Easy-to-make sensitive soap recipe with soothing calendula oil and healing chamomile oil blended into sulfate-free soap. No handling of lye required.
People who suffer from skin conditions like eczema need cleansers that are mild and not over-drying. This sensitive soap recipe is not only easy to make but will replenish the skin with every wash. Though it’s a soap recipe, it uses a natural pre-made soap base so handling lye isn’t required. It’s also boosted with skin-soothing chamomile essential oil that also gives it a sweet scent and helps to treat skin conditions.
It’s important to use sensitive ingredients when you’re making skin products for sensitive skin. Just being ‘natural’ is not going to cut it because many essential oils and other ingredients can irritate or cause discomfort to sensitive skin.
This recipe uses sweet almond oil that you infuse with soothing calendula flower petals. It’s also scented with German chamomile essential oil, a lovely natural fragrance that’s been shown to be effective in the treatment of Eczema. It smells beautiful and is generally non-irritating to sensitive skin, as long as you don’t have an allergy to plants in the ragwort family.
No-Lye Sensitive Soap Recipe
Makes 4 bars
Takes about 30 minutes to make
- 1 lb Sulfate-free clear Melt & Pour Soap (get in the UK)
- 1.5 tsp (7.5ml) Calendula infused sweet almond oil
- 1 tsp (5g) Shea butter
- 1 tsp Chamomile essential oil (optional)
- Silicone mold – This is the one I use
This recipe calls for calendula-infused sweet almond oil and the instructions for making it are below. Please note that you could use any light oil to make it though including grapeseed oil, cold-pressed sunflower oil, or olive oil. The important thing is that you infuse it with high-quality calendula petals. You can grow them yourself or purchase them from a reputable herb seller.
Calendula is a sensitive but powerful skin herb that soothes inflammation and speeds up the healing of minor wounds, burns, and dermatitis-related skin issues. You can also find calendula used in Lovely Greens recipes for rich body cream and this Calendula Cold-process Soap Recipe. I advocate calendula so much that I’ve even written an ebook that shows you how to grow, harvest, and use calendula in skincare.
Have a watch of the video above to learn more about how I harvest and dry calendula. I also go through the steps to make calendula-infused oil.
Step 1: Make Calendula-infused oil
You can purchase pre-made calendula-infused oil but it’s actually very easy to make yourself. Fill a clean and dry jam jar with dried calendula flower petals. Pour your choice of liquid oil over the top, filling almost to the brim, and then screw the lid back on. Place the jar inside a brown paper bag and then set it in a warm window sill for 2-3 weeks, shaking the jar every few days.
After 2-3 weeks have passed, strain the oil from the flowers and into another clean and dry jar. Discard the flower petals. Your calendula oil is complete and has a shelf-life of a year or the expiration date of the oil you used. Whichever is closest.
Step 2: Melt the soap base
Cut the melt-and-pour soap into cubes and melt it with the shea butter using a microwave or the double boiler technique. If using a microwave, heat for 30 seconds at a time and then stir. Repeat until fully melted.
For the stove-top method: Place the soap and shea butter in a pan that’s nested inside a second pan filled with simmering water. The indirect heat will melt the soap in a consistent way without the fear of scorching it. A lid over the pan will help melt the soap quicker and stop evaporation of water from the soap base. Stir occasionally while the soap is melting. When the soap and shea butter are completely melted, take it off of the heat and stir it together with the calendula oil and essential oil.
Step 3: Molding the soap
Working quickly, pour about ¼” of the soap base into silicone soap molds. Sprinkle dried calendula flowers on top and then fill the rest of the mold with the melted calendula soap. If there are bubbles on the surface, lightly mist with rubbing alcohol. This is optional but makes the bars look more professional.
Leave the soap to cool to room temperature before popping the bars out of the mold. This will take at least a few hours but I recommend leaving the soap to cool and harden for six hours or more. Once popped out of the mold, the soap is ready to use and has a shelf life of up to a year.