Making soap from scratch is a complicated process. However, if you start with a natural 100% pure soap base and add herbal ingredients it becomes fun and easy. By including healing herbs, you’ll increase the soaps’ soothing, moisturising and cleansing properties.
You can make a range of soaps from solid soap bars to exfoliating scrubs for cleaning hands and greasy stovetops. To make a solid bar, no water is added to the melted soap. For a scrub, water is used to make a softer consistency. Both solid bars and softer scrubs can have a variety of ingredients added to enhance them, including ground-up pumice stone, herbs and herb-infused and essential oils.
Its Latin name is derived from lavare which means to wash. The flowers have antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Growing tips: A hardy perennial, it likes full sun and is drought tolerant. Plant it in well-drained soil with good air circulation. It dislikes damp, wet conditions. Prune in early spring. Cut flowers regularly to keep it producing.
The petals have soothing and healing qualities ideal for face soap.
Growing tips: Grow from seed in full sun in well-drained soil. It flowers from late autumn, throughout winter into early summer. Deadhead flowers to encourage further flowering.
This soothing and anti-inflammatory plant is good for dry skins. Its leaves contain high levels of saponins, which foam when mixed with water.
Growing tips: It’s a perennial that prefers full sun but will grow in semi-shade. Plant in well-drained, poor soil, as it can become invasive in rich soil. Don’t grow near a fishpond as the saponins can harm fish.
An antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, rosemary is good for skin blemishes and ideal for facial soaps. It also encourages hair growth and leaves hair shiny.
Growing tips: Its preferred climate is hot and dry, but it does well in more temperate areas. Choose its spot carefully as it’s a large perennial that can live up to 20 years. Cut it back in late spring. In frost areas, don’t cut it back in autumn.
An aromatic herb, it’s a refreshing antiseptic and toner.
Growing tips: Peppermint spreads quickly and is best contained in pots. It likes full sun and plenty of water. If it dies back in winter, it will pop up again in spring.
A graceful tree with peeling white paper bark that grows up to 7m tall. The leaves of this powerful all-purpose healing plant make a good addition to soap for problem skins.
Growing tips: Although it prefers moist soil, it will grow in most well-drained soils. It’s hardy and likes sun. Keep well watered throughout summer. Trim it to keep it smaller.
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