honestly say that after just a week of using it, my skin feels extremely clean and spot-free (which considering it’s the week before my period, that’s really saying something).

The official photo from https://carbontheory.com/

What are the ingredients? Why do they help reduce acne?

The soap includes:

  • Activated Charcoal – draws out bacteria
  • Organic Tea Tree Oil – reduces inflammation
  • Shea Butter – soothes skin

Plus everything else: Sodium Palmate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Aqua (Water, Eau), Glycerin, Charcoal Powder, Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Sodium Citrate, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid.

Activated Charcoal

What does this do?

Super-absorbent particles to draw out dirt and unblock pores.

The holes in each particle act as a sponge to draw out bacteria and toxins. Each particle is naturally charged helping it to attract more dirt and excess oil. Smaller particles and lots of them mean a bigger active surface area

Quote from Carbon Theory website, https://carbontheory.com/collections/products/products/charcoal-tea-tree-oil-cleansing-bar

Organic Tea Tree Oil

What does this do?

This essential oil is derived from leaves of the Melaleuca tree. Has purifying properties to cleanse the skin and kills bacteria. Natural antiseptic which reduces inflammation and clears breakouts. A natural astringent that can help reduce your pores

Quote from Carbon Theory website, https://carbontheory.com/collections/products/products/charcoal-tea-tree-oil-cleansing-bar

Shea Butter

What does this do?

Shea butter provides moisture without clogging the pores. Has chemicals that mimic the bodies own hydrating properties. Rich in antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Shea butter’s fatty acid and Vitamin K concentration also helps your body to heal faster when your skin barrier has been compromised

Quote from Carbon Theory website, https://carbontheory.com/collections/products/products/charcoal-tea-tree-oil-cleansing-bar

How do you use the Carbon Theory bar?

I use it in the morning and before bed. It states on its website to “ditch the cleanser and face wash and use the Carbon Theory Cleansing Soap twice daily to experience The Theory of Every Skin which I’ve been doing. As I’m working from home, I’m not wearing makeup which, to be honest, hasn’t really helped my skin as much as I thought it would. I get acne at the sides of my face (next to my eyes and across my forehead & chin) and I have oily skin. I also can’t resist a good popping session, which is obviously the worst thing to do. I suffer from spots the most during the week before my period.

This bar isn’t meant to take makeup off – you are advised to keep it away from your eyes too. If I’ve worn mascara during the day, I remove it first using Body Shop Camomile Cleansing oil with a Face Halo, and then use this bar to gently scrub away any remaining rubbish I’ve collected on my face from the day.

This is the size after a few days of using it – pretty standard

The instructions say to gently rub it into your skin for 30 seconds. Then I rinse with cool-warm water (hot water inflames the skin and makes spots appear worse & therefore encourages me to mess with them – which only worsens the problem) and leave my skin to dry. I don’t use a towel because it could make my acne worse if not clean (part of my other blog on 9 tips to help reduce acne).


It comes in a resealable packet, making it perfect for storing away, out of sight when I’m not using it, and for travelling (what’s that? Cheers COVID-19).

Where’s my acne gone? Would I recommend it? YES.

I can honestly say that for the week I’ve been using it, my skin has never felt so clean – extremely surprising considering this is the week before my period, which is normally when my skin is at its worst – acne all over, large red spots in groups and very oily skin. Even my skin feels less oily, unlike on a normal day, when by 3pm my skin feels like I’ve lathered myself in oil. In the afternoon my skin feels and looks the same as it did in the morning – no shine or feeling greasy! I’m very impressed.

I’m trying to stop popping spots too so the combination of that and using this bar has obviously done my skin wonders. I don’t look at my skin in the mirror after a shower which I realised is my most likely time to want to pop. #MotivationIndeed

The same pre-period (normally spotty) week in August vs September. Absolutely NO filters were used, just taken at a different time of day hence the difference in lighting

Where can you buy it?

I bought it from the official Carbon Theory website but you can also get it from Boots.

Use my code for £5 off orders over £20 > carbontheory.com (I will get points if you do this!)

What’s next?

I’ll give the soap bar another 3 weeks which will be a full month – plenty of time to see if this week has been a fluke or not.

Afterwards, I’ll probably get their moisturiser (such amazing reviews). And when my Soap and Glory face mask runs out, probably their facial scrub too.

From their website – this is a box set costs £44

Update: 3rd Jan 2021

Okay so I’ve just bought my 2nd soap – it’s absolutely amazing. I use it in a morning & before bed. If I have spots, in the morning they’re GONE! Even my usual big sore period spots have disappeared. I still get a few small spots on my forehead, but it’s nothing compared to before.

I’ve bought the Facial Scrub too that I use when I want a deep clean. I leave it on for 5 minutes, after using the soap, no more than twice a week. It’s got tiny little sand-type bits in it for extra exfoliation, so I give my nose & chin (blackheads) an extra rub, which gets everything out! Very pleased.

Hi, welcome to my beauty blog. I am Rachael, and this is my beauty blog

Thanks for reading. This article was written by me (Rachael) on September 2020 . I last updated it on: October 2023

It's tagged with the category: Skincare

AD: Some of my blogs include affiliate links where I get paid when you click through and buy. This doesn't increase the cost you pay. My blogs are my point of view and experience. I don't promote anything I don't like or believe in.

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