This recipe, which you can tailor and modify to suit your own oil preferences, is not a whole lot different than a regular cold process soap recipe, although it has been adjusted to give the qualities needed for a shaving soap. As Michael Ham recommends in his book, a shaving soap should be:
abundant [in lather]
This recipe has been formulated to give these qualities: The recipe I use is:
30% Coconut oil – rich, bubbly lather
30% Palm oil – stable, creamy, hard bar (can substitute lard or tallow)
10% Castor oil – for lather and creaminess
15% Sunflower oil – for conditioning and lather
10% Olive oil – for conditioning
5% Cocoa butter – for conditioning
To make an almost 3 lb. batch of soap, this works out to be:
9.6 oz. Coconut oil
9.6 oz. Palm oil
3.2 oz. Castor oil
4.8 oz. Sunflower oil
3.2 oz. Olive oil
1.6 oz. Cocoa butter
4.6 oz. Lye (about a 5% discount)
9.2 oz. water
2 Tbs. of Bentonite Clay
1 to 1.4 oz. of fragrance or essential oil
The clay helps give the soap extra “slip” and also works to purify your skin. (Think of a clay or mud mask.) The added castor helps give a thick creamy lather. All you need to do is grab a shaving brush!
A warning – once you try a real soap to shave with, you’ll never use a commercial shaving cream again!
Note: If you want to use a melt and pour base to make a shaving soap, you can, but your results will vary depending on the soap base you are using. Check out my Melt and Pour Shaving Soap recipe.
To modify your own recipe, just take your basic soap recipe and adjust your recipe so that it has more long lasting and lathering oils…and not as much olive oil. Animal oils like lard and tallow work well in shaving soaps – as they have long lasting, stable lathers. Use a combination of liquid oils like sunflower, canola, almost and/or oil. Using multiple oils contributes to the complexity of the lather.
Add about 2 tsp. of Bentonite or other clay for every pound of soap in the batch. I prefer Bentonite clay, though you can use Kaolin, Rhassoul or Fuller’s Earth. (Click here to buy clays direct) or look at the links below for more information about clays.) Add a fragrance or essential oil appropriate for the person shaving – but be sure that it is one suitable for sensitive skin – remember, you’re shaving through this soap.
Make the soap like you would any other Cold Process Soap recipe. You can add the clay pretty much any time you want in the recipe. Some people add it to their lye water. Others just mix it into the oils as they are melting. You can also take a half cup or so of your melted oils, put them in a measuring cup, a mix your clay into the oils. Then add this pre-mixed clay/oil mixture to the soap once you’ve reached trace. Any method works fine.
I like to pour the soap directly into coffee mugs or tins. Another option is to pour it into lengths of 3″ PVC pipe that has one end plugged up. This will give you a disc of soap that can be placed into a mug or tin. Let the soap cure as normal, and when it’s done, enjoy a wonderfully old-fashioned, but terrific shaving soap!
My sons (I have three) swear by this, as does my husband. I had made other shaving soaps prior to this and they claim this one is superior to all that I have tried…
Aloe juice or jel 1 oz
Clay 2 tablespoons
vitamin E 1 tablespoon
These are added at trace
Lye 4.84 oz
Goat milk 10.5 oz (discounted at 4
I always scent my shaving soaps with sandalwood vanilla it sells like hotcakes
I pour mine shaving soap into pvc tubes, lined with freezer paper and a rubber cap on the end, it will push right out so easy and slice…it fits right into large coffee mugs, use a ribbon or cord to tie a shaving brush onto the handle of the cup and it is a wonderful gift that men love, women also love shaving soap.
do not exchange oils in this recipe, each oil has properies for softening, conditioning and aiding the skin with shaving
Hardness 5.9, Stable lather 6.0, fluffy lather 4.6, moisturizing 5.7
Shaving Soap Recipe
20 oz palm kernal oil
20 oz coconut oil
40 oz olive oil
30 oz buttermilk
11 oz lye
3 heaping Tbls bentonite clay
Heat oils to 100. Partially freeze buttermilk. Slowly add lye to milk, don’t let it go over 100. Combine.
At trace: add 3.5 oz lavender eo, 3 Tbsp castor oil & 2 Tbsp sweet almond oil.
Please Note: Most of the recipes included in the Recipe Database have been generously submitted by our customers. We are not able to test each recipe, and we cannot guarantee the results that you may obtain. The recipes are meant to be used as a guideline and source of inspiration, so please experiment in small batches. For soap recipes that include lye, please be sure to check lye calculations prior to trying the recipes. If you find that a recipe has not been calculated properly, please let us know.
Shaving Soap Recipe and all other articles can be found on my blog!