If you’re looking for a natural, eco-friendly, and cost-effective alternative to commercial shaving products, you might want to try making your own homemade shaving soap. Homemade shaving soap is easy to make, and it can provide you with a smooth, close, and comfortable shave.
In this article, we’ll show you how to make your own homemade shaving soap, what ingredients and equipment you need, and how to use it properly.
- Why Make Your Own Shaving Soap?
- What You Need to Make Homemade Shaving Soap
- How to Make Homemade Shaving Soap
- How to Use Homemade Shaving Soap
Why Make Your Own Shaving Soap?
Shaving soap is a type of soap that is specially formulated to create a rich, creamy, and stable lather that helps lubricate and protect your skin during shaving. Shaving soap can also moisturize, nourish, and soothe your skin, preventing dryness, irritation, and razor burn.
There are many reasons why you might want to make your own shaving soap instead of buying commercial shaving products, such as shaving creams, gels, or foams. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of homemade and commercial shaving products:
Benefits of Homemade Shaving Soap
- Homemade shaving soap is natural. You can choose the ingredients that suit your skin type, preferences, and needs. You can avoid harsh chemicals, synthetic fragrances, preservatives, and other additives that might cause allergic reactions, sensitivities, or health issues.
- Homemade shaving soap is eco-friendly. You can reduce your environmental impact by using biodegradable, organic, and sustainable ingredients. You can also avoid plastic packaging, aerosol cans, and disposable containers that contribute to waste and pollution.
- Homemade shaving soap is cost-effective. You can save money by making your own shaving soap with inexpensive and readily available ingredients. You can also make large batches that last for a long time, reducing the need to buy new products frequently.
- Homemade shaving soap is customizable. You can experiment with different combinations of oils, butter, clays, and essential oils to create your own unique shaving soap. You can adjust the hardness, lather, slip, scent, and color of your shaving soap according to your liking.
What You Need to Make Homemade Shaving Soap
To make your own homemade shaving soap, you’ll need some ingredients and equipment. Here’s a list of what you’ll need and why:
- Lather-Producing Ingredient: Coconut oil or other oils or butter with high stearic acid content
- Cleansing Ingredient: Castor oil or other oils with high oleic acid content
- Essential Oils: Peppermint, lavender, tea tree, sandalwood, eucalyptus, or any other scent and benefit you prefer
- Scale: A digital scale that can measure in grams or ounces
- Double Boiler: A stainless steel double boiler that can hold enough volume for your batch size
- Thermometer: A digital thermometer that can measure in degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit
- Stick Blender: A stainless steel stick blender that can handle high-speed mixing
- Mold: A silicone mold that can shape your shaving soap into bars or pucks
You can also add other ingredients, such as clay, honey, oatmeal, or milk, to your shaving soap to improve its texture, color, slip, and skin benefits. However, these ingredients are optional and not necessary for making a basic shaving soap.
How to Make Homemade Shaving Soap
Now that you have your ingredients and equipment ready, you can start making your own homemade shaving soap. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Weigh the oils.
The first step is to weigh your oils and butter using your scale. You’ll need to use a specific ratio of oils and butter to create a balanced shaving soap that has the right amount of lather, cleansing, and moisturizing properties. A common ratio is 30% coconut oil, 30% castor oil, and 40% of other oils or butter of your choice. For example, if you want to make a 500-gram batch of shaving soap, you’ll need 150 grams of coconut oil, 150 grams of castor oil, and 200 grams of other oils or butter. You can use a soap calculator to help you determine the exact amounts of oils and butter you need based on your batch size and preferences.
Step 2: Melt the oils.
The second step is to melt your oils and butter using your double boiler. You’ll need to heat your oils and butter over low to medium heat until they are completely melted and combined. You’ll need to stir occasionally to prevent scorching or burning. You’ll also need to monitor the temperature of your oils and butter using your thermometer. You’ll need to keep the temperature between 40°C and 50°C (104°F and 122°F) for optimal results.
Step 3: Add the Lye Solution
The third step is to add the lye solution to your oils and butter. The lye solution is a mixture of water and sodium hydroxide (NaOH) that reacts with the oils and butter to create soap. You’ll need to use a specific amount of water and sodium hydroxide based on your batch size and oil ratio. You can use a soap calculator to help you determine the exact amounts of water and sodium hydroxide you need. You’ll need to wear gloves, goggles, and a mask when handling the lye solution, as it is caustic and can cause burns, irritation, or damage to your skin, eyes, or respiratory system. You’ll need to follow these steps to prepare and add the lye solution:
- Measure the water and sodium hydroxide separately using your scale.
- Pour the water into a heat-resistant container, such as a glass or stainless steel bowl.
- Slowly add the sodium hydroxide to the water, stirring carefully to dissolve it. Never add water to sodium hydroxide, as this can cause a violent reaction and splashing. Always add sodium hydroxide to water, as this allows for a gradual and controlled reaction.
- The lye solution will heat up and release fumes as it reacts with the water. You’ll need to do this in a well-ventilated area, away from children, pets, and flammable materials. You’ll also need to avoid inhaling the fumes or touching the solution, as it is very hot and corrosive.
- Let the lye solution cool down to between 40°C and 50°C (104°F and 122°F) using your thermometer. You can place the container in a cold water bath or an ice bath to speed up the cooling process.
- Carefully pour the lye solution into the melted oils and butter, stirring gently to combine them. You’ll need to do this slowly and steadily, avoiding splashing or spilling.
Step 4: Blend to trace
The fourth step is to blend your oils and lye solution to create a thick and creamy mixture called trace. Trace is the stage where the oils and lye solution have emulsified and saponified, meaning they have turned into soap. You’ll need to use your stick blender to blend your oils and lye solution on high speed until you reach trace. You’ll need to do this in short bursts, alternating with stirring, to prevent air bubbles or overheating. You’ll also need to scrape the sides and bottom of the container to ensure even mixing. You’ll know you have reached a trace when the mixture has the consistency of pudding or custard and leaves a visible trail when you drizzle it on the surface.
Step 5: Pour into mold
The fifth and final step is to pour your soap mixture into your mold. You’ll need to do this quickly and carefully, as the soap mixture will start to harden and thicken as it cools down. You’ll need to use a spatula or a spoon to scrape out any remaining soap mixture from the container and transfer it to the mold. You’ll also need to tap the mold gently on the counter to release any air bubbles and level the surface. You can also use a knife or skewer to swirl or marble the soap mixture if you want to create a design or pattern. You can also sprinkle some dried herbs, flowers, or spices on top of the soap mixture if you want to add some decoration or texture.
How to Use Homemade Shaving Soap
Now that you have made your own homemade shaving soap, you can use it to enjoy a smooth, close, and comfortable shave. Here are the steps to follow:
Wet Your Shaving Brush
The first step is to wet your shaving brush with warm water. You’ll need to use a shaving brush that is soft, dense, and absorbent. You can choose from different types of shaving brushes, such as badger, boar, horse, or synthetic. You’ll need to soak your shaving brush in warm water for a few minutes to soften the bristles and retain the moisture. You’ll also need to squeeze out the excess water from your shaving brush, leaving it damp but not dripping.
Load your brush with soap.
The second step is to load your brush with soap. You’ll need to swirl your shaving brush on top of your shaving soap in circular motions, applying gentle pressure, until you pick up enough soap to create a lather. You’ll need to do this for about 10 to 15 seconds, or until you see a thick and creamy paste on your shaving brush.
Build your lather.
The third step is to build your lather. You’ll need to transfer your shaving brush to a shaving bowl, mug, or hand and continue swirling it in circular motions, adding a few drops of water as needed, until you create a rich, creamy, and stable lather. You’ll need to do this for about 30 to 60 seconds, or until you see a lot of bubbles and foam on your shaving brush.
Apply to Your Face
The fourth step is to apply the lather to your face. You’ll need to wet your face with warm water to soften your beard and open your pores. You’ll also need to massage your face with your shaving brush, using circular and upward strokes, to spread the lather evenly and lift your hair. You’ll need to cover your entire shaving area with a thick layer of lather, leaving no gaps or dry spots.
Shave and rinse.
The fifth and final step is to shave and rinse. You’ll need to use a sharp and clean razor, such as a safety razor, a straight razor, or a cartridge razor, to shave your beard. You’ll need to shave with the grain, meaning in the direction of your hair growth, to avoid irritation, ingrown hairs, or razor bumps. You’ll also need to rinse your razor frequently with warm water to remove the lather and hair. You’ll need to reapply the lather and shave again if you want a closer shave, but you’ll need to be careful not to over-shave or damage your skin. You’ll need to rinse your face with cold water to close your pores and remove any remaining lather or hair. You’ll also need to pat your face dry with a clean towel and apply a moisturizer, an aftershave, or a balm to soothe and hydrate your skin.
Making your own homemade shaving soap is a fun, easy, and rewarding activity that can improve your shaving experience and your skin health. Homemade shaving soap is natural, eco-friendly, cost-effective, and customizable, and it can provide you with a smooth, close, and comfortable shave. You can make your own homemade shaving soap with simple ingredients and equipment, and you can use it with a shaving brush and a razor to enjoy a traditional and satisfying shave. Try making your own homemade shaving soap today and see the difference for yourself!