A lot of us have not given much thought about this but soaps are undeniably one of the most-bought essentials in stores nowadays. Admit it or not, soaps have been a part of our monthly grocery checklist and have significantly consumed a fraction of our total expenditure.
There are, however, plenty of ways to avoid spending too much on high-end, quality soaps. At N-essentials, we are happy to share the many ways of maintaining your skin’s youthful glow whilst wisely cutting down your expenses by providing viable and effective soapmaking supplies. One of which is creating your own version of homemade soaps.
Why do we use soaps?
Soaps play a crucial role in maintaining clean and clear skin especially in this time of uncertainty. It helps to remove dirt, grease, and other minute particles that could possibly bring harm to our skin. To explain further, soaps bind both the water and oil molecules, and moderate them at the same time. Upon rinsing off, the soap molecules carry away all the dirt and grease with the water.
There are many ways we can benefit from using soaps. From keeping our skin away from the damaging effects of dirt and unseen particles to making our skin look fresh, fair and radiant. This is mostly true especially when it comes to whipping up your own batch of soaps as you can be confident with all the ingredients that go into your skin.
You certainly do not want to end up having a super dry skin that is full of skin impurities, do you?
Yes, you heard that right! Making your own version of soaps may present many helpful benefits but may also impose a lot of drawbacks when done incorrectly. Instead of having radiant skin, you may end up experiencing the opposite effect such as excessive breakouts, blemishes, and wrinkles. So, be sure to get the right ingredients and follow the appropriate dosages to avoid unwanted complications.
Start your soapmaking journey today!
Soapmaking comes in four common methods namely Melt and Pour, Hot Process, Cold Process, and Rebatching. Before making your first batch of homemade soaps, we suggest to immerse yourself first with all the soapmaking methods. This will help you decide which method is the best for your desired application.
Melt and Pour Soap
Considered to be ideal for beginners, the melt and pour soap process is the easiest method as all you have to do is to melt the pre-made soap bars. There are a number of bases you can choose from. It all depends upon your preferred outcomes.
Refer to the soap bases below to learn more.
Clear Melt and Pour Soap Base – This vegetable-based soap is mostly used in the production of clear soap bars because of its outstanding transparency and foaming ability. It is packed with high glycerine content that works to provide moisture to the skin. It is also known to be free of preservatives including paraben and polyethylene glycol (PEG). Through the use of this soap base, you can ensure that your end-product will carry the original colour as it is deemed to be stable even if it is held at high temperatures over longer periods.
Honey Melt and Pour Soap Base – Derived from real honey, this crystal honey soap base features a number of antioxidants that are known to fight skin dryness and ensure smooth, radiant-looking skin. With its natural foaming ability, this soap base will help maintain the quality of your skin as it does not contain alcohol or any kinds of harsh elements such as sulfate and mono propylene glycol.
Goat’s Milk Melt and Pour Soap Base – This soap base works to nourish and deeply moisturise the skin. It is because goat’s milk is enriched with vitamin E and minerals which are ideal for maintaining soft and unblemished skin. This soap base, however, is also comprised of vegetable-based ingredients that possess a high glycerine content making it ideal to create an excellent foaming action. It comes with a neutral scent that can be added with fragrance oils or essential oils.
SLES and SLS Free Melt and Pour Soap Base – As the name itself says, this melt and pour soap base does not contain the surfactants, sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). It is also free of parabens and harmful preservatives which can then be used to manufacture transparent soap bars.
Triple Butter Melt and Pour Soap Base – Enriched with three lavishing ingredients including cocoa butter, mango butter and shea butter, the triple butter melt and pour soap base makes a wonderful addition to your soap products. It is full of antioxidants and is entirely free of parabens, phthalates, and many other skin-damaging chemicals.
Hot and Cold Process Soap
Both hot process and cold process involve lye in creating soaps. Cold process soaps may take a few days to be made whereas hot process soaps may only take a few hours. The glaring difference between the two methods though is temperature.
Here are the key soapmaking supplies you will need for the two methods:
Lye – Also known as caustic soda, lye is a chemical solution that is high in alkaline. It comes in two forms – liquid and solid lye. Liquid lye has a reputation for being dangerous because of its strong basic properties. Solid lye, on the other hand, are not nearly as dangerous to use as it has already gone through several processes. Be advised that lye is a potent chemical that requires utmost attention when handling. That said, we suggest using the right tools and equipment such as goggles, rubber gloves, and protective coats, under a well-lit and well-ventilated area. Furthermore, add lye to liquids (and not the other way around) to avoid unwanted complications.
Carrier oils – Carrier oils provide a velvety lather for deep moisturisation when used on the skin. In soapmaking, we recommend using apricot kernel oil, argan oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, hazelnut oil, hempseed oil, jojoba oil, and sweet almond oil. All these carrier oils may have a skin-nourishing effect, however, only choose the one that is perfectly suitable for your skin type.
Essential oils – Commonly derived through steam distillation from flowers, herbs, leaves, stems, and other parts of a plant, the use essential oils can be an excellent choice to your soapmaking journey as they are both pure and natural. An important note to add when incorporating essential oils to soaps is to choose those that have enduring scents. This is especially important if you are doing cold process soaps as citrusy or lemony essential oils have a tendency to fade easily and thus, cannot be used in most leave-on products. For your selection of essential oils, we recommend using lavender essential oil, peppermint essential oil, spearmint essential oil, and rosemary essential oil in soapmaking applications.
Fragrance oils – If you are looking for essential oil alternatives to add in your soaps, then fragrance oils could be the answer to that. Fragrance oils are relatively cheaper than essential oils. This is due to the fact that fragrance oils are artificially created from chemical compounds designed to imitate natural fragrances. Manufacturers, oftentimes, produce fragrance oils that contain synthetic and natural components to achieve a particular aroma. Having said that, fragrance oils also have a tendency to last longer than essentials oils making it ideal for use in hundreds of cosmetic applications such as soapmaking. Furthermore, it is important to understand that discolouration may occur to the end-product when using fragrance oils. This normally happens when the end-product is exposed to open air or is still in the process of curing. To avoid skin problems, we suggest using phthalate-free fragrance oils.
Colourants – Unleash the artist in you and start adding colours to your soaps today. For optimal results, we recommend using colourants that have been neutralised for cosmetic use. They come in a wide selection including mica pigments, iron oxides, and many others. Amongst all these, mica pigments are considered to be the most used colourant in various soapmaking applications. Although they are sometimes unstable in cold process soap, mica pigments do not clump and have been proven to bring multi-sided colours. To allow a level of stability, titanium dioxide should be added along the process. Not only that it helps to stabilise but it also helps to brighten and moisturise the skin. Avoid using food colouring materials as they have not been approved for use in soapmaking.
Botanicals – Floral ingredients seem to be all the rage in soapmaking right now. They are commonly used to bring beauty, design, and texture. Most DIY soap enthusiasts would even decorate the tops of their bars with dried herbs and petals to make them look classy. Although these botanicals have been dried up, they still carry skin-nourishing properties that make them ideal to be used in soapmaking. For the best botanicals to use in your homemade soap recipes, we suggest dried calendula flowers, chamomile flowers, lavender flowers, and red rose petals.
Water – While many of the ingredients listed here play a vital role in creating homemade soaps, it is important to note that water is also an essential ingredient. It assists in completing the oil and lye’s saponification process. To ensure quality results, use distilled water.
If you have done a few batches of soaps and found out that you miscalculated the recommended dosages of your ingredients, then worry no more as there is a way to figure this out. Rebatching soap is the simplest way to bring new life to your soaps. It is generally done through two methods – the slow cooker method and the oven method. In any of these methods, it is significant to identify and understand the nature of the problem. This will better help you think of ways on how to counter the culprit effectively.
Apart from the essential soapmaking supplies listed above, there also other materials needed to make your own soaps. The basics – soap moulds, thermometer, digital scale, heatproof containers, and other tools – must always be considered and should never be overlooked.
Soap moulds – Ideally, silicone moulds are the highly recommended equipment when designing soaps. They come in various shapes and sizes, and are incredibly easy to work with. The nonstick feature that silicone moulds offer help retain the soap’s moisture while it is resting for a few days before being removed. Alternatively, you can also use plastic moulds, tins, and pans that are likely already in your kitchen.
Thermometer – Several types of thermometers are used across various purposes. For soapmaking, candy thermometers are believed to be the safest tool to measure the temperature of oils and lye solution.
Digital scale – Inconsistent measurements are often the root cause of failed soaps. They either cause the soap to be super soft or crumbly. To prevent this, use a functional digital scale to precisely measure the soapmaking ingredients.
Heatproof containers – When dealing with lye, we recommend using ceramic containers, stainless-steel containers, or high-density plastic. The use of aluminum containers is discouraged as it tends to affect the soap’s overall quality.
Other tools – Use quality spoons and spatulas for mixing. Strainer to separate suspended solids from a liquid and funnel to guide liquid or powder into a small opening. Gloves and goggles to protect your eyes and skin from unseen hazards.
Making homemade soaps can be fun and exciting. It presents many helpful benefits that is loved by many. However, it can get messy and troublesome when done incorrectly. So, better follow the appropriate ingredients, tools, and other equipment to ensure you are getting the best results.
Where can I find soap making supplies near me?
If you are looking for soapmaking suppliers online, look no further than N-essentials! We are your friendly soapmaking supplier in Australia. We provide all the necessary essentials in making your version of homemade soap products that not only nourishes but also safe for the environment.
Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.