Honey and camomile are two of the most popular additives to natural soap bars. Combining the two is to make, and the melt and pour soap base creates both a pleasing scent and feel when used.
The use of honey in soaps infuses it with humectant compounds that help combat and prevent acne, as well as smooth and moisturize the skin.
Honey’s antioxidant and antimicrobial properties may offer enhanced healing to any minor wounds or insect bites on the hands and body.
The honey used in soap also commonly increases the lather of the bar, making a nice amount of sudsy bubbles when used, as well.
Camomile also produces a soothing response on the skin. Camomile not only tends to have a calming effect when consumed as a tea, but may help decrease inflammation – even in external but sensitive areas.
Herbalists often use camomile as a wound wash to treat minor wounds, minor burns, and especially sunburn. The herb contains antibacterial compounds that may also help prevent and heal acne.
Although there is absolutely no scientific evidence to prove it, many folks feel camomile also gives the skin a healthy and robustly beautiful glow.
Use raw honey when adding it to a soap base.
Processed honey or some substance purchased from a grocery store without fully reading the label that is only “kinda” honey will not work as well, or possibly not provide the anticipated possible soothing effect.
If you do not grow camomile or have herb flowers on hand that you can dry, sachets of camomile tea will work just fine.
Can Honey Be Added to Melt and Pour Soap Bases?
The short answer is a resounding “yes.” But, melt and pour soap bases, whether they are of a glycerin, goat’s milk, oatmeal, or shea butter variety, can tend to become too soft and create “glycerin dew” if large amounts of honey are added.
As long as you do not add in more than up to 1 teaspoon of honey per pound of melt and pour soap base, the bar should turn out just fine. This same rule applies anytime you add any variety of oil or butter into a melt and pour recipe.
Remember, you can always learn from a recipe and add in more honey next time, but once you have stirred in too big of a dollop, there is not sifting it back out.
How Well Does a Honey Based Soap Lather?
If you use 1 teaspoon of honey per pound of soap base (especially with a glycerin soap base) the bar should create an extremely creamy and dense lather.
It is the additional honey in the recipe that weighs down the soap bubbles, and makes the lather feel and look more creamy.
When less honey is used, less than half a teaspoon for example, the soap will be a lighter shade and should produce a lather that is more “fluffy” – which definitely still has a pleasing effect on the skin.
Honey and Chamomile Soap Recipe
- soap molds
- raw honey
- dried chamomile or sachets of chamomile tea
- glycerin soap base
- essential oil optional, for scent
- Cut the desired amount of soap base and melt it in the microwave for about 30 seconds – longer if you are using more than half a pound at a time.
- Set out your soap molds so they are ready to pour the melted base in.Plasticcups cut down to size or small plastic storage tubs work well if you are not making full size bars of honey and camomile soap and do not have small commercially manufactured molds.
- Cut open one to two tea bags of camomile or use half a teaspoon – or so, of dried camomile.
- Stir in the honey while the glycerin soap base (which should be very hot right out of the microwave). Stir for at least 30 seconds to make sure that it is combined thoroughly. The mixture will thicken substantially as you stir and combine the two ingredients.
- Stir in the dried camomile or packets of camomile tea. Make sure that the chamomile is completely combined with the honey and soap base.
- Stir in an essential oil scent that you would like to add now – optional. No more than four drops is recommended per half a pound of melt and pour soap base.
- Use a toothpick or the tip of a knife to gently tap the filled mold onto the counter to remove any air bubbles before allowing the mixture to harden.
- The honey and camomile soap should harden at room temperature after about three hours. It typically hardens in a refrigerator after roughly 30 minutes. The size and depth of the bar will impact how long it takes to completely harden.
- If you used a silicone commercially manufactured mold, simply turn it over and give a few taps on the back to release the soap. If you used a plastic cup, snipping away some of the plastic above the fill line should allow you to peel away the mold and release the soap. A small hard plastic storage container might require taking a knife around the edge of the hardened bar of soap and the mold to allow it to release.
If you would like the dried camomile to not be suspended throughout the soap but be nestled only at the top of the bar for decorative purposes, simply mix the dried camomile flower parts with about one chunk of the soap base, and fill the mold with it first.
Once this portion of the melt and pour soap bar has hardened, you can mix the honey in with more chunks of the MP soap base and pour it directly on top of the portion containing the camomile.
Then, follow the rest of the curing and removal steps outlined above to complete the honey and camomile soap making process.
When made and stored correctly in a cool dry place, the honey and chamomile soap should retain its color, scent, and solid texture for about 12 months.