My Activated Charcoal Soap Recipe For Glowing Skin

My amazing charcoal saop recipe
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I don’t know about you, but I want my skin toxin and dirt-free at ALL times! This fresh-smelling soap is formulated with activated charcoal to do just that, suck out any nasty toxins that leave our skin prone to acne, blackheads and other nasties we really don’t want.

Have you ever heard of activated charcoal being used in hospitals? Well, it’s because of how good it is at binding toxins that they give it to people who they suspect have been poisoned. While it does have quite a dark color and leaves this soap looking a little intimidating, the charcoal can do wonders for easing skin imperfections.

While this soap is great for pretty much any part of your skin, I like to use it just for my face, as this is obviously the most visible part of our bodies and, like anyone, always wants this skin looking its best.

My amazing charcoal saop recipe

One of my favorite things about this is that it’s totally vegan-friendly! I have a lot of vegetarian and vegan friends, and this is a great soap to use as a gift for anyone who takes animal rights seriously.

I’ve used a nice selection of essential oils in this recipe. While tea tree doesn’t smell all that good, the other EO’s I’ve chosen should mask any unpleasantness. You could consider leaving the tea tree out, but it’s absolutely fabulous for your skin and combined with the charcoal makes for a double-action, extra powerful soap to leave skin positively glowing!

Supplies For My Activated Charcoal Soap Recipe


Lye solution

Essential oils, Botanicals and Extras


  • This recipe makes around 6 individual bars which I find perfect for personal use. If you are considering gifting or selling it you may prefer to double up on the ingredient and use a loaf mould.
  • If you are using the larger mould and working with a larger batch you won’t need to place the soap on to heat pad.
  • This is a relatively soft soap, so sometimes it can be a little tricky getting it out of the mould. This doesn’t bother me as I like a rustic look to this soap and they’re simply for personal use.
  • However, you can speed up the hardening of the soap by adding vegan-friendly sodium lactate. For this amount of batter, add 1tsp to the lye water once it has cooled (right before mixing into the oils). This will make the bars harder in general as well. The properties of the soap should remain unchanged.

If You’ve Not Made Soap Before

Start by watching the short video below or take a look at the cold process tutorial here.

How To Make My Activated Charcoal Soap

Safety first! Apply your protective eye gear and gloves! Lye solution can cause some nasty burns!

Step 1: I like to start off by making sure my essential oils are weighed out and combined in a glass container. As it can take some time to get these measurements right, it’s easier to do it now so you just have to tip it in later when it counts.

Step 2: Weigh out your sodium hydroxide/lye crystals and your water in separate containers. I like to use a glass jug for the water. When ready, pour the crystals into the water and stir with a stainless steel spoon.

How to make charcoal soap Step 2: Pour the crystals into the water

This will begin the chemical reaction, and the lye water rapidly increases in temperature. Avoid inhaling any fumes that release. Turn your head and lean away from the lye solution.

Now, place the jug aside to cool, preferably somewhere with good ventilation and move on.

Step 3: Weigh out the coconut oil and the shea butter. Then, melt together. You can use a water bath, although a series of 30-second bursts in the microwave works well for me.

Step 4: Weigh the olive, avocado and castor oils and add them to the melted coconut oil and shea butter.

Step 5: Now that we’re almost ready to mix, check the temperature of the oils and the lye water and compare them. We want them between 90F and 120F.

How to make charcoal soap Step 3: Balance the temp of your oils and lye to between 90-120F

Once you’re satisfied that both fall within this range, pour your lye water into the oils and blend with a stick blender until you reach trace.

Step 5: Using a stick blender, blitz the batter until trace

Not quite sure what trace is? Take a look at our basic cold process soap recipe for a more in-depth description of trace.

Step 6: Now that we’re at trace, go ahead and add the activated charcoal and essential oils (in that order), mixing thoroughly after.

Step 6: Add the activated charcoal

Step 7: Add the essential oils

Step 7: Now we’ve added our last ingredients, the batter will begin to harden. So, working quickly but carefully (as the batter is still caustic) pour or spoon your batter into your soap moulds.

Step 8: Pour the batter into the mold and leave to harden for 24-48 hours

While it saponifies, it’s important to keep it warm. I like to use a heating pad on a medium to the low setting for a few hours, but if you don’t have one just keep it well insulated with a piece of cardboard on top and an old towel that you’re not using anymore.

Step 9: after 24 hours, remove from the mold and then allow to cure for a minimum of 4 weeks

Allow this to saponify for 24-48 hours before removing from the mould. If your soap is still spongy after the first 48 hours, leave it for another 24 hours before attempting to remove it. Or, when you come to make it again, try adding the sodium lactate.

Step 8: Now that we have it out of the mould, we’ll need to let it cure for about 4 weeks in a cool and dry environment. Check with PH indicator strips to ensure that your soap is safe to use, especially before gifting or selling. fgrtd eryg eedtdd

Angela Wills

About Angela Wills

SavvyHomemade is a true passion for me and my family, its where we've been busy sharing inspirational DIY craft ideas since 2008! With over 30 years of handcrafting and creative experience, the dream is that this information will make life a little easier for others whilst also doing a little towards protecting our planet. More About Angela Wills »

3 thoughts on “My Activated Charcoal Soap Recipe For Glowing Skin”

Discussion (3 Comments)

  1. We have been making soap with lard. Can I simply add the charcoal and essential oils to my lard recipe rather than using the other oils? I don’t see a reason why not, but thought I’d ask.

    • Hi Elisabeth,

      I’m sure that would work just fine. I haven’t done it myself so I can’t give you a guarantee, but I’d love to hear how it works out. Let me know how you get on.


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