What can I add to my soap?

This is the question I got asked everytime during my soap workshops! What can I add to my homemade soap to make it look nice? Anything! I would say anything but let’s define it.

The moment you make soaps is a creative process. Beside the formula and the chemistry part, making soap is a lovely hobby when you get creative. You probably have in your mind the soaps you used before, the ones you see when passing the cosmetic ranges in your favorite shops but your soap can be even prettier than the Lush ones. And they will be natural too! So here are some ideas for you for the next time you make your soaps, in case you haven’t yet thought of these adds.

  1. Flower (petals) – my favorite colorful adds to make your soap a spectacular one: corn flowers -blue, white, rose, pink), calendula, jasmin, lavender, orchids, roses – all the flowers you got in your garden or received or bought. They make such an interesting, pretty add not only on your soaps but also when using inside the soaps.
  2. Clays – they are so good to be used for their cleaning properties. They aren’t just good to be taken internally or used as masks on your face, they can also make a good add to your soap. Bentonite, kaolin, rose, white, yellow, black clay – they bring silkiness, slip and absorbency to the soap. Think also of Australian clays, beside the French clays mentioned above. Or of the Russian Cambrian clay which is soo popular because it’s considered to be the oldest blue clay on earth. This one is so unique thanks to its mineral composition. Rhassoul is also an interesting clay.
  3. Fresh fruits – made puree. Think of bananas, abricot, avocado or pumpkin puree. These not only bring a lovely color to your soap, but make your soap more nourishing.
  4. Fresh vegetable juices – celery, cucumber, red paprika, potatoes, pumpkin, carrots- just some ideas to play with and make an out of the box soap.
  5. Or fresh fruit juices – apples, berries, ananas – they would make your soap even more ‘delicious’ while using it.
  6. Dried fruits (powders) – like acai powder or raspberry fruits.
  7. Fresh eggs – not for vegans, but the fresh yolk brings richness to your soap making the lather precious and creamy.
  8. Spices from kitchen – think of cinnamon, turmeric, schisandra, red pepper powder – they bring a natural rustic color.
  9. Honey/propolis/polen – if you are not vegan, use these for a sweet scent and but also for antibacterial properties.
  10. Waxes – bee, or soya (for the vegan ones). These bring hardness to your soap.
  11. Salt/sugar – those are one of my favorite adds. They say sugar brings hardness but also lather to your soaps. Salt -makes a magical soap with so many benefits for the skin. But it makes less lather! For you to choose how much.
  12. Sea algues – spirulina/chlorella, even nori. While the spirulina/chlorella brings a natural green (which fades in time), the nori makes a lovely decorattion to your soap or can create an exfoliating soap.
  13. Alchoolic drinks – beer/wine. I have to confess that my best soaps are the beer ones! I really love them for their lather and their sweet flavor.
  14. Naturally fermented beverages like kombucha, kvas, elderberry flower syrup – I am simply addicted to kombucha soaps. They bring a natural lather and a silky touch you don’t want to miss.
  15. Chocolate – dark chocolate is my favorite one to add to my soap but think of white/milk chocolate too.
  16. Coffee – for scrub.
  17. Teas – tisanes – my 1st soap was made of nettle tea so I couldn’t make this list without adding it. It brings color and it’s more interesting than water, isn’t it?
  18. Dried leaves (made powders) – like matcha, nettle powder or wheat grass powder.
  19. Milks (to replace the water) – vegan ones are my favorite : coconut, rice, sesam milk. But the goat milk is something I also use from time to time especially when creating soaps for acnee skin type or for babies.
  20. Yogurts – are another creamy add to your soaps.
  21. Cooking powders – like coconut, brans or oats. They not only make your soap an exfoliant one but also bring texture and color to it.
  22. Seeds like poppy seeds/sesame/black cumin/chia/hemp – they are my favorite to use it not only on top of the soap but also in the soap for a exfoliating effect.
  23. Charcoal – makes not only a gorgeous black soap but also a detox one. Give them as present for your friends with skin problems, they will love you f-o-r-e-v-e-r.
  24. Zinc oxide – used in sun creams and still controversial, but which gives a gorgeous white soap and also good for skin problems.
  25. Jojoba blue pearls – made based on jojoba wax, these pearls make such a pretty add to an exfoliating soap.
  26. Silk – Tussah silk fibers can be dissolved in your lye solution and added to cold process soap. It adds shine and it creates amazing lather which you, as a soapmaker, so want.
  27. As you are making a zero waste soaps, you don’t want to throw away the small parts of your used soaps. Just collect them all and make once a year a galaxy soap adding all the small pieces to your trace.
  28. Essential oil- they work not only as a natural scent for your soap but also as a preservative. More than that, they come with some unique health properties. Use them alone or look for sinergies for even a better add. One of my favorite mix is grapefruit-clary sage. My friends who order my soaps already know that this mix is something I always have in 1-2 soaps.
  29. Precious vegetable oils/infusion – you are already using good quality vegetable oils to make your soaps, but what if you would add some argan/borago/sea buckthorn/broccoli at trace to make your facial soap even a better one?
  30. CO2 extracts – are extracted using fluid carbon dioxide as the solvent. CO2 extracted oils are the closest representation of the natural plant ever achieved. Those are precious adds and I have been using only for face /sensitive skin.
  31. Aloe vera – fresh one from your plants or a bought one in the form of a gel – aloe vera is such a known additive to a good quality soap. Your soap will be a moisturizing one and can help relieve dry, itchy skin and also promotes skin healing from some conditions like psoriasis.
  32. I may have forgotten some other ingredients so feel free to let a message here and tell me what are you, as a soaper, using in your favorite soap. Thank you!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Anny Fischer says:

    Hi, I really loved this post!
    I’m learning by myself to make soap at home and I was wondering if you could help me out? I’m looking for a place where to buy the ingredients like Sodium Hydroxide Flake (lye ) clay, charcoal and a lot of what you mentioned here.
    Do you give online classes?
    Thanks a lot for the help.
    Stay safe and have a nice evening.

    1. Natalia says:

      Hello Anny, thank you for your message. Yes, we could do an online class too. Thank you!

  2. DB says:

    Hi Natalia,
    I share all of Anny’s comments (great post Anny!).
    Have you done your online soap making class already? If not when will it be / how can we watch it?Can you let us know the details please.
    Many thanks for any help and advice you can share about soap making… 😊
    Take care, Stay safe, DB

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