Using activated charcoal in bath and body products these days is a very popular thing to do. It’s no wonder since it has so many health benefits!
Not only is it wonderful at helping the skin and body to detox, it also contains antioxidants that are great for the skin and much more than that. If you haven’t familiarized yourself with it, there is a lot of good information out there.
It comes in a powder form so be aware that it can get messy if you’re not cautious. However, like all of the messy ingredients I have stocked in my DIY cabinet, it is well worth it.
In these activated charcoal soap bars, this fine black powder is used for skin health and to act as a natural detoxifying ingredient. I have also added two essential oils for their cleansing abilities and scent. They are both uplifting in addition to their cleansing properties, so this makes for a great combination in the soap.
I know many people use a microwave for their DIY beauty projects. I like using a double boiler instead of microwaving a bowl because it makes the process smoother and it doesn’t adulterate the ingredients as much (plus we don’t use a microwave).
In addition to making a great detoxifying soap choice at home, these activated charcoal soap bars also make a fantastic gift. So get your supplies together and let’s get started!
DIY Charcoal Soap Bars Recipe
Supplies and Ingredients
- Silicone molds for the shape (I love to use the Ikea brand ice cube tray type like the ones shown because the size is so convenient, but you can use any mold)
- 1 teaspoon activated charcoal powder
- 8 to 10 ounces shea butter soap base (more if you’re making full size soap bars)
- 1 tablespoon jojoba oil
- 10 drops lemon essential oil
- 8 drops tea tree essential oil
- Double boiler
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
- Start by measuring our your shea butter soap. How much you need is going to vary based upon the silicone mold you choose. The best way I have found to gauge how much to use is to chop up the soap first into small square pieces and then set them into the molds to see how much you need (see photo below). It ends up being about 10 ounces for 4-6 of the smaller bars like I made. I always add a couple extra pieces to the end amount so that it ends up being about 1.5 pieces per mold and it comes out great. For the larger molds you should get 2 of them filled instead of 4-6 of the smaller size.
- It is a good idea to leave your molds sitting out at this point too, so that they are ready to fill.
- Once you’ve gotten your soap base all chopped and measured out, place the soap base into a double boiler over medium heat, stirring frequently until the soap base is completely melted.
- Next, go ahead and measure out the jojoba oil and add it to the soap base and stir until well combined. It may take some extra work to get the oil worked into the soap.
- Remove the pan from the heat, then stir in the essential oils. Do this carefully and slowly. Both of these oils are very runny and if you tip the bottle over fully, you’ll have easily twice the drops you intended to.
- Next, measure out and add the charcoal powder to the double boiler, stirring it well to work the powder in all the way. Be sure to get down into the sides and bottom and be sure the whole mixture turns the dark gray color throughout before you stop stirring. If you need to return the pan to the heat, please do so.
- The activated charcoal soap mixture should be fully melted and smooth at this point. Unless you see any lumps in it, it works best not to stir it now, but just to go ahead and pour it. When you stir, you tend to create lumps that have to be re-melted.
- Pour the base into the molds slowly to just below the top edge and to keep them smooth, be sure not to touch or move them unless you have to. I like to keep my mold on a baking sheet or cutting board to keep it more stable.
- At this point, all that you need to do is to allow them to fully cool off. Leave the soap out on the counter and give it about 45 minutes to an hour to cool. Partly this timing will depend on the thickness of the molds. Feel the bottoms to see if they are still warm in the center, and if they are cooled, then you are ready to pop the soaps out of them.
- Carefully pull the corner of the mold with one hand, while pulling the soap out with the other and they normally come out with no problems, nice and smooth.
- Once you’ve done that you are ready to use your soap.