Reader Submission: Shea Butter and Witch Hazel Soap

Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

I LOVE these homemade soap photographs sent in by Marilyn, one of much appreciated and amazing blog readers. Marilyn created the homemade soap pictured using my Homemade Shea Butter & Witch Hazel Soap Recipe. Aren't they just beautiful? They remind me of Van Gogh's Starry Night.

I LOVE these homemade soap photographs sent in by Marilyn, one of much appreciated and amazing blog readers. Marilyn created the homemade soap pictured using my Homemade Shea Butter & Witch Hazel Soap Recipe. Aren’t they just beautiful? They remind me of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

Following are Marilyn’s comments on my shea butter & witch hazel soap recipe.

“Oh my, I’m so impatient. I couldn’t wait to check the soap qualities. What a luxurious stable lather! …I haven’t soaped with Witch Hazel, or sesame oil before. Wow, this Is a keeper, for sure. I’ve made other recipes with a similar fatty acid profile but what makes this so incredibly luxurious? Do you think it’s really the witch hazel? Or the high percentage of Shea butter? Or I’ve never soaped with sesame oil?  Would love to try the exact same recipe without the witch hazel, because if that’s the secret, then mountain rose has something pretty special.”

To answer her question I feel like it’s simply a combination of the ingredients chosen that made this one a keeper, even if it’s a bit tough to make. But the witch hazel does add a unique feel I haven’t ever quite achieved with other homemade soap recipes. The witch hazel that both Marilyn and I used for this particular homemade soap recipe can be found at Mountain Rose Herbs here. Or learn how to make your own homemade shea butter and witch hazel soap now with homemade recipe here.

For more of my homemade soap recipes, including my new favorite luxury double butter soap recipe, be sure to follow my Simply Soapmaking board on Pinterest. Or, if you’re interested in making palm free cold process soap, you can find my collection of palm free cold process soap recipes here. And, if you’re a first timer, you can learn how to make cold process soap from scratch here.


Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

Luxury Double Butter Soap Recipe

Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

Learn how to make this luxury double butter soap recipe with high percentages of both cocoa butter and shea butter that's perfect for dry winter skin.

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.

Learn how to make this luxury double butter soap recipe with high percentages of both cocoa butter and shea butter that's perfect for dry winter skin.

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.)

Learn how to make this luxury double butter soap recipe with high percentages of both cocoa butter and shea butter that's perfect for dry winter skin.

Luxury Double Butter Soap Recipe (with Palm Oil)

© Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen

Ingredients:

7.2 oz. cocoa butter
3.6 oz. shea butter
5.4 oz. 76° melt point coconut oil
10.8 oz. olive oil
1.8 oz. castor oil
5.4 oz. palm oil
1.8 oz. palm kernel flakes
.25 oz. 100% neem oil, optional

 11.5 oz. distilled water
4.8 oz. sodium hydroxide/lye

2 oz. – 2.5 oz. fragrance oil, optional
1 Tablespoon (60% solution) sodium lactate, optional
1 Tablespoon corn silk powder, optional

Luxury Double Butter Soap Recipe (with Palm Oil)

Luxury Double Butter Soap Recipe (Palm Free)

© Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen

Ingredients:

7.2 oz. cocoa butter
3.6 oz. shea butter
7.2 oz. 76° melt point coconut oil
10.8 oz. olive oil
1.8 oz. castor oil
5.4 oz. lard
.25 oz. 100% neem oil, optional

 11.5 oz. distilled water
4.8 oz. sodium hydroxide/lye

2 oz. – 2.5 oz. fragrance oil, optional
1 Tablespoon (60% solution) sodium lactate, optional
1 Tablespoon corn silk powder, optional

Luxury Double Butter Soap Recipe (Palm Free)

Instructions:

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’TumblrFacebook, TwitterG+ and Instagram.


Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

Witch Hazel Soap Recipe with Shea Butter

Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

This soothing shea butter & witch hazel soap recipe contains witch hazel extract renowned for its astringent, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

Witch Hazel Soap Recipe and Homemade Christmas Gift Idea! This soothing shea butter & witch hazel soap recipe contains witch hazel extract renowned for its astringent, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Find the soapmaking tutorial for this fabulous gift worthy shea butter and witch hazel soap now at Soap Deli News blog! #soap #soapmaking #diy #gift #crafts #christmas

Witch Hazel has been used as a home remedy for centuries by the Japanese, Chinese and Native Americans. It is a natural astringent and possesses antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It’s commonly used to help ease itchy and irritated skin, acne, dermatitis, and eczema making it great choice as a homemade soap ingredient.

My natural shea butter and witch hazel soap recipe makes a wonderful homemade Christmas gift idea for any of your friends or family who may suffer from easily irritated skin. It’s a natural choice that you’ll feel good about gifting. And, of course, you get to keep and use the extra bars!

Witch Hazel Soap Recipe and Homemade Christmas Gift Idea! This soothing shea butter & witch hazel soap recipe contains witch hazel extract renowned for its astringent, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Find the soapmaking tutorial for this fabulous gift worthy shea butter and witch hazel soap now at Soap Deli News blog! #soap #soapmaking #diy #gift #crafts #christmas

Homemade Shea Butter & Witch Hazel Soap Recipe

© Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen

Ingredients:

2.8 oz. castor oil
7.2 oz. (76°) refined coconut oil
11 oz. sustainable palm oil
7 oz. rice bran oil
5 oz. sesame oil
3 oz. shea butter

8 fluid oz. distilled water
4.8 oz. lye/sodium hydroxide

3 fluid oz. witch hazel extract (86%)
2.5 oz. Aspen Winter fragrance oil, optional
4 Tablespoons oil soluble titanium dioxide, optional
1 Tablespoon ultramarine blue pigment powder, optional

Instructions:

This witch hazel soap recipe will yield approximately 10-12 homemade soap bars depending on how they are cut and fits inside on of my DIY wooden loaf soap molds. This homemade soap recipe is not recommended for beginners. The witch hazel does significantly increase trace which may prove overly challenging to someone who doesn’t have cold process soapmaking experience under her belt. If this is your first time making homemade soap I recommend you begin with my cold process soapmaking tutorial and a simple cold process soap recipe to get you started on the path into the world of soapmaking.

I specifically chose the Witch Hazel Extract from Mountain Rose Herbs for this homemade witch hazel soap recipe as it leads in both quality and potency. Unlike most store brands with are distilled only once and often contain more alcohol than witch hazel, the witch hazel extract from Mountain Rose Herbs has been double distilled and contains 86% witch hazel extract and only 14% alcohol. This makes it more soothing than the version found in your local store, and lacks the alcohol sting and scent. I do not know and cannot offer advice on how witch hazel with a higher alcohol content will react.

Alternately, if you prefer not to work with traditional witch hazel you can make an oil infusion instead. Simply infuse witch hazel bark in one of the carrier oils you’ll be using with this recipe beforehand.

Begin by measuring out the distilled water with a large measuring cup. Pour into a pitcher or other heat safe, non-aluminum container. Set aside. Now weigh out the lye using a digital scale. Slowly pour the lye into the water and mix well until all of the lye has dissolved. (Don’t forget to take proper safety precautions including gloves, goggles and a well-ventilated area!) Now set the lye-water aside to cool.

Next weigh out the soapmaking oils and combine in a large stainless steel pot. Heat on the stove top over medium heat until all the oils have melted then remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Once the ingredients reach around 85°-90°F you can begin the soapmaking process. (Alternately you can also wait for the ingredients to reach room temperature.) If you are using colorant begin by adding the titanium dioxide to the soapmaking oils then mix with a stick blender to combine.

Now add the witch hazel and lye-water to the oils. Mix by hand or very slowly on low with the stick blender to combine. Add the fragrance oil and mix again. It will begin to trace very fast.

To get the marbled blue and white look like I have I then removed a small portion of the soap and added the blue pigment, mixed, then poured back into the pot and mixed lightly to disperse some of the color but not so much that it become uniform.

Now spoon – as your soap will likely be rather thick at this point – the soap into your prepared mold. The white top, if desired, can be achieved by dusting the top of the soap loaf with a white or pearl mica as soon as it’s poured into the mold. Finally, set a piece of cardboard on top of the mold then set aside for 24 hours.

Witch Hazel Soap Recipe and Homemade Christmas Gift Idea! This soothing shea butter & witch hazel soap recipe contains witch hazel extract renowned for its astringent, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Find the soapmaking tutorial for this fabulous gift worthy shea butter and witch hazel soap now at Soap Deli News blog! #soap #soapmaking #diy #gift #crafts #christmas

Once the saponification period has passed you can now unmold the soap loaf and cut it into bars. Set the bars aside to cure 3-6 weeks then wrap and label as desired.

One reader shared her experience with my homemade witch hazel soap recipe. Marilyn emailed “Oh my, I’m so impatient. I couldn’t wait to check the soap qualities. What a luxurious stable lather! …I haven’t soaped with Witch Hazel, or sesame oil before. Wow, this Is a keeper, for sure. I’ve made other recipes with a similar fatty acid profile but what makes this so incredibly luxurious? Do you think it’s really the witch hazel? Or the high percentage of Shea butter? Or I’ve never soaped with sesame oil?  Would love to try the exact same recipe without the witch hazel, because if that’s the secret, then mountain rose has something pretty special.”

Witch Hazel Soap Recipe and Homemade Christmas Gift Idea! This soothing shea butter & witch hazel soap recipe contains witch hazel extract renowned for its astringent, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Find the soapmaking tutorial for this fabulous gift worthy shea butter and witch hazel soap now at Soap Deli News blog! #soap #soapmaking #diy #gift #crafts #christmas

If you like the Christmas tree tag I used on one bar of my homemade witch hazel soap be sure to check out the DIY for making your own here. Or explore more of my homemade soap recipes by visiting my DIY Bath and Body Pinterest board as well as my Simply Soapmaking Pinterest board for additional recipes from both myself and other great soapmakers across the web.

Don’t want to miss a post? Then be sure to follow Soap Deli News Blog via Blog Lovin’, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.


Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

Soaping with Meagan – DIY Cold Process Soapmaking

Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

Meagan Making Handmade Soap
Over the weekend my friend, Meagan, came over to my house to dig in and learn how to make soap! Cold process soapmaking is a lot like baking a cake. I know a lot of people who are afraid to give it a shot though because of the dangers of lye. I was pretty freaked making soap on my own the first few tries. But you quickly overcome that!
How to Make Handmade Cold Process Soap - DIY Soapmaking
Meagan had it easy since she had a teacher so there was no hesitation on her end. You basically just weigh out your ingredients and combine. The lye goes into distilled water and is then set to the side cool. The oils and butters go into a big non-aluminum pot, are melted, then set aside to cool as well.
How to Make Soap - DIY Cold Process Soapmaking
Once the lye-water and oils have cooled, you mix them together with a stick blender. Then you pour the soap into molds and insulate for 24 hours. Once that’s done you can unmold your soaps, cut into bars and set aside for 3-4 weeks to cure. Okay, so the gratification of soapmaking does take a bit longer than that of baking a cake.
Handmade Aloe and Cucumber Sented Shea Butter Soap with French Green Clay
Meagan and I made three batches of soap. We made one batch of Aloe and Cucumber Scented Shea Butter Soap with French Green Clay which is known for its ability to remove toxic impurities from skin, tone and revitalize complexion, tighten pores and clear problem skin.
Handmade Spiced Pumpkin Pie Milk Soap
To celebrate the arrival of fall we also made a batch of Handmade Spiced Pumpkin Pie Shea Butter Soap with Cow’s Milk. This bar will darken into a rich brown as it cures due to the vanilla content of the fragrance oil used, though it’s a rich warm, orange-brown at the moment.
Handmade Vanilla Buttercream Shea Butter Soap with Pink Himalayan Salt
And we also made a batch of Handmade Vanilla Buttercream Scented Soap with Pink Himalayan Salt. Pink Himalayan Salt is favored for its wide range of uses in both bath products and gourmet cooking. It contains 84 trace elements and iron. Unfortunately the salt lost it’s pink tinge in the soapmaking process – it’s a very lovely, coarse salt! This bar, like the Pumpkin Pie Soap, will turn a dark brown through and through once it finishes curing due to the vanilla content.
If you’d like to learn to make cold process soap for yourself, be sure to check out my DIY Cold Process Soapmaking Tutorial. Now is the perfect time to get started on making handmade soaps for Christmas gifts for the holiday season!

Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

New Handmade Soaps and a little Nom, Nom, Nom.

Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

I have three new handmade soaps curing as of several days ago that I think all just smell fabulous! I have also ordered some lavender essential oil so I can make an all natural lavender soap for spring, and of course, I have my order in with my co-worker’s daughter for some super awesome, tasty Girl Scout Cookies. Yes, I am a bonifide Girl Scout Cookie addict. My favorite Girl Scout Cookies are the Peanut Butter Sandwiches or what used to be called Do-Si-Dos. (Psst. Serious Eats has a knock off recipe for their tasty peanut butter sandwich cookies on their blog.)
But on to the soaps! You can look forward to these beauties being available for sale from Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen in about three weeks.
Bella’s Kiss Handmade Shea Butter Soap – A lovely, soft and feminine blend of Violet, Gardenia, Jasmine, Grapefruit, Vanilla, and White Woods. This scent is perfect for teens and young women! Though I’m late 30s and love it too!
Abalone & Sea Handmade Salt Bar Soap – A fresh, unisex scented sea salt bar soap with shea butter that combines the scents of Daylily, Sea Shell Abalone, Lime, Ozonic, Sea Spray Accord, Rose, Jasmine, Freesia, Lily, Beach Daisy, Woods, Musk, and Marine. I made this one for my boyfriend who was a huge fan of my Big Lick Salt Bar.
Pomegranate Cream Handmade Shea Butter Soap – I’ve had this one before it just looks a little different this go ’round. This soap boasts a fabulous scent combo of exotic, spicy pomegranate, wild bergamot, dewberry, iris, and jasmine followed by spicy notes of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, with base notes of precious woods and cedar. Currently you can buy a goat’s milk lotion from Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen in this scent here!

And just in case Peanut Butter Sandwiches are not your favorite cookie, I won’t tease you by just giving you just one recipe for making Girl Scout Cookies. There are also recipes for making Caramel DeLites or Samoas at Yum Sugar, Tagalongs at Baking Bites, Thin Mints at Baking Bites, and Trefoils or Shortbread Cookies at CDKitchen. What’s your favorite Girl Scout Cookie to buy?


Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.