No-Lye Sensitive Soap Recipe (2024)

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Easy-to-make sensitive soap recipe with soothing calendula oil and healing chamomile oil blended into sulfate-free soap. No handling of lye required.

No-Lye Sensitive Soap Recipe (1)

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People who suffer from skin conditions like eczema need cleansers that are mild and not over-drying. This sensitive soap recipe is not only easy to make but will replenish the skin with every wash. Though it’s a soap recipe, it uses a natural pre-made soap base so handling lye isn’t required.

This simple soap recipe uses healing calendula oil, rich shea butter, and German chamomile essential oil. The essential oil gives the bars a lovely natural fragrance but it’s also been shown to be effective in the treatment of eczema. It’ smells beautiful and it’s generally non-irritating to sensitive skin, as long as you don’t have an allergy to plants in the ragwort family.

No-Lye Sensitive Soap Recipe

Makes approximately four bars of soap boosted with calendula oil and skin-soothing chamomile essential oil. Takes about 30 minutes to make

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Calendula-infused oil

This recipe calls for calendula-infused oil and the instructions for making it are below. Please note that you could use any light oil to make it including sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, cold-pressed sunflower oil, or olive oil. The important thing is that you infuse it with high-quality calendula petals. You can grow the flowers yourself or purchase them from a reputable herb seller.

Calendula is a sensitive but powerful skin herb that soothes inflammation and speeds up the healing of minor wounds, burns, and dermatitis-related skin issues. You can also find calendula used in Lovely Greens recipes for rich body cream and thiscalendula cold-process soap recipe. I advocate calendula so much that I’ve even written an ebook that shows you how to grow, harvest, and use calendula in skincare.

No-Lye Sensitive Soap Recipe (3)
No-Lye Sensitive Soap Recipe (4)

More Soap & Skincare Recipes

  • Rose Facial Soap Recipe (melt-and-pour)
  • Butterfly Pea Flower Soap Recipe (melt-and-pour)
  • Neem Oil Soap Recipe (for eczema)

Step 1: Make Calendula-infused oil

You can purchase pre-made calendula oil but it’s actually very easy to make yourself. Fill a clean and dry jam jar with dried calendula flower petals. Pour your choice of liquid oil over the top, filling almost to the brim, and then screw the lid back on. Place the jar inside a brown paper bag and then set it in a warm window sill for 2-3 weeks, shaking the jar every few days.

After two to three weeks have passed, strain the oil from the flowers and into another clean and dry jar. Discard the flower petals. Your calendula oil is complete and has a shelf-life of a year or the expiration date of the oil you used. Whichever is closest.

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Step 2: Melt the soap base

Cut the melt-and-pour soap into cubes and melt it with the shea butter using a microwave or the double boiler technique. If using a microwave, heat for 30 seconds at a time and then stir. Repeat until fully melted.

For the stove-top method: Place the soap and shea butter in a pan that’s nested inside a second pan filled with simmering water. The indirect heat will melt the soap in a consistent way without the fear of scorching it. A lid over the pan will help melt the soap quicker and stop evaporation of water from the soap base. Stir occasionally while the soap is melting. When the soap and shea butter are completely melted, take it off of the heat and stir it together with the calendula oil and essential oil.

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Step 3: Molding the soap

Working quickly, pour about ¼” of the soap base into silicone soap molds. Sprinkle dried calendula flowers on top and then fill the rest of the mold with the melted calendula soap. If there are bubbles on the surface, lightly mist with rubbing alcohol. This is optional but makes the bars look more professional.

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Leave the soap to cool to room temperature before popping the bars out of the mold. This will take at least a few hours but I recommend leaving the soap to cool and harden for six hours or more. Once popped out of the mold, the soap is ready to use and has a shelf life of up to a year.

No-Lye Sensitive Soap Recipe (8)
No-Lye Sensitive Soap Recipe (2024)

FAQs

No-Lye Sensitive Soap Recipe? ›

In this method, you're replacing lye with baking soda, both of which are alkalies. However, lye is much stronger than baking soda. Heating up baking soda in the oven turns it from sodium bicarbonate into sodium carbonate, making it a slightly stronger alkali that'll better replace the lye.

What is a natural substitute for lye in soap making? ›

In this method, you're replacing lye with baking soda, both of which are alkalies. However, lye is much stronger than baking soda. Heating up baking soda in the oven turns it from sodium bicarbonate into sodium carbonate, making it a slightly stronger alkali that'll better replace the lye.

Is lye bad for sensitive skin? ›

Lye is a caustic substance that can certainly damage your skin if you're exposed to it. It can cause a number of problems, such as burns, blindness, and even death when consumed. But, and this is a big but, soap that is created with lye (which is all real soap) will do absolutely no harm to your skin.

How do you make hypoallergenic soap? ›

Cold Process Soap for Sensitive Skin
  1. 28.7 oz Olive Oil.
  2. 6.2 oz Coconut Oil.
  3. 4.1 oz Shea Butter.
  4. 2.1 oz Castor Oil.
  5. 5.48 oz Lye.
  6. 10.6 oz water.
  7. 2 tsps sugar (in the lye solution)
  8. 1.5 tsps salt (in the lye solution)

Why can't you make soap without lye? ›

Here's the truth to fall back on: soap is the result of a chemical reaction called saponification that occurs between lye and a type of molecule called a triglyceride (a fat or oil), where both substances are chemically transformed, creating soap and natural glycerin. Neither of the original ingredients exists anymore.

Can handmade soap be made without lye? ›

yes and no. While lye is required to make soap, you can buy melt and pour soap bases which have already combined the oil, liquid, and lye for you so you don't have to work with lye directly. This method is super easy and requires just a few minutes of your time.

Can baking soda replace lye? ›

A good substitute for lye water is a simple homemade lye water. You can make your own lye water at home with just baking soda and water. Baking soda is an alkaline substance, and baking the baking soda intensifies its alkaline properties.

Does Dove Sensitive Skin soap have lye? ›

It is true that the words "lye" or "sodium hydroxide" do not appear on the Dove ingredient label. But, the first ingredients listed were sodium tallowate, sodium cocoate, and sodium palm kernelate. So you can guess what I told her! Yes, Dove is made with lye!

Does Dove soap have lye in it? ›

How It's Made: Sodium tallowate is made my mixing Tallow with Lye (a solution containing water and an alkali). Summary: This inexpensive and readily available Dove soap ingredient cleanses and moisturizes your skin, but may worsen or cause acne.

Does Dawn contain lye? ›

Is there lye in Dawn dish soap? Yes - it's listed on the packaging as 'Sodium Hydroxide' - otherwise known as lye. However, it isn't used for saponification. It is used as a pH adjuster.

What is the best soap base for sensitive skin? ›

For dry or sensitive skin, opt for gentle and moisturizing soap bases like shea butter or goat milk. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, a glycerin or olive oil soap base may be more suitable.

What is the best soap for sensitive? ›

Castile soap is a true soap that's known to be great on sensitive skin and those prone to allergies. This is due to the hydrating nature of the saponified oils it contains, making it a great natural moisturizer, especially when combined with sugar, as in our Organic Sugar Soaps.

What oil is best for sensitive skin soap making? ›

The Best Oils for Making Soap

Castor oil is a great choice for liquid soap and is also great for people with dry or sensitive skin. Almond oil and jojoba oil are also great choices for making liquid soap. Avocado oil is also a great choice for making bar soap.

What is soap without lye called? ›

The secret to making soap without lye is called melt-and-pour soapmaking. With this technique, the lye work is already done and all that's left is the fun part–crafting your own unique varieties of soap!

What is a good substitute for lye? ›

Another way to make soap without lye is to use plants rich in saponins. All you need to do with them is warm the roots, leaves, and fruit of these plants in water and they create all-natural cleaner for your home and health. See how the rebatching method works in this parsley soap recipe.

Does Castile soap have lye? ›

It is a vegetable soap (aka Castile soap) made from an oil and lye solution, specially formulated to be sudsy and gentle, while killing germs. The lather has the function of collecting excess dirt, puncturing germs and then removing them during the rinsing process.

Is there a natural lye? ›

Lye comes from natural sources like clay and limestone. It is 100% pure sodium hydroxide, which can make all sorts of things like detergent, laundry detergent, or deodorant products.

What chemicals are similar to lye? ›

Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) and Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) are almost interchangeable. They are the most chemically similar of the hydroxides. They are both a white, strong alkaline, corrosive solid or powder. Sodium Hydroxide is more commonly known as lye or caustic soda where Potassium Hydroxide is known as potash.

What is a natural substitute for sodium hydroxide? ›

In summary, magnesium hydroxide is a safe alternative alkali to use as a replacement for sodium hydroxide and is readily available as both a powder and as 63% solids slurry.

Can you make lye soap with vegetable oil? ›

yes, it can be used to make soap. However, vegetable fat tends to go rancid fast. Meaning it oxidizes quickly and will smell bad and the color of your soap will turn orange. I would use vegetable fat and oils in small amounts in a recipe using a lye calculator no more than 20%.

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