As a child I had terrible eczema. I had to be very careful about the products that I used on my skin, including soap. Most soap based products further irritated my fragile skin.
I have recently re-commenced making my own skin care products. As part of this re-discovery I have been investigating and experimenting with making soap.
Exploring the soap making process:
While investigating the process of soap making I discovered that all soap is made with lye (caustic soda). Soap is made from lye, and fats or oils. Lye is the ingredient that triggers the chemical reaction to make the soap harden.
I had no idea that this harsh ingredient is something that we use every day. In saying that, it may be used in a very small percentage in some soaps. With the addition of some moisturising and nourishing ingredients it can (kind of) be redeemed. I have made some gorgeous recipes that I may share here soon. Despite my success with regular soap, and the general consensus from the internet and soap making experts, I convinced myself that there had to be a way to make soap without the lye.
One of the soap substitutes that I used growing up as a child with terrible eczema was Castile soap. Castile soap is made from just coconut and olive oils. I got the idea stuck in my head that if I used Castile soap instead of lye that I may be able to create an alternative soap that many people are seeking.
I believe that I have done that purely based on the way that this silky body wash makes me feel happy every time I use it, however, this recipe does not create a hard bar of soap.
You may suggest that this equates to a fail but I beg to differ. I have created a gloriously decant feeling body wash that I know you will love as much as I do.
- 150 grams cocoa butter
- 50 grams coconut oil
- 50 grams shea butter
- 50 grams almond oil
- juice of 1 small lemon ( 1 tablespoon)
- 125 grams castile soap
- 2 tablespoons Argiletz white clay
- 5 drops Lavender essential oil
- 5 drops Lemon essential oil
- Add the cocoa butter, coconut oil, shea butter, almond oil and lemon juice to a bowl
- The bowl should be placed on top of a saucepan without the base of it touching the water
- Set the saucepan of water to simmer gently and melt the waxes and oils, heating to (no more than) 60 degrees celcius
- Add the soap to the oils and blend with a stick blender until the mixture thickens. You will see from my image that it looks like it is filled with air bubbles. It has the texture of thicken cream.
- Add the clay and the essential oils and stir to combine
- Pour into a steralised container/jar and use within a few weeks
Please read the information in this post re the quality of ingredients required for skin care application. They should be of the highest possible quality.
If you have a practical nature and are simply seeking a soap product without lye then I suggest that you source and use Castile Soap. It will do what you need.
My body wash feels special to use. I love scooping out a little bit from the jar each morning in the shower, feeling the silky lather and inhaling the subtle beautiful smell.
A note about raw materials:
As with food, it is important to understand the quality and origins of any raw materials that you decide to use in skin care. Failure to do so can have dire repercussions. There are many poor quality ingredients and “essential oils” on the market. If you are unsure of the quality of a product you would like to try please seek advise from a qualified aromatherapist.
This recipe is based on using either organically derived, or therapeutic quality ingredients. I strongly urge you to ensure that you do the same if you wish to replicate this recipe.
|Argiletz White Clay||Fine white clay, sensitive skin, softening, cleansing, soothing|
|Almond Oil||Suitable for all skin types, especially dry skin. It is rich in protein|
|Castile Soap||Pure vegetable oil soap made from olive oil and coconut oil|
|Cocoa Butter||Softening and soothing, protective, quick absorption, resistant to becoming rancid|
|Coconut Oil||Softening and soothing, inhibits moisture loss|
|Lemon Essential Oil||Cleansing, uplifting, revitalising|
|Lavender Essential Oil||Anti-inflammatory, soothing, wounds, calming. This is my “cure-all” oil that I have on hand at all times.|
|Shea Butter||Softening, healing, prevention of dry skin, vitamins E, wounds, dermatitis and irritation|
If you are seeking a simple soap (or soap alternative) that does not contain lye I recommend that you get yourself some Castile Soap to try.
If you would like to try something a little more decadent, with a subtle beautiful smell (I find Castile Soap to have an odd smell) then please give this recipe a try. I would love to hear what you think of it if you do.
Have you ever made your own soap? Would you like to see a recipe for a bar of soap (using lye, but my way) here? I would love to share one with you if you are interested.
Thanks to those who have provided feedback on the ingredients in this recipe. I am new to soap making and appreciate your feedback and tips as I have much to learn about the process.
I can confirm that the Castile Soap that I used in this recipe does NOT contain any lye. Some Castile soap may contain it, however the brand I use does not. You can find a link to the brand I use in the table above.
This information has been provided by the lab of the company the produces the Castile Soap that I use. It contains: Postassium hydroxide in combination with olive and coconut oils, it is this which creates the soap. The fatty acids of the vegetable oils react with potassium hydroxide, forming potassium oleate and potassium laurate. This is the “soap” in Castile Soap.
Potassium hydroxide is a strong alkaline chemical that is also known as potassium hydrate and caustic potash. It is commonly used to treat fungal infections in skin, hair and nails. Potassium hydroxide is not Lye. I trust my supplier, I have been using their products for more than 15 years.
I will not publish any more comments about lye on this post. Please give the recipe a try as it is a gorgeous silky body wash that is gently and moisturising on the skin. I hope that you love it as much as I do. Thanks! Kyrstie.
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