Soaps that contain botanticals are some of my favorite to make. Herbs and flowers can add color, texture and just plain natural goodness to soaps. When learning the amazing benefits of calendula flowers, I knew I needed to incorporate them into a soap recipe.
What Are Calendula Flowers?
So like me, you might be asking yourself what exactly are calendula flowers? At first glance they resemble marigold flowers, which isn’t entirely far off. Part of the Asteraceae family, they bear bright vibrant flowers of yellow to orange gold. Calendula flowers are antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal and soothe irritated skin.
As a fresh herb, calendula flowers are quite edible. They can also be used in teas, tinctures, balms, oil infusions and as a dye additive.
Calendula flowers can be infused in oils to add to your soap, or directly into the soap to give it a orange color. If you decide to do a oil infusion you can simply take dried flowers and submerge it in a light oil of your choosing for 6 weeks. For my orange and calendula soap recipe I put the dried flowers in the soap batter at light trace.
Using the Right Butters & Oils in Soap
There are so many options when choosing oils and butters for your soap recipe. It’s not like great grandma’s lard soaps, we have variety! Personally, I like make each recipe unique and different from my other soaps. It’s true that when you find the perfect combination of oils and butters you could use that as a base and only exchange scents and colors, but where’s the fun and creativity in that!
Mango butter is one of my favs to use in soaps. Moisturizes the skin by acting as an emollient and gives the soap some hardness. All of my soaps are palm free so to compensate for that I need to make sure I’m adding in ingredients that will create a hard bar of soap that lasts. Cocoa butter compliments mango butter, adding in that hardness that is necessary in your soaps.
This soap recipe has a large amount of sunflower oil which is high in fatty essential acids. Nourishing to the skin and rich in vitamins A, D and E.
Coconut Oil (76 degree) 9.52 oz 28%
Olive Oil 6.46 oz 19%
Sunflower Oil 6.80 oz 20%
Cocoa Butter (refined) 5.1 oz 15%
Castor Oil 3.4 oz 10%
Mango Butter. 2.72 oz 8%
Water 10.45 oz
Sodium Hydroxide 4.75 oz
1 tsp Orange Peel powder
1/4 cup dried Calendula flowers
Pink Himalayan salt
Sodium Lactate (optional)
Orange 0.75 oz
Palmarosa 0.30 oz
Bergamot 0.15 oz
1. Put on your safety gear. Measure out water and lye crystals. Slowly pour lye into water-not the other way around. Set aside to cool. Once cool add in sodium lactate if using.
2. Measure out essential oils and set aside.
3. Measure and melt butters and oils. Once oils and lye mixture has reached 120 degrees start to blend with stick blender.
4. At light trace add in orange peel powder, essential oils and calendula flowers. Continue to blend until a medium trace has been reached.
5. Pure batter in your 3lb soap loaf mold. Take spoon and texture the top of your soap to your liking. Sprinkle with pink Himalayan salt and dried calendula flowers. Spray with 99% alcohol.
6. Place soap in warm dry place covered. I put all of my soaps on a shelf in my basement in an insulated bag-just like the bags you would use to grocery shop with a zipper closure.
7. After 48 hours remove soap from mold, cut and place on shelf for 4-6 weeks. During that time rotate your soap around so all sides are exposed to air.
Although this calendula soap recipe is fairly simple, you should already be familiarized with making soap and working with lye. Always handle lye with care and wear your protective gear-goggles and gloves.
When using any botanticals in soaps, always use them dried. Adding in any fresh herbs or flowers will result in added moisture into your soap and will eventually turn your soap rancid.
If using a silicone soap mold I would recommend using the sodium lactate. Using the sodium lactate will harden your soap up and make it easier to get out of the silicone mold. Speaking of molds you can use a bigger or smaller mold if you’d prefer. I add the percentages of the oils and butters in my recipes so all you have to do is take your amount in total oz and deduct the percentage of oil.
To find what your mold will hold in oils take your Length x width x depth and then x 0.40. This would be your total oil amount only and the remainder will be made up of the lye and water amounts. To find your lye amount use those handy online lye calculators from Brambleberry or TheSage.
If you’d love to try this calendula soap but aren’t interested in making it yourself, you can purchase this and many other soaps on my etsy shop page: TheSoapOtter.
Also check out these other amazing recipes so you can craft up your next all natural soap.