Cold process soap is made by combining oils (and butters) with sodium hydroxide, which creates a reaction called saponification. It’s a straightforward process but there are very important safety considerations which we cover in detail.
The types and amounts of oils and butters need to be carefully chosen to create a bar of soap that has the optimum level of hardness, detergency and foam. In Module 1 you’ll learn in detail about the properties that different carrier oils and butters give to soap and about extra ingredients that can be added, including exfoliants, colorants and fragrance.
Included in Module 1 is an invaluable guide to carrier oil and fatty acid properties for soapmaking. This knowledge is essential if you want to formulate your own soap recipes or adjust existing recipes.
We also provide a guide to what equipment you will need to consider for making cold process soap at home, or for small-scale production. We’ll also help you with where you can buy equipment and the importance of a clean, organized workspace.
Module 1 includes three in-depth lessons to download.
1.1 Introduction to soapmaking
1.2 Theory of saponification
1.3 Mandatory safety information
Our video demonstrations will take you through all the equipment you’ll need and important safety considerations.
Module 2 includes two lessons that will enable you to make a perfect bar of soap!
2.1 Making cold process soap
We take you through each step of the soapmaking process so you are confident to follow this process yourself. There are some very specific steps that apply to soapmaking that don’t apply to other cosmetics, and carrying them out properly is essential for successful soapmaking.
2.2 Basic soap recipes
We provide you with four of our best beginner’s soap recipes so you can make a successful batch of soap on your first attempt!
In soapmaking, recipes that might seem quite ‘basic’ can produce very reliable soaps with a good balance between hardness, detergency, foam and moisturizing/nourishing properties. Many people find a few reliable base recipes (like those we provide in Module 2) and use them exactly as they are. You can also take the base recipes and make a variety of different soaps by including additional ingredients like fragrances, colors and exfoliants.
Our video demonstration will show you step-by-step how to make your own soap safely.
Once you have mastered the recipes provided in Module 2: Making Soap, it’s time to move on to some more advanced soap recipes!
The recipes in Module 3 show how you can modify soap recipes to include exfoliating particles, detoxifying ingredients and colorants.
3.1 Advanced soap recipes
We share five tried and tested recipes that show you how to add exfoliants, clay and activated charcoal to your soaps. We also share how to make soap inspired by African Black Soap.
3.2 Troubleshooting cold process soap
We help you troubleshoot any issues you might have with your soap, which is especially useful if you start to formulate your own soap recipes. Ten common issues are covered in detail.
Our video demonstration will show you step-by-step how to make your own advanced soap bars.
Once you are comfortable making cold-process soap it’s time to start working with advanced ingredients and try some new techniques. Module 4 contains four lessons, each covering a more advanced topic.
4.1 Using advanced ingredients in soapmaking
Learn how to incorporate animal milk, plant-derived milk, sugar, honey, salt and beer into your soaps! Soap made with milk will be highly nourishing and gentle, with a luxurious creamy skin feel due to the fat which functions as a nourishing superfatting ingredient, the sugar content of the milk which functions as a lather enhancer and a humectant, and the protein in milk which has hydrating effects.
We provide you with four recipes for nourishing milk soap, gentle honey soap, pink exfoliating salt bar and simple beer soap plus our detailed video demonstration will give you the confidence to make your own.
4.2 Coloring soap
This advanced lesson on coloring soap will cover a wide range of options including synthetic dyes, mineral pigments, colored micas and botanical colorants.
We’ll focus on botanical colorants in particular and you’ll learn exactly how to incorporate them into your recipe (in the oil, the lye or at trace) and what shade of soap they create.
4.3 Piping soap
Piping soap is a fun technique used to make soaps that look like cupcakes! We’ll provide you with a soap recipe suitable for piping, detailed instructions on the piping soap method and a step-by-step video tutorial.
4.4 Lace soap
Lace soap is a visually stunning soap! Learn how to use cake decorating equipment to create intricate lace patterns on the surface of your soap. Our step-by-step video demonstration will show you exactly how to create these beautiful designs.
Join the Club first and then select the Cold Process Soapmaking course from the dashboard.
Membership to the Club is $57 per month (plus sales tax where applicable).
For your membership fee you receive 50 credits each month to spend on anything in the Club you like. You can also top up with more credits once inside the Club.
Module 1 of Cold Process Soapmaking is 100 credits, and each subsequent module is 50 credits, meaning the four-module course is 250 credits in total.
You can pick and choose the modules you wish to take. Module 1 and 2 are prerequisites for both of the other modules. Once you’ve completed Modules 1 and 2 you can complete both the other modules, or just the one of interest to you.
The Natural Cosmetic Formulation Club is a unique and flexible learning experience, with the added benefits of support from our scientists and membership of an international community of formulators.