April 2, 2012


It's been a long time since I pulled out the ol bamboo charcoal, but now that I'm no longer in a discombobulated state(read about my recent re-organization here)-it's very handy to get to things like my colorants.Yahoo! So today, I was in the mood to re-visit bamboo charcoal. A few years back I bravely ventured into the realm of bamboo charcoal and really haven't bothered to mess with it since. I'm not really sure why-maybe it was the hassle of getting it out prior to my recent re-organization of soap supplies.

Fleur de lis was my very first attempt with bamboo charcoal + anything resembling the elusive swirl.

Fleur de lis (2010)-by Tierra Verde Handmade Soaps- scented with Anise and a bit of Clove.

This time I tried something "safe" I guess you could say since I hadn't worked with charcoal in such a long time. Today, I decided to make a mild cleansing facial soap with bamboo charcoal and a light splash of lavender. 

 I added 1/4 tsp. of charcoal(for an almost 2# batch) directly to my oils + a small amount of lavender. That white speck is from my Coconut oil-sometimes there seems to be a bit of coconut meat included in the oil.

I added the charcoal straight into the oils-it's very fine and will disperse easily once I introduce the stick blender. I also went ahead and added my lavender since I won't lose it to a low flashpoint.

Charcoal mixture after emulsification

You'll notice the color is now a charcoal and not the true black that I was hoping for. I will see what it does once it's gelled. I chose to start at perhaps a bit of a lesser amount of charcoal than I needed because if you add too much charcoal it will bleed and you will have gray suds + a stained wash cloth. It's always best to start out with a bit less than you think you'll need and adjust up-this way the soap might not quite be the black you want, but still very useable without the messy gray lather and possible staining. 

Cleanse- facial soap with charcoal and a light splash of lavender.

I like a round facial soap because they are just so easy to handle esp. for smaller hands. Cut pics will come in a couple of days..


Anne-Marie said...

Your soap looks incredible. I love the mixture of bamboo, charcoal and lavender. I know that will make for a great facial cleansing soap!

Tierra Verde Handmade Soap said...

Thanks so much Anne-Marie. I just took a peek and it is indeed a bit towards the gray instead of black,but nothing a bit more charcoal won't fix next time.;-))

Tara said...

I think your Fleur de lis soap was one of the first soaps of yours that I had seens and it is beautiful. I can't wait to see Cleanse.

Amy Warden said...

Such fun! I've used some charcoal in my anise soap, but haven't really played with it all that much. I may need to pull it out again! Looking forward to the cut pics!

Tierra Verde Handmade Soap said...

@ Tara,yeah that soap has had a lot of blogging mileage.Maybe some day I'll do another "looke" to replace that one.

@ Amy, I ended up making another batch of Cleanse-the soap is very nice,but not quite the color I had hoped for. It was more of a gun metal gray and not black-so today I made another one to see if I could get closer to black. Will post about them as soon as I can get them cut.