Soap is legitimately one of THE easiest and most rewarding things to make! It makes an excellent gift or stocking-stuffer! It's inexpensive, and fun to personalize.
Below I'm going to give y'all my favorite recipes for homemade soaps, including loofah soap, oatmeal soap, foaming hand soap and more!
BUT, first I'm going to give y'all a little rundown of my favorite ingredients and materials for soap making, and tell you why I've chosen these specific ones!
Loofah- Natural loofah is an excellent, gentle exfoliant, and it's an environmentally friendly, biodegradable option. I like to get these logs and slice them to the size that I need them. I've chosen these specific ones because some have been dehydrated and flattened for shipping. Re-hydrating them to regain their round shape is simple enough, but it's an extra unnecessary step. I've been super happy with these.
Jojoba Beads- A natural exfoliant, Jojoba beads are tough enough to remove dead skin cells, but gentle enough not to harm the skin. Many exfoliants out there are far too harsh on the skin and can actually cause micro tears in the surface of skin leaving it open to acne-causing bacteria and damaging the overall texture of the skin. My favorite jojoba beads to use in homemade scrubs can be found here. A little bit goes a VERY long way when adding it to your scrubs!
Organic Cane Sugar- This is also an excellent natural exfoliant because it dissolves quickly making it gentler on the skin. This is also a much more cost effective exfoliant then jojoba beads. I usually buy the big 10 lb bags of organic cane sugar from Costco, but if you aren't a member, this is a good alternative.
Natural Pigment Mica Powder- Why go synthetic when you can go natural? Especially when it's something that's going on your skin! I love these colors, and you only need a TINY amount of mica to color your soap. One pot will last you through an incredible amount of uses. I've been super happy with this brand, and there are a ton of colors to pick from.
Rolled Oats- Oatmeal is known for it's soothing effects on sensitive skin. It's a great additive to baths when you're suffering from eczema, rashes, even the chicken pox. You can leave these whole and add them to your soap when liquid, or you can toss them in a blender for a finer consistency. I think it pairs beautifully with either lavender essential oil, or with Thieves essential oil! These oats are my favorite, but you can easily grab some at your local supermarket.
Lavender Buds- These make a pretty addition to your homemade soaps. They smell great, they're food safe, and it's the little details like lavender buds that make your soap special. These are my favorite. A little goes a long way! These will last you a long time!
Rose Petals- Rose petals make a gorgeous and luxurious addition to your homemade soaps. These organic rose petals are my favorite!
Silicone Soap Molds- I've tried those hard plastic molds and I'm here to tell you... silicone is hands down the way to go! You don't have to worry about cracking the plastic and the silicone makes it incredibly easy to pop them out! Listed by shape are some of my favorite silicone soap molds. Oval, Rectangular, Round Flowers, Round & Square, Snowflakes.
Clear Organic Glycerin Melt and Pour Soap Base- I love this soap base because it's so easy to work with. It's transparent, which makes it ideal for showcasing additional ingredients like loofah, oatmeal, rose petals, lavender buds and more! You can add color to it while still maintaining it's transparency. Glycerin soap is highly moisturizing and I also love that it's organic!!
Organic Goat's Milk Melt and Pour Soap Base- I love goat milk soaps because they contain alpha-hydroxy acids, such as lactic acid, which helps remove dead skin. It also contains many vitamins, and is particularly high in Vitamin A, which is necessary to repair damaged skin tissue, and maintain healthy skin cells from your skin’s surface. This soap is easy to work with, easy to color, and it's a product you can feel good about using. I like this one best!
Goat's Milk Suspension Melt and Pour Soap Base- Anyone that's tried their hand at soap making before will tell you if you want to add things to your soap like buds, oatmeal, flower petals, coffee, sugar or anything else... you NEED suspension soap! Regular melt and pour bases will allow your additives to sink and clump together in one area. You want your additives evenly dispersed and that's where suspension soap comes into play. This one right here is my favorite.
Organic Unscented Liquid Castile Soap- I love castile soap because it's non-toxic and makes it so much easier to create gentle, personalized washes, scrubs etc. You can personalize it as needed and it's non-irritating on the most sensitive skin. Just make sure that you purchase one without any added synthetic scents. This one is my favorite.
Essential Oils- I personally only use and recommend therapeutic grade essential oils. I use Young Living oils which can be purchased through this link.
If you'd like to learn more about why I've chosen this brand in particular, check out my blog post talking about essential oils.
These are so pretty, and they boast the natural exfoliating power of loofah. They look extra fancy if you're looking to up your game, with minimal extra time or money involved. I like to use glycerin soap because it's clear so you can see the loofah inside. It makes a pretty pattern!
Organic Soap Dye (if you want to color it)
Essential Oils of choice (for scent)
Silicone Soap Molds (silicone is my favorite because it's super easy to pop your hardened soap out!)
1. Start by slicing your loofah into rounds approximately 1/2 an inch thick. If your soap molds are deeper then you can slice them a little thicker. I find that using a large serrated knife (like a bread knife) works well for this.
2. Place one loofah round in each silicone soap mold.
3. Slice pieces of melt and pour organic glycerin soap base and place into a glass Pyrex container. I like to use measuring cups because it makes for easy, mess free pouring into the molds.
4. Microwave in 30 second intervals, mixing in between until fully melted.
5. Add essential oils of choice. I typically start with 10 drops and stir before deciding if I need more. Some good options to try include: Eucalyptus, Pine, Thieves, Lemon, Lime, Lavender, Geranium and Joy. I strongly suggest trying different blends for different times of the year, or depending on if you are going for more masculine or feminine scents.
6. Add organic soap dye if you'd like to color them. Soap dyes vary greatly, but I suggest using mica colors, and start with a small amount. You can always increase/add extra to deepen your color!
7. Mix thoroughly and pour into silicone soap molds.
8. Allow to harden.
9. Pop out, label, and enjoy!!
Foaming Hand Soap
Most people seem to prefer foaming hand soaps now, and these are SO easy to make y'all. Not only are the simple, and easy to personalize, they're also incredibly cost effective! Your biggest expense will be foaming hand soap pump bottles, and there are some GORGEOUS glass ones out there that you can purchase once and reuse over and over for years! If you're gifting them you can use less expensive plastic bottles, and there are even small one ounce bottles out there that are great for traveling, stocking stuffers, and even samples! Check the links out for my favorites, and read on to see how simple it truly is to make!
1. Begin with a clean foaming pump bottle.
2. Fill bottle 1/3 of the way with your liquid castile soap.
3. Add essential oils to the soap (it's important that you do this BEFORE adding your water so that the oils disperse properly. My general rule of thumb is 1 drop of essential oil per ounce. So in a 10 ounce bottle, start with 10 drops of essential oil, 8 ounce bottle: 8 drops, 6 ounce bottle: 6 drops and so on. You can always add more essential oils if you want stronger scent!
4. Fill to top with distilled water, making sure to leave enough room for your pump top.
5. Slowly invert to mix thoroughly, slap a pretty label on it, and enjoy!
Suspension Soap and Scrubs!
If you love the look of flower petals, oatmeal, coffee or anything else floating in your soap (and who doesn't?) then suspension soap making is right up your alley! This also works particularly well for soap scrub bars and exfoliating soap bars. Suspension soap base allows your additives to evenly disperse in your soap instead of clumping and sinking to the bottom. Check out some of my favorite combinations, and feel free to play around for different effects!
Additive Ideas: Lavender buds, Rose petals, coffee, rolled oats, sugar, sea salt (a note about sea salt: it is appropriate to use sea salt on rough areas of your body (knees, elbows, feet, etc) but it is too harsh on more sensitive skin (particularly the face), loose tea leaves, jojoba beads
Some of my personal favorite combinations for these are:
Lavender Oil & Oats or Lavender Oil, Oats and Lavender Buds
Geranium & Lemon Oils with Rose Petals
Thieves Oil with Oats
Lemon & Lavender Oils with Loose Tea Leaves
Peppermint Oil with Coffee
Lavender Oil with Sugar
Lemon & Lavender Oils with Sugar
Lavender Oil with Jojoba Beads
Geranium & Tea Tree Oils with Sugar
Eucalyptus Oil with Sea Salt
Foaming Sugar & Salt Scrubs!
Alright guys, who doesn't love a good exfoliating scrub? It's the perfect way to prep your legs for a SUPER smooth shave, and it's also a great way to slough off dead skin. Here's the thing though... scrubs are almost always super greasy and leave that awful residue that gunks up your razor, amiright? Here's where my foaming scrub comes into play! Get that smooth, moisturized feeling without that oily residue. You can use sugar, sea salt, or Himalayan Pink Salt for a pretty color! You can also use soap dye to color your scrubs if you wish!
If you choose to go with salt, please keep in mind that it is coarser and harsher on your skin. Perfectly okay for the tougher skin on your body, but you should stick with sugar if you want to use your scrub on your face.
1 cup exfoliant (sugar, sea salt or pink Himalayan salt)
1 tbs Organic Almond Oil (or carrier oil of choice)
2 tbs Liquid Organic Castile Soap
10 drops of Essential Oil of Choice (I love Lavender and Lemon!)
Soap Dye (if you wish)
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and using a hand mixer, combine all ingredients thoroughly.
2. If mixture seems dry add a small amount extra of castile soap and carrier oil.
3. Store in jars. Label and you're good to go!
Currently diffusing: Lavender & Lemon!
Currently drinking: Oola Detox Tea
A few notes to consider when creating or making homemade products:
*Always use distilled water. Tap water contains bacteria which will greatly lower the shelf life of your product.
*Use glass because it better preserves and protects the oils. Dark or colored glass is always better than clear glass because oils can be damaged by the UV rays allowed to penetrate a clear glass bottle.
*Vitamin E contains natural preservative qualities. Not only is it great for your skin, but it will lengthen the shelf life of your homemade products.
This blog contains affiliate links which help me run this site at no extra cost to you!I only recommend favorite products that I have personally used and loved and I always search for the best prices to pass along to you.
I also only use and recommend therapeutic grade essential oils. I use Young Living oils which can be purchased through this link. If you'd like to learn more about why I've chosen this brand in particular, use this link to check out my blog post talking about essential oils.