Something to lather the stress away

If you’re a little like me, you will probably enjoy this soap as much as I will. Until recently, I’ve exclusively been using the bathtub in my parents’ bathroom. Common side effect: dry skin, because of all the hot water. And bathing (for me, at least) means that the entire body is supposed to be submerged in water, which results in a lot of waste water.

So I’ve started showering. Bought a lot of different showering gels but still haven’t found one that is moisturizing for the skin AND soothes your entire being by releasing relaxing essential oils.

While surfing the interwebs (in this case watching youtube videos) I stumbled across Cathy’s recipe for Spa Bars. I’ve tweaked it a little, because I can’t find all the ingredients in my area. (I got a really strange look from the local pharmacist as I’ve asked for activated charcoal powder).. So here are my tweaks:

Activated Charcoal

I don’t know how it is where you live.. But in my region of Germany, activated charcoal  is used mainly as a filtering agent. For example for filtering particulates and pollen from air filters; removing the calcium carbonate from hard tap water – chlorine and ozone as well; to purge pollutants from fish tanks and ponds.. It’s really quite helpful.  When ingested, it also bonds with toxins in the gastrointestinal tract and removes them safely. This is where I got my idea.. because you can buy those little black pills made from pressed activated charcoal basically in every drug store. Just make sure it is really 100% charcoal and no additives. Then use a mortar and grind up as many pills as needed. Activated Charcoal will color the soap batter black. Or a dark-ish gray. It is also an excellent exfoliant.


American soap recipes use stuff like dead sea mud (You can buy dead sea salt.. but that’s not even close), bentonite clay.. or rose clay. Good look finding that here. Last week I finally found an online shop that sells it. But it’s not based in Germany. And when I soaped this recipe, I didn’t know about the shop yet. So I had to look for alternatives. The Spa Bar recipe calls for dead sea mud. The dead sea mud has detoxifying properties and is known to help people with psoriasis, acne and other skin conditions. It balances out the PH level of the skin and helps to remove excess sebum from the skin. Something with similar properties is called “Heilerde” (lit. “Healing Earth”) and can be ingested or (as a paste) put on the skin. I bought Luvos Heilerde “hautfein”. Heilerde is a loess, containing silicate, calcite, clay, feldspar, dolomite and others.

Hemp Milk

Is a plant-based milk that’s produced like almond milk, soy milk or oat milk. Since I couldn’t find it anywhere, I substituted oat milk.

Spa Bars

makes about 900g soap, superfatted at 5%

124g NaOH
191g Destilled Water

Base Oils:
550g Olive Oil209g Coconut Oil
54g Castor Bean Oil
28g Shea Butter
28g Cocoa Butter
28g Mango Butter

10g Argan Oil
57g Oat Milk
56g Destilled Water (to mix with powders)
2 tsp Heilerde
2 tsp Activated Charcoal Powder

Essential Oil Blend:
20g Lavender EO
10g Rosemary EO
5g Patchouli EO

  1. Mix the lye solution and let it cool to room temperature
  2. In two bowls, mix Heilerde and charcoal with 28g destilled water each until no lumps can be seen
  3. Premelt the coconut oil and the shea butter
  4. Use a bain-marie to gently melt the mango and cocoa butter with the liquid oils, then add the coconut oil and the Shea butter
  5. Let fats/oils cool to room temperature (might look slightly cloudy)
  6. Add lye solution and stick blend until emulsified.
  7. Add EO blend, oat milk and argan oil, stick blend to light trace
  8. Divide into two bowls, mix charcoal into one, Heilerde into the other
  9. Pour into desired molds
  10. Let sit for 24h until unmolding, then cure for 4-6 weeks

I used a silicone mold with ovals to pour some of the batter in.  Of course not all the batter fit in there, so I used a small loaf mold to hold the rest. I made a little in the mold spoon swirl and cut it with my newly acquired crinkle cutter. This is how it looks like after about 10 days of curing:

DSC01053 DSC01054


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