Happiness and gentleness unite in this DIY soap with honey
It’s time to take your skin on a Honeymoon… without leaving your house! How? With this homemade honey soap! Formulated for sensitive skin, it cleans gently, lathers up beautifully, and leaves your skin soft and delicately scented. It’s so wonderful, you’ll wish you could marry it. Though why not skip the ceremony and head straight to the Honeymoon?
If you’ve never made soap with honey before, keep in mind that this ingredient speeds up trace. But don’t worry, we’ve carefully constructed our recipe so that it won’t be a problem here. Thanks to the high ratio of water to sodium hydroxide (3:1), you’ll have all the time you need to create this soap’s beautiful gradient. It’ll be a pleasant trip from start to finish.
Enjoy your Honeymoon!
How to make soap with honey
Sodium hydroxide solution
Base oil and butter mixture
- 15 g (1.1%) colloidal oatmeal
- 15 g (1.1%) pink clay
- 30 g (2.2%) honey
- 30 g (2.2%) honey aromatic essence
- Personal protective gear
- Silicone loaf mold
- Large Pyrex cup or high-density polyethylene (HDPE) jar for the sodium hydroxide solution (minimum capacity of 500 ml)
- A jar, for weighing the sodium hydroxide
- Hot plate or stove element
- Large stainless steel bowl
- Two small stainless steel bowls
- Regular-sized silicone spatula
- Scale, accurate to 0.1 g
- Three ramekins
- Immersion blender
- Mini-mixer with frothing attachment (the small wheel)
- Two measuring funnel pitchers
- Plastic eyedropper bottle, 15 ml (optional)
- Bubble wrap, cut into a 8.5 x 20 cm rectangle
- A few teaspoons
- Soap cutter
- A clean tea towel
- Cover for the mold (a cutting board, for example)
Good to know!
- You should never change an oil or butter in a soap recipe without re-entering all your ingredients in a sodium hydroxide calculator.
- The saponified oils provide your homemade soap with these wonderful properties:
- Coconut oil hardens your soap, cleanses, and provides great lather.
- Olive oil makes this soap very mild on your skin.
- Avocado oil makes your soap gentle on your skin.
- Shea butter hardens the soap, makes it milder, and stabilizes its lather.
- This homemade soap with honey is superfatted at 9%. We chose to use shea butter and avocado oil as superfatting to make this soap even gentler on your skin.
- Vitamin E protects the oils and butters from going rancid. None of the lipids used in this recipe are especially prone to oxidation; however, it’s strongly recommended to use vitamin E in soaps with a high percentage of superfat, like this one.
- The ratio of water to sodium hydroxide in this recipe is three to one. It’s high in order to slow down trace. Trace would otherwise occur very quickly in this recipe because some ingredients (honey and honey aromatic essence) speed it up. The powders in this recipe (pink clay and colloidal oatmeal) also speed it up by absorbing some of the water.
- Honey is a humectant. It also softens the soap and increases its lather.
- The colloidal oatmeal is an emollient. It softens and soothes sensitive skin and makes this DIY soap very gentle on your skin.
- Pink clay gently purifies sensitive skin. It also softens the soap and serves as a colourant.
- The saponified oils provide your homemade soap with these wonderful properties:
- The honey aromatic essence can be replaced by the aromatic essence of your choosing. Keep in mind that it contributes to superfatting the recipe, because it’s got a vegetable oil base. If you’d rather use an essential oil in your own homemade honey soap, you’ll have to add 30 g of your chosen essential oil and 30 g of oil or butter to the superfatting.
Steps to follow
- Prepare and disinfect your equipment and workspace.
- Place the bubble wrap in the bottom of the mold with the bubbles facing up to create a honeycomb pattern on the bottom of the soap. Raise one of the long sides of the mold up by 2 cm by using a folded tea towel. This will make pouring your soap layers easier.
- Take the necessary precautions for handling sodium hydroxide safely.
- Prepare the sodium hydroxide solution: weigh the water in a Pyrex measuring cup or HDPE jar, weigh the sodium hydroxide, pour the sodium hydroxide into the water, mix well, and set aside to cool.
- Weigh the coconut oil and shea butter (for the base oil and butter mixture) along with the honey in a large bowl and melt it.
- Weigh the olive oil and avocado oil for the base oil and butter mixture in the first small bowl.
- Weigh the shea butter for the superfatting in a second small bowl and gently melt. Once it has melted, add the superfatting avocado oil and vitamin E and mix well.
- Weigh the pink clay in the measuring funnel pitcher and add 20 g of the superfatting mixture. Mix with the mini-mixer to fully disperse the clay. Set aside the remainder of the superfat, which should be uncoloured.
- Weigh the honey aromatic essence in the first ramekin. Weigh the colloidal oatmeal in the second ramekin.
- When the coconut oil, shea butter, and honey from step 5 have melted, remove the bowl from the heat. Add the olive oil and avocado oil from step 6, as well as the colloidal oatmeal. Mix with the immersion blender.
- When the base oil and butter mixture and the sodium hydroxide solution have both cooled to 30–35°C, pour the sodium hydroxide solution into the base oil and butter mixture. Mix with the spatula for about 30 seconds, then mix with both the immersion blender and the spatula, until you reach medium trace.
- At medium trace, add the rest of the uncoloured superfatting from step 8 (approximately 30 g) along with the honey aromatic essence. Mix with the spatula to homogenize the mixture.
- Optional: Using a teaspoon, fill the eyedropper bottle with soap batter and set aside. This step will allow you to make cute little hearts on the top of your soap. If you’d rather omit the hearts, go directly to step 14.
- If necessary, mix the soap batter again with the spatula and immersion blender until the batter reaches medium trace again: the addition of superfatting and the aromatic essence may have thinned the batter.
- Pour 200 ml of the batter into a second measuring funnel pitcher, then pour these 200 ml into the mold.
- Now it’s time to tackle the gradient! With a teaspoon, take some of the coloured superfatting from the first measuring funnel pitcher and transfer five drops of the coloured mixture into the bowl containing the rest of the uncoloured soap batter.
- Mix the drops of the coloured superfatting oil into the soap batter using the spatula, then gently pour a thin layer of the (now slightly coloured) batter directly from the bowl, along the wall of the tilted mold. This will help the coloured layer gently settle over the soap in the mold without the two intermixing.
- Repeat steps 16 and 17 until the mold, still inclined, is almost totally full.
- Remove the tea towel to set the mold flat on the table or counter. Continue to fill the mold in the same manner, repeating steps 16 and 17 and pouring the batter along the edge of the mold, until all of the soap batter and coloured superfatting has been used up.
- Optional: It’s time to make your hearts, if you so choose! Take the rest of the uncoloured soap batter in the eyedropper bottle (set aside in step 13) and place several drops on the surface of the soap. Next, to form heart shapes, draw the tip of the thermometer gently through the top of each drop of colourless soap at the surface, through to the opposite side of the drop, and gently remove the thermometer once it’s passed through the drop. That’s it for your hearts! Be sure to keep the tip of the thermometer close to the surface of the soap in order not to alter the gradient below.
- Cover the soap mold with a cutting board, taking care to ensure that it does not touch the top of the soap so it doesn’t damage the surface of the soap.
- After one week, unmold and cut the soap, wearing gloves. Leave soap to cure for five weeks in a dark, dry place.
Use and conservation
This homemade soap is very gentle and creates a lot of lather. It’s particularly well suited for sensitive and dry skin and can be used on your face.
When made in optimal sanitary conditions, it will keep for at least 12 months.