Guest Post: Thyme & Witch Hazel Facial Bar DIY
Recipe type: Cold Process Soap
Serves: 2-3 pounds of soap
This recipe by Jan Berry of The Nerdy Farm Wife contains honey, witch hazel and skin loving oils.
Thyme Infused-Water
  • ½ cup Chopped Fresh or ¼ cup Dried Thyme
  • 8 oz. Simmering Hot Distilled Water
The Soap
  • 10″ Silicone Loaf Mold
  • 15 oz. Olive Oil
  • 8 oz. Coconut Oil
  • 4 oz. Sunflower Oil
  • 2 oz. Castor Oil
  • 1 oz. Tamanu Oil
  • 4.17 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
  • 0.5 oz. Raw Honey
  • 1 oz. Witch Hazel
  1. SAFETY FIRST: Suit up for safe handling practices! That means goggles, gloves and long sleeves. Make sure kids, pets, and other distractions and tripping hazards are out of the house or don’t have access to your soaping space. Always soap in a well-ventilated area.
  2. THYME-INFUSED WATER: Place the thyme in a heatproof jar or pitcher. Pour the simmering hot distilled water into the jar and let steep for up to 1 hour, or until cool. Strain and set aside. If you're using dried thyme, you may only need to steep it for 30 minutes, otherwise the water may turn darker and discolor the soap. Dried thyme is stronger than fresh thyme.
  3. HONEY & WITCH HAZEL MIXTURE: In a small bowl, blend the honey and witch hazel together in a small bowl and set aside. This will be added to the soap later at trace.
  4. Once the thyme tea is completely cooled, slowly and carefully add the lye to the thyme water and gently stir until the lye has fully dissolved and the liquid is clear. Set aside to cool. The water may turn a different color as the lye is added.
  5. Melt and combine the olive, coconut, sunflower, castor and tamanu oils. Once the lye water and the oils have cooled to 110-120 F degrees or below (and are ideally within 10 degrees of each other), add the lye water to the oils and begin stick blending. If you’d like a harder bar of soap that releases faster from the mold, you can add sodium lactate to the cooled lye water. Use 1 teaspoon of sodium lactate per pound of oils in the recipe. For this recipe, you’d add about 2 teaspoons sodium lactate.
  6. Continue stick blending the mixture until you reach a thin to medium trace. Because this recipe contains a high amount of liquid oils, this may take several minutes. Thoroughly stir in the honey and witch hazel mixture into the soap. Pour the batter into the mold, and tap on the counter to help get rid of bubbles.
  7. Honey tends to make soap heat up more than normal, so you do not need to insulate the soap. You can also pop it in the fridge or freezer for 5-24 hours to keep the soap from overheating. Spritz with 99% isopropyl alcohol to help prevent soda ash. Allow the soap to stay in the mold for 2-3 days. Because this is a softer recipe, it may need more time in the mold than normal. Remove from the mold and slice into bars. Allow the bars to cure for 4-6 weeks and enjoy!
Recipe by Soap Queen at