6. Cocoa-Mint Soap
This is one to get your mouth watering – plus the mint will leave your skin tingling all over. And if you say you don’t like chocolate – I don’t believe you!
- Shea butter soap base
- 1-2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 6-10 drops of peppermint essential oil
- Melt the shea butter soap base in 30 second intervals in the microwave until it is liquified.
- After the soap has melted, add the cocoa powder, chopped mint and a few drops of peppermint essential oil until it smells like mint chocolate chip ice cream (eeek!!!).
- Stir together really well and pour into your mold.
- Sprinkle a bit more cocoa powder on top for appearance.
- Leave for an hour, until it hardens.
- Take it out of the mold and cut into bars.
7. Coconut Oil Shampoo Bar
You may have heard something about the “no-poo” craze regarding shampoo? Commercial shampoos are made with surfactants such as sodium lauryl sulfate which is a skin irritant. It also consists of silicone which is known to coat the hair, preventing it from absorbing moisture. This, over time, causes hair to become brittle and dry. Shampoo strips the hair and coats it with polymers while natural shampoo – like this one – washes and nourishes it with natural oils. The sudden urge to opt for natural hair products made me want to add this recipe just for a little something different. Why not try this out!
- 33 oz. coconut oil
- 12.54 oz. water
- 5.44 oz. lye
- ½ – 1 ounce essential oils (optional)
- crock pot – 8 quart
- stick blender
- digital scale
- glass measuring cups
- small glass bowls
- stainless steel or plastic spoon with long handle
- sink or bowl filled with vinegar and water for cleaning anything that comes in contact with lye. Follow by cleaning with soap.
- protective equipment: long-sleeved shirt, plastic/rubber gloves, safety glasses or protective eye gear
- soap mold. A standard sized bread pan is perfect for this batch
- parchment paper for lining the soap mold
- Weigh all your ingredients.
- Add the coconut oil to the crockpot and set it to low.
- Add water to a medium-sized glass or bowl and take it outside along with the lye and long-handled spoon. While wearing your protective gear, take care not to breathe the vapors and slowly add the lye to the water while mixing gently. Note that the mixture will get very hot so be careful. Allow the mixture to transition from cloudy to clear and then bring it back inside. Let this cool for 5-10 minutes. (If you are using a wooden spoon, make sure it is dedicated to soap-making and do not use it in your kitchen for preparing food).
- Add the lye to the crockpot and stir a few times. Be careful not to let the mixture splash.
- Using the stick blender, blend until the mixture has the texture and thickness of a light pudding.
- Cover and cook on low for approximately 45 minutes – 1 hour. The cooking time will vary depending on how hot your crock pot is. Check on it often.
- When the soap is ready it should look a little like semi-translucent Vaseline. (To test if it is done, take a little of the mixture and rub it between your fingers. It should feel waxy. Then touch it to your tongue. If it ‘zaps’ you, it’s not done!). It is really important to make sure all the lye is converted – otherwise the finished product can burn your skin.
- Add in your essential oils.
- Spoon your mixture into the mold and allow cooling.
- Coconut oil makes a very hard bar that will be difficult to cut if you let it dry for too long. Cut as soon as it’s cool and firm.
- Allow the bars of soap to dry out and harden for another few days in an area with good air-flow. Though you can try your first bar right away, it’s best to let them cure for 2-3 weeks to let the conditioning properties fully develop.
For a little extra shine after using this natural shampoo, follow this conditioning recipe:
- ¼ – ½ cup apple cider vinegar added to enough filtered water to make a ¾ cup
- 8 drops of essential oils – rosemary and mint are best in this case.
- Pour mixture to saturate hair entirely.
- Leave for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Rinse with cool water.
As simple as that!
In no time, we’ll be self-sufficient if we keep up with learning how to master all these cool skills. Soap making is one fantastic way to take control of the ingredients that we are exposing our skin to each day. Plus we can tailor make the recipes to our exact preferences.
Handmade soaps make wonderful gifts for our loved ones too – so as long as we keep some for our own private spas, these recipes can make your pressie planning a breeze.
What would be your ideal soap ‘flavor’? We would love to hear from you?