Wild Violet & Yarrow Skin Soothing Natural Soap Recipe: Hot Process Soap Making
There’s something so wonderful about creating handmade soaps using God’s gifts from the earth: clays, herbs, minerals, and more. This handmade soap recipe I tested with the hot process method includes wild plants I foraged right in our yard: wild violet and yarrow. This lovely light-green soap smells divine, and you’ll love it’s skin soothing and healing qualities.
I love simple soap recipes that yield a high quality homemade soap: nice and hard, a great lather with bubbles, yet still highly conditioning for the skin. This soap does not disappoint! It earns 5 stars in all areas!
About wild violets (Viola spp.)
Wild violets, flowers and leaves, are filled with mucilage and skin soothing properties, making it perfect even for babies and those with sensitive skin. In fact, violets are one of the best lymphatic herbs you can forage! A lymphatic herb helps move the fluids through your body, preventing stagnation.
Violets are often used in creams for breast health, and at least one herbalist I know touts them as being exceptional for cysts in the breast area. Violets are calming and soothing, and when used in soap like this pass along their skin softening actions.
The energetics of violets are cool and moist.
About yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Yarrow has so many amazing properties and actions, so I’ll address the topical ones here, since we are dealing with a soap recipe. Yarrow is an incredible anti-inflammatory herb, a minor bug repellant, and may even support hair follicle health.
Yarrow is astringent, meaning it tones the skin. It may even help soothe eczema and acne. It’s energetics are cool and dry, and these actions support toning the skin. One study claims yarrow may be instrumental in helping rejuvenate maturing and wrinkled skin!
I used the fresh green leaves of wild yarrow, as the flowers still haven’t bloomed on this early spring day where we are. I’m sure they helped give this soap its lovely light green color!
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Wild Violet and Yarrow Skin Soothing Soap Recipe
The ingredients for this moisturizing and conditioning soap recipe are simple. I used a tea of the yarrow and wild violets for the water portion of the recipe. It contains no added colorants, the light green color coming only from the plants.
The essential oils I chose for their calming qualities as well as the fact they are also helpful for skin health. You can omit the essential oils if you are looking for an unscented soap or if you have very sensitive skin.
NOTE: I’ve written this article with the assumption you know how to make hot process soap. If you are a beginning soap maker, no worries! Please read my complete soap making picture tutorials: How to Make Hot Process Soap (and a Citrus Dream Recipe) and my post on Lavender-Rosemary-Vanilla Hot Process Soap.
You’ll feel confident about making soap after going through those articles carefully. Also, if you want a very complete guide, take a look at this 98 page eBook: How to Make Hot Process Soap, which includes over 22 recipe variations, plus lists of natural colorants, textures, and other additives to play around with!
In all the sources above you can find information on the tools you’ll need, including safety gear. You’ll want to be sure to wear eye protection, gloves, and long sleeves when handling lye or caustic soap.
Ingredients for Wild Violet & Yarrow Soap
The Oil Mixture:
15 ounces organic olive oil
9 ounces coconut oil (I purchase both the olive oil and coconut oil from Costco, as I’ve found their prices are lowest.)
6 ounces avocado oil (Also from Costco, although the link is for Amazon)
2 ounces castor oil
The Lye Solution:
12.16 ounces violet & yarrow tea
4.5 ounces sodium hydroxide (lye)
Essential Oils (Optional):
1 ounce Lavender essential oil
1 ounce Spearmint essential oil
NOTE on essential oils: The links above are for Amazon, but I buy my essential oils for soap making only from Starwest Botanicals. This is because I can save a bit of money by buying in larger quantities from them. Also, I feel the quality of their oils is generally far better than most brands on Amazon.
Starwest is also a great place to buy all of your herbal and natural body needs, as well as your culinary spices!
1) Make your herbal tea for the water portion
Make your herbal tea by placing fresh wild violet leaves and flowers as well as yarrow leaves in a Mason jar about 3/4 full. If you are using dried herbs, fill the jar about half full. You may not get the same color as I did if you use dried herbs, but you’ll still have the skin loving effects!
2) Measure out your oils
Measure your oils and put them in the crock pot set to low. Allow them to melt completely.
3) Create your lye solution
Get your lye solution going. First, strain the plant matter from the tea. Measure out the amount of tea you need. Be sure your tea is cooled to at least room temperature, as you don’t want a lye volcano, which can happen if you pour lye into already hot water.
Pour your lye into the cooled liquid. Stir well until it’s all combined.
4) Combine the oils and lye solution
Carefully pour the lye solution into the melted oils.
5) Bring the mixture to trace
Using your hand blender, stir for around five minutes or so until the mixture reaches trace. This will be like a good pudding texture. You can see pictures in the links above.
6) Cook on low
Simply cook on low in your crockpot and stir occasionally until it’s finished! You can find out how to tell when your soap is done in the links above.
7) Add essential oils (optional)
At this point, you stir in your essential oils for scent.
8) Put your soap in the soap mold
Since this is a hot process soap recipe, you’ll not “pour” your soap, as it will be thick and feel kind of waxy. Instead, you’ll “glop” it into the mold using a wooden spoon. I know of no other way to describe this! Press the soap down well into the mold so you don’t end up with air pockets.
9) Cool your soap
Allow your soap to cool down completely before removing it from the mold, or you’ll have a mess. Plus, it may still be hot in the middle. I like to let mine cool down overnight so it’s nice and hard.
10) Remove the soap from the mold
Now you can remove the soap! It will be a nice loaf or block of soap that you can cut as you need or all at once. You can certainly use your soap right away, too! This is one of the benefits of hot process soap over cold process: you can use it a lot faster since it needs no actual curing time.
You may notice your soap feels a little moist and perhaps even a tad soft. This didn’t happen with this recipe for me, but every soap making session is different. The humidity in the air can even affect your soap!
If this is the case, allow your soap to sit for one to five days, and you’ll see a big difference. Allowing it to sit for a day or so allows any extra moisture to evaporate.
You can read about the differences between hot process and cold process soap here if you like.
And that’s it! :-)
Final Thoughts on Wild Violet & Yarrow Skin Soothing Natural Soap
Out of all the things I no longer buy at the store any more, herbal soaps are one of my favorite things to make in this self reliant journey we are on. I just love them. Homemade soaps made with natural ingredients are so very good for your skin and health.
I’ve even had friends tell me they don’t even need lotion or moisturizer any more after using my soap recipes! Saves money! Saves time. Saves your health. Triple score!
This recipe is a new one, and I really like it. The fatty acid profile is perfect for a cleansing, yet highly conditioning bar of beautiful herbal soap.
Let me know if you try it!
You might also enjoy these other articles:
There are lots more over on the website, and I hope you’ll go browse around!
Hugs, Health, and Self-Reliance,
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Young, D., The Backyard Herbal Apothecary. Page Street Publishing. 2019.