Old-Fashioned Rose Soap Recipe
This lovely soap features real roses, creamy shea butter and nourishing rosehip seed oil.
I’m incredibly pleased to introduce you to a blogger friend of mine, Jan Berry from The Nerdy Farmwife. She’s like me in that she’s passionate about creating soap and skincare products using natural and skin-loving ingredients from nature. I’m even more excited to announce that she’s just written her very first book called 101 Easy Homemade Products for your Skin, Health, & Home.
Jan’s book arrived in the post for me this week and I’ve been pouring over her recipes for hair care, lotions, soaps, and even simple household cleaners and herbal medicine. It is a wonderful guide filled with the knowledge and know-how to make most of your own personal care products at home. That will first of all ensure that your products are natural and sensitive but making your own can also save you money. Having a book like this is also a great reference for if you ever decide to create natural beauty products as a side business.
OLD FASHIONED ROSE SOAP
This lovely soap features real roses, creamy shea butter and nourishing rosehip seed oil. Rose petal-infused olive oil softens and conditions skin, while coconut oil adds plenty
of bubbles and creates a harder bar of soap. Shea butter is not only great for your skin, but it adds additional hardness to the bar. Rosehip seed oil was included for its fantastic skin-regenerating and healing properties. Rose kaolin clay contributes a natural pink color, but you can use half as much for a paler shade of pink or leave it out completely for a creamy white bar
*Note from Tanya: Jan’s recipe includes two methods for making soap, Cold Process and Hot Process. Choose one method or the other and note that step 6 is divided into instructions for either or. The difference in the methods is that cold-process soap cannot be used right away but has a cleaner texture to the final bars. Hot process soap can be used as soon as the bars are cut but often the texture of the soap is more rustic.
1 handful fresh or dried rose petals
10 oz (283 g) water
4.14 oz (117 g) sodium hydroxide (lye)
15 oz (425 g) rose petal-infused olive oil (see page 17 for how to infuse oils)
1 oz (28 g) rosehip seed oil
8 oz (227 g) coconut oil
4 oz (113 g) shea butter
2 oz (57 g) castor oil
2 tsp rose kaolin clay (optional, for color)
1 tbsp (15 ml) water
1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 ml) rose absolute or geranium essential oil (optional)
FOR THE ROSE-INFUSED WATER
Place the rose petals in a heatproof jar or container. Heat the water to a simmer and pour over the petals. Allow the rose infusion to steep until it’s room temperature or cooler. Make sure that your tea is fairly light, and not a dark brown color, or it may affect the color of the finished soap. Strain the rose-infused water into a heavy-duty plastic or stainless steel bowl or pitcher.
FOR THE SOAP
1. Wearing gloves, goggles and long sleeves, pour the lye into the cooled rose petal infusion and carefully stir until it’s fully dissolved. It may turn a dark brown color as it meets the lye, but that’s okay at this point.
2. Set the lye solution aside for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until cooled to approximately 100 to 110°F (38 to 43°C).
3. While the lye solution cools, weigh the olive, castor and rosehip seed oil and place in your soap mixing pot or container. In a double boiler, heat the coconut oil and shea butter until melted. Pour them into the container with the olive and castor oil. This should bring the temperature to somewhere around 90 to 100°F (32 to 38°C).
4. In a small bowl, stir together the rose kaolin clay, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water and essential oil until smooth. This will be added at trace* (for cold process soap) or after cook time (for hot process soap).
5. Combine the lye solution and the oils. Hand stir with an immersion blender (powered off) for about 30 seconds, then turn the immersion blender on and mix the soap batter, alternating every 30 seconds or so with hand stirring to prevent the immersion blender’s motor from burning out. Continue mixing until trace is reached. This recipe will reach trace within a few minutes.
6a. FOR COLD PROCESS SOAP
Thoroughly stir the clay, water and essential oil mixture into the soap. Pour the soap batter into a prepared soap mold, cover with a sheet of wax paper and then the mold’s lid or a piece of cardboard. Tuck a towel or quilt around the mold to help hold the heat in. Let the soap stay in the mold for 24 to 48 hours, then remove and slice into bars. Allow the bars to cure in the open air for at least four weeks before using.
6b. FOR HOT PROCESS SOAP
Pour the soap batter into a slow cooker turned on low heat. Cover with the lid and let cook for 1 hour, checking and stirring every 15 minutes. After the hour has passed, stir in the clay, water and essential oil mixture, then spoon the cooked soap into a prepared mold. Allow it to firm up overnight, then remove from the mold and slice into bars. You can use hot process soap right away, though it makes a longer-lasting bar if it cures in the open air for a few weeks.
* “Trace” means that the soap batter is thick enough to leave a faint, fleeting imprint when it’s drizzled across itself.