My son, like me, suffers from dry skin in the winter and asked if I could make him a really moisturizing soap for his skin. In the end I settled on a high conditioning/low cleansing double butter soap recipe made with 20% cocoa butter, 10% shea butter, and an 8% superfat. I also added corn silk powder to my recipe for it’s gentle exfoliating properties and a silky feel. And, to help curb potential skin issues, I also included a small amount of neem oil in the recipe as well.
My son’s other request for this homemade soap was that it make him “smell like a man.” So I scented it with a mahogany teakwood fragrance oil. Fragrance however, is optional, and you can either leave this double butter soap recipe unscented when you make yours or use a fragrance oil of your choice instead.
Before you get started on my luxury double butter soap recipe, there are a few things you should know. One, this soap recipe is NOT recommended for beginners. This soap moves really quickly and there’s a good chance it can and will seize up on you. Therefore you should soap at as low a temperature as possible and you may want to mix this one by hand. Should you use a stick blender, be prepared for this soap to basically act like you’re making it using the hot process soapmaking method should it seize.
If and when it does seize on you, simply wait for it to gel. (It will look translucent when it does this.) Then continue mixing if needed and pour (spoon) into your mold at this point. You can also wait for it to hit gel stage if you like before adding your fragrance. Unlike hot process soap however, you won’t need to add heat once you mix the oils, butter and lye-water as it’s going to heat up on its own and do all the work for you.
Two, I’m providing two separate soap recipe options for this double butter soap recipe – one with palm oil and one without – so that the final bars are as similar in properties as possible. I made mine with palm oil as I still have leftover palm oil I’m trying to use up. Palm oil can and will speed up trace and can contribute to the soap seizing. However, should you decide not to use palm oil, it may slow things down a bit for you. (Learn more about using palm oil and find more of my palm free cold process soap recipes here.)
Three, the neem oil in my double butter soap recipe is completely optional but I do highly recommend it. Probably my favorite carrier oil, neem oil is a common ingredient in skin and hair care products and is often used to treat problematic skin conditions including eczema and rosacea. It’s a moisturizing oil with regenerative properties and its naturally rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids. It is also anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. While neem oil, as a stand alone product, has a strong odor, this scent is easily masked with natural essential oils or fragrance oils. (Click here to find more of my skin care recipes that contain neem oil.)
Luxury Double Butter Soap Recipe (with Palm Oil)
11.5 oz. distilled water
4.8 oz. sodium hydroxide/lye
Luxury Double Butter Soap Recipe (Palm Free)
11.5 oz. distilled water
4.8 oz. sodium hydroxide/lye
Both of these luxury double butter soap recipes will fit into one of my DIY wooden loaf soap molds and will yield approximately 10-12 bars depending on how thick you cut them.
You’ll need to follow my basic cold process soapmaking method instructions when making this homemade soap. (If you’ve never made cold process soap before here’s a good, inexpensive beginner’s cold process soap recipe to get you started. This is not a good soap recipe for beginner soapmakers.) Be sure to take all proper safety precautions when working with lye including goggles and gloves.
Choose the double butter soap recipe you’d like to make, then begin by measuring out the distilled water in fluid ounces. Pour into a heat safe pitcher. Next, use a digital scale to weigh out the lye. Slowly pour the lye into the water in a well ventilated area and stir until all the lye has dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Now weigh out the soapmaking oils using your digital scale and combine in a stainless steel pot. Heat until all the oils have melted, then remove from heat and set aside to cool.
When the lye-water and soapmaking oils have cooled to 85°F to 90°F – or room temp if it’s within your experience and comfort level – you’re ready to make soap.
Start by measuring out the corn silk powder with a measuring spoon and add to your melted soapmaking oils. Use a stick blender to combine until the soapmaking oils are free of clumps and the corn silk powder has been evenly distributed. As there’s the likelihood this soap may potentially seize, you may want to weigh out the fragrance oil and add it at this time as well rather than waiting til trace. Alternately, it can be added after the soap gels.
Now measure out the liquid sodium lactate and stir it into the lye-water. (Sodium lactate is used to make a harder bar of soap.)
Next, slowly pour the lye-water into the soapmaking oils. Mix with a stick blender until you reach trace. If the soap seizes, be patient. Wait for the soap to gel, then mix again and pour (or spoon) into your mold. Leave the soap uncovered overnight.
You should be able to unmold your soap the next day.
Once you’ve removed your soap from the mold, cut into bars then allow to cure 4-6 weeks before use.
Want to learn how to create your own custom cold process soap recipes using a lye calculator? See my tutorial on creating cold process soap recipes using a lye calculator here.
For more of my homemade soap recipes, be sure to follow my Simply Soapmaking and DIY Bath and Body boards on Pinterest. Or keep up with all of my new homemade soap, bath and beauty recipes by following me on Blog Lovin’, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, G+ and Instagram.