Coconut Oil Soap Recipe

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The second recipe to be presented on this blog will be a homemade coconut oil soap recipe.

Every experienced soap maker know there are two long-standing rules on the manufacture of soaps:

1 – Do not use more than 30% coconut oil in a recipe – it will leave your skin very “dry”

2 – Do not use a percentage of “superfat” (extra oils) greater than 8% to 10% or the soap will become too soft, will make little foam and is susceptible to create the dreaded orange spots (Dreaded Orange Spots), similar to getting rancid.

So what happens when you make soaps with 100% coconut oil and 20% superfat?

The pros of coconut oils and the 20% superfat combine to counteract the negative effects of using a high percentage of coconut oil (which dries the skin) and a high percentage of “superfat” (which makes the soap too soft and “oily”), resulting in a spectacular soap.

The explanation is that coconut oil does not dry the skin, it is just a strong cleansing agent. Cleans the skin so deeply that it completely removes the fatty layer from the skin, leaving it with a dry feeling. But coconut oil alone is moisturizing for the skin. With an extra 20% of coconut oil the dryness effect disappears, resulting in a smooth and skin-friendly soap.

As for becoming rancid due to the high amount of extra oil, coconut oil is very stable and long lasting. On the other hand, coconut oil always produces a very abundant foam, so the negative effects of a high “superfat” are not applicable in this case. Try it at home and enjoy!

NOTE: Coconut oil, although very rare, can cause allergy to anyone who has allergies to nuts. If so, try a little coconut oil on your skin and see if it causes an allergic reaction.

More Single-Oil Recipes


Watch this video for Soap Making Safety instruction

Video in portuguese
Video in english

Watch this video for the Cold Process Soap Making tutorial

Video in portuguese
Video in english

Homemade Coconut Oil Soap Recipe

Sofia Matias
Homemade basic recipe of a natural soap with a wonderful ingredient: coconut oil, resulting in a super cleansing, smooth and skin-friendly soap.
Difficulty: Easy
Weight: 450g (15,8 oz)
Superfat: 20%
Lye Concentration: 33%
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Curing Time 30 d
Total Time 30 d 1 hr
Servings 6 soap bars
Cost $29,20 / 24,50€
Cosmetic Soap Bar
Method Cold Process

Equipment

  • Immersion blender
  • Pyrex or stainless steel bowl
  • Heat-resistant jug or pitcher for lye solution
  • Pitcher
  • Digital scale
  • Digital thermometer
  • Measuring spoons
  • Rubber spatula(s)
  • Cup / bottle for after trace ingredients
  • Soap mold
  • Safety goggles, gloves and mask

Ingredients
  

Lye Water

  • 134 g distilled water (4,72 oz)
  • 66 g lye (100% sodium hydroxide) (2,32 oz)

Oils

  • 450 g refined or organic coconut oil (15,84 oz)

Add After Trace

  • 8 drops grapefruit seed extract (GSE) or rosemary extract (RSO) (anti-oxidant)
  • 1/2 or 1 tsp violet mica/pigment ultramarine violet (CI 77007)
  • 14 ml essential oil lavender (0,49 fl oz)
  • 1 tsp sweet almond oil (to mix mica)

Instructions
 

Get Ready!

  • Watch the video above about "Cold Process Soap Making tutorial" or read the post How To Make Soap by Cold Process Step-by-Step for instructions on cold process soap making before starting. These are generic but important steps for all recipes.
  • Wear goggles and gloves! Look at “Safety Recommendations” in the video above or in How to Make Soap From Scratch
  • Assemble everything: ingredients, equipment, safety equipment. Prepare your workstations. Measure all the ingredients. Don’t start the recipe without having everything ready!
  • Add a bit of melted coconut oil or sweet almond oil to a small cup, and add the dye and stir well to avoid lumps. You can add 1/2 teaspoon for a soft tone and 1 teaspoon for a stronger tone. The recipe in the video used 1 teaspoon.

Heat the Oils

  • You will have to melt the coconut oil as it remains in a solid state for a temperature below 24ºC.

Prepare the Lye Water

  • Make the lye solution according to How To Make Lye Water. Mix it until the vapors start to dissipate. Strain it to catch any undissolved lye crystals..

Make the Soap Batter

  • Use as a target temperature 38ºC for the oil-solution mixture. If necessary heat the coconut oil a little.
  • Pour the lye water into the oils. Starting stick blending.
  • Now add the oily dye mixture to the soap batter and stir well.
  • Reach trace with the immersion blender.
  • Add the extract and essential oil (s) after trace. Note that lavender essential oil has a tendency to “thicken” the batter, it may become firm or appear to “curdle” very quickly. Use a spoon and avoid the stick blender. It is advisable to pour the batter into the molds as soon as possible.

Molding and Curing

  • Pour the dough in the molds using a pitcher and sprinkle with alcohol or witch hazel. Let it set for 12 to 18 hours. You can use pre-heated oven for gel phase.
  • Unmold and let the bars cure for 4 to 6 weeks. See How To Cure Handmade Soap.

Video

Keyword best cold process soap recipes,, best soap recipes, coconut oil soap recipe,, homemade coconut oil soap recipe

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10 Comments

  1. Hello!

    I did not understand why coconut oil dried out my hair and skin when I used it in oil form! But I know why now, after reading this article! I wrote that because I love using products with coconut oil and I think this homemade coconut can be an awesome alternative! 

    I appreciate your knowledge and that you share it with us!

    keep Being AMAZING w

    1. Sofia Matias

      Hello Brendaliz, thanks for your comment. Yes, coconut oil can feel a bit “drying”. Personally, I’ve used pure coconut oil, and I never felt my skin or hair “dry”, but it can be due to skin type. You can try the coconut oil soap, but I’d advise you to wash your hands first to see if the soap is also drying on your skin. Best thing will be to try one of my other recipes with an oil mix, you have great conditioners (olive oil and shea butter) in this one: Rosemary and Eucalyptus Soap Recipe.

      Cheers, Sofia

  2. I absolutely love coconut and will definitely be trying out your recipe. It will be my first time making soap, but coconut reminds me of the beach, paradise freedom and so the smell just takes me to that place. Really lovely article, grapefruit oil will give it that extra sweet smell and greek yogurt is super healthy. I’m sold, will you be batch making and selling any online? I

    1. Hello Ashyra, thanks for your comment.

      Coconut oil soap, unfortunately, due to the chemical reaction, might not smell like coconut, but it will smell like unscented soap. In this recipe, I suggest to put lavender essential oil so it will smell like lavender 🙂 As for Greek Yogurt, yes, I believe it can be used but that’s an advanced soap recipe which to be honest I haven’t tried yet. In here it’s not mentioned as an ingredient, but as an example for a recycled soap mold (you use the yogurt plastic cup).

      Unfortunately, portuguese regulation for cosmetics is crazy and totally discourages small soap makers to run a business, so no I can’t sell them although I’d love to 🙁 I make soap only for myself.

      Best Regards,
      Sofia

  3. Hello; the training on soap making is one skill that can benefit many of our young people who want to be boss but do not want to work.

     Many of them can look at your training here and get an understanding of how easy it can be to develop a skill and turn it into a business. Is Coconut Oil the only soap you make? Do you make hand lotion and Face Cream?

    DorcasW

    1. Sofia Matias

      Hello, and thanks for your comment. True, the idea is really to empower people, whether my making natural cosmetics for themselves, or by starting a business. I don’t advise it here in Portugal due overwhelming bureaucracy and expenses, but in other countries, it can be a good idea to start a small business. 

      Yes, I’ve tried facial and body creams, they are so good I use them also for hands 🙂 as a mega skin conditioner (for very dry hands for example) I use a body balm, it’s made with plant infused oils and it can go a bit beyond moisturizing the skin: it helps regenerate your skin for small skin issues like cuts, burns and rashes.

      I do plan to post all those in the future 🙂 soap is just the beginning!

      Cheers, Sofia 

  4. Hi Sofia, This post is about homemade coconut oil soap but I think it gives me a explanation of why my hair was so dry when I started my natural hair journey. I was using straight coconut oil, I should have been using a mixture. Would you happen to have any suggestions of what to mix coconut oil with as a hair product vs a soap? 

    1. Sofia Matias

      Hello CeCemorgan, thanks for your comment 🙂

      Not sure I’ve fully understood your question as for the product you’re looking for, but I’ll try to answer:

      – For hair this is all a bit trickier, it’s not advised to use soap in our hair as its pH can damage hair. At least that’s what I’ve found out when doing some research about this subject.

      – I’ve used coconut oil on my hair as a pre-wash treatment (I put the coconut oil, wait 30 minutes, then I wash my hair normally and then put conditioner) and the hair felt cleaner in the end. For conditioning, it’s probably not the best product. Some women states it’s a miracle mask, but some state it’s very drying, and can even damage your hair (it’s all about hair types in the end). At some point, I don’t think my hair was greatly benefitting from a coconut oil treatment, but I’m not against trying it again.

      – I’ve read that jojoba oil or argan oil are the real “miracle” oils for hair conditioning. I suppose you can put them naturally, but I am really not very fond of putting oils on my hair. What I did was to prepare a hair conditioner as per this hair conditioner recipe (this is not an affiliate link, just a recipe I tried and recommend). I’ve added to it to use a rosemary infusion instead of plain water. I love this hair conditioner, it’s more conditioning than even the conditioning hair masks we buy in supermarket. Rosemary is there because is very good for hair treatment, and it stimulates hair growth, proven by science

      – Google is full of homemade natural hair masks/conditioners, if you still wish to use coconut oil. One thing I know is that honey is a fantastic moisturizer and anti-septic. Probably coconut oil and honey will complement nicely for a more conditioning hair treatment 🙂 but I haven’t tried it.

      Hope this helps!

      Cheers, Sofia 

  5. 5 stars
    Hello!
    Great recipe, only with coconut oil! Definitely for coconut oil lovers.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hello and thanks for your comment!

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