This DIY soap contains a precious treasure!
Behold the Gold in our new cold process soap recipe! Between two marble-white layers of soap hides a beautiful, softly shimmering amber-gold treasure, for a surprising and oh-so-elegant result!
Curious to know how you can create your own? The answer is a mix of cold process and melt-and-pour techniques. All you have to do is pour one layer of cold process soap batter, followed by a layer of beautifully tinted melt-and-pour glycerin soap, then top it with a final layer of cold process soap batter. It’s as easy as that!
Not only is the finished product stunning, this DIY soap is a pleasure to make. Behold the Gold every step of the way by learning how to make your own!
How to make a decorative layered soap
Before you begin
- You’ll notice that there is no mention of superfatting in the ingredients list or steps to follow. This is simply because we decided to superfat this soap recipe by reducing the volume of sodium hydroxide, which is another very useful technique for making cold process soap!
Sodium hydroxide solution
Oil and butter mixture
- 258 g (23.63%) sweet almond oil
- 138 g (12.64%) mango butter
- 150 g (13.74%) coconut oil
- 54 g (4.95%) castor oil
- 6 g (0.54%) titanium dioxide
Scent and active
Glycerin soap layer
- 1 large Pyrex cup or high-density polyethylene (HDPE) jar for the sodium hydroxide solution (minimum capacity of 500 ml)
- A jar, for weighing the sodium hydroxide
- 1 large stainless steel bowl
- 1 small stainless steel bowl
- 1 ramekin
- 3 measuring funnel pitchers
- 2 regular silicone spatulas
- 3 small silicone spatulas
- 2 scales, accurate to 1 g and 0.1 g
- 1 pipette
- 1 immersion blender
- 1 thermometer
- A microwave
- A few spoons
- Personal protective gear
- 1 silicone loaf mold
- 1 plastic cutting board
- 1 straight soap cutter
- 1 small mesh strainer
Good to know!
- The saponified oils give this homemade soap its beautiful properties:
- Coconut oil hardens your soap, cleanses, and provides great lather.
- Mango butter hardens your soap and provides silky, creamy lather.
- Sweet almond oil makes this soap very gentle on your skin.
- Castor oil makes the soap milder and adds stability and creaminess to the lather.
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant with wonderful skin benefits, helping your skin maintain elasticity and hydration and replenishing its protective barrier. It also helps delay the rancidification of vegetable oils.
- We advise against making any substitutions for the oils and butters: if you make any changes to them, you will have to recalculate the quantity of sodium hydroxide necessary for the recipe.
- This soap takes longer to cure than most other cold process soaps, as we use a 2:1 ratio of water to sodium hydroxide. This ratio yields a very fluid soap batter, which is needed in order to create the desired effect, but it also means that the soap takes longer to dry and cure.
Steps to follow
- Prepare and disinfect your equipment and workspace.
- Take the necessary precautions for handling sodium hydroxide safely.
- Prepare the sodium hydroxide solution: weigh the water in a Pyrex measuring cup or HDPE pot, weigh the sodium hydroxide, pour the sodium hydroxide into the water, mix well, and set aside to cool.
- Weigh the coconut oil and mango butter in a large bowl, then melt on the double boiler.
- Weigh the sweet almond oil, castor oil, vitamin E, and aromatic essence in a small bowl and mix together.
- When the coconut oil and the mango butter have melted, remove the bowl from the heat and leave it to cool to 35°C.
- Weigh half the titanium dioxide in the first measuring funnel pitcher. Add a tablespoon of the coconut oil and melted mango butter mixture to the pitcher and disperse the colourant using a small spatula.
- Repeat step 7 in the second measuring funnel pitcher with the second half of the titanium dioxide.
- In the third measuring funnel pitcher, weigh the glycerin soap. Melt it in the microwave: heat for 15 seconds, press pause, and stir with a small spatula. Repeat until the glycerin soap is completely melted.
- Weigh the mica in a ramekin and add it to the glycerin soap. Then add the yellow liquid colourant and mix.
- When the coconut oil and mango butter mixture has cooled to 35°C, add the sweet almond oil, castor oil, vitamin E, and aromatic essence, and mix to combine.
- When the sodium hydroxide solution and the oil and butter mixture are both 30°C, pour the sodium hydroxide solution into the oil and butter mixture. Mix well with the spatula until homogeneous. Do not overmix; the goal here is to delay trace. Evenly divide the mixture between the two measuring funnel pitchers containing the titanium dioxide. Mix again with the spatula to evenly distribute the colourant, but no more than that.
- Mix the contents of just one of the measuring funnel pitchers using the immersion blender until it reaches medium trace, then pour this half of the soap batter into the mold.
- Reheat the glycerin soap mixture in the microwave for just a few seconds. Gently pour the glycerin soap along one of the lengthwise walls of the mold. This will help prevent the glycerin soap from leaking into the white cold process soap layer. Leave a little glycerin soap in the pitcher to decorate the top of the soap.
- While the glycerin soap is solidifying in the mold, use the spatula to mix the soap batter in the second measuring funnel pitcher. Do not use the immersion blender or you’ll reach trace too quickly.
- When the glycerin layer has solidified and the second half of the soap batter has reached medium trace, gently pour the white soap batter in thin strips over the glycerin layer so that the white soap doesn’t pierce it.
- Melt the remaining glycerin soap in the microwave. Pour the glycerin soap in thin strips onto the plastic cutting board. When the glycerin soap has cooled, use the soap cutter to gently peel off the glycerin strips, formng each one into a spiral (see video). Set the spirals on top of the soap.
- Using a mesh strainer, dust the top of the soap with a bit of brushed copper mica.
- Cover the soap and leave to harden for at least 48 hours.
- Wear gloves to unmold the soap. Cut the soap and leave in a cool, dry place to cure for six to eight weeks.
Use and conservation
This homemade soap is formulated for all skin types.
When made in optimal sanitary conditions, it will keep for about one year.