When starting to make cold process soap, it can be tempting to take the “go big, or go home,” approach. New soapers often want to dive in head first with layers, swirls and fragrances. While I completely understand the urge to make eye-catching soap, I always recommend starting with very basic recipe. A great place to start is a recipe that includes no colorants, design, or fragrance. I also highly recommend sticking to the three most basic soaping oils: olive, coconut and palm.
This might sound a little boring to some, but there is a lot to learn when making your first batch of cold process soap. First, you need to learn how to safely mix your lye solution. Then, you need to correctly mix and measure your soap making oils. Sometimes pouring the lye into your oils while holding your stick blender can feel a little funny, and your first batch of soap familiarizes you with this. Your first batch also teaches you what trace looks and “feels” like. In addition, you may need to line your mold.
All of this combined is plenty when just starting out! Don’t overload yourself. I have watched many beginner soapers become discouraged right off the bat, because they attempt techniques that even advanced soapers struggle with. Set yourself up for success, and keep it simple. Trust me =)