I’m just going to say it: this soap is magic.
Unlike the soap you’re probably used to, this whipped soap is more like a foaming body butter than an actual soap. And because it’s loaded with good-for-you oils like coconut and palm, it forms a semi-solid lather that can be used as a shaving cream, face wash, or even a deep conditioner for your hair.
But if you find the idea of making soap from scratch intimidating, there's good news: we're not actually making soap. We're just combining ingredients that are so easy to find, even soap-making newbies may have them on hand.
How to Make Whipped Soap
Whipped soap making can be a tricky business. Many of the tutorials I’ve seen contain a laundry list of hard-to-find ingredients like lard, tallow, and lye, or skin-irritating chemicals like SLS. Needless to say, that really wasn't going to cut it for me.
Instead, I opted for premade bar soap (Castile, to be exact) and nourishing butters that hold their shape at room temperature. Not only does it cut down on prep time and measuring, but you can also avoid some of the more questionable ingredients often found in whipped soap recipes.
I chose a bar of Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Castile soap for this recipe because I love the scent, and I had some on hand. Plus, Castile soap is already chock full of natural oils, which will boost your soap’s moisturizing powers.
That being said, traditional bar soap should also work if you'd prefer not to go the Castile route (I haven't tested it myself, so let us know in the comments if you hit any snags!)
The trick to making whipped soap is choosing the right oils. For your soap to hold it's shape, you need a mixture of hard oils like shea butter or palm shortening and soft oils like canola, grapeseed, or olive oil.
The hard oils give it shape, while the soft oils keep it pliable. Once you have your oil base, you can add your soap and whichever essential oils and colors you choose.
Fun facts: grapeseed has been shown to be helpful in the treatment of many skin diseases, and it protects the skin from the oxidative stress caused by extensive sun exposure [source]. Grapeseed extract acts as a powerful antioxidant shielding the body from skin-aging processes, making it a great oil for homemade bath and body products [source].
In total honesty, I whipped my soap for a minute or two longer than I should have, so it lost a bit of its hold. I like it because it's not quite as thick and greasy as other whipped soaps.
But in case you want yours to be more like a body butter, whip it until it just comes together and then stop. If you do happen to over-mix it, add more coconut oil and palm shortening until you reach the desired texture.
Whipped Soap FAQ
Why doesn't my whipped soap feel like the whipped soaps I'm used to?
Most commercial whipped soap recipes either require you to use harsh foaming agents (like SLS) or to make hot process soap from scratch. Since I wanted ours to be all-natural and easy, I used oils to give it more lift.
Understandably, that makes it more like a foaming body butter than a traditional soap you might be used to. I know this isn't everyone's cup of tea, though, so feel free to experiment with the recipe or try one of the many different versions found on the internet.
Is there any way to make my soap less oily?
Since whipped soap has become so popular, I've recently started seeing premade whipped soap base pop up online. I haven't tried it personally, but you can experiment with making your own whipped soap concoctions using premade soap base, like this Foaming Bath Butter Soap Base.
What can I use in place of palm shortening?
Should I use a preservative to make my soap last longer?
There aren't many completely natural preservatives on the market, so I prefer to just use up my homemade bath and body products quickly. If you're having trouble using up your whipped soap, you can halve or even quarter the recipe to make a smaller amount.
If you would prefer to add a preservative, I recommend Leucidal Liquid SF, which is a little more natural than some of the alternatives. If you don't use a preservative, use up your soap within 1–2 weeks.
Magical Moisturizing Whipped Soap
- Cheese grater
- Small saucepan
- Plastic food storage container or heat-proof bowl
- Electric mixer
- ½ bar Castile soap, grated
- ½ cup purified water
- 1 teaspoon glycerin
- ½ cup palm oil shortening
- ¼ cup solid coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (you may need to add more or less depending on the brand/kind of hard oils you choose)
- 10 drops sweet orange essential oil
- 1 teaspoon beet root powder (optional for color)
- In a small saucepan, combine the grated soap and the water. Bring to a low simmer and whisk constantly until the soap has just melted. Add the glycerin and whisk again.
- Pour the soap mixture into a plastic container or heat-proof bowl (if using plastic, make sure it's not so hot it can melt your container—let the mixture cool slightly first if needed) and let it cool to just slightly above room temperature. You want your soap to be cool to the touch but not solid. If it hardens, microwave it in 10-second intervals until it melts again.
- Combine the coconut oil and vegetable shortening in a large bowl. Use an electric mixer to whip the oils until smooth and the consistency of frosting (you can put the bowl in the freezer for several minutes to help the oils firm up).
- Slowly pour your room temperature soap mixture into the bowl of whipped oils. Whip until fluffy.
- Add grapeseed oil, essential oils, and beet root powder for color. Whip until combined.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Rina Mary Allawh, M.D., a dermatologist who practices adult and pediatric medical dermatology, skin cancer treatment, and cosmetic dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow's medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.1,016