Activated Charcoal: What Is It and What Does It Do?

If you are the tiniest bit familiar with PiperWai, then you’ve likely heard the term “activated charcoal” more than once. There’s a reason for that. Activated charcoal is our magic ingredient, the thing that makes PiperWai stand out from every other natural deodorant.

The term may throw people off, though. Many hear “charcoal” and think of the stuff that goes on grills or in the fireplace. The difference between your everyday household charcoal and activated charcoal is that oxygen is added in, making activated charcoal more porous and better at absorption.

Its primary purpose is to absorbs the body’s toxins. Many emergency rooms utilize activated charcoal when dealing with patients who have been poisoned or have been through an overdose.

PiperWai cofounder Jess Edelstein stumbled upon activated charcoal after hearing about its natural toxin-absorbing abilities. When she started her mission to create a natural deodorant that works for her, she didn’t immediately consider activated charcoal as an important ingredient. Jess went through test batch after test batch until it clicked that activated charcoal could have been the missing ingredient all along. 

She spent a considerable amount of time researching activated charcoal, how it works and its natural uses. It turned out that this special ingredient was what she needed to create a natural deodorant that actually works. It turned out that activated charcoal absorbs odor-causing bacteria and moisture the same way it absorbs toxins in the body. So, she did some experiments and put it to the test.

Jess's friend Sarah Ribner had tried many of the previous test batches and knew Jess was on to something after she tested the activated charcoal version. She called Jess and told her to start selling the deodorant immediately. Jess agreed under one term: that Sarah would be her business partner. Jess and Sarah soon realized that this deodorant was the game-changing venture they had been dreaming about launching since they were little kids with a lemonade stand. 

No other natural deodorant company was using activated charcoal to absorb odor and wetness, so Jess and Sarah jumped at the chance to be the very first. They put in hours crafting the perfect batches in a Philadelphia community kitchen, filling and packaging the deodorant themselves, handing it out to friends and family, launching an Indiegogo campaign and selling it to local retailers. And the response was overwhelmingly positive.

With the “ah-ha!” activated charcoal discovery, hard work, fine tuning and pure hustle, Jess and Sarah created the PiperWai you know today.