I may have found a new hobby… making homemade soap. I usually shy away from bars of soap, because years of using them growing up brought back memories of dried out skin. But these days, walk the soap aisle in the organic section of a grocery store and you’ll find it lined with an array of beautiful handmade soaps in a variety of intoxicating scents and colors. Soap making is something of an art form now, each block a carefully made combination of natural oils and ingredients designed to address the needs of different skin types. I was inspired to try making my own, and now that the first batch is done, I can’t wait to try more.
There are a couple of different ways to make soap. To make it from scratch, it requires a chemical called lye that can be dangerous to work with. Since I don’t know enough about it yet, I opted for the much easier method of using a glycerin soap base. You can find these at some craft stores (I got mine at Michael’s) or online. I used a shea butter glycerin soap base, for the moisture-retaining properties of the shea butter.
I knew immediately that I wanted to make an oatmeal soap. Oatmeal is known for its soothing effect on skin and its ability to reduce irritation and dryness. The texture also acts as a natural exfoliant, leaving your skin feeling soft and smooth.
Homemade Oatmeal Soap
Makes about 7 bars
2 lbs shea butter glycerin soap base
1 cup organic rolled oats
2 tbsp almond oil
2 tbsp raw honey
You’ll also need a soap mold or pan – I used a soap mold that I got at Michael’s.
Start by melting the glycerin soap base – you can do this in the microwave or in a pot over the stove. I blended the rolled oats before adding to the soap to give it a finer consistency. Mix in the oats, honey, and almond oil, and stir thoroughly.
Pour the mixture into the mold and let it sit for about 4-5 hours to harden. You can also put it in the fridge to harden faster.
I sprinkled some rolled oats on top, but you can skip this step if you’re worried about them clogging the drain. I love the effect it gives, and I can’t wait to try doing this with different herbs and spices!
Once the soap has cooled and hardened, unscrew the screws of the mold and slide off the sides.
Use a soap cutter or sharp knife to cut the soap into bars.
This soap is so heavenly. It’s perfect to use as we near the end of winter to prepare your skin for the sunny spring days ahead. I love the idea of wrapping some in parchment paper and giving them as gifts to friends and family.
More projects for the week ahead from the BLDG 25 blog