Soap for Dry Skin Anyone? Create Natural Handmade Soap!

Does anyone have dry chapped hands? Learn how to make natural handmade soap to use in your home.  It is amazing how it can help dry skin!

Here on the Canadian Prairies it is getting colder and we often have cold wind. I often have had dry chapped red cracking skin, especially in the winter months.  I was unable to clear it up and keep it clear.  I started to wonder why? And then I did some research on Dove soap in particular and its ingredients.  I found that most commercially made soaps have had all the natural glycerin removed from them and drying agents are added.  This did not sound too healthy and possibly could explain my dry chapped cracking hands?

A Moisturizing Natural Handmade Soap Experience

After doing my research and due diligence, I decided to try making natural handmade soap.  After all I could not do any worst.  At least I would know what ingredients were in the soap and I could even change the ingredients to create a soap that would be best suited to my family’s needs.

About 2 years ago I made my first batch of soap.  Everyone liked it.  To my surprise after about 6 months of using only my soap, I found that my skin was much better.  It was not drying out anymore.  It was an awesome feeling to realize that I had created natural handmade soap that was actually good for my skin.  I made a decision that day to continue to make and use all natural soaps in my home.  I was amazed that I could create a product so natural that worked so well!  I also was very happy to be free from the unhealthy ingredients in store soap. Get a printable checklist of the CP soap method plus 4 soap recipes in PDF here.

Peppermint Dream Soap

A few weeks ago, I made a batch of Peppermint Dream Soap in preparation for the holidays.  I used the cold process (CP) method to create it.

Natural Handmade soap

Anytime the CP method is used, it is important to note that lye is used and to use safety precautions.  I can’t emphasize this enough.  Goggles, gloves and long sleeves should always be used. And the lye solution should be prepared outside where there is lots of fresh air. Always have white vinegar available as it will neutralize any contact with skin. Covering your work area with paper or plastic as a protectant is also a good idea.

You will need all of the following:

Goggles, gloves, long sleeves, vinegar, newspaper, thermometer, stirring utensils, glass measuring pitcher, container for mixing the soap batter, stick blender and moulds for pouring your soap.

Before beginning you will want to run your recipe through a lye calculator in case you alter the recipe in any way.  You want to make sure you have the right amounts of lye and water to  the amount of oils. Brambleberry has a mobile app for a lye calculator.  It works very well.


300 gm lard

250 gm olive oil

131 gm sweet almond oil

43 gm Castor oil

93.3 gm lye (NaOH)

239 gm distilled water

2 Tablespoons  of Kaolin Clay or ground oatmeal

1/2 Tablespoon of peppermint essential oil

Steps in Cold Process Soap Method

Step 1 Gather Ingredients and Supplies

Gather all of your equipment and supplies as mentioned above. Prepare your soap moulds and line if using a wood mould.

Step 2  Calculate Lye Amount

Using a Lye calculator run your recipe through to make sure that the lye and water amounts are correct. A good lye calculator (it is also available as an IOS app) is this one by Brambleberry.

Step 3 Weigh All Ingredients

Weigh out the lye and water using a food scale. I use a plastic cup for the lye and throw it away after.  You will want to measure everything by weight in grams.

Step 4 Mix and Melt

In a well ventilated area, combine the lye and water in a glass pitcher by slowly pouring the lye crystals into the water and stirring. (NEVER POUR THE WATER INTO THE LYE) Stir the mixture until completely dissolved. You may notice that the mixture will heat up.  This is a chemical reaction. I usually do this outside and then leave it outside to cool.

make natural handmade soap with ground oatmeal and peppermint essential oil

While the lye mixture is cooling you can prepare the ground oatmeal and essential oil.  Measure all of your fats and oils by weight and combine in a container.  I use a medium sized plastic pail.  Melt the solid oils either using the double boiler method or in a glass pitcher in the microwave.  All of your oils need to be combined and heated to 100 – 120 degrees Farenheit. I have heated oils in a pot on the stove or in the microwave.  They don’t have to be too hot.

Step 5 Combine the Lye Solution and the Fats

Now you will need to check the temperature of the lye solution and the oils and when they are both approximately the same temperature you can combine the two mixtures. You will want to do this close to water and have vinegar nearby. If there any lye splashes it can burn your skin.  If you use safety precautions and work carefully there should be no issues.

thermometer showing temperature for handmade soap

You will want to slowly pour the lye solution into the oils and stir them to combine.  I do this step in the kitchen sink. When all of the lye is incorporated and stirred. You can keep stirring for the awhile or use the stick blender to bring the soap batter to trace.  You will want to blend and stir alternately.

blending the soap batter to bring it to trace

natural handmade soap tracing when it is pudding textureTrace is when it thickens up like pudding. Once the mixture reaches trace you will add the oatmeal or kaolin clay and the peppermint essential oil. You will probably want to blend in with the blender .

Step 6 Pour your Natural Handmade Soap

Pour the soap batter into the prepared soap mould or moulds while it is still pourable. Sometimes I have used one litre cartons for small batches, 1 or 2 pounds.

Lined soap mould to pour soap batter in

natural handmade soap poured in a loaf mould

Wait 24 – 36 hours.

Winter Woods Soap poured in a litre carton

Step 7 Cut and Cure

After 24 hours your natural handmade soap should be set up and you can remove it from the mould.If you poured a loaf style mould you can cut your bars, or if you used individual moulds I suggest freezing them for about 30 minutes and then pop them out of the moulds.

Natural Handmade Spiced Cocoa Soap

Cold process soap needs to cure for 3 – 6 weeks. After the soap is removed from the mould and cut, it needs to cure in a cool dry place.  I use a shelf and just leave them to dry, turning them every 3 – 4 days. Curing makes the bars harden and removes excess water from them.  You can use them before 3 weeks but they might get soft and won’t be hard. After curing you can use them, store them or gift them.  Enjoy using a natural handmade soap creation! Want a printable checklist of this method and Bonus Soap Recipes click here!

3 Comments on Soap for dry skin – Use All Natural Soap

  1. I am very interested in making this soap in hopes of repairing my rough and very dry skin. One question, what kind of lard do you use and where do you buy it.? The lard I see in grocery stores doesn’t seem right.

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