How to Make Homemade Soaps with Herbs

Learn how to make homemade soaps with our easy-to-follow instructions. These five healing recipes will become instant favorites, perfect for any occasion or skin-type.

| November/December 1997

  • It's fun making herbal soaps. Gather the herbs needed for your soothing skin-care creations from the garden, the wild, or the apothecary or natural food store.
    Photo by Fotolia/unpict

  • Handmade soaps offer gentle therapy with herbal ingredients, shown here in antique saltcellars. Clockwise from upper right: calendula, lavender, pine, goldenseal, and a potpourri including ¬≠cinnamon bark and bay leaves. At top, Lavender and Rosemary Soap.

Since I first learned how to make homemade soap 17 years ago, I’ve come to discover that it contains many wonderful healing properties. By itself it draws infectious agents, along with other unwanted or irritating substances, away from the skin. Adding healing herbs increases soap’s power to cleanse, soothe and protect in a natural, healthful way.

Some of my favorite soaps begin with a smooth, gentle base of vegetable-derived glycerin soap, which is especially kind to troubled skin and easy to blend with herbs. These qualities, and the fact that it’s simple to use, are the reasons glycerin soap base is the foundation in each recipe offered above.

How to Make Homemade Soaps: 5 Recipes

Antiseptic Soap:
Common Plantain Soap
Tea Tree Antiseptic Soap

Soap for Blemishes:
Lavender and Rosemary Soap
Ylang Ylang and Frankincense Soap

Softening Soaps:
Fresh Aloe Vera and Nettle Leaf Soap 

A Word About Skin

The skin is a living, breathing part of the body, and its appearance and function will respond to the type of care given to the entire being. Adequate rest and exercise, proper nutrition, relief from emotional stress and proper external care all contribute to healthy skin, which operates more efficiently and looks beautiful.

12/10/2013 4:41:53 AM

Please send me everything I need to know about making my own soaps.

Sandy Gaboury
9/1/2013 10:40:06 AM

The recipes look great, but be very cautious about the ingredients in the commercial melt-and-pour glycerine soap you use. Many contain Sodium Laurel Sulfate and other detergents. One which advertises "SLS free" has Propylene Glycol as its first ingredient, which the Environmental Working Group lists as a level 3 toxin. Additionally, the glycerine extraction process itself often involves the use of isopropyl alcohol, a solvent. When you shop for glycerine soap, look for detergent free soap with ingredients you can pronounce. If possible, try to obtain a soap with organic ingredients as well, from a reputable organic company. You will be doing your body a favor!

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