05 October 2009

Homemade Soap

Have you ever tried making your own soap? It can be a lot of fun, with the added benefit of you being able to create a soap to suit your skin. Handmade soaps make lovely gifts too. Wrap a bar in cellophane, tie it off with raffia and add a paper label for a lovely present that is useful and decorative. Good soap needs time to harden, 4 - 6 weeks at least, so start your soap making now to have a supply on hand for those unexpected Christmas gifts you need.

Vanilla and Almond Soap
This soap is great for removing dirt and oil from the skin without drying. Vanilla gives it a delicious fragrance and the ground almonds provide a beautifully textured soap.

1/3 cup whole almonds
113.5g castile* bath soap
1/4 cup distilled water
1 tablespoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon vanilla scented essential oil

1. Grind the almonds to a fine powder in a food processor or coffee grinder and set aside.
2. Shred the soap and set aside.
3. In a heavy saucepan bring the water to the boil; then reduce heat to a simmer. Add bath soap and mix until dissolved.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the almond powder, almond oil, and vanilla fragrance oil, stirring until well blended.
5. Spoon the soap into a mould and let set for five hours or until hardened.
6. Use it in the shower!


Contributed by Korina, Woy Woy

Note: Castile these days refers to the type of soap. First made in Spain from olive oil, it gets it's name from the region, Castilla. Castile soap is olive oil based, very soft and gentle and suitable for the most sensitive of skins. You'll find it at your health food shop, good soap shops or online.

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