A recipe for a very fragrant herbal soap with rosemary and lavender, with exfoliating properties. Rosemary and lavender, two of the most well known and used herbs in natural cosmetics, provide with the most natural and wonderful scent to this soap. Poppy seeds are added, turning this soap into a mild exfoliant, where you can rub it directly against skin for a gentle exfoliation.
Lavender and Rosemary
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) have been well introduced in two previous recipes: Homemade Lavender Soap Recipe and Homemade Rosemary and Eucalyptus Soap Recipe. They are wonderful herbs, easy to grow in a small home garden, both with good medicinal properties like being anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic. Lavender is also known to be relaxing, while rosemary is scientifically proven to treat and regenerate your hair.
Both help to lighten dark spots and blemishes on the skin resulting in an improved skin complexion. They are also good for treating acne. The anti-inflammatory properties of rosemary extract help to reduce swelling and puffiness of the skin. It also helps to heal burns and soothe the skin. Lavender oil has antibacterial properties that helps to kill acne-inducing bacteria and clogged pores. By unclogging pores and reducing inflammation when you put it on your skin, lavender helps prevent acne from developing while treating existing blemishes.
If for nothing else, lavender and rosemary essential oils blend give a very fresh herbal scent to any soap.
Associated with a mild exfoliant like poppy seeds, this soap is perfect to cleanse blemished skin. A thoughtful regimen of appropriate skin care, healthful diet, and exercise can make a world of difference. If your skin problems are persistent, consult a dermatologist.
See Plants Used in Cosmetics for more information on the lavender plant itself.
This recipe uses a mixture of oils to complement with the skin properties of lavender and rosemary. Olive oil turns any soap into a conditioning and very mild one, and coconut oil gives fluffy lather, while sunflower oil contributes for stabilizing the lather. Skin loving shea butter adds fatty acids and vitamins to tone, soften and soothe your skin, as well as add more anti-inflammatory properties.
It’s colored with a ultramarine mineral, considered a natural colorant, but if you wish to turn this into a more natural soap, or are just afraid of colorants as skin irritants, you can skip it.
More Herbal Soap Recipes
Watch These Videos Before Starting Your Soap Recipe
- 115 g distilled water
- 62 g lye (100% sodium hydroxide)
After Trace Ingredients
- Wear goggles and gloves! Look at “Safety Recommendations” in the video above or in How to Make Soap From Scratch
- 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!
- Add the ultramarine colorant to one teaspoon of oil in a separate cup, mix well, and put aside. You can use the measured oil.
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 40ºC for the oil-solution mixture. If necessary, you can reheat the oils, but not the lye solution.
- When adding the lye water to the oils, strain the water to avoid lye crystals in your soap batter.
- Add the oil with the colorant and mix well. Use the immersion blender to avoid clumps of colorant, but be careful not to reach heavy trace (creamy batter). If needed, use a whisker.
- Reach medium trace with the immersion blender.
- Add the rest of after trace ingredients: extract, essential oil (s) and poppy seeds. Stir with just a spoon. Lavender essential oil usually turns the soap batter from liquid to solid instantly. Be careful and be fast with the next step.
Molding and Curing
- Pour the dough into the large soap mold or silicone molds and sprinkle with alcohol or witch hazel.
- Optional step – Pre-heat the oven with 40ºC. Turn it off then place the molds inside: the color will be brighter if the molds are heat insulated.
- Wait 48 hours, keeping an eye on the hardness of the soap.
- Unmold and cut the soap into small bars (if you used the large soap mold). See How To Cure Soap, "Unmolding and Cutting" chapter.
- Let the bars cure for 4 to 6 weeks. See How To Cure Soap.