This creamy facial soap is infused with rose petals and enriched with nourishing rosehip seed oil, making it perfect for normal to dry skin. Madder root powder gives the soap a soft pink color, while a few drops of geranium and lavender essential oils add just a hint of floral scent. For sensitive facial skin, be sure to look for natural shea butter or goat’s milk soap bases with minimal ingredients and that don’t contain detergents, such as sodium laureth sulfate.A note before you begin. When infusing rose petals in soap, be sure not to use browned petals or pieces of green stems or leaves, as they can add a brown tone to your soap. Don’t infuse rose petals for too long, and make sure to combine them with a colorant, such as madder root, shown here, since roses don’t hold their natural pink or red color in soap.
In a heatproof jar or container, combine the rose petals, madder root, water and soap base and cover it loosely with a canning lid or heatproof saucer. Place the jar in a saucepan containing a few inches (at least 5 cm) of water, forming a makeshift double boiler. Heat over medium-low heat until the soap is melted, 15 to 25 minutes, checking and stirring 2 or 3 times while the base slowly melts.
Turn off the heat and remove the jar from the pan. Stir well. Strain the infused soap base through a fine-mesh strainer and into a clean second jar or container to help catch specks of undissolved madder root. Stir in the rosehip seed oil, sunflower oil and essential oils. Mix well. Allow the hot soap to cool to around 135°F (57°C), stirring occasionally.
Carefully pour the melted soap base into the molds. Sometimes, you may notice a layer of speckled madder root powder accumulated in the bottom of the jar. Leave this behind in the jar, to minimize speckling in the final soap. Spray the top of the soap with alcohol to eliminate air bubbles.
Keep the soap in the molds until they’re completely cooled and hardened, 2 to 3 hours, then unmold and wrap them tightly. Store them in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight.
Optional: Wrap the bars tightly in shrink-wrap, plastic wrap or cellophane bags. You can also store them in airtight plastic storage containers. Melt-and-pour soap is best used within a year of making, though the soap won’t spoil or go bad after that time. The colors and scent will fade and the soap will eventually dry out, but it will still be usable.