Moisturizing Soap

If you’ve never made soap before, I recommend you review the complete step-by-step instructions on this page:


Moisturizing Soap

This is a gentle, foamy moisturizing soap that you will love! It's easy to customize with fragrances, textures (ground cloves, herbs, etc). My favorite oil is tea tree because it's so skin-friendly, but I also love lavender, frankincense, clove with citrus... NOTE: ALL MEASUREMENTS ARE BY WEIGHT, not by measuring cup.
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time2 hours 6 minutes
Servings: 2 pounds (about 12 bars)


  • 9 oz coconut oil
  • 2 oz shea butter
  • 2 oz cocoa butter
  • 1 oz beeswax shaved or pellets
  • 9 oz olive oil
  • 5 oz castor oil
  • 3 oz sweet almond oil or can use Jojoba oil
  • 4 oz filtered water
  • 6 oz coconut milk (or more water)
  • 4 oz lye (drain cleaner; can be found in hardware stores)
  • 1/2 oz essential oils (optional)


  • Prepare your mold (plastic shoebox lined with wax paper).
  • WEIGH your fats/beeswax and place in a large stainless pot. Melt on low temperature. When melted, set aside to cool to 100° F.
  • WEIGH lye in a baggie, slowly pour into container of WEIGHED liquids (water or water/milk combo) (see main instructions for precautions). Set aside to cool to 100° F.
  • Weigh essential oils and set aside for later.
  • When melted fats and lye water are both as close to 100° as possible, pour the lye water into the fats and alternate using a mixer and stirring by hand until mixture begins to trace.
  • Stir in essential oils and other ingredients you like (ground cloves, herbs, cinnamon, etc.)
  • Pour into the mold, wrap in towels and let sit in a temperate place for 24 hours.
  • Remove soap from mold and cut into bars. If you make the bars about 1" x 2" x 3", you'll get 12 or so.
  • Place bars on a rack with good air circulation and let it harden for 6 weeks. Don't use the soap before 6 weeks, as the lye can still be active.

14 thoughts on “Moisturizing Soap

    1. Farmer Deb Post author

      I tend to wash everything by hand, just to get it cleaned to my satisfaction. Just hot water, soap and rubber gloves. I suppose you could use the dishwasher, although there’s a chance that even if the residue hasn’t cured yet it could get a little soapy, which could be a bit of a problem for the dishwasher…

    2. Donna

      1/2 oz of essential oils per recipe ???

      can more than one oil be used?? what would the weight be???

      when adding cinnamon or herbs what would the weight of each be???

      I have never tried making soap before. Find it very interesting and would like to try it.

      1. Farmer Deb Post author

        Hi Donna. It really depends on a few things regarding how much oil or other ingredients to add. The first being your personal taste: some people like things lightly scented (the 1/2 oz per 2# of soap falls in this category); some essential oils are not as strong as others; strength also varies from brand to brand. There are also “fragrance oils” and “essential oils,” the fragrance ones being stronger. I’ve also found that some oils such as lavender sometimes fade curing the curing process. You’ll have to experiment to see what works best for you. Yes, you can mix oils too. Some favorites: Lemon/sage, lavender/vanilla, citrus/lavender, tea tree/cedar/myrrh. I found this link to a fragrance calculator, which will give you a more exact way to measure oils. I’ve added ground oatmeal (about 1/2 cup for 2# of soap), ground cloves (about 1/4-1/3 cup), cinnamon (1 tsp). It’s almost like making cookies, where you can tell what you’re going to like when you’re mixing in the ingredients.

        Good luck with your soap making! I really find it fascinating and rewarding and have never had a bad batch.

    3. Sue Rine

      I once put my soap equipment in the dishwasher to clean it. Oh my, oh my, that was a mistake! It foamed up mightily and clogged something up so that we had a flood.

    1. Farmer Deb Post author

      Hi Linda, it’s actually for cutting vegetables but I never use it for that. A friend gave it to me, it’s from Pampered Chef but you can probably get one in a store or on Amazon (search “vegetable crinkle cutter”). I saw one on there for $3.99 with Prime Shipping.

    1. Farmer Deb Post author

      Yes, you need the lye to make real soap. I haven’t seen anything more natural outside of making my own lye from wood ashes (lol), so I’ve been using the lye sold in stores. It’s harder to find these days, I find mine at the hardware store. I found this very informative blog post about lye and organic soap. Also, there are instructions for making lye from ashes on the Internet, one of the articles (from 1972!) being found on Mother Earth News.

    1. Farmer Deb Post author

      Hi Nancy, No special brand, I buy it at the Asian market and just get what looks good. If you want to go completely organic with ingredients (I can’t imagine coconuts needing pesticide?), you can find organic at WholeFoods. They should have their own label (365). Recently I made a batch of this soap but used fresh goat’s milk instead of the coconut milk and it came out just as nice! The kids that had milked the goat were thrilled to see the milk being used in something. The goat milk is much higher in fat content and it really reacted with the lye, heating it up beyond what I expected, but it worked out alright.

  1. Chris


    I am so happy to see a soap recipe that does not have palm oil in it. Is there anything I could use instead of the beeswax since I am Vegan.

    Thank you for sharing this great information!


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