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- Soap making can be a fun way to make custom soap bars at home as a hobby.
- Soap making kits are great for beginners as they come with all the necessary products.
- We spoke to 2 professional soap makers for the best beginner tips and soap making kits.
Walk into any beauty store with handmade soap and you might wonder what it would be like to make your own.
Making a bar of soap takes a bit of learning and understanding when it comes to mixing ingredients, but anyone can make a great bar with the right materials (and patience).
I took a soap making course and was fascinated by how simple (or complex) the process was, depending on the ingredients you choose to use. I was also surprised at how important math is in soap making, as you have to calculate and measure out the correct amounts of oil(s) and lye to get the results you want.
To learn more about soap making as a beginner, I contacted two professional soap makers: Sandra Velasquez, a soap maker and the founder of Nopaleraa Mexican Botanicals line owned by Latina, made from Nopales (cacti), and Dr. Candace Parrish, Ph.D., a soap maker and founder of Odelia, Marie & PatriceLLC.
“The beauty of making your own soap is the ability to control the ingredients for different results,” says Velasquez. At the same time, she adds that “soap making is a very precise chemical process” and “more laborious than you might think!”
For some, soap making may even have a deeper meaning, as it does for Parrish. “It’s a connection to my heritage, because my great-grandmother made soap,” she says, explaining that soap and candle making was “a large part of the many daily demands of many slaves in America”. Parrish sees soap as a way for her to get in touch with her roots, while finding it “a very enjoyable and therapeutic process.”
Interested in soap making? Here’s what the pros suggest to get started:
If you’re intrigued by soap making but aren’t quite sure where to start, Parrish’s advice is, “Go for it!”
“It’s as fun and challenging as you guessed it, but so unexpectedly rewarding,” says Parrish. There are many variables in soap making, and like many things, there is a learning curve. “Relax your mind and allow yourself to create something organic with no expectation of results,” she adds.
“There are only two types of soap making kits,” Velasquez explains, “cold process soap, which requires sodium hydroxide (not for kids) and melt and pour soap kits. (easier and child-friendly as no sodium hydroxide is needed.)”