I’ve been dabbling in a few all natural soaps lately. Say it isn’t so! I can hear you crying, but it’s true. I have. I have some regular customers who are allergic to fragrances and so I like to keep a select range of fragrance free soaps in stock.
Cucumber and yogurt go together perfectly. In a soap they become a creamy bubbly luxurious additive for people who prefer minimal smell in a soap.
It’s also the beginning of Autumn here, which means cucumbers are in season, and therefore really inexpensive right now.
It was clearly the perfect time to make this soap.
Cucumber and Yogurt Soap.
This recipe has been resized to fit a 10 inch Bramble Berry silicone mould. I made a large batch (3 x 8 inch moulds, or 2.4kg of base oils), but I’ve resized this recipe down to fit a 10 inch silicone mould, which is 1000g (35 oz) of base oils, or 1.4l (50 oz) of soap batter.
I love silk in my soaps, but feel free to leave it out if you don’t have any.
I’m a big fan of sunflower oil in soap. I know it’s an inexpensive oil and therefore doesn’t have the same label appeal as some other oils, but I really love the creaminess s and lather sunflower adds to a recipe.
Soap Formula Used
- 400g (14.1 oz) Olive Oil
- 200g (7 oz) Rice Bran Oil
- 200g (7 oz) Coconut Oil
- 150g (5.3 oz) Sunflower Oil, Regular
- 50g (1.7 oz) Castor Oil
- 190g (6.7 oz) Distilled Water
- 134g (4.72 oz) Sodium Hydroxide
- 90g (3.1 oz) blended sieved Cucumber (if you don’t want “bits” in your soap, use straight cucumber juice)
- 20g (0.7 oz) Greek Yogurt (full fat, unflavoured)
- 10g (0.3 oz) Salt
- tiny pinch of silk, cut finely
In a lye safe jug, add your silk and your salt to your water, stirring until the salt is dissolved. Add your lye, and stir to dissolve. Set aside to cool. I like to sit my lye jug in a cold water bath to cool it faster.
Weigh and melt your oils.
Whisk the yogurt into the cucumber juice until it is completely incorporated with no lumps. I sieved my cucumber after I blended it, but you don’t have to. I didn’t want flecks of skin in mine, but that’s personal choice.
When everything is at room temperature, you can begin. I didn’t want to work warm because yogurt can be an accelerator and it’s easier to avoid problems than it is to fix them later.
Gently pour your lye solution into your oils and stick blend to very light trace.
Switching to a whisk or spatula, gently stir the cucumber yogurt mix into your batter, checking to make sure there are no pockets of liquid left.
Pour into your mould and texture the top. My mix moved quickly at this point and I chose to smooth the tops of the batter with the back of a spoon, leaving the whole soap fairly rustic looking.
You can choose to either put your mould into the freezer for 24 hours at this point, followed by the refrigerator for a further 24 hours if you’d like to prevent gel. Yogurt is a heater, so this isn’t always a bad idea.
Or you can do what I did and leave your moulds out to gel.
Gelling vs not gelling is a personal preference – I generally prefer to gel most soaps as it speeds my unmoulding process.
This soap is still curing for me, but preliminary tests show a huge amount of lather.
The Cucumber Yogurt Soap recipe is an original formula created by Veronica Foale. It is palm-free, and uses a 6% superfat (plus a little extra from the yogurt). To make this recipe vegan-friendly, omit the Tussah Silk and use soy yogurt rather than Greek. Feel free to adjust as needed!
I used Sunflower Oil at 15%, which is higher than a lot of recommended rates, but I adore the creamy lather of sunflower oil. As long as your oil was bought fresh from somewhere with high oil turnover rate, it should be fine. Sunflower Oil is a staple in most Australia grocery stores, so it is an inexpensive way to add creamy lather to a soap.