Bamboo is a hardy, fast-growing (some of the fastest growing plants in the world are bamboo), hard grass predominantly found in Asia, Africa, tropical areas, and rainforests. Bamboo has many uses including building materials, textiles, weapons, and musical instruments. Because it is easily renewable, it is increasingly used in place of wood in many household items. And of course, bamboo is a food source for animals such as pandas.
Bamboo charcoal is simply made by burning bamboo. To turn it into "activated bamboo charcoal", gas or steam needs to be introduced to the charcoal. This creates little pockets (called pores) on the exterior of the charcoal. These pores then act as a catcher for impurities and contaminants when the charcoal comes into contact with other surfaces. These pores also increase the absorption ability of activated bamboo charcoal.
Activated bamboo charcoal is said to be capable of drawing dirt and bacteria out of our skin and absorbing it through the charcoal pores. This may help deter acne or other skin conditions. The uneven surface of charcoal may also have the ability to absorb dead skin cells, thereby exfoliating the skin and helping to keep it clean and smooth.
Bamboo itself is considered anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-microbial. It is not clear whether any (or all) of these properties pass into the activated bamboo charcoal.
Some other uses with which bamboo charcoal has been associated include digestive aid, humidity regulation, and odor control (all involving its absorptive properties).
There is not a lot of scientific research backing the claims of activated bamboo charcoal. But from all of our research it appears to be a safe additive for goat milk soap and for your skin. Because we've gotten so much good feedback about how people's skin has reacted to the soap, we have now made the activated bamboo charcoal goat milk soap a regular soap in the Goat Milk Stuff line.