This DIY Charcoal Bar Soap is like a dream, I tell you! A dream!
A little over a year ago I started to see charcoal bar soaps come on the beauty scene and it took me a while to see what the hype was all about. Turns out, it’s a good thing I did because charcoal bar soap is popular for a very good reason.
Unfortunately, some sources cost over $20 a bar, and if that seems a little pricey to you, well, you are not alone. I figured it would probably be pretty easy to make a DIY version on my own, and even using premium ingredients, for less per bar.
This recipe makes 9-10 bars of charcoal bar soap if you use the same sized mold that I did. If you want to try it out, the link to the one I used is in the things you need section below.
But first, let’s chat about why I chose the different ingredients in my recipe.
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Castile Soap Base
I suppose I could go all back to the basics and make my own lye soap, let it cure for a few months and then use it. But I’m going to be honest with you, melt and pour is more my speed. And I’m going to guess it’s more your speed, too.
Castile soap is very basic, gentle, and perfect for making a high quality diy charcoal bar soap. It worked perfectly and I was done with the actual work for this project in under 10 minutes. Castile melt and pour for the win!
Honey has so many beauty applications that I can’t do it justice in this short write up. But I will let you in on the top three reasons I chose it. One, it has amazing antimicrobial properties. Two, it is an amazing moisturizer. Since it isn’t oil based it won’t clog up your pores. And third, the sweet aroma of the honey really complemented my choice of Manuka Essential Oil.
Clay is a very popular ingredient for masks and cleansing beauty products. The Bentonite clay does double duty in this DIY. First, it keeps the consistency of the soap dense enough to accommodate the other ingredients.
Secondly, it is awesome to draw out impurities in the skin. That makes it great for a cleansing bar soap. Bye-bye skin impurities!
Activated charcoal is a gentle exfoliant, but did you know that it can absorb many times its own weight in toxins? That powerful absorbancy is why I added it to my soap. Absorb those nasty toxins that are hanging out on my skin, please! Plus it just looks stinking cool.
Will it stain? No. Just be careful to rinse very carefully and you’ll be good.
Manuka Essential Oil
This is a precious essential oil. Straight from Australia, Manuka is what I’d call a premium oil. Premium in the sense that it is a rare and beautiful oil that has subtleties to it that other more cost effective oils may not. It would be totally ok to substitute Tea Tree or Kunzea, or even just Lavender in this recipe, but you’d lose some of the lovely subtleties of this oil.
Watch the DIY here:
Here’s what you need for this DIY Charcoal Bar Soap:
- 1 lb melt and pour Castile soap base
- 1 TBSP raw honey
- 1 TBSP bentonite clay
- 1 TBSP activated charcoal (approx 15 emptied capsules)
- 60 drops of Manuka Essential Oil (you can also try using Kunzea Essential Oil or Tea Tree Essential Oil)
- A Silicone Soap Mold like this one (that I used)
- A metal baking sheet or tray that holds the soap mold
Here’s how you do it:
- Dice up the big block of melt and pour Castile base into approximate 1/2 inch cubes.
- Melt the cubes in a pan over low to medium low heat, stirring occasionally until completely liquid.
- While the soap base is melting, open charcoal capsules and add to a small glass container.
- Measure out the honey and bentonite clay also, because you’ll want to mix these things in quickly once the soap base is melted.
- Once completely melted, remove the pan with the soap base from the heat and add the honey, bentonite clay, and charcoal in that order. Whisk to completely combine in between ingredients.
- Allow the soap base to cool for a few minutes before carefully dropping in the essential oil and then thoroughly mixing.
- Place the soap mold onto your baking tray and set on a flat surface.
- Using a silicone spatula to scrape, gently pour the soap mixture into the soap mold cavities until just below the top. This will fill 9-10 of the molds.
- Place in a cool, dry place to completely harden. This will take several hours to over night.
- Carefully remove the soaps from the mold once completely hardened.
- Wrap in waxed paper and store in an airtight bag to retain the aroma of your essential oils.
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One of my favorite parts of this is how cost effective this recipe is. Even using a premium essential oil like manuka, the cost per bar was only about $3.50! That is such a savings over most available charcoal bar soaps, AND you get to control the ingredients 100%.
If you used an essential oil like tea tree or lavender, you would expect slightly different results, but it could lower the cost per bar even more.
I absolutely love these little soaps. The first time I washed my face with it, I immediately noticed how fresh and soft my face felt. They are now a permanent fixture in my personal care routine.
Have you ever used a charcoal bar soap? What did you think of it?
Have you ever made your own soap? What type did you make?
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