This charcoal soap recipe helps purify your skin
A darkness has settled over the earth. Everything is dim and shrouded in shadows. And yet, you spot a gentle shimmer in the distance. This Glitter in the Gloom offers a ray of hope for dull, tired complexions. How could this be? Well, this light comes from a DIY activated charcoal soap with a delicate gold line.
Don’t let this soap’s elegance fool you: the soapmaking technique is not very hard, but it yields a beautiful result. What’s more, this soap restores your skin’s natural balance and purifies your skin, making it ideal for oily, combination, and acne-prone skin, or for anyone whose skin needs a deep cleansing. The purifying effects of activated charcoal are strengthened by the cleansing synergy of the selected essential oils.
In short, this charcoal soap recipe is perfect for anyone who wants a radiant complexion, even on the darkest days… It truly gives you Glitter in the Gloom!
How to make purifying soap
Before you begin
As activated charcoal is a very light, fine powder, it must be handled with caution and care.
Sodium hydroxide solution
Oil and butter mixture
- 53.9 g (5.39%) hazelnut oil
- 10.8 g (1.08%) willow bark extract
- 5.4 g (0.54%) tea tree essential oil
- 5.4 g (0.54%) ravintsara essential oil
- 5.4 g (0.54%) true lavender essential oil
- 2 scales, accurate to 1 g and 0.1 g
- 1 large Pyrex measuring cup or high-density polyethylene (HDPE) jar for the sodium hydroxide solution (with a minimum capacity of 500 ml)
- 1 jar for weighing the sodium hydroxide
- 2 small stainless steel bowls
- Components to make a double boiler
- 1 large stainless steel bowl
- 1 measuring funnel pitcher (900 ml)
- 1 silicone spatula
- A few pipettes
- 3 ramekins
- 1 immersion blender
- 1 thermometer
- 1 mesh strainer
- Personal protective gear
- 1 silicone loaf mold
Good to know!
- This soap recipe uses activated charcoal for its adsorbent and detoxifying properties; charcoal helps draw out and remove impurities. We decided to combine this ingredient with willow bark extract, which is rich in salicylic acid and will help purify and smooth your skin.
- Our mixture of essential oils is perfect for caring for oily skin.
- We chose to use hazelnut oil as our superfatting oil to benefit from its wonderful properties. Hazelnut oil has a non-greasy feel, is quickly absorbed by your skin, and has balancing properties.
- For our soap, we chose to use two different types of mica because that was the effect we liked best. You can, however, replace them with the mica of your choosing.
Steps to follow
- Prepare and disinfect your equipment and workspace.
- Take the necessary precautions for handling sodium hydroxide safely.
- Prepare the sodium hydroxide solution: weigh the water in a Pyrex measuring cup or HDPE pot, weigh the sodium hydroxide, pour the sodium hydroxide into the water, mix well, and set aside to cool.
- Weigh the coconut oil and shea butter in the large bowl. Melt on the double boiler.
- Weigh the olive oil in the first small bowl.
- When the coconut oil and shea butter have melted, remove them from the heat and add the olive oil. Mix the oils and butter together with the spatula.
- Weigh the hazelnut oil (the superfatting oil) in the second small bowl and set aside.
- Weigh the activated charcoal in the first ramekin, then add it to the melted oil and butter mixture. Use the spatula to disperse the charcoal thoroughly.
- Weigh the essential oils in the second ramekin and set aside.
- Weigh the willow bark extract in the third ramekin and set aside.
- When the oil and butter mixture and the sodium hydroxide solution have both cooled to 35–40°C, pour the sodium hydroxide solution into the oil and butter mixture. Mix with the immersion blender and the spatula until the mixture is homogeneous. If either mixture is still too hot, you can place it in a cold water bath to bring down the temperature more quickly.
- When the batter reaches trace, add the superfatting oil, willow bark extract, and essential oils to the soap batter and continue to mix with the immersion blender and spatula.
- Don’t wait for the soap batter to reach trace again. As soon as the batter is homogeneous, pour half the batter into the measuring funnel pitcher, then continue to mix the batter remaining in the bowl. When it reaches thick trace, pour the batter from the bowl into the soap mold. Create effects on the surface of the soap with a spatula or a spoon.
- Using a mesh strainer, dust some gold leaf mica over the top of the soap. Don’t add too much or the two halves of the soap may separate.
- Mix the second half of the soap batter using the immersion blender and spatula. When the batter reaches medium trace, pour it into the mold by pouring the soap batter on the spatula to soften the fall of the batter onto the mica. If the batter hits the mica with too much force, the mica will mix with the batter and you’ll lose the pretty, glittering line. Create effects on the surface of the soap using a spatula or spoon.
- Using a mesh strainer, dust some brushed copper mica over the top of the soap.
- Cover the soap for 24–48 hours.
- Wear gloves to unmold the soap. Cut the soap and leave it in a cool, dry place to cure for four to six weeks.
Use and conservation
This homemade charcoal soap is formulated for oily and combination skin, as well as acne-prone skin. It is also suitable for anyone who wants to give their skin a deep cleanse. It’s designed to be used on your face, but it can also be used on your body. You can use it every day or just a few times per week, as needed.
When made in optimal sanitary conditions, your DIY soap will keep for at least one year.