Aloe Rose Soap
This week, I’ve been sharing some recipes using aloe vera and fresh roses. First, we made a skin soothing gel, then we turned that gel into a fabulous anti-aging skin cream, and today – we’re making soap!
To make this, you’ll need a pint jar full of freshly picked rose petals. (If you don’t have fresh roses available, you can order organic dried ones from Mountain Rose Herbs.)
Sometimes roses have little critters hiding in them, so let the jar sit outside in a shady place for about thirty minutes so they can escape.
Pour simmering hot water over the petals, cover with a saucer, and allow them to steep for about ten minutes, then cool and strain for use in the recipe below. (Don’t infuse the roses for too long, or you’ll have a strong tea that can discolor your soap.) Leftover rose infusion can be used in your bath, as a hair rinse, or a facial skin toner.
This recipe would normally call for 9 ounces of water (or tea), but since we’re adding 1 ounce of aloe at the end, I subtracted (or discounted) the extra ounce of tea at the beginning so the total amount of liquid in the recipe would remain the same.
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Aloe Rose Soap Recipe (Palm Free)
All measurements are by weight, even the liquid.
- 8 ounces rose infused water (rose tea)
- 4.01 ounces sodium hydroxide (lye)
- 15 ounces olive oil (infused with roses, if possible – see how to HERE)
- 8 ounces coconut oil
- 3 ounces meadowfoam oil
- 3 ounces apricot kernel oil
At trace add:
- 1 ounce rose infused aloe (see HERE to make) or plain aloe vera gel
- 1 teaspoon rose clay (use less for a lighter pink)
- 1 tablespoon geranium or rose essential oil (For a light scent. Add more, if desired.)
To figure out how many pounds a recipe is, add the water (& other main liquids) + lye + oil/butter weights, rounding slightly if needed.
This recipe has 8 oz rose tea + 1 oz aloe + 4 oz lye + 29 oz oil = 42 ounces total (or 2 pounds & 10 ounces), so a 3-pound soap mold should work well.
The soap will fill a regular Crafter’s Choice Silicone Mold.
Make according to regular cold process soap instructions. If you’ve never made soap before, be sure to thoroughly research the process and precautions before proceeding.
You can find more information in my Soap Making 101 article or check out my Handmade Natural Soaps eBook Collection.
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how do you measure 4.01 oz. of lye? Are all the measurements weights and not volume? Most scales measure either by .10 or 1/8, 1/4, etc.
Hi Bernita! In soap making, everything is measured by weight. You need a digital scale for measuring lye, because it needs to be precise. If your scale only measures to the .1 ounce though, that .01 would be such a small difference, it would be fine to go with 4.0.
I have a question for you re this recipe. I followed the recipe but I made afew changes: I used jojoba oil instead of meadowfoan, b/c I actually have that on hand :), I followed the water/lye amounts on my soap calculator when I input this recipe into it. The water was about 11 oz and the lye 3.9 oz. I have a resulting soap that is a beautiful red color, smells great but is as soap as a marshmallow! Oh gosh, should I have followed your recipe exactly? I wanted to make sure that the percentages were correct so when I saw the differences in water/lye amounts I used the Soap Calc amounts.
I made this soap saturday night 6/7 and today 6/9 it is still very very soft. How long should I leave it in the molds? Do you have any other suggestions.
Next time I will just follow your directions!!!!
Hi Kristen, I’m sorry that you ran into that problem! Jojoba oil should work nicely in the recipe and the amount is in the suggested range of 10% or less, so I think you’re all good there. The water amount seems too high though. Did you add 1 ounce of aloe too? If so, that would be 12 ounces of liquid total.
Subbing in the jojoba oil (and rounding percentages to even #s), the lye calculator says the recipe would be:
15 olive oil (52%)
8 coconut oil (28%)
3 apricot kernel (10%)
3 jojoba oil (10%)
7 to 11 ounces of liquid
3.9 oz lye (for 5% superfat) (or 3.86 oz lye for 6% superfat)
Since my recipes have a good amount of olive oil in them and no palm (for hardness), I rarely use the full amount of water given, but try to aim for a middle range. In this case, I would use 9 ounces of liquid. Since you’re adding 1 ounce of aloe at trace you need to subtract that from the 9 ounces needed so that = 8 ounces water and 1 ounce aloe in the recipe is all the liquid needed in this recipe.
I think it will be soft for a while until more water evaporates. I’d leave it in the mold for several more days for sure. (Maybe in front of a fan?) If it’s in a log mold, then I would let that air dry for a week longer after unmolding and before attempting to cut. If you’re using silicone molds, you might have to freeze the molds for about 12 hours and see if the soap will pop out. Then continue air drying. It might take the full cure time and then some, but hopefully your bars will firm up for you! If you think about it, let me know how they turn out. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for you!
Thanks Jan! I could kick myself for not following your instructions exactly :/. I’m air drying the soap in its silicone mold and will attempt to unmold Sunday night. Hope all goes well; perhaps I can make soap balls out of this batch if it doesn’t. Thank you for the tips!!
I have only Olive Oil and coconut oil at home. Can I instead replace the meadow foam and apricot kernel with some more of olive and coconut and in what proportion?
One option is to use the recipe from the Oatmeal & Honey soap:
but use the rose tea/infusion instead of distilled water and instead of honey/oatmeal/etc at trace then add aloe/scents/etc from this recipe at trace instead.
You can use one basic recipe and just by changing the water infusion and things you add at trace near the end, create a bunch of fun variations!
Love your recipes! Cant wait to try this one. I dont have any apricot kernal oil on hand. Can I use Rice Bran or sweet almond oil instead?
Hi Laurie, You sure can! This post has information and a chart listing various soap oils and substitution guidelines, that might help too: https://thenerdyfarmwife.com/how-to-make-any-soap-recipe-palm-free/
Why do you have to subtract fluid for aloe gel but not honey added at trace?
Hi Lisa! Great question! That’s because the aloe is a larger portion of the recipe (1 ounce) instead of the small bit of honey (maybe 1/4 an ounce, if that) that you usually add at trace.
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