Clays are one of my favorite additions to soap recipes. Not only do they add natural color, but I love how the resulting bars leave my skin feeling so clean and refreshed!
Clay soap is especially helpful for itchy, inflamed skin conditions, like bug bites and summer heat rashes. It can also be used as a complexion bar to gently cleanse acne prone skin.
When I first started making this soap, I dug some of last spring’s violets out of my freezer and was going to couple it with Purple Brazilian Clay to make a light, floral, girly type of soap.
However, after I posted this photo on social media:
a resulting conversation about using activated charcoal & clays in soap inspired me to head in a completely different direction!
I used a tried and true soap recipe, but feeling tired of the same old, same old pouring method – I decided to try out the funnel pour technique from my new copy of Soap Crafting: Step-by-Step Techniques for Making 31 Unique Cold-Process Soaps, by Anne-Marie Faolia, (“The Soap Queen.”) Alternatively, she has a great online video tutorial of the process HERE.
I really like how it turned out and can’t wait to try more of the techniques in the Soap Crafting book!
One note about the Purple Brazilian Clay: I find it looks more rosy-mauve in my final soap than purple, but that could be because I didn’t use enough. I think next time I experiment with this clay, I’ll combine it with alkanet root and see how that works out.
Natural Clay Soap (made with Funnel Pour Method)
- 3 ounces Avocado Oil
- 8 ounces Coconut Oil
- 12 ounces Olive Oil
- 2 ounces Shea Butter
- 6 ounces Sunflower Oil
- 4.3 ounces lye (6% superfat)
- 8 to 12 ounces water or liquid (I used 11 oz violet tea)
If you’ve never made soap before, be sure to thoroughly research the process and precautions before proceeding.
The batch is sized small to fit a roughly 3 pound wooden mold that my husband made for me with inner dimensions of 8 inches x 3.5 inches x 3.5 inches. It yields seven to eight bars.
Without essential oils, this soap has an earthy smell from the clay. I recommend adding 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 ml) of peppermint essential oil for an especially refreshing wash.
Right before mixing the lye solution into the oils, mix up the following additions in three separate small bowls or cups:
- 1 teaspoon purple Brazilian clay* + 2 teaspoons water
- 1 teaspoon activated charcoal + 2 teaspoons water
- 1 teaspoon bentonite clay + 2 or 3 teaspoons water
After mixing just to light trace, divide into three glass, plastic or stainless steel bowls. (I used leftover yogurt containers.)
Stir the bentonite clay into one part of the soap mixture, the purple clay into the second, and the activated charcoal into the third portion.
Situate your funnel over the middle of your mold and begin pouring each color in, one at a time, for just a few seconds. Alternate the colors until you run out of soap mixture.
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