Preparing to make your own lotions and soaps

No, it’s not just another thing to keep me busy.  But it surely is doing that.  On my quest to make something natural I have decided that the cheapest and safest way to do that is to make my own products.  I plan on making a facial cleanser, moisturizer, sun screen, diaper rash cream and possibly diaper wipes.  The facial cleanser and moisturizer come first though.

Here are some of my criteria for recipes and products I plan on making:

Lye-free, tallow free

No essential oils (I will just leave them out of the recipe) This is recommended while pregnant.

All natural ingredients with no additives.

No melt and pour kits.

Product used on dry, sensitive skin for my dry climate.

If by chance you find yourself feeling a little crazy meaning you are interested in making your own lotions and soaps so here is how you can get started.

1.  Check out as many books from your library as you can.  Select books with natural recipes.  Scan them for recipes that you can easily make.  This means it contains ingredients that aren’t too bizarre and hard to find or expensive.  Remember we are trying to save a few pennies here, not break the bank using some exotic oil.

I found one book that I really liked (but remember my library network is small, so you may find another you like).  My favorite is called Green Beauty Recipes by Julie Gabriel.

I also found Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanie Tourles was helpful in finding out what skin type I had.

I wasn’t crazy about the recipes because I want any everyday product that is shelf stable.  I found that Tourles’ book is more geared towards special occasion spa day recipes.  It also uses borax as an emulsifier in several recipes which is not good, possibly dangerous.   Green Beauty Recipes on the other hand had a vast and diverse selection of recipes for all skin types.  The recipes are clearly communicated and give helpful shelf life data as well.  She also has a large section on mother and baby recipes which I appreciated.  The book contains no lye based recipes instead it uses natural oils, butters, emulsifiers and olive oil liquid soap (castile soap).  The ingredients are gently melted together.  The book was published in 2010 so the info is current and reflects up to date ingredients and information.

2.  Gather your supplies.  This is hard than it might seem.  I found the list of references at the back of the soap books to be very helpful but still not enough.  After many hours of searching on the internet I turned to ebay.  I found what I needed at one source, CountrySoapShop which was great for combined shipping.  The other supplies (Dr. Bronner’s unscented Castille soap with no additives and beeswax) I found at my local health food store.  I was tempted to order from Mountain Rose Herbs but in the end they didn’t have exactly what I needed and I wanted to minimize my shipping costs.  I also ordered my laundry and dishwasher soap supplies at  Their prices for castile soap were the best I could find.  They aren’t organic and don’t have culinary grade products but that’s okay for the purposes I am using them for.  I’d rather put my money into organic products that are going directly on my body.

Next I just have to wait for my supplies to arrive and then I am ready to go.  I will let you know how it turns out.  Do you have any books or websites you’d like to recommend?


7 responses to “Preparing to make your own lotions and soaps

  1. I’d love a copy of the diaper rash cream you make! Katherine has been struggling with a nasty diaper rash that keeps popping back up and I don’t like having to use the Destin all the time. Thanks in advance and good luck!

    City Roots, Country Life

  2. Pingback: Homemade Soap Disaster #2 | His and Hers Homesteading

  3. I’ve been researching a lot about home made soaps and it seems that lye (sodium hydroxide) is absolutely essential to make actual soap (unless you want to make glycerin soap…. which is a by-product of lye-made soap). Did you also find this to be true or is there a way around it that I’ve missed? (From what I’ve seen, other lye-free bars are not technically soap, but rather deodorizers and “beauty bars.”)

  4. I’m curious as to whether or not oil-based “soaps” leave a residue either on skin or in the shower/tub?

  5. How do you make Lye-free tallow soap? Do you have a recipe?

    • Robert @ hisandhershomesteading

      Gin, I don’t believe we do, but I’ll ask Courtney to respond later and let you know for sure.

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