Get a close shave with this homemade shaving soap!
We at Coop Coco love cold process soap recipes. From the beginning, we’ve always tried to offer a range of recipes for very different soaps: exfoliating soaps; soaps for beginners, for problem skin, and for gardeners; and even decorative soaps with all the colours of the rainbow, made with a hanger, or featuring embeds… This time, we’re bringing the barber into your home with a cold process shaving soap recipe!
This recipe required us to be rigorous in selecting our ingredients. Indeed, conventional soaps may dry out your skin and may inadequately protect from the blades when shaving. Our goal was to create a homemade shaving soap with a luxurious lather that would allow a razor to glide smoothly and safely. We also wanted it to have protective, soothing, and softening properties.
After a number of trials, here is the shaving soap recipe that’s been hailed by all those who have tried it, whether on their beard, legs, or underarms… Please don’t hesitate to tell us what you think of it!
Barbering Begins at Home with this natural shaving soap!
How to make shaving soap
Sodium hydroxide solution
- 153 g (17.47%) of ice cubes made from the chamomile flower infusion
- 80 g (9.13%) sodium hydroxide
Oil and butter mixture
- 180 g (20.55%) olive oil
- 170 g (19.41%) coconut oil
- 110 g (12.56%) shea butter
- 50 g (5.71%) castor oil
- 50 g (5.71%) avocado oil
- 10 g (1.14%) carnauba wax
- 25 g (2.85%) grapeseed oil
Essential oil mixture
- 5 g (0.58%) peppermint essential oil
- 12 g (1.37%) palmarosa essential oil
- 1 mesh strainer
- 1 ice cube tray
- 1 container for making an infusion (saucepan, teapot…)
- Scales, accurate to 1 g and 0.01 g
- 1 large Pyrex measuring cup or HDPE pot (with a minimum capacity of 500 ml) for the sodium hydroxide solution
- 1 pot for weighing the sodium hydroxide
- A few pipettes for measuring the essential oils
- Components to make a double boiler
- 2 large stainless steel bowls
- 1 small stainless steel bowl
- 1 thermometer
- 3 ramekins
- 1 immersion blender
- Several spoons
- 1 silicone spatula
- Protective soapmaking gear
- Round silicone molds
Good to know!
- This homemade shaving soap can be poured into a jar rather than a mold. It will then take longer than the usual 4–6 weeks to cure and the container must be kept open throughout the curing process (including during the first 48 hours).
- The clays help the razor to glide smoothly over skin. Yellow clay is stimulating, cleansing, and purifying and is perfect for sensitized skin. As for ghassoul clay, it cleanses deeply but gently and softens skin.
- Aloe juice was chosen for its hydrating and soothing properties.
- In this shaving soap recipe, the chamomile infusion is used in ice cube form. This way, the heat released by the sodium hydroxide will not degrade the calming properties of the infusion.
- Carnauba wax is a vegan alternative to beeswax and makes the soap softer on skin. Please note that it will also speed up trace!
Steps to follow
- Prepare and sterilize your equipment and workspace.
- Weigh 5 g of chamomile flowers. Bring demineralized water to a boil. Add the flowers to the simmering water, mix, then remove from heat. Allow to infuse for about 10 minutes.
- Filter out the flowers using a mesh strainer over a large bowl. Allow to cool then pour the infusion into the ice cube tray and freeze.
- Once frozen, weigh the required quantity of ice cubes and place in a Pyrex measuring cup or HDPE pot.
- Take the necessary precautions for handling sodium hydroxide safely.
- Prepare the sodium hydroxide solution (measure sodium hydroxide and pour over the ice cubes) in the Pyrex measuring cup or HDPE pot. Mix together and leave to cool.
- In the first ramekin, weigh the essential oils using the pipettes. Mix together.
- In the second ramekin, weigh the clays.
- In the third ramekin, weigh the aloe vera juice.
- In a small bowl, weigh the grapeseed oil.
- Pour the clays into the bowl containing the grapeseed oil. Mix together.
- Weigh the coconut oil, shea butter, and carnauba wax in a large stainless steel bowl. Melt on the double boiler. Once melted, remove from heat and add the olive, castor, and avocado oils. Mix together.
- When the oil mixture and the sodium hydroxide solution have both cooled to a temperature of 35–40°C, pour the sodium hydroxide solution into the oil mixture. Stir with the spatula until the mixture is homogeneous.
- Mix with the immersion blender on the machine’s lowest setting.
- At light trace, add the grapeseed oil and clay mixture. Mix well with the spatula.
- Still at light trace, add the aloe vera juice and the essential oil mixture. First mix well with the spatula, then mix with the immersion blender (still on the lowest setting).
- At medium trace, pour the soap into the molds.
- Cover the soap for 48 hours.
- Wearing gloves, unmold your DIY shaving soap. Leave to cure in a cool, dry place for 4–6 weeks.
Use and conservation
This cold process soap recipe is formulated for both face and body use and is suitable for all skin types. It can be used with a shaving brush or simply by lathering the bar of soap between your hands. You can also use it conventionally to wash your skin.
Store your homemade shaving soap in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place. Made and stored in optimal sanitary conditions, it will keep for at least 12 months.