Try this cold process soap recipe with layers in beautiful colors. Scented with floral notes: lavender, neroli, and ylang-ylang. Made with olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil and sunflower oil.
I like to make soap and other natural skincare as gifts for Christmas. So, as many soap makers do, I’ve formulated a special soap for holidays. This post shows the recipe I’ve made for Christmas in 2020. Hope you like it!
Table of Contents
- How Do You Make Layered Cold Process Soap?
- Recipe Ingredients
- Cold Process Soap Recipe With Layers – Difficulty
- Find Where to Buy Handmade Layered Soap
- How To Use This Soap
- Related Posts
- Watch This Video About Safety
- Cold Process Soap Making Tutorial Video
- Cold Process Soap Making Lessons
How Do You Make Layered Cold Process Soap?
To make the layers in cold process, you will need a liquid soap batter that is slow to harden. Split the liquid soap batter in three pitchers. Leave one uncolored, add the blue color to another and the violet color to the third one. Mix well only with a spoon or spatula, to prevent the soap to accelerate/harden before time. Then, pour one layer at a time in a large loaf soap mold. You can pour each one in one go, or alternate between colors a couple of times. This is up to your imagination and skills.
As my skills with swirling are still “under construction”, I’ve aimed at a layered soap with a simple top design, decorated with poppy seeds and gold mica. Maybe next year I will make a bright green and red soap, but as I have a lot of blue and violet colorant, this year I made my special soap around these colors: blue, violet and cream.
The soap base is made with a known trio of soaping oils: olive oil, coconut oil and palm oil. I’ve added sunflower to make the natural soap color lighter and more liquid. The soap base needs to have a bigger % of liquid oils than hard oils in order to give time to work the soap before it starts hardening.
Too many solid oils and the soap batter will harden too quickly. Other variables that accelerate trace are certain essential oils (especially if they have other addictives, like certain alcohols), higher temperatures, higher concentration of lye (lower water content), or sugary ingredients (milk, honey, beer,…).
Make sure you prepare the blue and violet colorants by adding a bit of the liquid oils measured beforehand and mix well.
For scent, I’ve applied a lovely blend of lavender, neroli, ylang-ylang and benzoin. I’ve finally found a base note that I truly like with lavender: benzoin.
Here is the resulting soap:
Cold Process Soap Recipe With Layers – Difficulty
With three colored layers and a design on top of the soap, this turns into an advanced soap recipe, so only try this one if you have a good experience with other soap recipes. Below you can find a couple of links to other cold process recipes. I would advise you to start with soap recipes for beginners, if you have very little or no experience with cold process soap making.
I hope you like this recipe, and enjoy your soaps at home!!
Find Where to Buy Handmade Layered Soap
If you’re not yet ready to try to make this recipe at home, but you still wish to enjoy natural soaps, you can find handmade pretty layered soap at the following links:
How To Use This Soap
In the shower or bath, wet your hands and rub your soap in them to create a lather. Wash your hands first, then repeat the process and apply soap to your whole body using the soap directly and your hands. You may also wash your face with it. Rinse hands and body abundantly. Also wash your soap from lather before placing it in your soap dish or bag saver.
Washcloths and sponges should be avoided. Avoid washing your intimate zone and your hair, soap pH in not adequate for those parts of your body. Avoid eye contact with soap to prevent stinging. Make a patch test before using your soap. Stop using your soap if you feel any immediate adverse reaction in your skin (red skin, rashes, itching).
To take best advantage of your handmade soap (made by yourself or store-bougth), read How Do You Use Handmade Soap?
Ingredients and Recipes
- Vegetable oils: Oil Properties For Soap Making
- Essential oils: Best Essential Oils for Soap Making
- Colorants: How To Color Your Soap With Kitchen Ingredients
- Beginner Recipes: Soap Recipes for Beginners
- Cold Process Soap Recipes: Free Cold Process Soap Recipes
Soap Making Techniques and Troubleshooting
- Cold Process Tutorial Guide: Learn To Make Cold Process Soap?
- Soap Making Methods: How To Make Soap At Home
- Soap Making Trace: Know Everything About Trace in Soap Making
- Soap Acceleration: Causes, How To Avoid It Or How To Fix It
- Soda Ash In Soap: What It Is, How to Remove It
Watch This Video About Safety
Cold Process Soap Making Tutorial Video
Cold Process Soap Making Lessons
The tutorials in this blog are a great – and free! – help to start with cold process soap making. Practice is the next step to harness the art of making soaps at home. However, I understand if you prefer to have some formal lessons, where you will feel more supported with the steps. Feel free to join these courses at Udemy.
After Trace Ingredients
Essential oil blend
- Wear goggles and gloves! Look at “Safety Precautions” in the video above or in Soap Making Safety Precautions
- Watch the video above about "Cold Process Soap Making Tutorial" or read the post Learn To Make Cold Process Soap for instructions on cold process soap making before starting. These are generic but important steps for all recipes.
- Assemble everything: ingredients, equipment, safety equipment. Prepare your workstations. Measure all the ingredients. Don’t start the recipe without having everything ready!
- Remove 1-2 tsp of the measured liquid oils into a small cup. Strain the blue mica into the cup and mix well with the oil.300 g sunflower oil, 1 tsp ultramarine blue (CI 77007)
- Repeat the previous step to the violet mica300 g sunflower oil, 1 tsp ultramarine violet (CI 77007)
Heat the Oils
- Heat the oils until the solid oils are completely melted (it is not necessary to heat all the time).300 g extra virgin olive oil, 200 g refined or organic coconut oil, 300 g sunflower oil, 200 g RSPO palm oil
Make the Lye Water
- Make the lye water according to How to Make Lye Water. Stir the mixture until the vapors start to dissipate.320 g distilled water, 137 g lye (100% sodium hydroxide)
Make the Soap Batter
- Use as a target temperature 40ºC for the oil-solution mixture. If necessary, you can reheat the oils, but not the lye solution.
- Pour the lye water carefully into the oils. It's better to strain the lye water to catch any undissolved lye crystals. Mix for a while.
- Reach a light trace with the immersion blender. If needed you can use the blender later.
- Add the after trace ingredients: essential oil blend and anti-oxidant extract. Mix well with a spoon or spatula.10 drops grapefruit seed extract (GSE) (anti-oxidant), 3 tsp essential oil lavender, 9 ml essential oil/fragrance neroli, 1 tsp essential oil ylang-ylang, 0,5 tsp essential oil benzoin, 27,5 ml essential oils blend
- Beware that the soap batter might start hardening fast after adding the essential oils. Be efficient from now onwards.
- Divide the soap batter evenly into the 3 pitchers, more or less (no need to be precise).
- Add the blue colorant into one of the pitchers and mix well with a spoon. You can use the immersion blender in case the soap is still too liquid.
- Add the violet colorant into another pitcher and mix well with a spoon. You can use the immersion blender in case the soap is still too liquid.
- Check the third pitcher (should have soap batter with its creamy natural color) and mix a bit to prevent hardening
Making the Layers / Molding
- Use a soap loaf mold for this soap. Start by pouring the blue soap into the soap mold. Pour until the mold surface is completely covered.
- Then pour the violet soap into the soap mold carefully and try to cover the blue layer (but it's not required).
- Pour the creamy soap on top of the violet layer. Grab the blue soap pitcher and repeat the last 3 steps until your pour all soap batter.
- If you wish to make some top effects, let the soap batter sit for a bit until it reaches a paste consistency (you might not need to wait for this). Use a spoon or fork to make the top effects. This video gives some ideas.
- At last, sprinkle the top of the soap with golden mica and/or some poppy seeds, and finish it by sprinkling alcoholalcohol or witch hazel to sprinkle, golden mica and poppy seeds to sprinkle
- Make sure you properly isolate your soap loaf mold (easiest way is to heat for a bit your oven, turn it off and then place the soap mold inside the oven)