Enhancing Soap with Additional Ingredients

There are many additional ingredients that can be used in soap making. Some are decorative, others play a big role in the final product.  Here are some of the ingredients I use.

Additional Ingredients: Color

Some ingredients bring little to the soap in terms of usability, but they greatly impact their appeal. Color can be added using natural elements like ground herbs,clay or mica powders. Soap can also be colored using cosmetic dyes. A  few rose petals or lavender buds can add a romantic touch to an otherwise plain bar.

Some ingredients add more than color to the soap.  They provide vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to skin.

Alkanet root and fennel by Oil and Butter

Soap by Oil&Butter using different color ingredients.

Additional Ingredients: Texture

Some soap recipes call for the use of clay or salts. Clay can increase the slippery feel of soaps. This makes it an excellent additive for shaving soap. Clay can also help absorb and eliminate odors.  Some salts can draw impurities from the skin.

Additional Ingredients: Moisture and Exfoliation

Using honey, sugar, oats, and milk can boost the moisturizing abilities of handmade soaps. Honey and other sugars draw moisture to the skin. Milk and oats provide many of the skin nourishing compounds that we look for in our skin care products like B Vitamins.

Other ingredients can be added to soap buff away dead skin. Some of the most common ingredients used are ground pumice, coffee grounds, loofah powder and citrus peel.

Imagine all of the possibilities open to artisan soap makers when you look at the base oils, the ability to scent soaps, and the additional ingredients. Soap makers are artist as well as scientists.  It takes talent to combine scent with appearance.  It takes knowledge to combine a soap base with the properties you want to deliver.  This is why soap making is perfect for me!