Behind the Scenes: The Art of Making Handmade Soap

Behind the Scenes: The Art of Making Handmade Soap

When I discovered the beautiful art of making handmade soap, I never imagined it would be life changing. I stumbled across a YouTube video on making handmade soap using raw ingredients. After countless hours of watching videos and reading blogs, I finally worked up the courage to order my own soap making kit and the rest you can say is history. I absolutely LOVED making soap. It was fun and peaceful. 


A Little History on Making Handmade Soap 

The first documented record of handmade soap dates back to 2800 BC in ancient Babylon. The Latin word for soap “sapo” first appeared in the Pliny Elder’s Historia Naturalis in AD 77, where he discussed making soap using tallow and ashes. Clearly, making handmade soap has been around for a while. People have been making it and using it for thousands of years and still to this day. In fact, according to Credence Research, the handmade soap market was estimated to be worth 7.5 billion USD in 2022 and is only expected to increase. 

Handmade Soap Market Size – Europe, Asia, U.S 2030 (

What is the process for making handmade soap?

There are three different processes for making handmade soap. 

  • Melt and Pour: This is where you use a premade base and you can add different botanicals, and oils. A lot of soap makers customize it with their own additives. 
  • Hot Process: This is where you take your oils and butters, melt them down in a crock pot, and mix them with a lye/liquid solution, a/k/a sodium hydroxide. 
  • Cold Process: This is very similar to the hot process but the difference is you have to let everything cool down to the right temperature, usually between 80 and 90 degrees. It is a method most soap makers prefer. 


Handmade Soap Making


Behind the Scenes of Making Handmade Soap: My Process 

I use and prefer the cold process in making handmade artisan soap. I use a combination of seven different oils and butters, which I first melt down and then let them cool. Most often, I use aloe vera juice or goat milk to mix in after. Occasionally, I use coconut milk. That is then mixed with sodium hydroxide, sea salt and sugar. Sea salt helps me unmold the bar quicker and the sugar helps create bubbles so you have a more bubbly lather. Lastly, I add fragrances. 

I also use different micro colorants and some botanicals on the top. With my exfoliating soaps, I can add in either ground coffee, ground oatmeal, or activated charcoal.

I prefer the cold process method because it gives me the ability to be creative with the art of soap making and create intricate designs in my soaps.

While I use a plethora of oils and butters in my handmade soaps, other soap makers mainly use only around four. My handmade soap formula is one I created by myself, through trial and error. I found the properties for each oil and their benefits and created my own percentages in my formula. These are truly one of a kind soaps. 


How do I pick my ingredients? 

I feel what you put on your skin matters, so I want to be transparent about every ingredient in my products. I use only high quality and ethically sourced ingredients so you can feel good about what you're putting on your skin. Below are the ingredients in my artisan soaps and the benefits of each one. 

The Ingredients

  • Aloe Vera Gel Juice - Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice: Offers anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, humectant, and soothing, anti-itch qualities for skin.
  • Apricot Kernel OilSodium Apricot Kernelate: Rich in vitamins like A, C, E, and K and makes a non-greasy, enriching emollient. 
  • Castor Oil - Sodium Castorate: Contains antioxidants that fight free radicals. 
  • Coconut OilSodium Cocoate: Cleanses and nourishes skin. It quickly and deeply hydrates the skin, locking in moisture.
  • Cocoa Butter - Sodium Cocoa Butterate: Works to naturally soothe dry, sensitive skin. 
  • Fragrance - all our fragrances are phthalate-free  
  • Goat Milk - Caprae Lac: Boasts high amounts of fats, particularly caprylic acid, allowing for gentle removal of dirt and debris without removing the skin’s natural fatty acids. 
  • Kaolin ClayKaolin: A mild yet very effective cleanser that benefits your skin by gently sloughing away dull dead skin, absorbing impurities and excess oil from your skin and pores.  
  • Mica - Beautiful colorants that ethically sourced and never tested on animals. 
  • Olive OilSodium Olivate: Cleanses and moisturizes by deeply penetrating pores without clogging them. 
  • RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm OilSodium Palmate:Restores hydration to dry skin, preventing further dryness by sealing in moisture.  
  • Sea Salt Maris Sal: Hardens the soap and serves as an effective exfoliant. 
  • Shea Butter - Sodium Shea Butterate: Soaks into your skin, creating a smooth and soft barrier that seals in moisture without clogging your pores. 
  • SugarSucrose: Helps create a bubbly bar of soap and gently exfoliates skin. 


Handmade Soap Ingredients


WHY buy handmade soap? 

When you buy handmade soap, first, you are supporting a local business and artisan. Me and other artisans pour our passion and creativity into crafting each bar of soap. I care about the ingredients I’m putting into my soaps that ultimately land on your skin. I want my soap bars to nourish your skin and not dry it out like a lot of mass produced soaps. 

My artisan soap is handmade in small batches with love. It is my hope that whichever of my soaps you use, you love it just as much as I loved to make it. I hope you love the way it moisturizes and is gentle on your skin while experiencing the therapeutic effects from the oils I have carefully chosen to add in. The art of making handmade soap has indeed become my business, but it is also something I am passionate about and will continue to find ways to make it even better for you. I would love for you to check them out here Artisan Soap Bars | Serendipity Bath & Body (

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