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While the benefits of activated charcoal have already been shared on our site, what we haven’t explored is the idea of making your own activated charcoal soap.
Why would you want to go through this formulation process on your own?
Control! You have complete control over the ingredients and the extras (oils, vitamins, exfoliants) you might want to add. Additionally, there will be no hidden, synthetic colors or fragrances, and all of this is at a fraction of retail prices. Are you in? First, let’s do a little reviewing.
Organic skincare can at times resemble the fashion industry. New trends get significant time in the spotlight, genius creations are replicated (although imperfectly), and other trends seem to fade out. When activated charcoal became the buzz within the industry, brands quickly wanted to use that to their advantage. It was the newest “secret” to maintaining youthful, glowing, clear skin. So, is this a fad, or are the charcoal cleansers, masks, toothbrushes, and juices (!) here to stay?
What we do know is that activated charcoal is simply treated carbon, resulting in very high absorption potential. While it has long been used in the medical field for alcohol poisoning and/or drug overdose, the beauty industry took that broad idea of a magnet attracting “the bad stuff” and created a new trend. Within the body, it can attach itself to toxins in the stomach and absorb them – quicker than the bloodstream can. Skincare lovers were hoping that dirt, oil, and bacteria could be absorbed in the same way.
Note: the only difference between the terms “charcoal” and “activated charcoal” is that activated charcoal is made explicitly for medicinal use.
Like hyaluronic acid and its ability to retain 10x its molecular weight in moisture, activated charcoal can absorb over 1000x its weight in impurities. This is why activated charcoal soap became so popular for treating occasional acne: because of its absorption and antibacterial potential, it is capable of removed debris from your epidermis alongside penetrating deep within the skin to remove buried dirt, toxins, and chemicals. This isn’t a one trick pony, however. The occasional use of activated charcoal soap is a good treatment, but it must be paired with a healthy diet, natural, nutritious cleansers, and moisture.
Activated Charcoal Soap Recipes
The first (and easiest) recipe for homemade activated charcoal soap comes from “Heartful Habits.” Makes two bars.
- 8 oz shea butter soap base
- 2 capsules of activated charcoal
- 6 drops tea tree oil
- 2 drops peppermint essential oil
- 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- Cut the soap base into small pieces and place in a heat save bowl or double boiler.
- Melt the soap base in the microwave or over the double boiler, stirring and checking often.
- Add activated charcoal and stir.
- Add essential oils* and stir.
- Pour into molds, and allow to cool for at least 40 minutes.
- Once cooled, gently pop out of the molds and enjoy!
*Note that this recipe gives you complete control over which essential oils are added. If you want an additional natural antiseptic, choose lavender. If you want a rich dose of essential fatty acids for moisture, try evening primrose or borage oil. You could also add in antioxidant support through Vitamin E.
Next up, Here is Hello Glow’s recipe for a detoxifying activated charcoal soap:
Take advantage of melt and pour soap bases. Pick from glycerin, olive oil, goats milk, honey, oatmeal, etc. In this recipe, a shea based is used for its moisture content. You can also add additional nourishment if needed, like coconut oil or honey.
Side note*: this will further fight against decreasing oil and fighting spots, but could have the potential of being too drying for some.
- Cut the soap base into small chunks and melt over a double boiler.
- Remove a small amount of soap into a cup, cool slightly, and mix in charcoal, then add back into the rest of the melted base.
- Add tea tree oil.
- Pour into mold and let cool.
If you’re looking for some organic products without the DIY, here are some recommendations:
- Soapwalla “Activated Charcoal + Petigrain Soap Bar“
- One Love Organics “Love + Charcoal Masque”
- May Lindstrom “The Problem Solver”
- Linne Botanicals “Activate Body Wash”
And if you’re really committed: try Kaia Naturals “The Charcoal Detox Starter Kit”
I hope you enjoyed learning about charcoal soap and reading the recipes, hopefully you can try them yourself! Let us know how your soap turns out in the comments below, and if you liked this article, share it with your friends.
Happy Soap Making,