Soapmaking can be just as satisfying and addictive as creating delicious recipes. Combine ingredients to suit your mood, whether you want to uplift, energize or promote relaxation. This is a pretty and soothing concoction. Calendula is a natural anti-inflammatory; honey nourishes and moisturizes the skin; and oatmeal is a gentle exfoliant. Cheering, soothing, citrus-based essential oils provide the perfect fragrance.
• Soap molds, muffin pans or small tart pans
• 1 tablespoon sweet almond or peanut oil, for greasing molds
• 18 ounces melt-and-mold white soap
• 3 tablespoons honey
• 5 tablespoons dried calendula petals
• 4 tablespoons coarse oatmeal
• 10 drops bergamot, neroli or mandarin essential oil
1. Lightly but thoroughly grease the molds with oil, or line molds with parchment paper or muffin liners.
2. Grate soap coarsely and place in a heat-proof bowl large enough to fit over a saucepan. Alternatively, you can use a double boiler. Add honey to soap. Place bowl over a pan of barely simmering water—the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl—and melt soap with honey, stirring from time to time, until it’s liquid and well-blended.
3. Remove bowl from heat. Stir in calendula petals, oatmeal and essential oils; mix thoroughly. Pour liquid soap into a measuring cup and then pour it into greased or lined molds. Rap molds gently on the work surface to eliminate air bubbles (not necessary if you are using silicone molds) and leave to set for at least 4 hours.
4. If you’re using silicone molds, simply press the soaps out. If using metal molds, use a small, sharp knife to help ease them out. Leave in a cool, dry place for 3 to 4 weeks to “cure” or harden. Makes about 10 soap bars.
Discover how easy soap making is and find more recipes in Make It, Don’t Buy It: Simple Homemade Soaps.
Recipes excerpted from Gifts from the Garden: 100 Gorgeous Homegrown Presents by Debora Robertson, available in the Mother Earth Living store.