Activated Charcoal & Tea Tree Soap

Activated Charcoal & Tea Tree Soap


This is a spin on the classic skin-detoxing charcoal and tea tree soap, but using some luxurious oils and butters to really ramp up the skin conditioning properties.


25g  castor oil (5%)

125g  coconut oil (25%)

200g  olive oil (40%)

50g  shea butter (10%)

25g  tamanu oil (5%)

75g  cocoa butter (15%)

90g  sodium hydroxide lye

190g distilled water

16g  tea tree essential oil (or do a combination of tea tree and lavender)

2 T  activated charcoal


Before you do anything, please ensure you are wearing the appropriate protective clothing, including gloves and  goggles. Do not let the lye mixture or the finished soap mixture touch your skin or you may get a lye burn. Keep pets and young children away. Work in a well ventilated area.


Slowly add the lye into the water and stir until dissolved. Set aside to cool. While your lye mixture is cooling, melt all your oils and butters together. Let the oil mixture also cool. Once both the lye mixture and the oils mixture have cooled down to around 50℃ (or lower but ideally within 10℃  of each other), slowly add the lye to the oils and blend with a stock blender until trace is reached. Add the activated charcoal and blend to incorporate, then add the essential oil and blend. If you like you can also add in some clay (this will make the soap lovely and creamy) but this is optional. Pour the soap batter into molds, tapping them to release any trapped air bubbles. Then insulate your soaps for at least 2-3 days, allowing them to harden up. Once they are hard you can remove them from their molds and leave to cure for at least 6 weeks. 

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Hi Debra, this recipe doesn’t call for any clay :)
But any clay can be used in soaps – I typically use kaolin clay at about 1 tablespoon per 500g soap.


Hi Juliette,
Which clay might one use, and what percentage/portion?


Hi Chantel, it will depend on the size of your soap mold or how big you cut your soap bars. The recipe adds up to 800g


How many soap bars do the ingredients make?


Hi Abigail, oh dear! If you left out the coconut oil you may end up with a lye heavy soap as there will be less oil available to use up in the lye reaction. I’m not too sure if the soap will be usable as the coconut oil made up 25% which is quite a lot.. you may need to start over. But you can always let the soap cure and then see.