Sometimes I get excited about the most random things: the other day as I was washing my face in the shower with my regular face wash, I figured that there must be a way to make a custom soap bar for that. Turns out it’s surprisingly easy as you can just buy a melt-and-pour soap base and add your own ingredients.
Now, here comes a bit of philosophical oversharing about my skin type, so just skip ahead to the soap photos if you don’t care. My skin has gotten a bit weird after my teenage years, as I still get blemishes and pimples, but the skin itself went from oily to randomly oily and super dry depending on the day. I’m not a person who spends too much time worrying about these things and although I have my fair share of cosmetic products, I can’t remember to use half of them and I can’t be bothered with the other half, so the only thing I actually use regularly is a face wash. They either don’t do anything for my zits or they are too aggressive and end up drying my skin more than necessary + they come in retardedly small plastic packages or cost a ton if they are a bit more natural. Yes, I know I could just keep trying to find a good one or ask a professional or do some other reasonable thing, but since I’m me I decided to just give it a go and make my own, because I like doing DIY projects.
I figured what’s the worst that could happen – I could always use the soap for hand washing if it doesn’t work on my face and soap bars last for years, so it can’t be a waste. I bought a glycerin soap base online (here), which is apparently fairly inexpensive for the amount of soap you get, even if you get a fancy one like the one with goat milk that I got (I wanted to buy the one with shea butter, but they’d run out, so this sounded weird and the label said moisturising, so I bought it). All you need to do is melt it, mix in your ingredients and leave it to cool, so I was done within 30 minutes.
Since I’m an engineer and need to study and plan every little project, I did a quick Internet search a few days before and it turns out that I had most of the ingredients I needed at home. Apparently active charcoal is good at drawing out dirt from the skin, i.e. zits, and I had plenty of active charcoal pills meant for stomach issues at home. Most of them were already years past their expiration date (can these things really get bad though?), so I figured it would be better to use them like this instead of eating them if the need struck. The next thing I added was tea tree oil, which is supposed to be antiseptic and also good for zits. I had that at home too, because it was a gift from a friend a few years ago, but I’d rarely used it. I’ve started using it now though and it’s awesome.
Additionally, I bought some peeling particles when I bought the soap base, because apparently most store-bought peelings come with microplastic particles, which do exfoliate, but also end up polluting the water, so why contribute to that? The ones I bought were two different sizes, one made from bamboo and the other from wax. They are both very fine and resulted in a super nice, pleasant texture. And yes, I admit I fell for the must-buy-everything advertising effect while browsing the soap making website, because the last thing I added was green tea extract, which is supposed to energise the skin (whatever that means) and contains vitamins C and E. I absolutely love drinking green tea, so I couldn’t help myself + it smells nice.
So, I melted the soap base, mixed in all of my powder ingredients with a whisker and poured the black mixture into silicone muffin moulds. I figured why buy an actual soap mould, when these would do just fine and it’s not like I was mixing in highly dangerous chemicals. Everything was quite easy to wash off with hot water afterwards, since the soap just melted away, so I didn’t make too much of a mess in the kitchen either.
I was left with 7 black hearts, which cooled off and hardened fairly quickly. That’s quite a lot of soap, since soap bars tend to last longer than liquid soaps, so I think we’re good for the next 2 years (my boyfriend likes them too). The whole experiment was super fast and quite fun. The soap seems to do what I wanted it to do (I waited a few weeks before posting this), so I think I’ll just permanently switch to this. It’s fast and easy to make a huge amount, involves less plastic packaging, custom ingredients, it’s more sustainable and dare I say even cheaper in the long run, so what’s not to like?
Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever made your own soap. 🙂