Neem oil comes from the seeds of the neem tree, a plant native to the Mediterranean. The oil contains vitamin E and amino acids, making it an excellent moisturizer and good for clearing up eczema and other dry skin conditions. By making the soap at home, you can customize it meet your skin's needs. Neem soap adds essential nutrients to the skin, though undiluted neem oil smells slightly sulfurous and garlicky. This makes it a good insect repellent, but means the soap must have essential oils added to give it a pleasant smell.
Things You'll Need
- Clear glycerin blocks
- Sharp knife
- Food scale
- Neem oil
- Measuring cups
- Double boiler
- Essential oils
- Soap dye (optional)
- Soap molds
Chop up about half of a block of glycerin into quarter-sized chunks. Weigh the chunks on your food scale. Pour some neem oil into a measuring cup and measure out 5 percent of the glycerin’s weight in neem oil. For instance, if you have 20 grams of glycerin, you need 4 grams of neem oil.
Fill the bottom half of your double boiler about halfway with water. Place the top of your boiler inside the bottom and turn the heat to medium high. Layer your glycerin chunks into the boiler and heat steadily, stirring every few minutes as the pieces melt.
Pour your premeasured neem oil into your melted glycerin and stir well. Add about 5 drops of each essential oil, too. Eucalyptus, lavender, mint and other stronger smells cover the neem odor nicely. Add about 10 drops of color as well, if desired.
Remove the soap from heat and pour it from your pan into soap molds. Allow the molds to cure for about 24 hours, pop them free and enjoy.
Tips & Warnings
- Make extra strength neem soap by adding dried neem leaves in addition to the oil. This will turn your soap brown, which may not matter for home use.
- Photo Credit three sorts of oil image by Tomo Jesenicnik from Fotolia.com
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