Sunday, June 6, 2010

Soap for dry and delicate skin

I have used soap on my face since I was about 16 years old.  Or not soap really, detergent in a bar form.  Back in those days soap was considered drying to the skin.  And the stuff that has been depleted of glycerin probably is and was.  Natural soaps were unheard of in those days.

But I have just always felt comfortable with cleaning my face with a soap bar rather than with cleansing milks, cold creams or liquids of any kind.  I like to rinse stuff off my face with water.  Tissuing off some cream just doesn't feel like cleaning the face to me.  But then I never had particularly dry skin.  But now I guess my skin is a bit dry and I like to treat my face gently.  So I like to do experiments to make gentle soaps for the face.  That is not to say that they don't end up being used in the shower as all over soap.

I tend to make these recipes up as I go along.  Very often I get one fairly simple idea ("I should make soap with honey and coconut milk and almond oil for the face") and then it gets a bit more complicated as I open drawers and find all my oils ("O o o, I really should add some Jojoba oil!" and "Rose hip is really nice for older skin, I should try that").  So here is one of those rather complicated recipes.  I tend not to put any fragrance in facial soaps since I like them to be as free from allergens as possible.  But I can just imagine that this recipe would be nice with a soft feminine scent.

I love the soap and I have to admit that I use it all over in the shower.  It is also a nice size to take to the gym and I do that.

Facial soap for dry and delicate skin:

30%  Coconut oil  -  150 g / 5.3 oz
20%  Olive oil  -  100 g / 3.5 oz
20%  Almond oil  - 100 g / 3.5 oz
10%  Avocado   -  50 g / 1.8 oz
8%  Castor oil  -  40 g / 1.4 oz
5%  Rose hip oil  - 25 g / 0.9 oz
5%  Jojoba wax  - 25 g / 0.9 oz
2%  Shea butter  - 10 g / 0.35 oz

For the liquid I used semi-frozen Coconut milk to which I added 1 tsp honey dissolved in a bit of water.  This together should amount to  165 g / 5.8 oz
Lye 69 g / 2.5 oz

This time I used 5% SF (but check in a lye calculator as always, especially the ounzes,  they are approximate since I use the grams myself).

I dissolved the lye in the half frozen Coconut milk/honey liquid and watched it turn a bright red.  This then turn into a beautiful yellow when the liquid had been added to the oils.  The soap hardens pretty quickly so don't wait too long to pour into molds.  I poured this into my pastry molds that had been covered in cling wrap (they are aluminium).   The soap doesn't stay a sunny yellow unfortunately, but turns that nice honey colour when it is cured.

The photo: This is one of my favorite soaps.  I is just lovely for the face. The little bowl is one of those things that I keep picking up at flee markets and that lovely little bottle broke, but I do have pictures to remember it by :)



  1. I always look forward to your posts! Not only are your ideas fresh and fun to follow, but your photography is magnificent! Lovely. The photo makes me want to grab one of those pretty little soaps and wash my face -right now! Thanks for the great fun. -Becky

  2. Thank you Becky :) I try to have fun with it.

  3. Thanks for sharing Ambra that sounds and looks a fab soap! I also use soap to wash my face with and I totally agree with you about cleansers etc I also make a fragrant free soap and keep it purely for my face I sell it too and I have named it barefaced my meaning behind the name is that it's fragrant free and I use it purely for my face .. I add kokum butter and rosehip oil along with other skin loving ingredients
    I love your recipe and your soap looks so pretty too as well as being kind to your skin x

  4. Ambra, the very gentle soap ... wonderful oil composition, nice natural color and beautiful shape.

  5. Hi already following your blog and stopping by to say hello and thank you from the Women Wednesday blog hop!


  6. Hi!
    I am your newest follower from Welcome WEdnesday!
    I would love for you to stop by my blog also!
    Cassandra @

  7. Cute blog!

    Just wanted to say THANK YOU for participating in our Welcome Wednesday on our Take It From Me blog! We hope to see you again next week. You can help spread the word about our great event by grabbing our button!

    Kristin & Jaime
    Take It From Me

  8. Hi, I love ur blog, so going to try out some of your wonderful shampoo recipes. Just one question, how long you normally cure your soaps for?

  9. Elysian - I cure them for at least 5 weeks before I give them away and often more. Since I'm not selling my soaps as a serious business I find that I often have a few soaps that are well cured, some months or more. They age differently. This particular soap I still have unused pieces, so it's more than 2 years old. It's still good (it really is one of my all time favorites). Others don't really age well beyond a year. It all depends on the recipe, although I haven't kept notes a carefully as I should have :)

  10. sounds like a good natural soap they are the best


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