Neem Oil Soap Recipe: Cold Process Soap Recipe for Problem Skin
This neem oil soap recipe makes a wonderful addition to any natural skin care routine for problem skin. It helps improve skin appearance and promote skin health. Whether you suffer from dry skin, eczema, acne or even fungal skin issues, this cold process soap helps to soothe a variety of common skin ailments and can prevent reoccurence. Leave it unscented or mask the smell of neem oil with a warm and spicy, cannabis & cocoa fragrance oil. Either way, your skin will enjoy the natural skin care benefits of neem oil.
I’ve tried a lot of different — and quite frankly, sometimes unusual — things in my lifetime. More recently I tried painting my toenails with henna. Yes, the same henna I typically dye my hair with. It was a dark brown henna and I was curious to see how the experiment would unfold. Needless to say, it was not my finest hour. Or my finest week. Nor was it my finest month.
I quickly learned that henna is a terrible substitute for nail polish. While it has the benefit of being natural, the buck stops there. I literally looked like I had zombie toes for weeks on end as the color faded into the ugliest, uneven mess of yellows and browns. In fact, I’m not quite sure if the color faded first or my nails entirely grew out before I was willing to go barefoot again. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.
I’ve tried lots of experiments in the past, though none that have gone quite as wrong as this one. And, while it’s true I did have the unfortunate opportunity of propelling a soap volcano incident when making a beer soap recipe for the first time, that was at least over with quickly.
Sometimes it’s the journey with those things that make us most uncomfortable that end with the best results, however. And this can also be true of ingredients that put us off as well. I remember the first time I ever smelled tea tree oil. It smelled a lot like turpentine to me. I was also not a fan of patchouli. However, with regular use of these products — and utilizing them in formulations with other ingredients — I soon realized the benefits far outweighed any off putting odor. An odor which, when blended with other scents, wasn’t terrible at all.
The same can be said for neem oil.
Why Should I Use Neem Oil for Skin Care?
Neem oil gets a bad rap. In short, it stinks. Some folks don’t mind the smell so much. It’s sort of a nutty garlic scent. Unfortunately for most of us, the fragrance isn’t so appetizing. By dismissing neem oil due to its scent, however, you’re also missing out on many of the amazing skin care benefits of neem oil. Especially when there are ways to disguise, and even completely cover, the scent to make it more pleasant. So just why should you use neem oil for skin?
Skin Care Benefits of Neem Oil
Used both medicinally and cosmetically for hundreds of years, neem oil is naturally antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal and possesses hydrating and regenerative properties. In addition it also has anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain killing) properties and contains both vitamin E and essential fatty acids. These properties give neem oil its numerous skin care benefits and make it suitable for a wide range of problem skin conditions.
First used in India in 2000-4000 BC, neem oil is a key herb used in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine. Neem oil is commonly used topically to treat rheumatism, eczema, ringworm, athlete’s foot, cold sores, psoriasis, warts, chronic syphilitic sores, infected burn wounds, and slow-healing skin ulcers. It has also been shown to help control various skin infections including scabies and candida.
I love using neem oil as it really does help promote healing. It also balances out my skin when it becomes dry or irritated by external elements, so there’s no more uncomfortable itching. However, it is important to dilute to neem oil as used full strength it can cause skin irritation. Therefore, a really great way to use neem oil is in a cold process soap formulation.
Crafting a Neem Oil Soap Recipe (That Doesn’t Smell Like Neem)
When used in soap, the natural aroma of neem oil does fade with the cure. However, you can still detect the scent of neem in neem oil soap in most cases, unless you use essential oils to mask the fragrance. Earthy essential oils — such as the patchouli and lavender essential oil blend I used in my recent calendula soap recipe with neem oil — do a great job of hiding neem’s fragrance. Other essential oils, including lemongrass and lavender, also go a long way to help disguise any unpleasantness to one’s nose.
I’ve made a number of neem oil soap recipes in the past. Some of these I left unscented, while others I used an essential oil blend to cover the scent of the neem. (You can find links those neem oil soap recipes further down.) For this recipe, however, I wanted to create a neem oil soap using a fragrance oil.
Obviously, not all fragrance oils are going to blend well with the scent of neem. Therefore, based on my experience using essential oils in my previous neem oil soap recipes, I chose a fragrance oil that had similar notes to earthier essential oils, such as patchouli. In the end, I settled on a cannabis & cocoa fragrance oil for my neem oil soap recipe. This scent is a blend of warm patchouli, spicy cinnamon, and dry cannabis mixed with cocoa and vanilla that gives the final soap bars a sweet and spicy aroma suitable for both men and women.
Here’s how to make my neem oil soap recipe using the cold process soap making method. The final bars are highly conditioning, with a stable, creamy lather.
Cannabis & Cocoa Neem Oil Soap Recipe
3.2 oz. castor oil (10%)
3.2 oz. palm kernel flakes (10%)
9.6 oz. sunflower oil (30%)
3.2 oz. neem oil (10%)
6.4 oz. 76° melt point coconut oil (20%)
3.2 oz. cocoa butter (10%)
3.2 oz. shea butter (10%)
10.55 fl. oz. distilled water (33% of oil weight)
4.25 oz. lye/sodium hydroxide (10% superfat)
1.6 oz. Crafters Choice™ Cannabis & Cocoa fragrance oil (.8 oz. fragrance oil per lb./5% of oil weight)
Tools & Materials:
Soap Making Notes:
I’ve included the percentages I used for each of the ingredients in my neem oil soap recipe, along with the water discount and superfat. Therefore, should you need to resize this recipe or make changes to the superfat or other factors, you can easily do so in SoapCalc. You can learn how to use a soap calculator to create a custom soap recipe or resize a cold process soap recipe here.
You will need to follow my basic cold process soap making instructions for making my neem oil soap recipe. This includes taking all safety precautions and avoiding the use of any aluminum containers, molds or utensils.
While this soap behaves well, I do recommend you soap this recipe cold, mixing the lye-water with the soap making fats at around 100°F. While it has the potential to overheat slightly, you can avoid this by not covering or insulating your mold, if using a loaf mold — I used this one. (I initially covered my soap loaf with plastic wrap which resulted in some minor cracking during the saponification process. However, this issue resolved once I removed the covering, and I was able to smooth the crack over easily with my fingernail.) Alternately, you can use a silicone mold with individual cavities without any issue.
How to Make Neem Oil Soap:
Using a digital scale, begin by weighing out the soap making oils and butters called for in my neem oil soap recipe. Place the ingredients into a heat safe container, such as a non-aluminum stock pot, to heat on the stovetop. You can also use a crockpot or another heat safe container if you choose not to melt your oils on the stove.
Heat the soap making oils over medium-low to medium heat until melted on the stovetop (or using your preferred method) in a stainless steel pot. Once melted, remove the oils from the heat and set aside to cool.
In the meantime, measure out the water into a separate heat safe container. (You don’t want to use Pyrex to mix the lye, therefore a stainless steel pitcher or heat safe plastic container is recommended for mixing.) Then, using a third container, weigh out the lye.
Slowly pour the lye into the water in a well ventilated area. Mix well to combine, until all of the lye has dissolved. Set the lye-water aside to cool.
Now weigh out the cannabis & cocoa fragrance oil next. Set aside.
Once the lye-water and the melted oils both reach a temperature of around 100°F to 110°F, you’re ready to make your neem oil soap. (Ideally you want both the lye-water and soap making oils to be within 10°F of one another.)
Carefully pour the lye-water into the soap making oils. Mix with the immersion blender until you reach a light trace, then mix in the fragrance oil. (You’ll know you’ve reached trace when you drag your blender across the top of the soap and it leaves a trail behind it. It will be similar to the consistency of pudding.)
Thoroughly mix the fragrance oil into the soap batter, bringing to a medium trace.
Then pour the soap into the mold of your choice. You can use a spatula to assist with the process.
Allow the neem oil soap to set up in the mold, uncovered, overnight. You can then unmold your neem oil soap the next day.
Once you unmold the neem oil soap loaf, cut the soap into bars using either a Chef’s knife or a soap cutter. Then allow your soaps to cure in a cool, dry location over a period of four weeks prior to use.
Once the cold process neem oil soap bars have cured, they are ready to be used!
If you like my cold process neem oil soap recipe, then be sure to pin it to Pinterest for later. You can also follow my Pinterest boards here.
More Neem Oil Soap Recipes
If you like my cannabis & cocoa neem oil soap recipe, then be sure to try my other neem oil soap recipes in your natural skin care routine. Following are a number of cold process soap recipes with neem oil I’ve created in the past.
- Lemongrass & Neem Oil Soap Recipe
- Homemade Neem Oil Soap Recipe with Essential Oils
- Natural Pine Tar Soap Recipe with Neem Oil
- Aloe Vera Soap Recipe with Neem Oil
- Neem Oil Shaving Soap Recipe
- Coconut Oil Facial Soap Recipe
Or explore more of my cold process soap recipes here.
Neem Oil Skin Care Recipes
For other great ways to enjoy the skin care benefits of neem oil, be sure to try one or more of these other wonderful, neem oil skin care recipes.
- CBD Pain Relief Salve Recipe with Neem Oil
- Antifungal Foot Salve Recipe with Neem Oil
- Lavender Body Butter Recipe with Neem Oil
- Neem Oil Body Butter Recipe with Arnica
- Lavender Cream Deodorant Recipe with Neem Oil
- Cracked Heel Salve Recipe with Neem Oil
- Men’s Neem Oil Body Wash Recipe
- Toenail Fungus Treatment with Neem Oil
- Cold Sore Therapy Lip Balm Recipe with Neem
- Neem Oil & Tea Tree Foot Scrub Recipe
Have you tried one of my cold process soap recipes? Or do you make your own homemade bath and body products? I’d love to see your creations! Be sure to use #soapdelishowoff on your Instagram posts so I can see what you’ve created.