DIY herbal soaps are easy to make. You just need a soap base, some herbs, and your favorite essential oils to make the soap smell amazing. But if you want to make herbal soaps that look as good as they smell, your effort will require a bit more practice and precision.
The good news is that, with a bit of diligence, anybody can master the art of making fragrant herbal soaps that are both pleasing to the eye and rejuvenating to the skin.
How To Make Herbal Soaps: A Primer
There are numerous ways to make herbal soaps, but one of the simplest methods looks like this:
* Gather Some Glycerin Soap To Use As A Base
You can find glycerin soap online or in craft stores. Pure glycerin soap is an excellent base because it’s all-natural and contains no alcohols, fragrances, or other skin irritants.
One ounce of glycerin soap will give you about the equivalent of a bar of soap, so buy as much as you need for your goals. Ideally, you’ll want at least four or five ounces for your initial batch.
* Melt The Glycerin Soap
This can be done in a microwave or double boiler.
If you do it in the microwave, start by chopping the glycerin soap into chunks and placing them in a microwave-safe bowl. Then heat the soap for 30 seconds at 50% power.
Stir the contents, and continue heating until the soap melts into a consistent liquid.
If you use a double boiler, chop the glycerin into chunks as you would with the previous method. Then place the chunks in the boiler and stir occasionally until the soap turns to liquid.
* Stir In Essential Oils For Fragrance
You’ll generally add about 3 drops of essential oil for every ounce of soap, though it’s okay to experiment with slightly more or less if you’re seeking a stronger or subtler scent.
Choose essential oils based on your fragrance preferences or therapeutic goals. Popular essential oils for homemade soaps include lavender, peppermint, lemongrass, bergamot, rosemary, and cedarwood.
* Grind Herbs & Stir Them Into The Mix
You’ll need about ½ tbsp. to ¾ tbsp. of herbs per 1 oz. of glycerin soap. Parsley, thyme, lemon balm, mint, basil, and chamomile are just a few examples of the fragrant herbs that can enhance your soap.
Consider pairing complementary essential oils and herbs. For example, by combining fresh lavender with lavender essential oil, you can promote a richer and more robust lavender scent.
* Pour The Liquid Soap Into Soap Moulds and Let it Dry
If you leave the soap at room temperature, it should cure within about 2 hours. If you place it in the freezer, it can dry in as little as 30 minutes. Make sure that the soap dries completely before you remove it from the moulds.
How To Make Herbal Soaps Look Amazing
It’s not enough to know how to make herbal soaps. Whether you’re selling your soaps to the public, giving them away as gifts, or just showing them off to guests, you want them to make a pleasing visual impression.
You’re not going to do that with sweet-smelling but odd-looking clumps of soap.
Here are some simple tips for making your herbal soaps look as good as they smell:
* Use Proper Soap Moulds
Some soap makers will use baking trays or even ice cube trays to shape their soaps, but this approach doesn’t yield the most attractive result.
Invest in some proper soap-making moulds to achieve the right look. Bar soap moulds work well, but you can really kick up the aesthetic using textured silicone soap moulds shaped like flowers, nature scenes, and other unique visuals.
* Add Texture & Colour
One simple trick is to sprinkle dried herbs and rose petals along the bottom of your soap molds before you pour the soap. Flowers like rose, goldenrod, and lavender work especially well.
Just make sure to place them top-down before pouring the mould; don’t mix the petals in with the liquid soap.
Alternatively, you can wait until the soap has cured before adding the dried herbs. Just wet the top of each dried soap mould and gently press the herbs into it.
* Choose Your Herbs Wisely
Your choice of herbs will strongly influence the colour of your soap. Make sure that the colours complement one another. If you’re going for a particular colour scheme, choose your herbs accordingly.
For example, sage, basil, and peppermint are great for encouraging different shades of green. Lavender will give you a pleasing purple shade. Hibiscus is great for achieving more of a red hue. Think of your herbs as your colour palette.
* Use A Beveller To Smooth Out The Edges
If you’re making soap with the intention to sell it, you’ll want to invest in a good beveller to achieve perfectly smooth edges. All you have to do is slide the ends of the bar across the blade to shave off the corners.
This will leave you with a more professional look, as though the soap was produced on an assembly line.
* Invest In A Quality Soap-Making Kit
If you’re still making soap with supplies you have lying around the house, it might be time to upgrade to a kit that enables you to mould, shape, and customize your soaps. A quality kit will include essentials like silicone moulds, cutting and trimming tools, and all-natural coloured dyes.
Anyone Can Make Herbal Soaps That Look Amazing
Even if you have a few disastrous soap-making efforts under your belt, you can make amazing-looking soaps with just a few basic supplies.
The most important thing is to keep at it. It will take a bit of practice, but as you explore different moulds, floral accents, and herb combinations, you’ll soon find the perfect aesthetic for your homemade soaps.
In time, you might even have a viable business on your hands!
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Author Bio: Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist, working with brands like Kratora. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and world of fitness.