Soap Making Overview
You can either make soap or modify soap. Making soap requires messing with lye, which is sort of dangerous. Modifying soap requires using a soap base; basically, someone else has already messed with lye and made soap for you, you just melt it down and add extra ingredients. There is no way of making soap without lye. At some point, we will get to making soap, but for now, we are just going to modify some soap. Shea butter and olive oil are popular ingredients to add to soap. Essential oils are also good. There is a wide array of sources touting the benefits of certain essential oils and herbs. They also make the soap smell good. You can also just buy fragrances to add to your soap, but these won't have any benefits like the essential oils.
I am going to see about getting Kirk's Natural Castile Soap* at Publix to use as our soap base. It is made with coconut oil, which makes for a very hard bar of soap that lathers well, so it should withstand us putting other softer oils in it. 100% coconut oil soap can also dry out your skin a bit, so is a perfect candidate for us adding our own oils to it. It is also the only soap to lather in salt water!
/*Did some research on Kirk's Castile Soap, people with sensitive skin may have a negative reaction to it. If you want, you can use just plain Ivory soap.
- Soap base (Kirk's or Ivory soap)
- A way to shave or grate the soap base (vegetable peeler, grater)
- Some way to melt the soap (double boiler, crockpot, microwave)
- Soap molds
- Olive Oil
- Honey - Helps keep moisture in the skin
- Oatmeal - Can act as an exfoliant, also good for skin problems
- Essential Oils - (see below) - can be found at Hobby Lobby or health food stores
- Shea Butter - can be found at Hobby Lobby
Essential Oils and their Properties
- Lavender - Used for calming and soothing. Good for skin problems such as acne, rosacea, and eczema. Also good for headaches.
- Peppermint - Used to treat indigestion and headaches. Can sooth skin irritation and itching.
- Tea Tree - Antiseptic and antifungal. Good for skin problems, though not for people with really sensitive skin.
- There are tons of other essential oils. Feel free to look them up.