*Sponsored by the amazing folks at Gold Mountain Beauty. Opinions and recipe are ours.
I've always wanted to try my hand at soap-making, so I went to find out how it all works. Well…it was a little more complicated than I thought with all the lye and safety precautions. It's almost like I needed a dang hazmat suit! And also, I don't have time for that, so I set out to find a good melt-and-pour soap where all the hard work was already done for me. Even that turned out to be a sizable task because of all the questionable ingredients in 90% of melt-and-pour soap bases including:
- propylene glycol
- sodium laurel sulfate
- sodium laureth sulfate
UGH. Thankfully I located an acceptable option. Our Earth's Secrets is the best brand I could find, and I love their product transparency with full ingredients lists printed right on the front of every package. I went with the Organic Clear Glycerin soap base this time around because I'm making activated charcoal soap and I want it to be as black as possible.
The last thing I needed to do was find a quality activated charcoal. That wasn't too hard, thank goodness. I was super excited to find steam-activated coconut charcoal powder at Gold Mountain Beauty (made in the USA!). It's the ultimate activated charcoal choice in my opinion. You can't do much better than coconut with its medium chain triglycerides and super healing powers – the wonder drupe!
I'm also using peppermint essential oil in my recipe because I love mint soap and it adds another element of detoxifying power.
Benefits of Coconut Activated Charcoal Powder
There are a number of important reasons to keep activated charcoal on hand:
- Ingestible for internal detox. Activated charcoal is frequently used in hospitals for to treat food poisoning. With its porous qualities, it can absorb thousands of times its own weight, drawing in and locking up toxins, safely removing them from the body.
- Calms an upset stomach and reduces bloating. Coconut activated charcoal is often more effective than capsules or hardwood activated charcoal. Gold Mountain Beauty recommends mixing 1/4 – 1/2 tsp with a glass of water and drinking it down.
- DIY projects like homemade soaps, cosmetics, face masks, acne wash and teeth whitener.
- Helps heal wounds and prevent infection with its antibacterial properties when used as a poultice or salve. Apply to skin irritations, rashes and spider bites.
- An effective water filtration element in combination with other materials like sand, pebbles and cloth.
Benefits of Activated Charcoal Soap
Because this soap contains charcoal, it actively removes toxins from the surface of the skin. It's also believed to draw out impurities from below the surface as well. It provides gentle exfoliation for smoother skin, and all of our ingredients are safe enough to be used on the face.
Activated charcoal soap also reduces pore size and unclogs skin thereby minimizing the development of breakouts and infection of broken skin, helps heal pimples and rashes, and calms inflammation.
With all premium ingredients, these soap bars cost less than $1.50 each! You'll pay up to 10x that much at a retail store. They're so easy to make too – I'll be doing a lot more soap experimenting.
- 1 pound melt-and-pour soap base
- 1 tsp coconut activated charcoal
- 15 drops peppermint essential oil (this is my favorite one)
- 4 cup glass measuring cup with pour spout
- Silicone soap molds
- Wooden spoon or other stirring utensil, cutting board and knife
- Things go quick, so you need to gather all of your supplies and measure out your activated charcoal. The powder is very fine and very MESSY, so you don't want to fool around with it when the time comes to mix it in. Set your soap molds on a stable flat surface and have your essential oil nearby.
- Chop up your soap base into similar sized chunks. Mine were under a half inch to keep heating time to a minimum. Put them in your glass measuring cup.
- Microwave your soap for 50 seconds and stir well. Then continue microwaving in 20-30 seconds bursts until melted but not super hot. Stir between each burst and help the chunks of soap melt further before microwaving again. A few small chunks left is perfectly fine.
- Remove from the microwave and carefully stir in your charcoal and essential oil drops.
- Pour your mixture into the soap molds, and let sit for at least an hour. Once you're sure the soap has hardened, simply pop them out of the mold and store in a dry place until ready to use!