These healing homemade herbal soap bars enhanced with aloe vera and nettle leaves soothe, moisturize and protect your skin from drying and cracking. Dressed up on a rope makes this soap a great gift too.
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herbal soap bar recipe with nettle and aloe vera
Aloe vera is certainly one of my favourite plants to have on hand around the house and this soap recipe is a great way to utilize it. This cream I made with aloe vera vitamin E and coconut oil nourished and healed my dry hands but with frequent washing of my hands these days it is not sufficient protection anymore. Adding nettle and aloe vera to the herbal soap bars is a great way to protect and repair the skin. It’s nice knowing that my hands can get a little bit of extra loving every time I wash my hands again!
If you're looking for a soothing and hydrating soap, these homemade herbal soap bars are made for you!
Benefits of aloe vera for skin
One of the oldest plants, Aloe vera always finds its place on my windowsill. Just a little bit of gel on small burns or sunburns provides immediate relief.
Aloe vera contains antibacterial and antiseptic properties and is very useful in the treatment of wounds and scars (1)
While its gelly like consistency allows easy absorption and makes it the ideal ingredient in skincare products for oily skin, aloe also enables the sealing of moisture and serves as an efficient moisturizer for dry skin. It works also really well in toners or creams.
Its anti-inflammatory properties also allows aloe to calm inflamed skin and treat acne successfully (2)
Moreover aloe vera can is super effective in homemade mouthwash for healthy teeth and gums.
Fresh Aloe Vera vs Aloe Vera Gel
In this recipe, I was using fresh aloe vera leaves but you can also use a pre-packed aloe vera gel . The advantages of using gel is that it has a longer shelf life as it contains preservatives. On the other hand its effectiveness is reduced due to the processing steps. The decision is yours. I prefer growing my own aloe vera plant but store-bought aloe vera gel might be a more convenient alternative.
Benefits of nettle for the skin
Similarly, stinging nettle possesses healing and anti-inflammatory properties that make it a very valuable herb in DIY skincare products.
Nettle also provides relief for inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, psoriasis or eczema.
Its advantages are explained in more detail in the article featuring nettle oil.
Donkey Milk soap base
Donkey Milk soap base is a natural vegetable-derived soap made from fresh donkey milk. Using donkey milk in beauty rituals has been used by Queen Cleopatra in ancient Egypt where she added donkey milk into her bath.
Very rich in vitamins Donkey milk is rejuvenating, healing and nourishing for the skin. High in glycerin, this soap base stable at even higher temperatures and gives a gentle feel on the skin. This soap base makes for excellent foaming and is a great moisturizer too.
What is "melt and pour" soap
So this recipe is for those that are not comfortable dealing with chemicals and prefer a clean, natural and easy way to make herbal soap that is moisturizing and soothing for your skin.
how to make soap without lye?
While making cold process soap requires using sodium hydroxide lye to go through the process of saponification, melt and pour soap already went through this process so you don’t need to deal with lye. All you need to do is melt the soap base that you can combine with various herbs and colorants to create something unique and tailor-made for your skin.
My hands are dry and cracked from all the washing we have been exposed to lately so I though of adding a healing aloe gel with the nettle into my herbal soap bars to make a perfect match for my dry hands.
How to make herbal soap on a rope
Cut the soap base into small cubes
Place the melt and pour soap base with donkey milk in a double boiler with a few inches of water
Heat over medium heat until the soap is melted
Stir in fresh aloe vera gel and mix it well. Use a spoon to press out any lumps, we want to have a very smooth mixture
Add 3 tbsp of dried nettle leaves and remove the melted mixture from the heat and let it cool to 60 C (140 F)
In the meantime prepare the molds and spray them with alcohol
Fill all mold cavities about one-third of the way full with the hot soap and spritz with alcohol to remove air bubbles. Pour the rest of the melted mixture into the molds and spray it again to avoid making air bubbles.
Let the mixture cool down for 15 minutes to start developing a thin skin
Take a plastic straw and cut it into 3 smaller pieces. Position one piece of the straw where you want to make the hole for the rope.
Keep the bars in the molds until they’re completely cooled and hardened, 4 to 5 hours.
Keep in the mold for several hours, or until cooled and hardened.
Remove the bars from the mold, push each piece of straw in and out a few times. Once completely removed, use your fingers to smooth the edges of the hole.
Thread a piece of rope through the hole making a knot at the top
Wrap them tightly. Store them in a cool dry place like artight container.
I like to use dandelion flowers, violet or calendula. Plantain leaves or chamomile also have great benefits for skin.
If you feel that your melt and pour base is too soft you can harden it by adding a 1 tbsp of beeswax/1 pound of soap. Alternatively, leave it out a few days to dry before wrapping it and it may harden.
Sure, you can remelt them multiple times..
You can either add some oils that contribute to bubbly lather such as coconut oil or kernel oil or use additives such as sodium citrate, sodium lactate or sugar that increase lather.