You might be familiar with charcoal as a water- or air-purifying agent (i.e., your Brita and those little black specks that accumulate at the bottom of the tank but are harmless? That's charcoal.). But you probably haven't heard about burnt Japanese oak branches and their knack for absorbing impurities, odors, and preventing bacterial growth, or the use of said oven-fired wood (a.k.a. coal) in the personal-hygiene arena. All is forgiven. See: Morihata's Japanese-designed bath and body range, which uses extra-fine charcoal powder (made by grinding up Binchotan, or Japanese white charcoal) in its eye mask, facial soap, facial sponge, body-scrub towel, pumice stone, and even an obsidian toothbrush.
In all of the products, the Binchotan sets to work to draw dirt out of pores, absorb odors and excess oil, and improve blood circulation. The vegetable-fiber facial sponge, for example, is one of the softest and most effective exfoliators we’ve come across—it feels like it’s smoothing, not tearing your face off. And, because of the charcoal's purifying powers, no additional cleanser necessary. The wash cloth, the design of which mimics Turkish hamam towels (no complaints here), does the same, buffing the skin with its thick, knitted ribs, while simultaneously deodorizing your body. The Alex-Wang-esque black toothbrush kills bad breath while it cleans, and the eye mask does more than make you feel like Holly Golightly—an embedded layer of Binchotan charcoal emits infrared rays to relieve eye pressure and swelling, and boost circulation (meaning, come morning, you’ll look even better-rested than you feel). The entire line works overtime on your health and your bathroom—stash the products in full view to seem like the kind of neat, sophisticated person who buys their personal effects at a design store. Because who doesn't want to seem like that kind of a person? (And a deodorized, more alert, and generally cleaner one at that.)
Photos by Elizabeth Brockway.