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As a recent follower and convert to “clean beauty”, I have done a lot of reading about ways to implement sustainable makeup and cleansing in one’s routine. I have always nursed a penchant for soaps- of different shapes, sizes and fragrances. And when I found out that making one’s own soap is rather easy to do, there was nothing stopping me.
The two primary ingredients to make soap are oils and lye (sodium hydroxide). They fuse together by means of a chemical bond, in a process known as saponification.
The oils can be as per requirement and preference- ranging from beeswax to olive oil. Of course, one can customise and add in kinds of butter, herbs and essential oils for fragrance and colour. Fruit and flower extracts are also highly recommended by pioneers of the organic soap industry.
If you are new to this and need some recipes to get started, this is the article for you!
51 DIY Handmade Soap-making Recipes
1. Milk and Honey Soap
Milk and honey are quite possibly two of the oldest known beauty ingredients. A soap boasting both as components promises great skin benefits like moisturizing and cleansing.
Honey is also a natural antidote to ageing and blemishes.
Pro Tip: Use some organic colours to lend your soap a touch of the fancy.
2. Coconut Oil Soap
If your battle with dry skin is a daily occurrence, this recipe for soap is what you need in your life. Coconut oil contains vitamin E and natural fats which not only moisturize but also have anti-properties.
Add your favourite essential oil or if you want to take it a notch further, pick and boil some rosemary fronds to concoct your own essence.
3. Aloe vera Soap
Aloe vera, I will have you know, is a miracle plant. It heals, soothes, brightens and has anti-ageing benefits. Where better to pack it all in if not in a bar of soap? Use coconut oil, or even shea butter to further refine the recipe.
Aloe vera has a distinctive medicinal smell which I personally take to, but if it is not your cup of tea, you can always add in your favourite fragrance.
4. Lavender Oatmeal Soap
In my few months of digging around for organic beauty hacks, I have come to realise that what you put in your food, you can put on your face too. Turmeric, sugar, lemon- these are only a few of a very long list.
In the same vein, oatmeal performs admirably well in the role of a scrub. Not too abrasive and when clubbed with lavender, a perfect soap to begin or end the day with.
5. Yoghurt Banana Soap
A very effective cleansing combination, yoghurt-banana soaps smell like heaven. An excellent cure for dry skin, add castor or coconut oil for extra moisturizing benefits.
Pro Tip: Add some flax seeds to the mix for an interesting texture.
6. Pink Himalayan Salt Grapefruit Soap
A personal favourite, this is an effective and inexpensive way to get your daily dose of pink Himalayan salt. Add in some goat milk base for improved consistency and grapefruit extracts for smell and colour.
7. Poppyseed soap
Poppy seeds are very good as soap ingredients and can be clubbed with a large variety of components.
Poppyseed and lemon soap, for example, smells fresh and can get rid of odour in a flash. An almond and poppy seed, on the other hand, has unprecedented skin benefits.
8. Cranberry Vanilla Soap
Almost good enough to eat, this uniquely scented soap combines skincare benefits of both the berry and the plant. Add in shea butter for moisturizing properties.
9. Tea Tree-Charcoal Soap
Charcoal face washes, scrubs and masks are all the new rage. Implement it in your batch of homemade soap, too in conjugation with tea tree oil. An excellent deodorizer, tea tree oil is also rich in vitamin E and actively tones and strengthens skin.
10. Lemon Soap
If you are not aware of the many skincare benefits of lemon, you probably have been living under a rock. A natural bleach, lemon( in mild proportions) also serves as an astringent and anti-fungal element.
Fashion a lemon soap, and add in oils of your own choosing.
11. Lavender Honey Lemon Soap
Can there be too much of a good thing? Apparently not. A lavender-honey-lemon soap combines moisturizing, skin brightening and a heady scent that will stay with you long after you are out of the shower.
12. Citrus Soap
Citrus lovers here is your cue to go all out. All Citrus fruits are known for their anti-ageing and skin brightening properties. Added bonus? They smell great.
Fashion a homemade soap with your favourite citrus and add coconut, castor or olive oil to achieve a smooth consistency.
13. Mint and Poppy Seed Soap
As a child, I loved using soaps with mint extracts. As an adult, I have not changed.
A mint and poppy seed soap is the perfect fix for a hot summer’s day. The mint soothes, the poppy seeds exfoliate.
Pro Tip: Add organic colours in blues and greens for a more pronounced mint emphasis.
14. Orange creamsicle Soap
A member of the citrus family, oranges have various skin lightening and blemish removal properties. They are also less acidic than lemons, which make them more suitable for facial use. And, they smell great.
15. Double Butter Soap
This recipe combines the goodness of both the cocoa butter and shea butter. Cocoa butter is known for blemish removal while shea butter hydrates and moisturizes.
16. Rose Loofah Soap
An especial favourite, natural loofahs are God’s gift to DIY soapmaking. They naturally moisturize and replenish and last long.
For the rose element, you can either use organic rose powder or rose extracts or even, rose petals.
17. Lavender Loofah Soap
Another loofah soap option, a lavender loofah soap comes armed with excellent exfoliating properties and of course, a lovely fragrance.
18. Tea soap
Tea is as good for the skin as it is for the throat. And what better way to lather it on the skin, if not in the guise of a soap?
The best part of making soaps at home is the versatility, the freedom to put together ingredients of one’s choice and fashion something truly remarkable. Tea soap is just that, a medley of your favourite tea, your favourite oils and some vanilla essence.
19. Cinnamon Cocoa Soap
I call this one a holiday soap. It brings together elements of Christmas confectionery in the best possible way. Added bonus? This recipe uses premixed soap bases and is perfect for beginners.
20. Sunflower oil Soap
Known for its anti-ageing properties, sunflower oil also moisturizes like no other. Sunflower oil soap is not difficult to manufacture on your own.
Pro Tip: Add in a few drops of your favourite essence for the fragrance.
21. Earl Grey Soap
An Earl Grey soap is exactly how it sounds, it is made of earl grey tea. Of course, it does not consist of just that, but you get the idea.
This gentle exfoliator is not too abrasive on the skin, and as all tea connoisseurs will vehemently proclaim, smells heavenly.
22. Peaches and Cream Soap
Get peaches and cream complexion with this peaches and cream soap, which has( you guessed it right), peaches and cream.
It is moisturizing and lathers well. It smells delicious.
23. Chocolate milk Soap
If you ask me, there is no such thing as too much chocolate.
Cocoa powder has a host of different skin benefits and when you add milk to the mix, you get a combination like no other. This natural soap is a rather lovely shade of brown.
24. Pumpkin Spice Soap
Synonymous with autumn in all its glory, a pumpkin spice soap also comes armed with a vast array of properties such as moisturization, hydration and cleansing.
The best part? This soap takes all of ten minutes to make!
25. Coffee Soap
A thick bar of soap that smells like coffee to use while you shower. How exciting. As a coffee aficionado, I swear by this recipe.
Pro Tip: Add in some powdered nut or berry extracts for an interesting variation.
26. Watermelon Soap
Watermelon has remarkable hydrating qualities. It nourishes and replenishes, and smells wonderful!
A DIY watermelon soap promises only good things for the skin and is loved by people of all ages alike.
27. Vanilla Mint Soap
Two ingredients that go well together, a vanilla mint soap is perfect to unwind with after a long day. Mint soothes and heals, while vanilla cleanses and replenishes.
Pro Tip: A little organic colouring never goes amiss.
28. Buttermilk Soap
Buttermilk soaps are known for their gentle cleansing, and a batch made at home can only further set your mind at ease about the absence of any harmful chemicals.
29. Orange clove Soap
With orange bringing it the Vitamin C your skin needs and cloves the herbal goodness, this soap feels and smells amazing. It is effective for removing a tan when used regularly.
Pro Tip: Add in a dollop of shea butter.
30. Herb and Spice Soap
Pack in a rigorous beauty routine with just this one soap. An interesting medley of herbs and spices, you can customise and alter the mix you choose to use in your soap based on your skin tip.
Pro Tip: Use saffron for a healthy glow.
31. Hemp and shea Soap
I have already spoken about the many benefits of implementing shea butter in one’s beauty routine. In this recipe, we combine shea butter with hemp seeds or hemp extracts. Hemp is a natural scrub.
Use unrefined hemp oil to give your soap a natural dark green hue.
32. Beet and carrot Soap
A recipe devised on my own, both beetroot and carrots are great for the skin, especially in winter. If you battle dry skin and/or want a rosy glow, this is definitely a recipe you should try.
Use a paste of beetroot and carrots and pour it into your soap base or into premixed soap moulds.
Beetroots are natural dyes and will garner the bars of soap a lovely red colour.
33. Coconut and lime Soap
This recipe involves a lot of oils. Predominantly coconut oil, but also sunflower, olive and safflower.
Coconut milk is an excellent cure for damaged skin, while the lime deals with blemish removal and hyperpigmentation.
34. Peppermint Soap
This one is a soap for summers.
Refreshing and invigorating, this peppermint oil soap can also be used to clear the sinuses and boost circulation.
35. Goat’s milk Citrus Soap
What is DIY soap-making if not the culmination of unusual ingredients which sometimes work and sometimes don’t? This is one of the latter and is both refreshing and moisturizing.
The goat’s milk is used as the soap base, the natural white sets off the citrus tone beautifully.
36. Ginger spice cookie Soap
Ginger, spice, and everything is nice. A perfect embodiment of the holiday season, this unique soap recipe is delightful. Ginger has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties while a judicious selection of spice can only do your skin good.
37. Coffee and Milk Soap
A coffee milk soap, this is a personal favourite when it comes to exfoliation. The coffee grounds serve as a not too mild-not too harsh scrub, while the milk moisturizes and hydrates.
Add some cinnamon to it, and you have yourself the soap version of a cup of coffee.
38. Lemon Orange Soap
One of the simpler recipes on here, all you need is some orange zest, lemon essential oil or lemon extracts and vitamin E.
Perfect for the summer, or when you want to be reminded of summer.
39. Vanilla latte Soap
Inspired by the beverage, a vanilla latte soap both nourishes and replenishes. Use vanilla bean extracts, vanilla essence, some sprigs of rosemary for the fragrance to fashion this rather unusual soap.
40. Sea Mud Soap
Sea mud, also known as French green clay, is chock full of minerals and wonderful for the skin. It also has plant matter ( like kelp) that naturally detoxifies the skin. Suitable for all skin types, this recipe is especially helpful to those suffering from skin ailments like acne and eczema.
41. Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Soap
Sounds to you like breakfast? Well, you are not the only one. Effective for exactly that reason, you can rely on this soap to give your skin a boost, wake it up. Apple brightens, cinnamon soothes and oatmeal exfoliates. What more could one want?
42. Honey walnut Milk Soap
Walnuts, rich in Omega-3, are often neglected when it comes to skincare in favour of other, better-known nuts. This recipe gives it the recognition it is due, in combination with milk and honey- both excellent moisturizers.
Use this soap for baby-soft skin.
43. Jasmine Dead Sea Salt Soap
Though not as easily available as the other ingredients in the list, dead sea salt is a miracle worker. It has high magnesium content that has therapeutic effects and reduces skin inflammation.
Jasmine essence or jasmine oil hydrates and refreshes.
44. Grapefruit Mint Poppy Seed Soap
Another recipe that is a permutation of well-known and well-liked skincare ingredients, this soap looks and smells amazing.
The citrus elements of the soap fuse with the mint, while the poppy seed acts as a natural exfoliant to ensure that your skin retains its natural glow.
45. Strawberries and Cream Soap
Known as a skin brightening agent, strawberry is one of the best things you can put in your homemade soap. It ticks off a lot of soap criterion, and all at once- great colour, smell and consistency.
You can use it in your soap in isolation or in combination with a different berry or herb.
46. Oatmeal Cinnamon Soap
This recipe involves oatmeal as the soap base ( so you know it is a great scrub) and cinnamon essence for the fragrance. You can switch up the recipe by adding a third ingredient of your choice, like honey or milk.
47. Apple Cider Soap
Use freshly pressed apple cider for this recipe, or unsweetened apple juice. And while the smell might not be immediately noticeable, a careful blend of spices and essential oils will do the trick.
48. Gin and Tonic Soap
A G&T rarely goes wrong, even as a soap. This recipe captures the essence of a true gin and tonic, with underlying hints of citrus. Not too overpowering to eclipse the drink, just enough to be tantalizing.
49. Black Raspberry Soap
Raspberry, but black, and in soap. If you like your soaps to be edgy, this is the one for you.
50. Sandalwood Soap
An oldie, but a goodie. Revered as THE skincare ingredient in many cultures, sandalwood has been used to detoxify and mattify skin for centuries.
Putting it in a soap, and even better in one you are making yourself, is a certain way to ensure your skin’s health. This recipe also features lavender and rosemary oils, for that added freshness.
And with this, we come to an end of our list and the article. Soap-making is not just a fun activity, but also a step closer to organic beauty measures- a measure I believe it is time for all of us to take.
So, the next time you are on the verge of purchasing a bar of soap from the store, remind yourself of these 51 DIY recipes and whip up some soap on your own!