Here I will provide you with four different variations of a soap base. This will also serve as a reference point for all face and hair cleanser recipes. You will simply add one of the following to any recipe that calls for a soap base. Choose whichever one you find most convenient. Each variation will keep forever once made.

Castile Soap Base

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Bar:
All-One Hemp Baby Unscented Pure-Castile Bar Soap finely grated  *      5 Oz.
Purified water       5 cups

This is the cheapest option. A single bar of  Dr. Bonners Castile Soap is $4.79.
You can get a pack of 3 on Amazon for $15, which breaks down to $5 a bar. I suggest checking your local grocery store, natural health food store, or target first. I always recommend shopping in your local community first before heading online.

*I suggest the baby unscented bar because it has no added fragrance and is good for sensitive skin.

Direction
• Add water to a pot and bring to a simmer.
• Add the grated soap and bring to a low boil, stirring until the soap completely dissolves.
• Store in a glass jar.

Liquid:
18-In-One Hemp Baby Unscented Pure-Castile Liquid Soap        1/4 cup

This is the most convenient option in my opinion. You just simply add 1/4 cup of this soap to any recipe that calls for a soap base. Easy peasy, right?

 

Pure Soap Flakes

Soap flakes can be found at most health food stores and pharmacies so check there first before heading online.

Soap flakes     5 ounces
Purified water    5 cups

Directions
• Add water to a pot and bring to a simmer.
• Add flakes, stirring until soap dissolves.
• Let cool and store in a large glass jar.

This mixture will most likely gel and become clumpy after sitting for a while. Rest assured, it’s still good and safe to use. Just take the amount you need and whisk it or put it in a small blender when you make your hair or face cleanser recipe.

Soapwort Root

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Soapwort root is the raw material of soaps and other cleaning products. You can most likely find some at a natural health food store or an herbalist may be able to provide you with some or possible point you in the right direction.

Crushed soapwort root     1 oz.
Purified Water    6 cups

Directions

Place crushed soapwort root in a large glass pyrex bowl.
Bring water to a rapid boil and pour it over the soapwort root.
leave it to infuse for about an hour.
Once ready, filter it through a cheesecloth, milk bag, or coffee filter.
(I prefer the milk bag. It’s the easiest to use and wash)

Store in a large glass jar

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When you shampoo using this option, you will need to use larger quantities of the final recipe. About 2 tablespoons EXTRA of the finished recipe.
Ex: If the direction calls for you to use 2 tablespoons of a shampoo recipe you will need to use 4 tablespoons of the FINAL recipe when using this option as your soap base.

 

Okay, now that we got the basics out of the way let’s get started making our first face soap cleanser! It’s super simple. I promise!

NOTE: If you’re in a pinch and want to make one of the hair or face cleansers I share on my blog but don’t have the ingredients needed to make the soap base (or you just don’t feel like making your own soap base), simply use a 1/4 cup of your favorite store-bought shampoo or facial cleanser as your soap base. If you are not already, I suggest using something that is natural and free of harsh chemicals. The whole point here is to create skincare products that are simple, pure and as natural as possible.

Anywhoo, happy soap making if you try it out! Let me know how it works out for you…PLEASE!

I share a lot of homemade non-toxic products that require the use of the bain-marie method and I thought it would be a good idea to create a reference point explaining what it is. 

So what IS a bain-marie, right? It’s a French cooking term for a hot water bath. It’s pronounced ban-mah-REE. Traditionally it’s used for cooking delicate foods over low temperatures. This is the method I use to gently melt a lot of the ingredients I use in the products I make.

HOW TO MAKE A BAIN-MARIE

A bain-marie is super easy to put together. All you need is a small or medium saucepan and a large bowl that covers the top of the saucepan. I like to use a clear Pyrex bowl for this. 

Fill your saucepan with 2-4 inches of water and set your bowl on top. Over a low-medium heat, the water in your saucepan will begin to simmer and the rising steam will melt what you have inside your bowl.

NOTE: You don’t want the water in the saucepan to touch your bowl, and you want to make sure your bowl fits snugly, so the steam is trapped beneath it.  Also, be sure to keep an eye on your water to make sure it doesn’t boil off. Add more if necessary. 

IS A BAIN-MARIE THE SAME THING AS A DOUBLE BOILER?

In a nutshell, yes. A double boiler is two pots: a large one that looks a lot like a saucepan and a small shallow pan that nestles on top. Same steps apply. You fill the bottom pan with a few inches of water and the steam melts what you have in the top shallow pan. 

BAIN-MARIE VS DOUBLE BOILER

Owning an actual double boiler is handy if you do a lot of cooking or regularly make products that require one. If you only need one occasionally, you can accomplish the same results with a bain-maire. 

In the end, it’s a matter of preference. I love using the bain-marie method because it’s simple and easy to put together. I don’t feel the need to go out and buy a double boiler if I can accomplish the same results with a bowl and saucepan. I did buy a clear Pyrex bowl just for making my products, that way I’m not using it for food as well. If you have a double boiler or plan on using this method, I suggest getting one just for making your products. I personally don’t like cooking in the same dishes I use for making my products. That way there is no chance of cross-contamination. 

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