DIY: Purely Bare Moisturizing Soap

I’m not sure exactly when this post is going to go live. Its currently April 2018 and I am still in China. I’ve oodles of free time this month so thought that I’d get many blog posts completed to be posted and hopefully will have enough created to take me well into August. Even September! I’m moving to a new country! Wicked! How neat is that!

This recipe came to me when I was looking at the last of my ingredients and wondering what to do with almost a kilo of coconut oil left and a fair bit of lard. I’ve made coconut and shea soap, coconut and mango butter soap, coconut and cocoa butter soap, coconut and various liquid oil soaps: olive, sweet almond, rice bran, apricot, moringa, wheat germ and many more over the years, some were good combinations whilst some were… failures. But I never thought to make a coconut oil soap with lard before. And as soon as I thought of it, I knew it was going to have to happen. This soap would be amazing winter soap! Or soap for dry skin, sensitive skin, babies… I can’t beleive I’ve never thought of it before! I knew this soap was going to be like one of the top ten soaps I’ve ever made. And by george, I was so right!

coconut oil and lard sitting in a beaker m-e-l-t-i-n-g, first comes lye, then comes clay, then comes soap in my show-er. Sing with me now!

Because how awesome does that sound? Lard is the best fat (oil) in soap in my opinion. Your bars will get amazingly hard after they’ve been cut, your skin will feel fantastic, and you can still swirl like the dickens!

Getting lard in Ireland in the amounts I need on a frequent basis is proving to be very difficult. So this might be one of my last soaps I’ll make with lard for a very long time. I love you lard! Never fear I shall scour each and every grocery store and continue to nag the pig farmers for small amounts to build a stock pile so my skin can get the benefits of your awesomeness once again in my personal soap! Tallow is good, don’t get me wrong. Tallow will give you an amazing hard bar of soap. But if you want a soap that is highly moisturising? Delivers a silken feeling to your skin, make the bar feel like it is the ultimate in luxury? You want the lard. Oh lard. You are glorious because you take your sweet time to reach trace so I can swirl you around like ball room dancers! I shall miss you like a teenager would miss their phone if you took it away.

lookity at how clear these oils are! That means a snow white bar of soap! 

Coconut oil in soaping as I’ve said in the past can be overly cleansing which results in skin that is stripped of all it’s natural oils leaving you with wickedly dry skin. So in this post, we are going to talk about superfatting and percentages.

Simply put, superfatting is how much free oil you have left in your soap.

Now in cold process soap making, many soapers will talk about how if you add in some oils AFTER trace those oils won’t go through saponification and they will be there to nourish your skin. Well, sorry to tell you. The lye doesn’t know jojoba oil from olive oil from lard from your nose or your toes. And it will turn it all into soap, all into soap (minus your superfat amount that is). If you want to make sure that a certain oil remains after saponification, you’ll need to make a hot process soap and add the oil after the saponification process. This is why choosing the right blends of fats and oils to make cold process soap is so important.

When you superfat your cp soap,

you don’t get to choose

which oils are left behind.

a very easy recipe to set up

Today’s soap we are going to superfat at 20%. This means that 20% of the lard and coconut oil in our recipe won’t become soap. We’ll still get the awesome bubbles, hardness, bubbles, cleansing factor of soap, with just a fair bit left behind. And bubbles. So why 20% and not the 5% we regularly soap at? Coconut oil is highly cleansing. So we need to find that balance between cleansing and nourishing. And that is why I never make a 100% pure coconut oil soap. Even if that 100% coconut oil soap has 30% superfat, I find it much too drying. So I know that to make the coconut soap better, it needs a little more oomph. And that’s why I am adding in some lard.

because you are going to mix a lot, there are going to be air bubbles. Pour and tap, pour and tap get rid of those pesky air bubbles!

So, coconut oil, lard, and superfat at 20%. And we have our recipe! We are not going to add anything else to this soap. No clays, no colours, no fragrances… nothing. Just simple. Bare soap if you will! Now if I had something like Clean Cotton or a spa light fragrance oil? Oh yes. I’d be including that in here! Or peppermint essential oil for the tingles!

I had to wait a full 42 minutes to be able to design the top 

To make this soap there are a few things you are going to notice that is different than regular soap. I find soaps made with high amounts of coconut oil take a heck of a lot longer to reach trace. Emulsion happens, then sometimes half an hour for it to thicken even slightly! So if you are interested in playing around with some swirls and learning a few swirl techniques, seeing how this or that works in your soap, very cheaply, this is the type of soap that’s perfect for that. And just so you know? It took about 45 minutes once I poured this soap to be thick enough to do something pretty looking to the top.

Just to recap if you are new to soap making:

Equipment needed for making soap

Ingredients needed for beginner soap making

How to make soap

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 06.25.32

  1. Prepare your work space by wiping everything down with 70% ISP alcohol. Include your tools, containers, immersion blender, scales, etc… And suit up good looking! Grab your goggles, work gloves, apron. Safety is important!
  2. Weigh out your lye into a small container.
  3. Weigh out your liquid into your lye solution pitcher. Add in your lye, and stir.
  4. Weigh out your coconut oil and lard and place into a double boiler to melt. Remove from the water bath once 3/4 of the way melted. Use your spatula or spoon to stir and squish the last remaining chunks to help them melt.
  5. Once your lye solution and your oils are at about the same temperature, slowly pour your lye solution into your oils. And blend.
  6. And blend.
  7. Then blend some more.
  8. And continue to blend! You might need to walk away for a while.
  9. And it’ll still be wickedly stalled at a thin trace. Feel free to pour, but you’ll have to wait till the top thickens up a fair bit to make any designs or patterns.
  10. Let sit for a few hours longer than you usually would before cutting this loaf of soap.
  11. Let cure then age for at least five weeks before you use and enjoy the bubbles!


Notes: if you choose to use a fragrance oil in this soap, be sure to look for ones that won’t discolour!

it’s so pretty! 


12 thoughts on “DIY: Purely Bare Moisturizing Soap

Add yours

  1. Help! I’m all set to finally make this recipe! But what are the lye and water measurements? I will definitely use peppermint!!


    1. You have to plug in your amounts into a soaping calculator like only then will you get your amounts.
      Very few people follow a soap recipe as is, and with every tweak required to enter things into a soaping calculator again, just easier to leave them from the recipe in the long run. It also ensures everyone uses a soaping calculator for safety and accuracy.


      1. So far so good. I split the 1 lb batch into two. I’ve added Castor Oil at trace to one half and melted shea butter to the second half at trace. Curious if there will be much of a difference.


          1. Ha! Well, I recently came across a book and in all her recipes she puts 1 tbsp of castor oil per pound as the SF! Also, the other day I made a recipe from Lovely Greens and she added shea butter at trace with the essential oils! I thought how cool. I’ll try this using Barb’s recipe! Yesterday, I also made your baby Mama soap only instead of using pink clay I used white kaolin. It looks so creamy and pretty.

            Anyway, The book is called DIY Artisanal Soaps by Alicia Grosso. She also had a recipe using Mom’s baby milk which I have a friend collecting her breast milk and freezing it and I’m so excited to try out the recipe because I was having a hard time figuring out how to make up my own recipe as I was so nervous to waste her precious milk.


          2. “When you superfat your cp soap,
            you don’t get to choose
            which oils are left behind.”
            Adding oils at trace doesn’t really do much of anything in regards to superfatiing. The saponification process doesn’t discriminate between oils or when they are added in. The ratio between lye and fats determine the super fat value. That calculation where you input it into your calculator is what determines the superfat.

            As for the breast milk soap, I believe I have a soap recipe I made with a milk of some sort and following the same idea will result in excellent soap! But honestly? Making soap with breast milk really has no real difference between it and other milks I’ve discovered over the years. Just a neat selling feature is all!


          3. Ohh. Well no wonder I haven’t really seen or heard much of adding oils at trace. Thanks for the info! So so much to learn still…

            The breast milk soap is simply just a special gift for Mom! I can’t wait to make it for her.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Website Built with

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: