Charcoal Facial Bar with Mango, Avocado and Babassu

I received an email recently about soaping without coconut oil. I have some recipes sans coconut oil but most are really high olive/bastile/castile type of recipes that don’t produce many bubbles. I wanted a bar that was nice and bubbly. I know that babassu is similar to coconut oil in its fatty acid makeup so I got some babassu to try.

Charcoal Facial Bar with Mango, Avocado and Babassu (1)

I wanted to make a face bar with charcoal. I like to have at least one butter in every soap that I make and that butter is usually shea. I’m not a big fan personally of shea on my face…so I thought I would try mango in this recipe. I also love avocado oil in a facial bar…so included that as well.

Charcoal Facial Bar with Mango, Avocado and Babassu Recipe

Avocado oil – 4 oz
Babassu oil – 8 oz
Castor oil – 2 oz
Mango butter – 4 oz
Olive oil – 12 oz
Rice Bran oil – 2 oz
Water – 9 oz
Lye – 4.35 oz
1/2 Tablespoon Charcoal

If you are new to soapmaking…start here.

Melt the mango and babassu.

Add all of the other liquid oils to the melted oils.  Add the charcoal to the mix as well.

Add the lye solution and mix to trace.

I added about .75 oz of tea tree oil.  Then pour it into your mold.  I prefer facial soap to be round.  Facial soap and beer soap…  I’ve always gone with round bars for those types of soaps.  So I am using a mail tube with a liner (more info on the liners).

Unmold and cut after 24 hours. Let cure for at least four weeks.

So…the verdict. Its been several weeks since I made these and I have to say that I LOVE this recipe. Its bubbles amazingly well even though there isn’t any coconut oil. The charcoal helps suck up excess oil. When I use this soap I make a nice thick lather in my hands, put it onto my face and let it sit for a minute (almost like a mask) and then rinse it off.

If you give it a try…let me know what you think!

Happy Soaping!


About the Author:

I am a soapmaker, author and blogger! I started blogging in 2008, sharing soap recipes, design tutorials and publishing articles on various topics of soapmaking.


  1. Michelle January 24, 2018 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    I have a jar of babassu oil that I would like to use for the first time, and I am wondering if I need to completely melt the jar of babassu before I measure out the oil for the recipe? For example, when I used to use palm oil, I would melt the oil before measuring. Thank you!

  2. Veronica August 6, 2017 at 10:45 am - Reply

    Hello, I’m from Argentina, and y love your work!!! I wants to know wich is the diference from other recips that makes this soap facial? Thanks you!

  3. Maggie May 21, 2017 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    Made this but without the Activated Charcoal. I’ve tweaked it just a bit. Made my 4th batch with Babassu Oil yesterday. I’m in love with this oil. It makes a nice hard bar with lots of lather. Just wish it wasn’t quite as costly. Thank you for sharing your recipe & introducing me to Babassu Oil!

    • Jean Mao September 1, 2018 at 7:28 am - Reply

      Hi, I saw that you didn’t use charcoal. I am wondering what’s the original color of this soap when you don’t add any colorants? Thank you!

  4. Lynn January 10, 2017 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    PVC pipe makes a great round mold and can be cut to any length. I lightly grease the inside with coconut oil and it works wonderfully! No need for the garbage of a liner 🙂 But that’s just me trying to be as eco friendly as possible, lol. I think about it too much perhaps!

  5. Amanda January 10, 2017 at 10:32 am - Reply

    This recipe about how many bars if soap does this make?

  6. Crystal March 17, 2016 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    Do you have to use a food grade activated charcoal? Will any store bought activated charcoal work? Never used charcoal before.

  7. Deborah W. March 1, 2016 at 11:28 am - Reply

    Amanda, I made CP soap today for men using some activated charcoal which I kept at a light gray color. I premixed it with Swt Almond oil and I noticed it never got smooth but stayed a little gritty. Is this normal when using activated charcoal? I hope the grit will be no more than a slight exfoliant if anything. Please let me know if there was any better way to mix this ingredient. Thanks much!

  8. Krystal October 4, 2015 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    What oil can be substituted for the Avocado oil as I am allergic?

    • Amanda Gail October 5, 2015 at 11:50 am - Reply

      Hello, you can use more olive oil, rice bran, almond…really any liquid oil. Run the recipe through the lye calc to get your new lye amount.

  9. Dima July 20, 2015 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    Also wanted to add that the link given is no longer found

  10. Dima July 20, 2015 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    Hi, I know this is an old post, but hopefully you still respond to comments. But I was wondering where do you get the mail tube liners? I would also like to make my facial bars round in tube like mold.

    Please let me know

    • Amanda Gail July 22, 2015 at 7:42 am - Reply

      Hello! I don’t sell them anymore. You can get 5 x 15″ flat poly bags from Uline. That’s what I use to line round molds. Good luck! -Amanda

  11. Marilu June 23, 2015 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    babassu oil is amazing for the face. I try it in my recipes I love it thanks for sharing.

  12. Danielle February 17, 2015 at 12:55 am - Reply

    I just made this recipe today! It looks great and I can’t wait to use it 🙂

  13. Holly January 16, 2015 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    Any idea why mine is green? This is actually my very first go at making soap. It seems to have set up fine, but it is a forest-green color instead of black. Did I do something wrong?

  14. cecil igot September 21, 2014 at 10:41 pm - Reply

    hi good day, just new with this and i only used coco oil and lye…is it okey if i used coco oil alone , lye then charcoal,may i know the proper measurment of it..since i just live in a province so only coconut oil i have in making my soap..can u help me, i love to sell it and have a soap business here in our place..tnx much..hoping for your reply.. GOD bless 🙂

  15. Teri September 13, 2014 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    You can also use pringles cans to make round soap- I have used it many times and it works great!!

  16. Linda Reynolds January 8, 2014 at 11:02 pm - Reply

    Is there something I can substitute for the mango butter? I am ready to try this soap, but it would take a week or more to get mango butter.

  17. Terry January 3, 2014 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    I’d like to buy some PVC liners, do you still have them available? The link to buy was not working. Thank you!

    • Freda November 7, 2014 at 6:44 pm - Reply

      I used Shea butter, and it was great.

  18. Sara November 18, 2013 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    Hi Amanda,

    This soap looks great! I am wondering, which essential oils would be good in a facial soap? I’d like to add some scent, but I’m not sure about facial soaps since it comes into contact with your eyes…I appreciate your feedback!


  19. Amy October 7, 2013 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    What do you recommend using instead of lye? Castile soap or something else? Can not wait to try this!!!!!

    • Amanda October 8, 2013 at 8:55 am - Reply

      Hi Amy! All soap is made with lye so you can’t substitute anything for it. Lye is what turns the oils into soap. 🙂


  20. Irene June 18, 2013 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    Think this recipe will come out okay without the charcoal? Anyone?

    • Holly January 16, 2015 at 4:40 pm - Reply

      I made a second batch of this recipe, switching the charcoal for a gold mica colorant and it is beautiful. I am sure it would be fine without either, though. 🙂

  21. Jae June 4, 2013 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Hi Amanda,
    I so want to make this soap! I finally got my charcoal today so I have all the supplies now. I have a question, or 2 rather, when you ran it through the soap calculator, what was your water discount and percent superfat? I can’t seem to get it to come out like your recipe when I use the calculator. Just don’t want any boo boos… 😉 BTW, I love your site!


  22. Rebekka April 30, 2013 at 11:25 am - Reply

    Hello, I tried this today, soaped very cool, at room temperature, but it still went kinda quick and set up very nicely. Will unmold and cut tomorrow, cannot wait to test it. Texture looks very nice so far, thanks for sharing this!

  23. vichy pore minimizer April 9, 2013 at 9:54 am - Reply

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  24. Jennifer April 5, 2013 at 10:38 am - Reply

    This is by far the best recipe I have used so far! I love the lather!!!

  25. Jennifer March 5, 2013 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    Hi! Would this work with goats milk? How would I go about making that change. Someone already asked this question, but there was no response. I am hoping to make this tonight can’t wait!

  26. greenrift2 February 10, 2013 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    I made this, this afternoon. It traced really fast. I mixed the lye & oils together at about 110-120deg. Crossing my fingers that it works out.

    • Amanda February 11, 2013 at 10:56 am - Reply

      I hope if works out for you! Next time you can use more water and that will slow down trace. Let me know if you like it! -Amanda

  27. Abbasmurf January 17, 2013 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    🙁 I tried this recipe, but my bars were still soft and sticky the next day. Was this false trace or could it have something to do with me adding the charcoal at trace instead of pre-lye mixture? Can I rebatch something so soft?

    • Amanda January 23, 2013 at 8:55 am - Reply

      Hi Abbasmurf – this recipe should firm up nicely after about a week. It is high in olive oil which is soft at first but cures rock hard. How is it looking now?

      If it is super soft like playdough then something went wrong. Could you have maybe mis-measured something? I would also check your scale.

      • Abbasmurf January 23, 2013 at 8:22 pm - Reply

        It stayed soft for longer than a week. I rebatched it, but that didn’t seem to work. Fortunately, my first batch wasn’t very big. I tried making the recipe again tonight, so I guess we’ll see what happens! I probably didn’t pour at true trace the last time. I’m a little new to the soap-making thing. 🙂 I hope my second batch turns out because I really want to test out the babassu!

      • Abbasmurf January 26, 2013 at 5:25 pm - Reply

        Update: my new batch worked. I must have whipped it too much last time without doing enough intermittent stirring. False trace. I tested out a bar and the lather was really nice even after only a few days. So far so good! I can’t wait to use it in the shower!

        • Amanda January 28, 2013 at 10:23 am - Reply

          Yay! So glad it worked!

  28. Alexandra January 10, 2013 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    What does activated charcoal do for you in soap?

    • Amanda January 23, 2013 at 8:53 am - Reply

      Alexandra – activated charcoal is absorbing. So it works well for some people with oily skin by absorbing extra oil without stripping the face.

  29. dyana December 11, 2012 at 10:49 am - Reply

    OH! This sounds delightful. I will be trying it soon and will let you know how it goes! Thanks for sharing – love your eZine and blog!

  30. Sylvia November 5, 2012 at 6:10 am - Reply

    Wonder what might happen if we substituted the water with goat milk?

  31. Alexandra October 29, 2012 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    Is there an alternative to Babassu?

    • Amanda October 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm - Reply

      Yes, coconut oil 🙂

    • Evik November 12, 2012 at 8:10 am - Reply

      I would add also palm kernel oil, but it is not ecologic, so I think it was out of the question…

      Amanda – I have been following your blog for a while and like it a lot! I have a question for the charcoal in your soap – I have made one – it seems to me with the same ratio of charcoal to soap – but my soap lathered grey.

      Your seems to lather white (very nice bubbles!) Do you think it might be because of the different oils I have used? Otherwise I really do not know… I might try your version, but subsituting coconut oil for babassu 🙂 (don’t have babassu).

      Also, I love your mold liners but I live in Switzerland – Europe – and I fear it would be too expensive with such a long distance delivery fees. I might have to find out a way how to do them on my own :-/

      Have a nice soapmaking day


      • Amanda November 12, 2012 at 9:38 am - Reply

        Hello Evik,

        Yes, it does lather white. It could be a difference in charcoal perhaps? I know there are different kinds. The charcoal I used is from Bramble Berry and I think it is bamboo charcoal. Do you know what kind you used? It would be interesting to know. Thanks!

        • Evik November 13, 2012 at 8:55 am - Reply

          Ah, interesting, that might be it! Mine is an ordinary vegetable “activated” charcoal I found in my local bio store.

          Now you made me think about it, I read what does it mean for a charcoal to be “activated” and I found:

          “Activated charcoal is charcoal that has been treated with oxygen to open up millions of tiny pores between the carbon atoms.”

          They do this so that it absorbs more than a classical charcoal. Do you think this might be behind the foam coloring effect?

          I think it is the “Carbo-Activ” mark, but am not sure, I will have a look once I am back home from work, will keep you informed!

          • Evik November 13, 2012 at 4:12 pm

            So, I had a look – it is SFB – a french company.

      • Ally December 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm - Reply

        instead of buying a mold you should be able to just use a paper towel roll as long as you put the plastic inside if it. they will be alittle small but it should work.

        • Ally December 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm - Reply

          …and just use a food baggie for the liner.

  32. Anne-Marie Faiola October 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    We totally love your eZine, Amanda! It super easy to read and it’s perfect for anyone who wants to start using the super fun pourable silicone. 🙂

    P.S. Love this facial bar!

  33. Donna OShaughnessy October 26, 2012 at 8:59 am - Reply

    I LOVE the look of these bars ! I also love Babassu and soap with it often Great lather and nice hard bars. Nice job abd yeah for Branble Berry and their gift packages. I got one too!

  34. Louise October 26, 2012 at 8:05 am - Reply

    I think it was the Babassu that added so much lather to your soap – it really looks amazing! I may give this a try 🙂

  35. t.a. helton October 26, 2012 at 7:31 am - Reply

    I need to try this recipe. I’ve never used babassu before…but, I’ve been hearing a lot of good things.

  36. Michelle October 25, 2012 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    That recipe looks fantastic. I don’t have Babassu but remember it well when I worked for The Body Shop. They used to have Babassu oils in little round balls for your bath. Thinking I would sub in Macademia Nut or Hempseed Oil. I’ll have to try this at some point.

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