One of the easiest ways to reduce plastic packaging and make a sustainable swap in your shower is to switch to bar soap.
239.19 million Americans use body wash in a plastic bottle and go through an average of one bottle every two months. This equals 1.4 billion plastic bottles annually.
Thankfully bar soap is making a comeback! And for those crafty DIYers out there.--there is a fun and easy way to make your own using the melt and pour method.
Melt and pour soap is a soap base that has already been through a complete saponification process (the chemical reaction that makes lye safe for skin). It melts easily and hardens quickly.
Making your own soap is not only a great inexpensive sustainable swap for yourself, but a fun crafty idea for gifts as well!
What you will need to start:
A soap base. Choose one free of parabens, dyes, or harsh chemicals. There are many to choose from, so here is a quick run down of some I have tried and can highly recommend:
Oatmeal Soap Base (my favorite): Oats have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that keeps skin healthy. Oatmeal is great for soothing skin as well as gently exfoliating.
Goat's milk soap base: Goat’s milk soap base is moisturizing and high in fats. The fats in this soap have vitamins and minerals that nourish the skin.
Shea butter Soap base: Shea butter helps to moisturize and strengthen hair and skin. It is a good soap base for those with dry or mature skin.
A mold. I definitely recommend keeping an eye out for fun molds at thrift stores (that's where I found mine), but if you are wanting one to arrive quickly to try this project out this basic mold is a great place to start!
Essential Oils. These will help give your soap a lovely smell and aromatherapy benefits. And if you use high quality oils, there are skin benefits as well!
Optional additives. Adding in a few drops of vitamin E oil, or a teaspoon of jojoba oil can give your soap an extra moisturizing boost.
If you are using Our Earth's Secrets soap base it will make 12 bars of soap. It comes in two bricks, so each brick will fill one mold.
-Cut the soap into small cubes to help it evenly melt.
-Place cubes into a microwaveable bowl or a double boiler.
-If using a microwave, microwave at 30 sec intervals, so the soap doesn't scorch.
-Lightly stir to make sure soap is fully melted.
-Let melted soap cool for just a couple of minutes before adding essential oils. (Putting essential oils into a scalding hot liquid can affect their potency)
-Add your essential oil combos. (See below for suggestions). I recommend 6-8 drops per bar of soap.
-Optional: add 1-3 drops of Vitamin E Oil/1 tsp of Jojoba Oil
-Stir oils and soap base so it is all evenly distributed.
-Pour into silicone mold.
-Optional: for exfoliating bars of soap, sprinkle crushed oats into the bottom of the mold, and pour soap base to fill halfway. Let the mixture set by waiting 30 minutes or placing in the freezer for 5 minutes. Sprinkle another layer of crushed oats and the remaining soap base. Let harden for a few minutes and top with more crushed oats.
-Let bars of soap sit 1.5-2 hours before they are ready to remove!
Some of my favorite essential oil combinations for soap:
PER BAR (Multiply by how many bars you are making)
-4 Bergamot, 3 Lavender, 1 Cedarwood
-5 Citrus Bill, 2 Lavender, 1 Cedarwood
-4 Tea Tree, 3 Lime, 1 Sandalwood
-4 Wild Orange, 2 Ginger, 2 Vanilla
-3 Clary Sage, 3 Lavender, 2 Patchouli
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.