As you may have noticed in my oil pulling posts, I struggle with some skin issues- dry skin, psoriasis, and occasional breakouts. So when I got the opportunity to partner up with Stephenson Personal Care, I jumped right on it. Knowing exactly what I’m putting on my skin seemed like a good idea, and making homemade soap? SO FUN. Seriously.
I decided to ease in to DIY soap making to get a feel for it before I get too fancy, so my first soap is pretty straightforward:
- I used this melt and pour base, chosen because it has all sorts of natural & organic ingredients
- 3 tablespoons of honey, bought at the local dairy farm and from a local town
- a handful of mint leaves, grown in my garden last summer then frozen
- soap mold and microwaveable container (something with a spout is particularly helpful
Putting it all together was a lot less intimidating then I thought it was going to be and only took a few minutes:
- I made 4 bars of soap, so I used half a container of Stephenson’s melt and pour
- Cut the soap base into 1 inch sections using a butter knife (serrated probably would have been easier though)
- Melt the soap in the microwave for a little over a minute, make sure to cover it in plastic wrap
- While it’s melting, grab your mint leaves and chop them up- we want them to go right down the drain during use, not clog it up
- Once the soap is melted pour in your honey and sprinkle in the mint leaves, then GENTLY wisk. We’re aiming for as few bubbles as possible here
- Pour SLOWLY into the soap base, and if you do have bubble spritz them with some rubbing alcohol, then pop in the fridge to harden
I wish the mint leaves were fresh so they’d be a nice green color, but you know- it’s April in New England and it snowed earlier this week. Freshly thawed will have to do!
Matt and I are out of town this week (in New Orleans!!) so I thought this would be the perfect thank you gift for the people we lined up to help take care of our pets.
I cut out the thank you tag on my Silhouette with some construction paper, then wrapped the soap in saran wrap and tissue paper. Super simple, but a nice touch to let people know they’re appreciated. Henry sure is happy someone’s stopping by to feed him all week :).
Homemade Lavender and Vanilla Scrub Soap
I recently gave homemade soap making a 2nd try and decided to get a little more bold with it. For my first soap (which you can read about here) I played it a little simple just to get an idea of how the product forms and how everything interacts and blends. I learned that just adding mint leaves did not in any way give the soap the mint smell I wanted, so this time around I got myself some essential oils and went heavy on the scented ingredients.
- 1/2 container of Stephenson Personal Care Melt & Pour Soap Base chopped up and melted via a microwave in a glass container
- 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil with 10-12 drops of lavender essential oil (I know that sounds like a lot, but this was for 5 bars so it’s really only 2-3 drops per bar)
- chopped vanilla bean
- 1 cup sugar
And here’s a few things I learned:
- I cut up the soap base with a serrated knife this time and microwaves in short increments, whisking lightly between each one. This helped to reduce the amount of bubbles that formed
- I added the essential oil to the coconut oil, then stirred them into the soap mix together. Sometimes essential oils can irritate the skin, so using them via a “carrier agent” is a big help
- The vanilla bean is super thick. I sliced it long ways to release the scent, then put it into my electric chopper to do the rest. It stayed a little chunky, but that helps with the scrub part of the soap
- 1 cup of sugar is hefty, pour it in slowlyyyy and if you want to use just 3/4 cup that would suffice
Instead of using the soap mold I have I used a silicone mini loaf pan instead and it was awesome because it’s bendable and I got nice little rectangle soaps that were really cute:
I LOVE this soap, and I gave out a few bars as mother’s day presents as well. The sugar works great as a scrub, the lavender scent is prominent but not overwhelming, and it lathers up really nicely. The melt & pour soap base makes this process so simple and fun that I if you measured and chopped ahead of time you could get kids in on it and create it together. I tried to use cookie cutters to impress a monogram into the bars, but even after just 30 minutes in the fridge they were already almost solid so I’ll have to try again next time and get to it sooner.
What do you think? Have you tried making your own soap yet? I’m thinking of some fun beach-y summer-y themes for my next batch!