Updated: Feb 25
The beauty about handmade soaps is they are almost entirely customisable. They can have unique designs, fun skin-loving ingredients of your choice & will both look, feel and smell absolutely fabulous!
Every soap maker has their own unique recipe just like you would have your own preferences.
Here is a creative example of a cupcake handmade soap. I call this one Cupcake Candy because of its beautiful pink colours and delicious sweet fragrance
In this blog, I have listed out some of the many customisations you can do to create a bar that is great for you and unique to you. I have mentioned what each oil and butter or ingredient is good for which skin type and also some fun combinations.
All soaps created at Fresh & Handcrafted have coconut oil & castor oil as their base. They are environment-friendly and bio degradable.
So let’s begin. Here is a quick list of nourishing oils & butter and what they are good for. I have listed out the average percentage used for each fat & what skin type they are best for. Although any can be used for almost any type of skin.
Raw organic cocoa butter | Skin Type: Normal to Dry Skin | usage rate: 5% to 10%
Raw unrefined Shea butter | Skin Type: Normal to Dry Skin | usage rate: 5% to 10%
Extra Virgin Olive oil | Skin Type: Sensitive skin, baby skin | usage rate: 10% and upwards.
Raw unrefined Kokam Butter | Skin Type: Normal to Oily Skin | usage rate: 5% to 10%
Organic Mango butter | Skin Type: Normal to Dry Skin | usage rate: 5% to 10%
Argon Oil | Skin Type: Normal to Dry Skin | usage rate: 15% to 25%
Hemp Seed Oil | Skin Type: Acne-Prone skin | usage rate: 5% to 10%
Rose Hip Seed Oil | Skin Type: All skin types, perfect for acne-prone or oily skin | usage rate: 5% to 15%
Sweet Almond Oil | Skin Type: Sooth irritated skin | usage rate: 10% to 25%
Walnut Oil | Skin Type: Aging and mature skin | usage rate: 10% to 25%
Avocado Oil | Skin Type: Normal to Dry Skin | usage rate: 10%
From this list my personal all-time favourite butter is Unrefined Cocoa Butter, it has a natural chocolate fragrance and melts beautifully on contact with skin. Although I must say Kokum butter too, produces an incredible bar of soap
Like most soap makers these days I try to avoid using palm oil in any of my bars because of the environmental hazards it has caused. But please note, some of my bars will contain palm. Please read the ingredients list before purchasing. I am currently looking for an environment-friendly palm oil option. I will keep you guys posted on this.
Next up: what else can you add to a bar of soap other than oils
Honestly? Pretty much anything, if you can eat it or if it’s good for the skin it can be added into a soap. My personal favourite is adding clays and since I’m such a huge sucker for Chocolate, I’m completely in love with CHOCOLATE CLAY.
Here are some natural clays, powders and other additives you can choose from for your bar of soap
Chocolate Clay | Dry to normal skin
French Green / Red / Pink & Yellow Clay | Normal to oily skin
Dead Sea Clay | Dry skin
Bentonite Clay | Oily skin and acne-prone skin
Activated Charcoal | All skin types
Zinc Oxide | Acne-prone skin
Calamine Powder | Ultra-sensitive skin
Aloe Vera | Soothing to the skin. Can be used in gel form or directly from the plant
Beer | Nourishing bar, soothes dry sensitive skin and inflamed skin
Honey | Makes an Ulta-nourishing bar
Coconut & Goats Milk | Dry sensitive skin, it repairs damaged skin
Oatmeal (Oats) | Oats combined with honey create a super soothing bar of soap
Coffee Grinds | perfect for dry or rough skin
If there is anything
One of the most unique aspects of homemade soaps is that you can even add vegetable/fruits like dried oranges for decorations, carrot or cucumber purée or even raw aloe gel and so much more. I have even heard of people using bananas in their soaps. I personally am not a fan, but I am always willing to try out new things. I usually see something in my kitchen and my first thought is ‘Can I add this in a soap?’ I have added spices like Star Anise & Cinnamon, Chocolate powder, Coffee powder & grinds. And I love the results.
NOTE: Since these are completely raw and uncooked ingredients it WILL shorten the shelf life Of the soap, but since they create such an enriching bar that you would end up consuming it in no time. I have also added milk cream & coconut milk into my soap. As well as ingredients like to Tushar silk to give it a good slip & smooth feeling.
Now for the part that makes you want to eat your bar of soap: Fragrances & Essential oils
Quite honestly almost any fragrance can be added to soap. I usually stick to 7% to 9% of the total oil weight as this produces a strong-smelling bar that won’t overheat while making (I’ll explain more about how fragrances etc react in soaps later on). What I like to do is combine a bunch of fragrances to form a completely new and delicious smell.
For this Lemon Butter Cream Cupcake Soaps, I have used a delicious blend of Lemon essential oil, Honey Due Fragrance oil, Geranium essential oil, Ylang Ylang essential oil & Peppermint
I am not sure what an expert of fragrances might think of this combination, but I go by the smell. And I just 😍😍😍 it! As I go along I am learning what works and doesn’t. Soap making is all about trial and errors.
If you are looking to customize a soap for a special occasion or just want something that is unique and just for you or your loved one, do reach out to me on firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: Customised orders require a minimum of 6 bars of soap. Handmade soaps take up to 6 weeks to dry out completely and become a hard bar. If you’re looking to order for a special occasion please do keep this in mind.