Neem oil soap recipe: a Natural Soap for Eczema

A neem oil soap recipe that combats dryness, itchiness, and inflammation making it the perfect soap for eczema. Makes six bars of all natural soap. #eczema #soaprecipe #soapmaking #eczemasoap #handmadesoap
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Neem is the most ingredient in this soap for eczema

A neem oil soap recipe that combats dryness, itchiness, and inflammation making it the perfect soap for eczema. Makes six bars of all natural soap. #eczema #soaprecipe #soapmaking #eczemasoap #handmadesoap

A neem oil soap recipe that helps combat dryness, itchiness, and inflammation making it the perfect soap for eczema

When people ask which soap I’d recommend for eczema my first advice is always the same — use less soap. It can strip your skin of natural oils that help flare-ups to heal and can contribute to dryness, redness, and further skin issues. We all need to use soap at some time though. That’s why my second bit of advice is to choose soap that’s gentle, unscented, and most of all leaves your skin feeling nourished. This soap recipe will do just that.

A neem oil soap recipe that combats dryness, itchiness, and inflammation making it the perfect soap for eczema. Makes six bars of all natural soap. #eczema #soaprecipe #soapmaking #eczemasoap #handmadesoap

A simple and rich soap perfect for hydrating and nourishing skin

Natural soap is made from rich oils that each have their own special properties. One lesser known than others is Neem oil. This rich oil is effective in soothing the symptoms of eczema which is why I use it in this recipe for Healing Balm for Eczema & Psoriasis. When used as the superfatting oil in soap, it helps leave a protective barrier on your skin. Its natural compounds help treat the irritation and dryness caused by eczema.

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What is Neem oil?

Little known in the west, Neem oil is used in India as a remedy for many health issues. It’s extracted from the neem tree which grows throughout the Indian sub-continent as a native species. Since being discovered by science, neem trees are now grown in other parts of Asia, Australia, and Africa.

Neem trees, Azadirachta indica, have large canopies and are drought resistant which is one reason that they’re grown. Shade is in high demand in arid climates. Their long pinnate leaves are used neat on skin to treat eczema and psoriasis among other things. However, their olive-like fruit is where the oil comes from. It’s thick and earthy coloured and has a sharp and distinctive scent.

Neem oil has traditionally been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat skin complaints, internal health issues, dental care, and even as an insecticide. The last use makes neem oil an important natural gardening product.

Neem oil tends to come as a solid oil that needs melting. It can also come in a liquid form.

How Neem oil helps Eczema

Oils extracted from both the leaves and the seeds of the neem tree help soothe the symptoms of eczema. They’re rich in compounds such as Nimbidin, Nimbin, and Quercetin that work as natural anti-inflammatories and anti-histamines. This helps reduce redness, swelling, and itching.

Often presented as a thick green or brown oil, neem is also great for moisturizing. When used as part of a skincare recipe its lipids help tone and lock moisture into dry skin. You should only use a small amount of neem in a recipe though — this neem oil soap recipe contains just 5% neem. Larger percentages can not only smell unpleasant but can cause skin irritation in some people. The exact opposite of what you want in soap for eczema.

Neem oil soap lather

Neem oil Soap Recipe

This neem oil soap recipe makes about six bars. Although neem is the most important oil in the recipe, the others are also there to help protect and nourish the skin. The soap you make with this recipe will create a creamy lather that feels slick and smooth. When rinsed off, your skin will feel moisturized — this soap will not strip your skin as other bars might do.

Lye water
65g (2.3oz) Sodium hydroxide (also called lye or NaOH)
127g (4.9oz) Water (preferably distilled)

Solid oils
143g (5oz) Coconut oil (refined)
24g (0.85oz) Shea butter

Liquid oils
214g (7.56oz) Olive oil (pomace)
24g (0.85oz) Castor oil

Oils to add after Trace
24g (0.85oz) Neem oil
24g (0.85oz) Avocado oil

Special Equipment needed

The soap lather will leave a fine layer of creamy moisture on your skin

Natural Soap Making for Beginners

If you’re new to making handmade soap, you might also want to check out my four-part series on natural soap making. It gives a good introduction on what to expect from ingredients, equipment, recipes, and how to combine everything together to make soap. Also, I recommend reading this recipe all the way through before attempting to make it. There are a lot of steps and things to prepare for making this neem oil soap recipe.

1. Ingredients
2. Equipment & Safety
3. Basic Recipes and Formulating Your Own
4. The Soap Making Process: Make, Mould, and Cure

Neem oil soap for eczema

Neem oil soap for eczema

1. Preparing the lye solution

The first thing you’ll want to do is prepare your work space and organize your ingredients. Everything should be pre-measured and your should be prepared to safely make soap. That means wearing close toed shoes, long sleeves, rubber gloves, and eye protection.

The water should be measured into a heat-proof jug. Next, pour the Sodium hydroxide crystals into the water in an airy and well-ventilated place. Outside is best but an open window will do. There will be heat and steam so be careful not to breathe it in. Set the lye water aside in a shallow basin to cool.

2. Melt the solid oils

The solid oils should be measured in a stainless steel pan. As soon as your lye solution is made, turn the hob on to its lowest setting and let the oils melt together. The oils to be added after Trace include neem oil which you might have in a solid form. Have this in a heat proof container and either keep it on hand to microwave or begin melting it using the double boiler method.

3. Take temperatures

Don’t leave the oils unattended on the stove, whatever you do. You don’t want them hot, just barely melted. When they’re at this stage, pour the liquid oils (but not the neem or avocado) into the pan of melted oil. Stir and take its temperature. You want the oils a few degrees of 125°F (52°C).

Take the temperature of the lye solution now too. You want it within 10 degrees of the oils.

4. Mix the soap

When the temperatures are right, pour the lye solution into the pan of oils through a sieve/strainer. This will catch any Sodium hydroxide that might not have dissolved. Now comes blending.

Dip the stick blender into the pan at an angle to reduce air in the head. Use it turned off as a spoon at first and stir the mix together gently. Bring the stick blender to the middle of the pan and hold it stationary against the bottom. Turn the stick blender on for a few seconds then turn it off and use it to stir again. With such a small batch I recommend not moving it around while it’s on since it can spit up soap batter. Just hold it still while pulsing, and use it to stir when it’s off.

The soap batter will begin coming to ‘Trace’ fairly quickly — in a matter of a couple minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when little trails of soap linger on the surface when it’s dribbled on.

5. Add the Neem & Avocado oils

Next pour in the melted neem and avocado oils and stir them in well. All the other oils up to this point have reacted with the Sodium hydroxide and are turning into soap. These extra oils will have a better chance of free-floating in your bars if they’re added afterwards.

While the batter is still fairly liquidy (it does firm up quickly), pour it into your mould. This silicone soap mould fits the recipe perfectly.

6. Hardening & curing your soap for eczema

Set the soap aside either without covering, or lightly covering with plastic wrap and a tea towel. Leave it undisturbed for at least 24 hours if not 48. After this time you can take the bars out of the mould and cure them.

The soap will be safe to touch at this point but the water content needs to evaporate out. Space out the bars on a piece of grease-proof paper in a dry, dim, and airy place. Leave them there for a month before using.

Shelf-life & making Eczema Cream

As for shelf-life, soap has a longevity of the closest best by date of the individual ingredients. If the olive oil expires next month, then your soap is only good until then too. Make sure you use high quality and in-date ingredients when soap making and creating other beauty products. If you’re looking to make a neem oil based eczema cream, I have a great recipe you can use over here.

Learn how to make neem oil based Healing Cream for Eczema and Psoriasis

Learn how to make neem oil based Healing Cream for Eczema and Psoriasis (click image)

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4 Discussion to this post

  1. Brenda says:

    Can you use this on hair? I have eczema on my scalp. Very hard to treat.

  2. Monique says:

    I love reading your blog-soapmaking. Your pictures are lovely and your writing is soothing and sweet. It is really nice reading and seeing pictures from someone far away.😊💕

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