Activated Charcoal & Tea Tree Facial Soap

Activated charcoal soaps are everywhere these days. When used in skincare, it’s said that activated charcoal works wonders to cleanse and detoxify with its powerful absorption properties.

I designed this soap to be used on the face, so I included lots of moisturizing, skin-loving oils like Olive, Avocado, Apricot Kernel oils and Mango Butter for extra conditioning. This soap is best for oily and combination skin.

Note: This soap formula contains no coconut oil for those that are sensitive.

Formula makes 1 pound of soap

At a glance:

Type:
Cold process soap

Level:
Intermediate 

Skin feel:
Smooth and moisturized

Cleansing strength:
Moderate

All natural?
Yes

Properties:
Bubbles are very tight and small due to the high amount of superfatting and absence of coconut oil that contributes to rich lather. This won’t be a good formula for those who like large fluffy bubbles. 

Tea Tree Oil for Stillpoint Aromatics
Activated charcoal from Nurture Soaps

About the Ingredients

Avocado Oil

My current second favorite oil. Adds a luxurious, rich feeling to lather. Also super hydrating on the skin. 

Apricot Kernel Oil

A wonderful, light oil that high in linoleic and oleic acids. Apricot Kernel oil produces small bubbles.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a classic soaping oil with gentle cleansing and skin nourishing properties. I often find better deals on large quantities of extra virgin olive oil from the grocery store than speciality soap suppliers. 

Palm Kernel Flakes

Also derived from the palm plant, palm kernel flakes are different from Palm Kernel oil. The additional of this ingredient helps create a super hard bar of soap.

Palm Oil

A very popular soap ingredient. Low cost and provides a rich, creamy lather with fluffy bubbles. I only use Palm Oil from sustainable sources.

Castor Oil

An oil with a very unique chemical composition that creates a rich, creamy lather unlike any other oil.

Mango Butter

Mango butter is obtained from the stone of a mango. It possesses a high content of stearic acid which makes it similar to cocoa butter but without the smell of cocoa butter.

Sodium lactate

Helps harden the soap and allows it to be removed earlier from the mold.


Fragrance 

Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) Essential Oil

Tea tree oil has been used in Australia for 100 years and is now world-renowned for its antimicrobial, antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. Tea tree oil is often recommended for use on acne-prone skin, but, in general, it should be avoided by those with eczema of very sensitive skin, The amounts used in this rinse-off product, should be low enough to not cause much irritation. If you are concerned, please substitute tea tree for another essential oil. 

Tea tree oil is available at many natural food stores, but I’ve found the quality varies greatly between brand. The Tea Tree EO from Stillpoint Aromatics is my favorite I’ve used so far. The strength is intense and a little goes a long way.

Notes on the soap-making process

This formula is creates a very moisturizing cleanser but with very little lather. For those who like larger bubbles, I recommend reducing the mango butter and increasing the percentage of castor oil. Remember to run the formula through a lye calculator to get the correct amount of lye for the modifications.

Activated Charcoal and Tea Tree Oil Facial Soap

Activated charcoal soaps are everywhere these days. When used in skincare, it's said that activated charcoal works wonders to cleanse and detoxify with its powerful absorption properties.

I designed this soap to be used on the face, so I included lots of moisturizing, skin-loving oils like Olive, Avocado, Apricot Kernel oils and Mango Butter for extra conditioning. This soap is best for oily and combination skin.

Note: This soap formula contains no coconut oil for those that are sensitive. 


Makes 1 pound of soap
Type Cold Process Soap
Level intermediate
Author Drew @ Botaneri

Ingredients

Water Phase

  • 4.8 oz Water
  • 2.14 oz Lye
  • 1 tsp Sodium lactate

Oil Phase

  • 1.6 oz Apricot kernel oil (10%)
  • 5.28 oz Palm oil (33%)
  • 2.4 oz Palm kernel flakes (15%)
  • 1.12 oz Avocado oil (7%)
  • .8 oz Castor oil (5%)
  • 4.0 oz Olive oil (25%)

Additives

  • 1/2 tablespoon Activated charcoal

Fragrance

Total 1.5 oz fragrance oil

  • .5 oz Tea tree oil

Materials

  • 1 Silicon mold
  • 1 Plastic pitchers or another lightweight material
  • 2 Heat-proof containers/Pyrex measuring cups/beakers
  • Spatula
  • 1 Glass stirring rod
  • Immersion/stick blender
  • Food scale

Instructions

Prep Work

  1. Organize work space with ingredients. Safety First: Put on gloves and goggles to protect from lye solution. I like to line my workspace with paper to make clean up easy.

  2. Measure fragrance oil and set aside. This way, it is ready  when needed. Sometimes soap batter traces quicker than expected so it’s good to be prepared.

Create lye and water solution

  1. In a small beaker, weigh 2.14 oz of lye.

  2. In another heat proof container, measure 4.8 oz of water. 

  3. Slowly add lye into water mixture while stirring with glass rod. Stir until lye is completely dissolved in the water. Set aside and let cool for approximately 15 minutes or until cooled to 110 degrees F (43 degrees C). 

Measure and heat oils

  1. In a large lightweight container, weight oils. Heat in the microwave, stopping to stir occasionally, until all oils are melted. Check temperature and heat or cool until temperature is around 110 degrees F

Create soap batter

  1. When the oils and lye water reach 110 degrees, very slowly pour lye mixture into oils while gently stirring with unpowered immersion blender.
  2. Once lye water is fully added, turn on fully immersed stick blender and blend and stir until you reach a thin trace. 

  3. Add fragrance oil blend. Plus stick blender lightly to distribute evenly. Be careful not to overmix. 

  4. Add activated charcoal and blend further to fully distribute the charcoal.

Pour soap batter into mold and smooth top

  1. Pour each later into the mold of your choice. I chose a 6 bar silicone mold which held exactly 1 pound perfectly.

  2. Let the soap cool. There is no need to cover or cool this soap.

Unmold, Cut Soap and Cure

  1. The soap should be ready to unmold after 2 days or so. If you have trouble removing the soap, let it set for another 24 hours and try again. Cut the soap and let cure for 6 weeks or until the soap is hardened.

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