So exciting! I’m finally sharing with you our very first cold process soap recipe in the blog.
One of the great things about soap making is that there is complete transparency about what will be in contact with your skin. We need to be gentle with it, so choosing the right combination of ingredients is essential.
This particular recipe has a high percentage of olive oil which creates a conditioning soap bar, and the bergamot essential oil brings a subtle freshness to it.
The amount of ingredients shown below creates two soap bars in moulds with a capacity of 115 grams each. If you have different moulds, you should check how to calculate their capacity so you can adjust your recipe accordingly.
- 51,52 g distilled water
- 21,81 g of sodium hydroxide
- 161 g oils, of which:
- 112,70 g olive oil (70%)
- 24,15 g coconut oil (15%)
- 16,10 g cocoa butter (10%)
- 8,05 g castor oil (5%)
- 1,61 g bergamot essential oil
- 1 tsp kaolin clay (approximately 1,56 g)
- 3 g sodium lactate (optional)
- 16% water discount *
- 5% super fat
* The soap calculator has a default value of 38% water as per cent of oil weight, and I decreased it to 32%. The water weight difference is equal to 16%.
Before you start, make sure you have all necessary safety gear, equipment and utensils and you are working on a distraction-free space without kids or animals. Just as a reminder, do not use anything made of aluminium in soap making.
1. Put on your safety goggles and gloves and make sure your skin is covered.
2. Very carefully, make the lye solution by adding the lye (sodium hydroxide) to the distilled water and slowly stir until it starts to become transparent. Set aside for it to cool down.
Warning: never add the water to the lye but always add the lye to the water. Make sure you do this in a heat resistant container and that you are working in a well-ventilated area. To avoid breathing in the fumes, you can wear a mask, cover your nose or hold your breath.
3. Melt the solid oils and butters in a bain-marie. Once melted, mix them with the liquid oils.
4. (Optional) Once the lye solution has cooled down, add the sodium lactate to it.
5. When the lye solution and the oils have reached a similar temperature, slowly add the lye solution to the oils to avoid any splashes. I mixed them when they were around 35°C.
6. Take the blender, put it in and before you turn it on, shake it carefully, that way there are no bubbles inside of the soap mixture. Blend until you have reached light trace.
7. Add the kaolin clay and the bergamot essential oil. Use a silicone spatula or a whisk to blend and make sure that no clay remains on the surface.
8. Use the blender for a few more seconds to make sure that the clay and essential oil are evenly mixed with the soap.
9. Pour the soap into the moulds and tap them a few times to remove the bubbles.
10. Remove the soaps from the moulds after 1-3 days depending on whether you used sodium lactate or not. Let them cure for 4-6 weeks before using them.