Although you can use any type of soap for shaving, some soaps are far better than others. A good shaving soap should be detergent-free, slick, and extra sudsy. This recipe combines all these characteristics to make the ultimate shaving soap bars. This recipe makes a great gift, especially when paired with a shaving brush and mug. Follow along as we make this easy men’s shaving soap recipe.
Note: This recipe is great for anyone who shaves. We’re simply calling it a men’s shave soap because this recipe calls for a masculine fragrance. This soap recipe is super easy to customize with any fragrance or color you want to use!
Difficulty Level: Easy
Hands-On Time: 20 minutes
Cooling Time: Approx. 2 hours
Yield: 6 bars of shave soap (1.5 oz each)
To make this shave soap, we’ll start by weighing the soap base and cutting it into cubes. The soap is melted in the microwave, and then we will add the fragrance and other ingredients. Finally, the soap is poured into a round mold and left to harden.
This project uses detergent-free soap because it tends to be gentler on the skin. With the addition of kaolin clay, this recipe will glide on smoothly while protecting the skin for a super-close shave.
Detergent-free soap bases are sometimes less sudsy, so we’re also adding a bit of SLSa (Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate) to the recipe. Because the names are so similar, many people think that SLSa is the same thing as SLS or Sodium Laureth Sulfate – the ingredient commonly referred to as “sulfates.” However, SLSa is a very gentle, moisturizing ingredient. In this recipe, it creates a rich lather that is perfect for shaving. With the addition of SLSa, these shaving soap bars create a suds that feels similar to shaving foam.
Supplies & Ingredients
- 8 oz Detergent-Free Goat Milk Melt & Pour Soap Base (or other detergent-free base of choice)
- 1 T White Kaolin Clay
- 1 tsp SLSa Powder
- 2-4 ml Fresh Shave fragrance oil
- Round Guest Soap Mold
- Plastic Pipette
- 3 oz Measuring Beaker
- 16 oz Mix & Pour Funnel Pitcher
- Digital Scale
- Mini Whisk
- Straight Edge Soap Cutter
- Face Mask
- Rubbing alcohol (at least 91%) in a spray bottle
- Cutting Board
- Nitrile Gloves
- Rubber Spatula
How to Make DIY Shaving Soap
- Weigh 8 oz of soap base on your scale.
- Cut the soap base into approximately 1” cubes.
- Add the cubes to your funnel pitcher and microwave in 15-second intervals until the soap melts, stirring each time you check the soap.
- Use a pipette to transfer 2 to 4 ml of fragrance oil to the melted soap. We recommend starting with 2 ml and checking to see if you like the scent before adding more. Stir with a whisk to blend the fragrance in.
- Wearing a face mask, add 1 T of kaolin clay and 1 tsp SLSa to a 3 oz measuring beaker.
- Add a small amount of the melted soap to the beaker, then stir the mixture with your whisk until you create a smooth paste. This makes it easier to blend the clay with the rest of the soap.
- Pour the clay mixture into the rest of the melted soap base, using a rubber spatula to get all of the mixture from the beaker. Stir again until the mixture has blended with the soap.
- Spritz the soap mold with a bit of rubbing alcohol.
- Pour the melted soap into each cavity of the mold. Between each pour, you may wish to stir the remaining soap in the funnel pitcher to ensure the clay remains blended.
- Immediately after pouring, spritz the top of the soap bars with rubbing alcohol to remove any bubbles.
- Let the soap harden, then package as desired and label accordingly.
How to Use Shaving Soap
This shaving soap can be used like a bar of soap to lather the skin before shaving. Simply run the soap under warm water and rub it on your skin to create a rich lather.
Alternatively, you can place a bar of soap into a shaving mug or a small ceramic dish. A coffee cup works too if you don’t have a special shaving mug. To create a lather and apply the soap, you will need a shaving brush. Wet the brush, then swirl it around in the dish with the soap. Finally, apply the soap to your skin, moving the brush in circular motions to create a lather.
To prolong the life of your soap, avoid letting it sit in a pool of water after using it. If using a shaving mug, pour out any excess water that may have pooled at the bottom. If using this soap in the shower, avoid storing it on a shelf where water can pool, or under a direct stream of water. In any case, allowing the soap to dry out between shaves will make it last much longer.
Alternative Ways to Make This Recipe
We like the small round mold used in this recipe because it makes six small bars of soap. Not only are they the perfect size to fit into most shaving mugs, the recipe also gives you 5 refill soap bars to replenish your mug when you run out. Making your own shaving soap is a very cost-effective way to get a luxury shaving experience at home.
This shaving soap would make a great men’s gift. Package the soap with a shaving mug and brush to create a luxe gift any guy would be happy to receive.
Another way to make shaving soap is to follow the recipe above, but pour the melted soap directly into a shaving mug. Depending on the size of your mug, you may need to adjust the amount of soap you make. Pouring the soap straight into a shaving mug is an easy way to make a ready-to-use gift.
You can also customize this shaving soap recipe by using different fragrance oils. Just be sure to check the IFRA statement on each fragrance to ensure it’s skin-safe.
This recipe results in natural, cream-colored bars. However, you can also tint the soap with mica powder if you want to customize it further. Add 4-8 micro scoops of your favorite color of mica to tint the soap any color you want.
Coordinating colors with fragrances is a great way to make your products stand out. For example, mixing green mica with a fragrance such as Eucalyptus & Spearmint would be a very appealing combination that’s also gender-neutral.
NorthWood is not responsible for any products that you make with our supplies or recipes.