Natural Handmade Activated Charcoal Facial Soap Recipe

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How to Make Natural Handmade Facial Soap - DIY Cold Process Activated Charcoal Soap Recipe with Blue Green Algae, Lavender and Tea Tree - Plus Printable Cigar Band Soap LabelsIf you’re like me, you have regular breakouts due to those monthly and unwelcome, hormone changes. However, as someone with both combination and maturing skin, I wanted a handmade facial soap that would not only help to curb the “adult” acne, but also wouldn’t strip my entire face of oils especially in winter when I tend to have overly dry cheeks despite an oily t-zone. So I created a natural homemade facial soap that just provides a combination of skin loving ingredients with acne fighting prevention.

The activated charcoal in this natural homemade soap recipe helps to gently draw out impurities in the skin while lavender essential oil helps to soothe and calm skin. A touch of natural anti-bacterial tea tree essential oil also lends to acne prevention. This soap also includes natural Spirulina Powder, or blue/green algae, which is rich in vitamins and minerals that help to nourish skin while Natural Red Moroccan Clay also moisturizes and draws out impurities and toxins. Rosehips powder is included for its natural anti-oxidant and anti-aging properties, chamomile powder is added to help soothe skin, coconut oil cleanses and a combination of shea butter and jojoba, grape seed, olive squalane and evening primrose oils lend their skin conditioning properties to this rich, luxurious facial soap. Plus, for those who choose not to use palm oil, I’ve created this recipe to be palm oil free.

The majority of the ingredients used in this handmade soap recipe are from Nature’s Garden.

Handmade Activated Charcoal Face Soap Recipe with Lavender, Tea Tree and Algae - Free Printable Cigar Band Soap Labels - Homemade Soap Packaging Ideas

Natural Activated Charcoal Soap Recipe with Algae, Lavender & Tea Tree

© Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen


14.4 oz. pomace olive oil
7.2 oz. 76 degree melt point coconut oil
7.2 oz. rice bran oil
3.6 oz. grape seed oil
1.9 oz.  jojoba oil
1.4 oz. evening primrose oil
1.2 oz. shea butter
.3 oz. olive squalane oil
1 Tablespoon carnauba/candelilla wax (about 9 grams)

12 fluid oz. distilled water
4.6 oz. lye/sodium hydroxide

At trace:
1 Tablespoon activated charcoal powder
1 Tablespoon spirulina powder
1 Tablespoon red Moroccan clay powder
1 Tablespoon rosehips powder
1 Tablespoon chamomile flower powder
1 oz. lavender essential oil
.15 oz. tea tree oil


This recipe fits one of my wooden loaf soap molds {learn how to make your own} and will yield approximately 10-12 4.3-5 oz. bars depending on how they are cut. You’ll need to follow my basic cold process soapmaking instructions as well as take all necessary safety precautions when creating this soap.

Start by measuring out 12 fluid ounces of distilled water and place into a pitcher or large glass pyrex measuring cup. Then, using a digital kitchen scale weigh out the lye, then stir into the distilled water until all of the lye has dissolved and set aside to cool.

Next, weigh out the soapmaking oils, shea butter and wax and combine in a large non-aluminum pot. Place the pot on the stove and melt at medium heat until all ingredients have melted, then remove from heat and set aside to cool.

While the lye-water and soapmaking oils are cooling, line your mold and measure out the activated charcoal, algae, clay, rosehips powder and chamomile powder into a small container and set aside. In a separate container, weigh out the essential oils and set aside.

When your ingredients reach between 110 to 115 degrees F you are ready to make soap. You’ll want to mix this soap at a slightly higher temperature due to the addition of the wax. You can either add your dry ingredients to the soap at trace or, if you are concerned about a fast trace where you won’t have enough time to thoroughly incorporate all of the dry ingredients, stir the activated charcoal, spirulina powder, clay, powdered rosehips, and chamomile powder into the liquid soap making oils using an immersion/stick blender BEFORE you add the lye-water.

Next, slowly pour the lye-water into the soapmaking oils and stir with your immersion/stick blender until you reach trace. At that point you can stir in the essential oils along with the other dry ingredients if you didn’t add them previously. Pour into your prepared soap mold then cover and insulate for 24 hours.

After the insulation period, unmold your soap and cut into bars. {Learn how to make a loaf soap cutter.} Set bars in a cool, dry location to cure for 3-6 weeks before use.

Natural Handmade Cold Process Soap Recipe - Lavender and Tea Tree Soap with Activated Charcoal and Algae

Looking for cute labels for your soaps? The cigar band labels pictured on these homemade soap bars are from Lilac & Lavender Blog. For your convenience, I’ve created a pdf file using these labels to created printable cigar band soap labels. Just print (in landscape format,) cut and wrap! {Printable Lavender Cigar Band Soap Labels.}

About Rebecca D. Dillon

Rebecca D. Dillon is a soapmaker, DIY-er and blogger whose life is controlled daily by a dachshund. You can learn more about Rebecca by checking out her bio. Or discover more great skin care & beauty recipes by subscribing to Soap Deli News blog via email.


  1. I love lavender! This sounds like the perfect soap for my hubby 🙂
    Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  2. You are always so generous by sharing your recipes! This sounds like the perfect antidote to a long day…thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks so much,love all you shared with us.
    I’m from Puerto Rico.God bless Your hands and talents.
    Love soapmaking,Lily

  4. I’m disappointed that you’re using squalane oil, as it’s primary source is from shark livers. Not only are sharks over-fished due to the ever-popular shark fin soup, but that makes this recipe not vegan… which is pretty unfortunate.

  5. Nevermind, I apparently didn’t look it up properly.. “olive squalane” is vegan.

  6. Hi i’m just start to make soap again and i have to start getting a variety of oils just to cut back on how many i need i was wondering could i substitute the pomace olive oil for regular olive oil.

  7. I’m going to try my first soap making with this recipe.
    I have some good quality lavender flowers at home, can I add it on to this soap?

  8. vivian bailey says:

    How can I make a very simple black soap Few ingredeints as possible? Trying to make soap as cheap as possible.

  9. Have a customer that is really suffering with acne and wants a natural product. Would it be acceptable for me to make this and sell it to her. I could change out a few things to make it my own if that would make it more appropriate. I am just concerned at finding her the right soap for her needs. She has been to several doctors and the treatments have been expensive. I want to find something to help her if I can. Thanks.

  10. I was wondering if the charcoal bleeds when using?

  11. Hi! I am wondering if the ph in your recipe is mild? ( I have experienced regular bars being to harsh on my face. ) thanks for sharing!

    • Handmade soaps have a PH generally between 7-10 assuming they are made correctly and are not lye heavy. I superfatted this at 6%. After 6 weeks of curing I’d assume the PH would be somewhere around 8, although you’d need to test with PH strips to be sure. I do not do this.

  12. Aiden James says:

    Could this soap be used as a body bar?

  13. Hi!
    I made this soap but it didnt turn out so good. So I put the ingredients through a soap table, which said lye 375 g and water 130g. But your recipe it’s the opposite. Is there a mix up?

    • The weight for lye is 4.6 oz./approx. 130 grams and for the water is 12 oz./approx. 340 grams. The amounts are correct. You are always going to have more water/liquid than lye. Without knowing how your batch turned out or the amounts you used – since you’re converting to grams – I’m not able to offer more insight.

  14. Is there a place to buy this soap already made?

  15. I want to make a soap for sensitive acne skin. Any recommendations?

    Thank you. 🙂