Old-fashioned natural rose soap recipe using natural color, rose petals, essential oils, and rose-hip seed oil. Includes instructions for making it with the cold-process or hot-process methods.
This Rose Soap Recipe is by Jan Berry, author of the book Simple & Natural Soapmaking
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
Rose Soap Recipe Ingredients
- 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
- 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 petal-infused olive oil
This is a quick method for making rose petal infused oil. Fill a glass canning jar about one-fourth to one-half the way with dried rose petals. Next fill the jar almost to the top with olive oil.
Set the uncovered jar down into a saucepan containing a few inches of water, forming a makeshift double-boiler of sorts. Place the pan over a low burner and heat for about two hours. Keep an eye on things while you do this to ensure that all of the water doesn’t evaporate. Keep the water at a low simmer, not boiling.
You don’t have to be precise, but try to keep the temperature somewhere around or under 115F(46C) so you don’t accidentally cook your rose petals. After two hours have passed, remove the jar from the pan and allow to cool. Strain it through a fine mesh strainer and/or a layer of cheesecloth and measure the amount you need for the recipe. The rest can be stored in a jar kept in a cool, dark place, for about a year.
For the Rose-infused Water
You begin making this rose soap recipe by placing 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.
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
*Note from Tanya: When making the hot process version of this soap, make sure that you use full water. That means 3x the amount of the lye used by weight and for this recipe, that would be 12.4 oz (351 g) distilled water. Hot process heats up water and you’ll lose it to evaporation. You can see a simple hot process soap recipe and instructions here.
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.