Friday, November 25, 2011

Making Yogurt Cold Process Soaps







All the above bar soaps contain yogurt in them!

I have been super fatting my bar soaps for years now using yogurt, the addition of yogurt to your bar soaps is adds a much loved feel to your bar soaps. I used to make goats milk bar soaps, and then I started using yogurt just to see how it felt in a soap. Once I used yogurt I was hooked and haven't made a goats milk bar since!
The feel of a yogurt bar soap is, in my opinion, much much richer and creamier it leaves my skin feeling incredibly soft and smooth and it doesn't hamper the lather of my bar soaps.
Through much trial I have used many different kinds of yogurt in my bar soaps, I have found most recently that I like the Greek Yogurt in my soaps much more than regular yogurt. Greek Yogurt when you look at the labels has mor fat content in it, therefore adding that extra fatting to your soap. I loved it so much I even added it to one of my salt bars and have fallen in total love with the feel of the finished product. These bars each offer you a rich creamy lather that feels incredible on your skin.

Here is how I add yogurt to my soaps:

I use my basic soap recipe, and here is a recap of my basic soaping formula:

50oz of hard oils
25oz of soft oils
5oz castor oil
11oz lye

I give a decent sized water discount to my formula generally I use around 24oz -27oz of water for my formula.

When I use essential oils (depending on what kind of essential oils I use, some will accelerate your soap just like a fragrance oil will) I generally use 24oz of water in my formula.
When I use fragrance oils I usually use the full 27oz of water with my lye because fragrance oils will accelerate your soap slightly, some faster than others, and in a case when I know that a fragrance oil accelerates very rapidly in a soap I will up my water to 30oz and exclude the use of castor oil in my soap recipe all together.

I soap with lye and oils at room temperature, about 75deg.
When I am making a yogurt soap, I will let the yogurt set out to warm to room temperature. Before I even start soaping, I have forgotten to take it out before and used the yogurt cold and added it to my formula and it turned out just fine.

Now if you have ever made goats milk soaps you know that there are a few different ways you can go about adding milk to your soap formula, you can freeze it and add your lye to it, you can mix the lye with part of the water for a concentrated lye solution then add the goats milk to the lye right before you add the lye solution with the goats milk to the oils. Then there is the create a concentrated lye solution allow it to cool add the solution to the oils then add your goats milk.

I create a concentrated lye solution using 12-13.5oz, then adding the 11oz of lye to the water, allow it to set in a cool water bath to cool.
While my lye solution is cooling I slightly warm my oils to get them just to a semi liquid state, my soap kitchen tends to be a little on the cool side so my solid oils are rather cold, I put all the solid oils in a pot and set them on one of my burners on my stove on the warm setting, just until they are semi fluid, I then add my room temp soft oils to the semi fluid solid oils.
At this time I weigh out my yogurt to equal the remaining 12-13.5oz of 'liquid' that we took away from the water. Right before the lye is ready to be added to the oils, I will add my yogurt to my oils and whisk it all together, this helps to get rid of all the clumps of yogurt that will form in your soap mix. Then add your lye solution to the soap mixture, this really helps to break the yogurt down so you don't have the big lumps.
Yogurt bars will set up rathe quickly because of the extra fats in your soap formula. I suggest if your going to use fragrance oils when making yogurt bars, make sure you have everything set up and ready to go before you start to mix your soap together. Also if your going to use fragrance oils I add mine to my oils along with the yogurt to mix it with the oils before I add my lye solution to the oils, yogurt and fragrance oils. Doing this you will be able to see your soap thicken and you can stop stick blending your soap at the first sign of it starting to get thick.
I have made a lot of yogurt soaps with fragrance oils and only had to stick blend it for a few seconds before it was thick and ready for the mold.

Now just like any milk soap I do not insulate them, but this is a matter of personal preferance.

Yogurt soaps usually set up pretty quickly and are rather solid, and nice and firm within 12-24 hours after you pour them into the molds. I slice mine right away and allow them to cure. Because you use less water in this recipe they do cure rather quickly.
When slicing your yogurt bars you will notice the creaminess to these bars.

Just a quick note! When making any type of milk soap or yogurt soap there is an odor that you will notice both when mixing the milk in your soaps and right after slicing your soaps. To me it smells almost like what a perm smells like, this is totally normal, this smell will disipate within a few days to a week out of your soap.

Now it's time for you to try making yogurt soaps!



  1. Thanks so much Michele! I made a sea salt yogurt soap using Mineral Salt Spa fo! I was wondering why it smelled like perm and thought I had done something wrong! You rock!

  2. Nope you did nothing wrong, that perm smell will disipate over the next few days, and soon all your going to smell is the lovely fragrance you added to your wonderful soap!

  3. these are sooo beautiful.... Love the Nag Champa and Pumpkin!!! Keep on rocking babe!!!

  4. Thank you for such helpful tips when adding yogurt to cold process soaps!