Thursday, 11 June 2015

The Best Natural Homemade Soaps

The Best Natural Homemade Soaps
40 Recipes for Moisturizing 
Olive Oil-Based Soaps
By Mar Gomez
Paperback, 224 pages

Why, in this day of naturals and DIY projects, have I never tried to make soap before?

What an incredible gift - straight from the heart and hearth - to be able to give someone. Especially yourself.

My first inklings of soap-making inspiration came when I picked my son up from where he was boarding in the city. His landlady was crazy crafty and had freshly made soaps set out to (dry? harden?). Anyway, I was taken. I wanted to make soap.

That's why I got so excited when I found this book. My history of reading Robert Rose books has taught me that they are a great way to learn about a new hobby or interest. Everything you would ever need to know to get started is right there. Not intimidating - just straight up and fun. And inspiring.

So - who is going to make soap with me this summer?

Luxurious, moisturizing olive oil–based soaps made easily at home.

There are only three essential ingredients required to create these luscious soaps: water, olive oil and caustic soda. Olive oil is used because it has the highest rating as a soap-making ingredient — its properties are known throughout the world. It’s the most beneficial oil for your health and has been used since ancient times thanks to its virtues for glowing hair and skin. It is rich in vitamins and minerals and has the added benefit of being available everywhere.

Once you have these three key ingredients, there are a number of other wonderful ingredients you can use to customize a soap that’s perfect for you. These ingredients include a wide range of natural products, like beeswax, cocoa butter, clay, kaolin, seaweed, goat’s milk and egg yolks. And because soap is such a sensory experience, there’s a comprehensive section on essential oils that create the air of perpetual breeze we all want out of a good soap. You’ll learn the history and therapeutic uses of these oils, along with everything you need to know to choose the perfect scents.

The fascinating history of soap is sure to enthrall, and handy preparation, utensil and ingredient guides ensure that you have everything you need to create store-quality soap at home.

Contents include:
Essential Ingredients
Soap Making Overview
Step-by-Step Instructions
Helpful Tips

Helpful Tips for Making Your Own Soap
From: The Best Natural Homemade Soaps

Natural Is Best

Remember that these soaps have a therapeutic function. In other words, in addition to cleansing, they can help you correct specific problems, generally on the skin. People do not need soaps with bright colors or artificial scents (that’s what perfumes are for).

Making Infusions

In some recipes, you’ll use an infusion instead of water as the base. Prepare it as you normally would any infusion: heat water to a boil and pour into a bowl that contains the herb or plant you’re going to use. Cover it and let it stand for 5 minutes. Strain and weigh the quantity you need for the recipe.

Adding Additional Scent

The amount of essential oil added to each soap recipe is intended as a guideline. You can add a larger amount to the mixture if you so desire. About 1 tbsp (15 mL) essential oil—around 300 drops—per 2.2 lbs (1 kg) of soap is the highest recommended dose. This amount will yield an extremely fragrant soap.


The soaps in this book create more lather with hot water than with cold water. The only exception is Clay Soap (page 167), which shouldn’t be used with hot water, because it may cause red bumps on the skin. However, when used with cold water, it produces a spectacular effect.

Drain Soap Well

Don’t leave homemade soap in a soap dish without a grate in the bottom. The bar will soften up too much, and it will begin to melt away if it stands in water.