This facial soap recipe uses nourishing and cleansing rose clay and coconut milk powder. A real treat for your skin!
I've been resisting using handmade soap on my face for the longest time. My own handmade soap mind you - where I know exactly how it's made and what went in. I always had in the back of my mind what had been drilled into our heads at esthetitian school: "Never ever use soap on your face".
I could see, that for someone with very oily, acne prone skin a nice bar of charcoal tea tree soap could be beneficial, but for my dry and sensitive skin? Uh, no thanks.
I'm not even sure what finally broke the spell, but I started to do a lot of research and to read a lot of testimonials of people who were raving about the handmade soap that they used on their face. And come to think of it, what did our grandmothers use on their faces? Certainly not some fancy schmancy overpriced gel cleanser. No, they used bar soap. By the way, all liquid cleansers have preservatives in them since they're water based and are oftentimes heavily scented.
About a year ago I started testing and formulating my own face soaps. What I noticed was that the soap I had in the shower worked ok, but was a little too drying for my face (most likely due to the higher percentage of coconut oil). Face soaps (at least for my skin) had to be more gentle and loaded with skin-loving oils and additives.
For a face soap I'm ok with using higher priced oils that I normally wouldn't use in a regular body bar. Yes, you could argue that soap is a wash off product and that it all goes down the drain anyway. All I can say is that my skin feels and looks great. After washing, my face doesn't feel stripped of it's natural oils nor does it feel tight. It feels clean, fresh and healthy, and ready for some of my homemade face serum or rose clay face mask.
- Rose Clay: Also called pink kaolin clay. This is one of the gentlest clays, which makes it suitable for sensitive, dry and mature skin. It has the ability to gently draw impurities and excess oils from the skin. It can also help damaged skin and hyper pigmentation. As a bonus it gives cold process soap a gorgeous pink - reddish hue.
- Coconut Milk: Coconut Milk is a great skin food containing vitamin C,E and B6, iron, magnesium and unsaturated fatty acids. It can help moisturize and soften your skin. In soap it makes for a creamy and gentle lather.
- Shea Butter: Shea Butter has long been known for it's great ability to soften and sooth dry skin. It lends a certain degree of hardness to a bar of soap as well as creamy luxurious lather. It's real superpower in soap however is it's high percentage of "unsaponifiables" (up to 17%). Unsaponifiables are benefial substances that survive the saponification process. These substances aren't fatty acids and therefore they don't react with lye making the finished bar even more moisturizing and nourishing.
- Jojoba Oil: Jojoba Oil is technically not an oil, but a liquid wax with an extremely long shelf life. Very similar to the skin's composition, it his highly penetrating, regenerating and protective. With a whopping 50% of unsaponifiables, even small amounts will add a ton of skin loving properties to your bar of soap.
- Rosehip (Seed) Oil: Rosehip (Seed) Oil is a highly nourishing oil with remarkable rejuvenating properties often used to treat wrinkles and damaged skin. In soap it will add moisturizing and conditioning properties due to it's high percentage of linoleic and linolinic fatty acids. Make sure the oil you're using is fresh since the shelf life is only 6 months it can otherwise lead to spoilage in your soap.
If you've never made cold process soap before, I highly recommend you read my articles about lye safety, necessary equipment and my beginner's tutorial.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you will I earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
- Sunflower Single Cavity Soap Mold (or any other mold)
- Stick blender
- Accurate kitchen scale
- 2 medium sized containers (not glass, one for lye solution, one for oils)
How to make facial soap
Recipe (makes 6 sunflower shaped soaps weighing 3 oz/ 85g each).
This recipe is superfatted at 7% and uses a lye concentration of 35% (usually I use a higher water discount, but since we're adding quite a bit of clay straight to the oils a little more water will help keep the batter fluid) .
- Distilled Water: 3.1 oz / 88 g
- Lye: 1.7 oz / 47 g
- Olive Oil (35%): 4.5 oz / 126 g
- Shea Butter (25%): 3.2 oz / 90 g
- Coconut Oil (24%): 3 oz / 86 g
- Rosehip Oil (11%): 1.4 oz / 40 g
- Jojoba Oil (5%): 0.6 oz / 18 g
- Rose Clay: 1 teaspoon (I got mine from Nurture Soap, but you can find it here also)
- Kaolin Clay: 1 tsp
- Coconut Milk Powder: 1 Tbsp
- Lavender Essential Oil: 9 g
- Geranium Essential Oil: 2 g
- Gear up for safety: cloves, goggles and no pets or kids around
- Place the sunflower mold on a cutting board or card board (you'll thank me later 😉
- Create lye solution by pouring the lye into the water (never the other way around!), stir until lye is dissolved and set aside to cool
- Melt shea butter and coconut oil in a double boiler on low heat or in the microwave on 30 second bursts
- Add olive oil, rosehip oil and jojoba oil to melted shea butter and coconut oil
- Add essential oils to melted base oils
- Add rose clay, coconut milk powder and kaolin clay to base oils
- With your stick blender mix base oils until coconut milk powder and clays are well incorporated and you see no more clumps
- Carefully add lye solution to base oils by pouring it down the shaft of your stick blender to avoid air bubbles
- Stick blend until medium trace (thin pudding consistency) is achieved
- Pour soap batter into soap mold and give it a few taps on the counter (to release air bubbles)
- If you wish to gel your soaps you can place them in the oven at 170 degrees for 30 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave there over night OR you can leave the soaps out on the counter covered with cling wrap and a heavy blanket or towel
- After 24 - 36 hours release soaps out of the mold by gently pulling on the sides first
- Cure for 4 - 6 weeks
Looking for more natural soap recipes? Why not try:
Until next time. Happy Tinkering!
I love this mold. Great recipe. I can't wait to give it a try.
Yes, it makes beautiful soaps. Thank you Rebecca. Happy Tinkering:)
Hello Tweek & Tinker,
I don’t have Kaolin clay can I Jesse it out of the recipe or substitute it?
I really want to make it but can’t wait to go to the store or order it.
Tuesday’s SOAP Treasures
Hi Brenda, you could double the amount of rose clay instead but it will make your soap look darker. You could also just leave it out, that’s fine. Happy Tinkering 😊
Hi Tweak & Tinker
As soon as I can get some rosehip oil - I will be making this
Thank you for doing all the work and testing for us
Hi Liz, can't wait to hear how it went. Happy Tinkering 🙂
Rosehip oil can be pricey...look at The Ordinary for great prices!
A Life Adjacent
This soap not only looks pretty, it must be so nourishing for your skin!
Yes, it's a very gentle nourishing soap.
I made it - it is just about finished curing and be put to use - it was so easy to make and such a wonderful soap batter to pour - i love it for that alone
Because of that i went ahead and made it using green french clay - same result - it truly is my favourite soap batter - i have now bought more rosehip seed oil and jojoba oil to make more
My family will be in love with this soap as much as i am
Bless you for sharing your knowledge and i wish you a days of happiness to come
Hi Liz, I’m so glad you like this soap. Thank you for your kind words. I hope your family will love this soap as well. Happy Tinkering:)
this soap looks fantastic. thank you.
quick question, if I have a 20oz mold, how should i adjust the recipe to make a 20 oz bar?
I like to use to calculate and resize my soap recipes. For 20 oz it would be water: 4.9 oz, lye: 2.6 oz, Olive oil: 7 oz, Shea: 5 oz, coconut oil:4.8 oz, rosehip oil: 2.2 oz and jojoba: 1 oz. I hope that helps. Happy Tinkering 🙂
One more question please, to add the essential oils to my melted oils, what is the temperature that these melted oils need to be in order to add EO?
you don't have to wait in order to add the essential oils.
Hope that helps. Happy Tinkering 🙂
Ahhh thanks! Can’t wait to make this awesome looking creamy soap.
I have to tell you that I let my soap cured for 6wks. it is heavenly. I cant thank you enough for providing this information to us. This soap is so gentle and beautiful.
what is the discount water you used? I wouldn't mind to make a large batch for friends and family 🙂
Thank you Tania! I'm so glad you enjoy this soap. Happy Tinkering 🙂
Hello! Thank you for t!he great post! i am really looking forward to making this next week. Quick question though..Im confused by step 7 and 8. Step 7 says to add the coconut milk. Step 8 says to add coconut milk powder. I just want to clarify before i make this. Also, did you let this particular batch go through gel phase? Thanks again!
HI Liz, thank you for catching this. I updated the post. It's only supposed to be added once 😉 I didn't gel this particular batch, I put it in the freezer. You can certainly gel this soap, but you have to keep an eye on it. You want to catch it before it overheats or cracks. Happy Tinkering 🙂
Thanks so much for the clarification! I was thinking the freezer as well! Happy soaping!
Hi Celine: This looks lovely! I'd love to make a larger batch. I'm a newbie and want to make sure I'm using the right amounts of everything. I have a 42 ounce mold. Could I simply double the amounts for the 20 ounce recipe above? Thanks so much.
Hi Melinda, if you double the exact amounts of every ingredient you should be good to go 🙂
what is the water discount on this recipe?
I asked earlier about the water discount on this recipe. Could I just use fresh coconut milk instead of powder and water? Any adjustments needed if I do that? Please advise on water discount also.
Hi Lynn, it’s a 35% lye concentration (35% lye to 65% water). If you’re using fresh coconut milk I would mix the lye with 71g/ 2.5 oz of water and add to the oils 19g/ 0.66 oz of fresh coconut milk. That way you end up with the same amount of liquid in the end and don’t run the risk of scorching the milk. Hope that helps!
This came out perfectly and came out of the mould easily after about 30hrs. I can’t wait to try it.
I’m glad to hear 🙂
Shelby A LaMothe
These smell heavenly! I can't wait for them to finish curing so I can try it! Sadly, mine did not turn out pink 🙁
Oh, it depends on the brand of your Rose clay.
Shelby A LaMothe
3 days into the curing process, and they are a lovely shade of pink!
That’s great Shelby!
Hi there, other than rosehip oil can I substitute it with any other oils? Thanks!
Hi. Really like this recipe and would like to give it a try. One question here: can I add activated charcoal instead of clay?
Yes absolutely, that would make a great facial soap for oily skin 🙂
Thank you so much for this great recipe! And thank you for listing the ingredients in percentage % so I am easily able to adjust the size to fit my mold of choice! (Using a soap calculator for lye and water). I am going to substitute the water with aloe vera water. Now to wait for to six weeks! I am planning on starting a website and selling my Soap. Is it OK if I name this Soap after you? “ Celine’s Rose Soap”
Hi Terry, that sounds like it’s going to be a gorgeous soap. Of course, you can name your soap after me 😉 I feel very honored 💕
i have another question re this soap and then a general enquiry on soaping
this soaps question first
will it matter if i leave out the rose clay - or the french green clay or even the activated charcoal - then add some titanium dioxide - just wondering so that if i make it again in the future i have some possibilities to play around with
now the 2nd question - - am sorry its a bit long - i had a problem the other day with a totally different soap i was making
i spritzed the top with isopropyl alcohol - covered it and tucked it away
sometime overnight it wrinkled - really bad and has made the soap look ugly
now i have asked a couple of soapers on line why and they all blamed me - apparently i am not supposed to use it at all - i am supposed to make soap with a water discount - well this soap did have a water discount - they didnt believe me - they were in fact rather snotty and arrogant about it - made me feel a fool and put me off for a couple of days - just a couple but i am heading back in to my soaping heaven after my hospital visit this week - i was told to always finish a soap with an IPA spritz to ward off soda ash - was never told that soda ash is less likely with a water discount - boy this is long haha - this has never happened to me before so what am i to do if i want to do straight layering where i have always spritzed the layer with or without mica before i pour the next layer - i am a bit worried that will wrinkle as well now - oh what to do - what to do - i hope you can help me
Hi Liz, you can substitute the rose clay with titanium dioxide or any other clay.
Water discount is in fact your best defense against soda ash. Personally I do both: discount and IPA. I’m pretty sure that your soap overheated during the saponification process. A phenomenon also called the “Alien brain”. If it’s quite warm where you are I wouldn’t cover the soap and maybe place the mold on top of two wooden spoon layed flat on the counter. That way the air can circulate around the bottom of the mold.
Thank you so much for the answers and advice - now i know i can leave out the clay i will go ahead and try it that way
never thought of heat - it is high summer for me and it can get up to 40 degs C usually i only soap over late summer - autumn and winter - this year i was home alone so thought i would start early on my soaping - wont do that again
so i will continue with my summer holiday and kick my feet up knowing i am not as stupid as was implied from others
Good luck Liz! Don’t listen to the bullies 😉
I’m wondering how you came to the 71 Water and 19 Coconut Milk ratios. I’ve been searching how to formulate using Coconut Milk to replace some of the water content. I’m having a difficult time finding a straight forward calculation. Thank you! By the way, your soap is lovely!
it's been so long since I made this soap. I vaguely remember following the same recommended amounts as if it was goat milk powder or milk powder. Hope that makes sense.