Adding dried flowers or herbs to your natural soap recipe can transform an ordinary bar into a botanical gem. Decorating the tops of soap with dried flowers is very popular, and dried flowers such as cornflowers, chamomile, and rose petals will keep their colour if sprinkled on the tops of soap. A good tip to keep flowers from turning brown is to add them after the soap is cured. Spray the soap with witch hazel or isopropyl alcohol and scatter the flower petals on top. They will stick to the soap and keep their color for much longer.
Mixing dried flowers into soap batter will turn the flower petals brown. Some dried flowers can be infused into a carrier oil to naturally color soap. Calendula flowers come in both yellow and orange, and I find the orange petals infuse beautifully into olive pomace oil and other light-colored oils.
Chamomile infused olive oil is one of my favorites. My kids soap recipe uses chamomile infused pomace olive oil.
Using flower petals in soap needs to be planned before you start making your soap. Most of them will turn brown if you try to stir them into your soap batter. When using flower petals, you have the option to use them as a puree to tint your soap, as in the case of goldenrod. Make sure you research the flowers you want to use, as some flowers might be toxic. If you make soap to sell, the flowers that you are planning to use need to be part of your safety assessment.
You can also sprinkle dried flowers onto the tops of your soap and in some cases, such as in calendula, you can stir whole petals into the batter. Very few flower petals will keep their vibrant colour in soap. If you like to use flowers in your batter, calendula is a safe choice.
Dried herbs are easy to use and very popular in soap making. This is a great way to create some fantastic herbal soaps. You can use them to infuse into your base oils or water, or you can sprinkle them into your soap batter or on the tops of your bars. Personally, I don’t like using whole leaves in my soaps as they will re-hydrate when you start using the soap and become slimy.
For a speckled effect, use dried herbs that are finely pulsed and add about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of dried herbs to every 500 grams of soap in your recipe. Sprinkle it on your soap at ‘Trace’ and then stir it in.
Herbal soaps are very popular, therapeutic and will leave you feeling refreshed!