How to Create Custom Soaps From A Single Recipe

Today, I’d like to show you how I took one simple, plain recipe and doctored it up to create a variety of custom soaps. The point I’d like for you to take away from this, is not that you have to follow these recipes exactly, but to use the idea as a jumping off point to create your own unique products from your own favorite recipe.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and change things around!

My foray into making homemade soap started several years ago when my son was little and had a ton of allergies. Trying to find products that were gluten free, dairy free, corn free, soy free AND unscented was impossible.

For a time, he took baths with plain water since I couldn’t find anything suitable to wash him with. After a lot of research, I finally took the plunge into making my own soap and haven’t stopped since!

Basic Soap Recipe

This recipe is very plain and simple. It’s a good one to start with if you’re just learning how to make soap or have super sensitive skin prone to allergic reactions.

  • 5 oz (354 g) olive oil (44.64%)
  • 5 oz (99 g) sunflower or sweet almond oil (12.5%)
  • 8 oz (227 g) coconut oil(28.57%)
  • 4 oz (113 g) kokum or cocoa butter (14.29%) (OR use tallow or lard)
  • 95 oz (112 g) lye (sodium hydroxide)
  • 5 oz (241 g) distilled water

Make soap according to the directions in Soap Making 101.

I liked the plain soap because it didn’t break out my son. However, his eczema and dry skin were still a problem, so I set out to tackle that by creating a “Healing Skin Bar.” I went through my cabinets and gathered up every anti-inflammatory, good-for-the-skin herb I could find and threw it all in this recipe. I also super-fatted the soap by adding some extra oil at trace, right before pouring into the mold. (You can also add this amount with the other oils when making the soap; back when I learned to make soap we added extra oils at trace, but it’s since been shown it doesn’t matter when you add the extra oil.)

Healing Skin Bar

For this bar, I substitute herbal tea for the water using some or all of the following herbs that I keep on hand: calendula, lavender, comfrey leaf, plantain leaf, chamomile, goldenseal, elder flowers, lemon balm/melissa, boswellia, rose petals &/or leaves, violet flowers &/or leaves and olive leaf powder. You can buy all of these herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs. Place several tablespoons of dried and/or fresh herbs and flowers in a jar and pour simmering hot water over them. Let this steep overnight, strain and use just as you would water in your recipe. It might smell a little funny and turn a weird color when mixed with the lye, but that’s perfectly normal and will disappear by the time you have a finished bar. Strong herbal teas will give your soap a tan or brownish color.

  • 5 oz (354 g) infused olive oil (44.64%) (see *Note)
  • 5 oz (99 g) sunflower or sweet almond oil (12.5%)
  • 8 oz (227 g) coconut oil(28.57%)
  • 4 oz (113 g) kokum or cocoa butter (14.29%) (OR use tallow or lard)
  • 95 oz (112 g) lye (sodium hydroxide)
  • 5 oz (241 g) cooled herbal tea
  • at trace, stir in 1 tablespoon tamanu or rosehip seed oil
  • optional, at trace, stir in 20 g lavender essential oil + 10 g tea tree essential oil

Make soap according to the directions in Soap Making 101.

Springtime Violet Soap

This is one of my all-time favorite soaps! Every spring, we have loads of violets blooming around here and I love to create different things with them. Even after the blooms are gone, the leaves hang around and are most useful. Violets are excellent for skin problems (especially eczema), have been used in the treatment of fibrocystic breast disease and are purported to have anti-cancer benefits. I try to incorporate them in my products whenever possible!

To make the violet blossom infusion, collect a jar full of violet flowers and pour hot water over them. Cover with a saucer and let steep a few hours. Strain before using in your recipe.

  • 5 oz (354 g) infused olive oil (44.64%) (see *Note)
  • 5 oz (99 g) sunflower or sweet almond oil (12.5%)
  • 8 oz (227 g) coconut oil(28.57%)
  • 4 oz (113 g) kokum or cocoa butter (14.29%) (OR use tallow or lard)
  • 95 oz (112 g) lye (sodium hydroxide)
  • 5 oz (241 g) cooled violet flower infusion/tea
  • at trace, stir in 1 tablespoon tamanu, jojoba or rosehip seed oil
  • optional, at trace, stir in 20 g lavender essential oil + 6 g ylang ylang essential oil
  • optional for green swirl, 1 tsp chlorella mixed with 2 tsp warm water

Make soap according to the directions in Soap Making 101.

To get the green swirl, pour most of the soap mixture into the molds, reserving around around 1/2 to 1 cup or so. Working quickly, add the chlorella and water mixture to the reserved soap batter until you get the shade of green you like. (It will fade over time, so go a little darker than you think you’d want.) Pour this over the top of your plain soap, then use a chopstick to give it a little swirl or two, similar to when making a marble cake.

Sunflower Soap

The color for this soap comes from substituting a small amount of sea buckthorn oil for olive oil. Sea buckthorn oil is a very strong natural colorant that’s fantastic for many skin conditions; a little bit goes a long way!

  • 5 oz (326 g) olive oil
  • 1 oz (28 g) sea buckthorn oil
  • 5 oz (99 g) sunflower or sweet almond oil
  • 8 oz (227 g) coconut oil
  • 4 oz (113 g) kokum or cocoa butter (OR use tallow or lard)
  • 95 oz (112 g) lye (sodium hydroxide)
  • 5 oz (241 g) distilled water
  • optional, at trace, stir in 20 g lemongrass essential oil

Make soap according to the directions in Soap Making 101.

A Few More Customization Ideas:

  • For a Rosy Soap, stir up to 25 grams of geranium essential oil into the basic soap at trace. (Geranium smells like rose, but is less costly.)
  • For an Oatmeal & Honey Soap, stir in 1 teaspoon of honey mixed with 1 teaspoon of warm water, along with 1 tablespoon of ground oats at trace.
  • For a Lemon Poppy Seed Soap, stir in 20 grams lemongrass essential oil and 1 teaspoon poppy seeds at trace.

Source: https://thenerdyfarmwife.com/how-to-create-custom-soaps-from-a-single-recipe/

Today, I’d like to show you how I took one simple, plain recipe and doctored it up to create a variety of custom soaps. The point I’d like for you to take away from this, is not that you have to follow these recipes exactly (though you’re certainly free to do so!), but to use the idea as a jumping off point to create your own unique products from your own favorite recipe. Don’t be afraid to get creative and change things around! My foray into making homemade soap started several years ago when my son was little and had a ton of allergies. Trying to find products that were gluten free, dairy free, corn free, soy free AND unscented was impossible. For a time, he took baths with plain water since I couldn’t find anything suitable to wash him with. After a lot of research, I finally took the plunge into making my own soap and haven’t stopped since!

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