Another classical among handmade soaps: lavender soap! A very foamy and creamy soap, made by cold process with olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil and castor oil. Scented with lavender essential oil and colored with violet ultramarine, in pretty but simple layers. Try this recipe at home!
Why Everyone Loves Lavender
Lavender is well known for its two specific traits: its fragrance and its color.
The lavender flower and its oil have long histories in herbal medicine. Its name derives from the Latin root “lavare,” which literally means “to wash”. The earliest recorded use of lavender dates back to ancient Egypt. There, lavender oil played a role in the mummification process.
Later, lavender became a bath additive in several regions, including Persia, ancient Greece, and Rome. These cultures believed that lavender helped purify the body and mind.
Clinical studies in both animals and humans have shown that the plant has calming effects, reducing anxiety and helping to bring on sleep. The key ingredient is linalool, an alcohol component of lavender odor (this is also an allergen, so be careful if you are sensitive to it).
Still, the best from lavender it’s its fresh, floral, slightly wooden scent. Dried lavender flower buds can be used as natural air fresheners with no other preparation. When crushed, they release their unique lavender scent. They always remind me of being in a garden.
Lavender essential oil is commonly used in cold process, usually in blends with other essential oils. In this soap recipe, it’s the main scent, grounded with benzoin and cedarwood essential oils.
Layered Lavender Soap
This recipe uses a mix of olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil (RSPO) and sunflower oil. The choice of oils allows for a well balanced and complete soap: hard, long-lasting, foamy, creamy, conditioning. It also allows to make layers and a shaped top, as the soap batter easily reaches trace.
If you are new to soap making, you can simply add the colorant after trace and pour the soap in individual molds, without trying for the layers. If you wish to use a fragrance with this soap batter, be warned that it accelerates trace -highway speed! In that case, add your fragrance as the very last ingredient, and pour your soap batter fast into a loaf mold (forget time for individual molds).
A Simple Technique To Make Layers
If you already have some experience, you can try this simple layer technique, that avoids the usage of several pitchers and a lot of malabarism mixing and handling with a lot of soap batters at same time:
- Using a loaf mold soap (1 kg or 2 lb), one third of soap batter is poured from a pitcher with after trace ingredients already added, excepting the violet mica (mixed in oil). The botton of the soap will then be of a creamy whitish color.
- Mixing half of the colorant, we pour the second third of soap, this will give a middle hue between white and strong violet.
- At last, we mix the rest of the colorant and pour the remaining soap batter, which should be at heavy trace by now.
The effect is a layered soap with 3 color tones, while you only need to handle one pitcher with soap, allowing you to fully control soap trace.
It uses an essential oil blend, as I don’t advise to use any fragrances with this soap mixture (read above). A light trace and low temperatures are also needed, to have time to work the layers. To have a perfect soap, without color spots (mica lumps), mix each tsp of mica in a table spoon of oil using a milk frother.
I hope you have an much fun and pleasure making this recipe as I did!!
Find Where to Buy Handmade Lard 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 lard soap in the following links:
- Lavender Layered Soap (Etsy)
- Lavender Lard Soap (Etsy)
- Lavender Coconut Oil Soap (Etsy)
- Lavender and Lemongrass Castile Goat’s Milk Soap (Etsy)
- Lavender Orange Castile Soap (Apple Valley)
Looking for more natural soaps? Check out my review about Apple Valley Natural Soap.
- More about vegetable oils: Soap Making Oils Chart
- More about Essential Oils: Essential Oils for Soap Making
- More about Cold Process Soap and Soap Recipes: All Natural Cold Process Soap Recipes
- More Recipes for Beginners: Homemade Soap Recipes For Beginners
Watch These Videos Before Starting Your Recipe
Layered Lavender Cold Process Soap Recipe
- 285 g distilled water
- 122 g lye (100% sodium hydroxide)
After Trace Ingredients
- Wear goggles and gloves! Look at “Safety Recommendations” in the video above or in Safety Precautions In Soap Making
- Watch the video above or read the post How To Make Soap by Cold Process Step-by-Step for instructions on cold process. These are generic 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!
- After measuring the oil, pour 1 tablespoon of the measured oil into a small bowl. Add 1 tsp of violet mica with a bit of oil, and mix well. Pour another tablespoon of the measured oil into another small bowl and add 1 tsp of violet mica and mix well. Use a milk frother to remove clumps of mica. Put both bowls with mica aside.
Heat the Oils
- Heat the oils until the solid oils are completely melted (it is not necessary to heat all the time).
Make the Lye Water
- Make the lye solution according to How To Make Lye Water. Mix it until the vapors start to dissipate.
Make the Soap Batter
- Use as a target temperature 38ºC or even less for the oil-solution mixture. If necessary, you can reheat the oils, but not the lye solution.
- Pour the lye water into the bowl with heated oils, carefully to not spill.
- Start mixing the soap batter with the immersion blender to reach light trace.
- Add the extract and essential oil (s) after trace and stir with just a spoon.
Molding and Making Layers
- Pour around 1/3 of the soap batter into the large loaf mold. This will be the botton lighter colored layer: creamy-white.
- Add one of the bowls with violet mica and oil. Mix very well and pour another 1/3 of soap batter into the large loaf mold. This will be the middle colored layer: light violet.
- Add the second bowl with violet mica and oil. Mix very well and pour the rest of the soap batter into the large loaf mold. This will be the top colored layer: darker violet.
- Shake or tap gently the loaf soap mold to level the soap batter. Do some designs on the top of the soap and/or sprinkle with golden mica for decoration. This step is optional. Check out this video for several designs:
- Cover the loaf soap mold with a blanket or towel, or pre-heat the oven with 40ºC. Turn it off then place the loaf mold inside. This will prevent an uneven gel phase to happen (it causes a darker circle in the middle of soap).
- Wait 48 hours, keeping an eye on the hardness of the soap. Then unmold your soap carefully.
- Cut it into small bars with your soap cutter or with a knife.
- Let the bars cure for 4 to 6 weeks. See How To Cure Soap.