Cucumber Borage Soap Recipe

Cucumber & Borage Homemade Soap

One of my all-time favorites! The soothing properties of the cucumber and the drawing power of the French green clay makes this cucumber borage soap especially helpful for acne, bug bites, and other itchy, inflamed skin conditions.

Cucumber & Borage Soap

  • 4 ounces Avocado Oil
  • 22 ounces Coconut Oil
  • 38 ounces Olive Oil
  • 16 ounces Palm Kernel Oil (*see note)
  • 11.69 ounces lye (sodium hydroxide)
  • 1/4 of a fresh, organic cucumber (unpeeled)
  • handful of fresh borage blossoms and leaves
  • water

Puree the cucumber and borage together with around 12 ounces of water. Strain through a colander then add enough water to total 25 ounces of liquid. Add your lye and proceed as directed in the post Soap Making 101.

At trace and before pouring into molds, add:

(You can buy all three of these specialty items at Mountain Rose Herbs. Feel free to use a different butter or oil other than the mango and tamanu, just keep the total amount to around 2 tablespoons or less.)

This recipe is sized to fit my wooden box molds which are non-standard and homemade – the inner dimensions of the molds are: 16 inches by 11.5 inches by 2 inches.  Here’s a great site that will tell you how to calculate how big a batch of soap you should make for the size mold you have. Remember you can easily adjust amounts using a lye calculator.

*This recipe contains palm oil. I’m aware of the controversy surrounding palm oil and in the past only bought certified organic, sustainably farmed from Mountain Rose Herbs. Now though, I am working diligently on making all of my recipes palm-free & this one will be converted as soon as I’m able to revise it. Until then, check the Soap Making page on my blog for a selection of palm-free recipes.

 

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10 Responses to Cucumber Borage Soap Recipe

  1. Karen says:

    Love this recipe! I’ve been a bit obsessed with borage lately, so I definitely want to try this. I was wondering though is there any substitute that I can use for the coconut oil? I’m insanely allergic to it and unfortunately it seems like every soap recipe has it. I’ve heard some people having success with olive oil. Have you tried this for your soaps? If so, any tips? Thank you so much for your great site!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Karen, That’s a tough allergy to have – seems like everyone is coconut crazy these days so it’s in everything! My niece doesn’t do well with olive oil, so I can relate to the frustration of trying to avoid a common ingredient such as that.

      I’ve ran out of coconut oil before and just substituted with more palm oil – I like to throw in a third oil as well, to kind of balance it from having just two types of oil, but this recipe already has avocado oil so that won’t be a problem.

      So, you could take the recipe and substitute most of the coconut oil with more palm oil and make up the remaining few ounces with more avocado and/or olive oil. I try to keep my bars roughly around half olive oil (at least) and almost half coconut/palm with a few extra oils (sometimes) making up the balance.

      Any changes you make, just run through a lye calculator before making since it will change the amount of lye you’ll need.
      https://www.thesage.com/calcs/lyecalc2.php

      If you need more help figuring, let me know!

  2. hannah says:

    does this soap eventually go bad or spoil b/c of the fresh cucumber in it?

    • Jan says:

      We use this up pretty fast, but I do have a few slices left from last year’s batch and they are still in great shape. The high heat from the lye plus the high alkalinity seems to help with any potential spoilage, though quite often in soaps of this type, I like to add a bit of Rosemary Antioxidants, just in case.

  3. Ana says:

    Hello Jan! Your site is definitely useful!! I really enjoy all about herbs and your site is like this!
    Im newer doing soaps, I have only 2 batch in my history :P and I really like all your soaps. Your site helped me a lot. Now I want to do this one (cucumber) but I only have dried borage and I want to aks you if you’ll approve to make a borage tea and use this insted water and combine it with the cucumber? excuse me for my bad English :P And best wishes to you!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Ana,

      I’m glad that you’re making soaps! How fun! :) Yes, you can certainly use dried borage to make a tea and combine it with your cucumber. Just don’t let the tea get too dark or brown, or it might make your final soap a little on the brown side. So, just make a light colored, weak borage tea.

      Good luck with your soap batch! :)

  4. Tina says:

    I have a strange request. I am going to a place in which is highly populated with various bees and I am very allergic to them. I seem to be a magnet to them and I use a non scented soap, non scented deodorant, no perfume, no bright colors, no hair products, I use the non scented soap as shampoo too so that there isn’t anything on me to attract them but for reasons I can’t explain nor understand they still come to me. I read an article where putting cucumbers out around food will detract bees and I was wondering if you could make a cucumber only soap for me without adding anything sweet smelling or flower smelling to. Please, if you can, I hope you can help me with this. It won’t keep me from carrying multiple epi-pens with me but hopefully it will keep the bees away from this year. Thank you for reading my post

    • Jan says:

      Hi Tina, I’d not heard that cucumbers repel bees – I’ll have to test that theory out this summer and see how it works! The thing about using cucumber (or any fruit or veggie) in a soap is that the lye deactivates the smell, so you’re still left with an unscented soap, so I’m not sure that would be effective. I’m also unable to make custom soap batches, but if you check out Etsy.com there are tons of wonderful soap makers on there and I bet you can find one that takes custom orders and can work with you. I can definitely sympathize with your situation – I have a little nephew that comes to visit and it seems that bees will zoom across the yard and sting him. He attracts them as well and I’m completely unsure why. It must be a body chemistry thing. :( I hope you stay safe and sting-free on your travels!

  5. J says:

    Hi I’m currently living in North Africa and I can’t get hold of glycerin or lye. Is there a recipe for soap using milk??

    • Jan says:

      Hi J, You have to have a caustic substance (lye in modern days, wood ash in olden days) to turn oils into soap. This is true for people making it at home and even large companies that make the soap you buy in the store use it. Glycerine soap is just a meltable and pourable base where someone has already handled the lye for you. So, no true soap can be made lye-free. I’m sorry to say, there is no other way (that I know of) to turn milk into soap without using lye.

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