Yogurt isn’t just for breakfast. Did you know that you can make your own homemade soaps with fresh yogurt? It’s totally doable and a lot easier than you might think. And it’s great for your skin, too!
Why You Should Make Yogurt Soap
Why put yogurt in soap? Well, there are lots of healthy reasons! Organic yogurt contains both zinc and lactic acid. Additionally it also has antibacterial properties and is rich in natural milk fats.
So what does the nutritional components of yogurt soap mean for your skin?
- Zinc helps to dry out acne, speeds up healing times and promotes skin health. Its natural antibacterial properties also make homemade yogurt soap especially suited for your face to cleanse pores and remove bacteria that can cause acne.
- Lactic acid gently exfoliates skin so you don’t need to resort to harsh abrasives or scrubs that can irritate more sensitive skin. This can lead to brighter, softer looking skin.
- The high fat content in yogurt gives soap additional moisturizing properties as well as a creamy luxurious feel when used on skin.
My homemade yogurt soap recipe is formulated for even the most sensitive skin with as few ingredients as possible. So you can feel good about using this homemade soap on your entire family regardless of age.
Developed to be similar to a gentle Castile soap, this Bastille-based soap contains 70% olive oil for its moisturizing properties. I also use kokum butter for hardness and its skin conditioning properties. With coconut oil added for its cleansing properties and lather. Check out these other awesome coconut oil skincare recipes.
Like milk soaps, this homemade yogurt soap is also wonderful for soothing dry, itchy skin. They’re also great for gifting!
HOMEMADE YOGURT SOAP RECIPE
5.35 oz. organic plain yogurt
2.15 oz. food grade lye/sodium hydroxide
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Non-aluminum heat safe containers and utensils
Silicone soap mold
You’ll want to start with icy cold, refrigerated yogurt. As the fat in the yogurt will start to saponify when mixed with the lye, you’ll want to pop your yogurt into the freezer briefly before getting started.
As you will be working with lye there are a number of safety precautions you should take. None of the containers you use for making my homemade yogurt soap recipe should be aluminum. You should use only heat safe, non-aluminum containers and utensils. Additionally, you should wear both gloves and long sleeves in addition to eye protection. A ventilation mask should be worn when mixing the lye.
Once you’ve taken the necessary safety precautions and gathered your materials and ingredients, you are ready to begin.
Using a digital scale, begin by weighing out both the lye and the yogurt into two separate containers. Pour the lye into the yogurt and mix continuously until all of the lye has dissolved.
As the lye heats up the yogurt will liquify and turn a bright yellow. You may also notice some clumps where the milk fat in the yogurt begins to saponify as well a chemical smell similar to an 80’s salon hair perm. This is normal. (And don’t worry. The smells does go away.)
Once fully mixed, set the yogurt and lye mixture aside to cool.
In another heat safe container weigh out and combine the coconut oil, kokum butter and pomace olive oil. Heat at 50% power in the microwave, in a double boiler or in a stainless steel pot over medium heat on the stove until the oils and butter have melted. Then remove from heat and set aside to cool.
**A Note on Pomace Olive Oil
Pomace olive oil is commonly used in soapmaking as it is more cost effective and also products a harder bar than virgin olive oil. However, if you are unable to source pomace olive oil in your area, you can substitute regular olive oil.
I recommend the olive oil from places like Costco and Sam’s Club which come in the large containers. Olive oil purchased for food use at grocery stores tends to go rancid in soap causing orange spots in your finished product.
Once both the yogurt/lye mixture and the soapmaking oils have cooled to around 95°F you are ready to make soap. Begin by mixing in 1/2 teaspoon of table or sea salt into the yogurt/lye mixture. The salt will help make your homemade yogurt soap bars harder, faster.
Now carefully pour the lye/yogurt mixture into the melted soapmaking oils and butter. Mix with an immersion blender until you reach trace. You’ll know when you have reached trace when you can pull the blender through the soap batter and it leaves a distinct trail behind it. The consistency will be similar to that of pudding.
Now pour the soap batter into your silicone mold. You can use a silicone spatula to smooth the tops of the soap bars.
Cover the soap with plastic wrap or parchment paper and set aside.
After 24 hours you can unmold your soap bars. (If you substituted virgin olive oil for the pomace olive oil, you may need to wait an extra day prior to unmolding your soap. It may also need additional time to cure after being unmolded.)
Allow your homemade yogurt soaps to cure in a cool, dry location for 1-2 months prior to use. Then wrap and label your homemade soaps as desired for personal use or gifting!
Other Options for Homemade Yogurt Soap
If you are leery about using fresh yogurt for your homemade yogurt soap, it is possible to use yogurt powder instead. Simply substitute the yogurt in my homemade yogurt soap recipe with distilled water and add the yogurt powder to suit to your soapmaking oils just prior to mixing.
Alternately, you may also be interested in two of my other homemade yogurt soap recipes that call for yogurt powder. I have a recipe for yogurt & banana soap with flaxseed oil as well as a homemade yogurt soap recipe with chamomile.