Charcoal and Rose Clay Spa Bar

I’ve been so absorbed with cold process recipes because of the Soap Crafting book I thought it would be nice to change things up and get back to melt & pour soap. In this episode of Soap Queen TV, I make an incredibly luxurious soap which I named the Spa Bar. For the base I used our Shea melt & pour soap and then I used Activated Charcoal and Rose Clay for their purifying and cleansing properties – plus they look gorgeous together. To scent the bars I used Sandalwood, Rose Absolute, and Red Brazilian Mandarin Essential Oils for a natural finish to this tiny spa in a bar of soap project.

To make this soap you will need:

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  1. Cailin Tunnciliffe says

    Hi, I live in New Zealand and I can’t purchase the bramble berry activated charcoal because the shipping is just so high (I’m so sorry). The NZ based website I would like to purchase it from sells the charcoal by weight yet this recipe calls for an amount of charcoal that is measured by volume. Anyway, my question is how much does 1/2 tsp of activated charcoal weigh roughly? Thanks :)

    • Kelsey says

      Hi Candice!

      This soap has a lot of skin-loving ingredients that are perfect for facial skin. However, everybody’s skin is different! Some may be more sensitive than others. I would recommend trying this bar on your face and seeing what you think! :)

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

    • Erika says

      Hi Kelsey,

      Would it be possible to use Coconut Oil (unrefined) instead of the Shea butter?

      Or could I do a mixture of Coconut Oil, with Shea or Cocoa Butter as a base for the melt & pour?

      If so, how can I calculate how much base to use when making soap? I am dying to make your rose clay spa bar but I would like to make a smaller batch for myself.

      Any tips on taking your recipe and applying it to a different size mold while still maintaining the same quality and consistency through out?

      Thank you!

      • Kelsey says

        Hi Erika!

        Adding extra oil to your melt and pour can be tricky. It can make the melt and pour base sticky, oily, crumbly or greasy. We don’t recommend adding extra oil. If you do, we recommend about 1 tsp. per pound. That shouldn’t affect the final texture too much. :)

        If you want to shrink this recipe, you definitely can! To do that, find out how much your mold holds and reduce the amount of melt and pour base accordingly.

        As for the clay, it’s what you see is what you get. I would recommend mixing the colorant in alcohol as shown in the video, then adding it 1/4 tsp. at a time until you get similar colors. :)

        To find out how much fragrance to add to your smaller batch, you can use our Fragrance Calculator:

        Hope that helps! If you have any other questions let me know.

        -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

  2. Jeannine Marquardt says

    Hi! I made this spa bar a little differently, and I was wondering how I would make my ingredients label if some of my ingredients contained the same ‘ingredient’, but the fda requires them to be listed in descending order of prominence, how would I go about finding out where that ingredient (such as mica or titanium dioxide) would be listed?
    It’s listed as an ingredient in both the clay and mauvey gem mica (so it would be a purplish-pink) that I used! I’ve just been taking my ingredients (like the shea butter) and copying their INCIs and pasting that group first, then the INCI of the charcoal, then rose clay, etc, in descending order. How on earth can I be sure that is correct since some ingredients appear twice? I’m so confused! Help >.<

    • Jeannine Marquardt says

      I know that colorants are last, but since the mica is in both, I’m wondering where I should put that–can I put it with the clay ingredients and the rest of the ingredients in the mauvey gem mica last? Where then does the FO go? Between the two? I know I used less in total weight % than the clay, but since the mauvey mica is a colorant it should go last, right?

      • Kelsey says

        Hi Jeannine!

        When labeling your soap, you want to list the ingredients from most used to least used. So, because the most used ingredient in this recipe is the soap base, that would go first. Then, add the ingredients in descending order from there. So if you used 1 tsp. of Mauvey Gem Mica and 1 Tbsp. of clay, the clay would be listed first. Same with the fragrance – if you used 2 ounces, it would go in front of 1 tsp. of colorant.

        Hope that helps! You can see an example of an ingredient list in the How to Label Cold Process Soap post:

        -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

  3. skye guilliams says

    I am new to the soap making business but am extremely excited to get started and love charcoal activated soap so I was wanting to try this recipe out, but was wondering if there is another food sub for Rose absolute? I have already purchased alot of other products for different soaps but was REALLY wanting to do this one too, do you have any suggestions?

    Thank you!

  4. Jeannine Marquardt says

    If I were to want to use only one type of scent for the entire bar, what kind of fragrance would you suggest: a FO or an EO? Would the overall oil measurement still be the same when adding all the other fragrances in the original recipe together?

    • Kelsey says

      Hi Jeannine!

      You can definitely change the scent in this recipe if you like. Whether you choose an essential oil or fragrance oil is definitely personal preference!

      Our essential oils are 100% natural and pure, so that’s something to take in consideration if you prefer natural products. Our fragrance oils are synthetic, and have scents that can’t be found in nature. You can find out more about that in Fragrance and Essential Oils episode of Soap Queen TV:

      Whichever one you choose, you can use our handy dandy Fragrance Calculator to find out exactly how much to add to this recipe:

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

  5. dahlia says

    I love this recipe, I have made instead a rose & neem soap my customers love it. I am new at soap making and not sure if I want to work with lyle, I am glad for these alternatives.

    Thank you Bramble Berry

  6. Lauren says

    Hi there – brand new to this whole process. I decided to do all homemade gifts for christmas this year (scarves, vanilla extract, sweater mittens – the whole nine yards), and decided some soap might be a good addition. ‘

    I don’t have the time between now and then to let cold-press cure (nor do I really want to mess around with lye this time around), and so I’m leaning towards melt and pour. The discouraging aspect is I really don’t love the glossiness of it (I know it’s the glycerin…), which is so unlike the pretty matte, opaque bars you see at craft shows and boutiques. Is there any good way to get melt and pour to have more of a matte, solid finish? I don’t like that it so often looks like a jello jiggler! any ideas?

  7. says

    I made a cold process recipe with patchouli and rose. One half was rose clay and the other was Indigo Powder. My charcoal recipes come out way blacker then the picture looks here, and I know it was used for it’s benefits. Thanks!

  8. Hope says

    Hello! I just came across this tutorial, as I recently got into soap making and want to try these out. I didn’t see it in any of the other comments but was wondering if I could use the goat milk melt and pour instead of the shea butter? :)

    • says

      Hi Hope!

      You definitely could use the Goat Milk Melt and Pour Base instead! In all melt and pour recipes, you can switch out bases if you’d like, just keep in mind that white bases (like goat milk or shea) will look different than with clear soap.

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

  9. Samantha says

    Hello, just a lil confused. I read through all the comments here and didn’t see my particular question. So, I feel a lil dumb :-( but do you let the charcoal layer completely dry and harden before adding the other layer?? Or only a lil bit while its still warm?? :-/

    • says

      Hi Samantha!

      Definitely not a stupid question :). You can certainly wait until the bottom layer has completely cooled, or you can wait until it has partially cooled. You just want to be sure the bottom layer is hard and strong enough to support the top! I usually like to wiggle my mold a bit, and if the melt and pour ripples or jiggles at all, I know that it is still too liquid to pour my top layer :)

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

  10. says

    I loved the idea of the charcoal and clay combo but I decided to turn it up a notch when I made my version of this soap.

    I used Morocan clay because I didn’t have red Brazilian clay and I also used sea green clay and colloidal oatmeal, along with the charcoal. Then I added 7 skin loving EOs to the mix and I think I just came up with the ultimate facial soap for dry and mature skin. :)

    But I didn’t stop there, instead of pouring in two layers, I did a swirl with four distinct colors. I would post a picture but not sure how to do that. Any whoo, thanks for the inspiration.

  11. Toni says

    This bar is so pretty! I never thought these colors would go as well as they did! I made a single bar, guesstimating the charcoal and clay. But it’s just for me so no big deal. I might try this in a cp recipe.

    • says

      Hi Toni!

      Isn’t this bar beautiful? It’s one of my favorites…I was definitely surprised about how much I loved the color combination as well! If you get a photo of your bar, I would love to see it on our Facebook page! :)

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

  12. says

    Hi Amanda
    Thank you for all of the information you have on-line. I am just getting into the handmade soap business and very excited. I have spent a month researching and feel I can have fun and sell some at the same time. I am focusing on pet and spa soaps and would love to use this idea in CP soap. How or can you change a recipe from M & P to a CP? And can you recommend a good book on how to blend essential oils and what benefits if any they would have.
    Thank you.

  13. Keyne Dadulla says

    Hi SoapQueen Tv. I’m newbie to a soap world, and i really feel in love to soap with this recipe, I would like to make an all organic type of soap, can i consider this recipe as an organic soap? I’d really love to know. Thank You!

  14. Jennifer says

    Hi! I love this soap, it’s one of my new favorites. It has such a rich and creamy lather and such a beautiful color combination. I noticed that my suds are black from the charcoal. It doesn’t stain, rinses right off so I still use it but wondering if by accidentally using too much charcoal that is the reason. I cut the recipe in half to make only 6 bars but I think I accidentally kept the charcoal amount the same instead of cutting that in half. I know that by using too much with oxides it can come out in the suds like that as well, is that the same for charcoal? Thanks for the recipe! Other than my first time user error I love love love this soap :)

    • says

      Hi Jennifer!

      Your guess is probably correct, using too much colorant will result in a colored lather and the same is true for charcoal. It sounds like that is what happened. I’m so glad you gave this recipe a try, it’s one of my favorites! If you ever get pictures of your soap, we would love to see them on our Facebook page :)

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

  15. Kerri says

    These are beautiful! Can witch hazel be used instead of alcohol to mix with the charcoal or rose clay? If not, about how long does it take for the alcohol to all evaporate and for the smell of it to all go away?

    Thank you!

    • says

      Hi Kerri!

      The smell of the alcohol goes away pretty quickly, by the time you mix it into the soap itself you won’t be able to smell it. We haven’t tried using witch hazel before, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. That being said, it’s a good idea to have isopropyl alcohol on hand when making melt and pour to spray between layers and on top to get rid of bubbles :). If you give it a try, let us know how it turns out!

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

  16. Alyssa says

    Thanks for the responses. Now, I see that I did receive all that I ordered. I must have been in a hurry the evening I made this soap. It is extra scented. I will post a pic on your facebook page. It isn’t as perfect as Anne-Marie’ picture, but I learned a bit in the process.

  17. Tatiana says

    Dear Anne-Marie, this is a wonderful tutorial and beautiful soap! I just had a few questions about it. The tool that you use to disperse the activated charcoal in rubbing alcohol – what is it called? Can I substitute it with a mini-blender? Will it do the same? Also, the rose clay you use – the colour is so bright and pink, the one they sell at my local pharmacy and soapmaking supplies store (I’m in Moscow, Russia) is so dull, it’s almost grey. I’m wondering if it’s a different clay? It’s called rose clay though too. Thank you! Oh, what countries does Brambleberry ship to?

  18. Alyssa Pflaumer says

    Hello, I just made this Charcoal and Rose Clay Soap last night. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice that instead of receiving the Rose Absolute Fragrance, I rec’d the Fragrance that goes with the deodorant recipe (Cucumber Melon)I believe. But, all in all I am happy with the results. I love the silicon molds and my new mini mixer.

    I have only been soaping for under a year, but am totally hooked on this hobby.

    Thanks for the tutorial. So helpful.


    • says

      Hi Alyssa – The Cucumber Melon is your free sample. The Rose Essential Oil would have been included in a little soap box. If you go through all your packaging and still don’t find it, please contact customer service and they’ll get you sorted out. 1-87-SOAP-STUF I’m so glad that you’re loving the silicone molds and the mini mixer. They are so fabulous to work with – both of them. =) Thank you for your business.

    • says

      Hi Alyssa!
      I’m so happy to hear you gave this soap a try! It’s one of my favorites! I’m sorry to hear you didn’t receive your Rose Absolute Fragrance, did you order it? Despite not having it, I’m glad the Cucumber Melon worked out well for you :) It’s such a nice fresh scent.

      We would love to see your soaps on our Facebook page if you get a chance to take pictures! :)

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

  19. Julie K. says

    Hello Brambleberry! I’m fairly new to soaping – and am just having a blast trying new recipes…So,thanks for all the ideas! I just purchased the ‘kit’ for the Spa Bar and am confused about the Rose and Sandlewood oil measurements.

    When my cart was populated with the items for the soap, these oils (as part of the ‘kit,’ both came in 5/8 dram or 0.08 oz size, which is = to 2.4 ml, not 6ml as the recipe calls for. Am I missing something?

    Thanks again so very much –

    Julie Konkle

  20. Tina Deniz says

    Dear Anne Marie,
    This is so nice, the perfect home spa treat, just one question is there any alternative ingredient to the black activated charcoal, some other nice color combination ingredient apart from the black

  21. says

    Awesome! I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for another tutorial! And the fact that it was melt and pour was the foaming bath whip on top of the soap cake for me! :)

    I definitely will blog about it sometime this week on my wordpress blog! I’m so excited!


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