What is Crystal SLES & SLS free base, you ask? This perhaps lesser known Stephenson base is used to make transparent soap bars, but it doesn’t contain Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, which are surfactants often found in soap bases that can sometimes irritate very sensitive skin. (Note: Stephenson also carries an opaque (white) soap base that is SLS free, but for this project I simply used the regular Crystal WST soap base I had on hand.)
Now although I don’t have sensitive skin, I thought I would showcase this base anyway since it produces such beautifully transparent soap bars, and just in case you’ve been on the lookout for an SLES and SLS free soap base!
TO MAKE THIS SOAP, YOU WILL NEED:
- Stephenson Crystal WST soap base
- Christmas tree silicone mold for making soap inserts
- Bar soap mold
- Glass bowl with spout/handle
- Soap colorant
- Mixing spoon
Step 1. Melt down your Crystal WST (white opaque) soap base.
EXPERT TIP: To figure out how much base you’ll need to fill your Christmas tree insert mold or your soap bar mold (later), you can fill your mold with water, and then pour that water into a measuring cup to see how much liquid base will be needed to fill each one, given the number of bars you want to make.
Cut your base into cubes, toss them in a glass bowl and melt them in the microwave at 15-30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until your base has melted. Pour your melted base into your Christmas tree mold, allowing them to solidify:
Step 2. Melt down your clear soap base just as you melted down your white soap base. Cut it into cubes and microwave at 15-30 second intervals, stirring between each interval.
Step 3. Color your clear soap base! I did this in two batches; my first batch I made my clear base green and my second batch I made red. Adding more or less colorant will give you a deeper green and red.
Step 4. Working one bar at a time, pour a bit of clear soap base into the bottom of your mold before then placing your Christmas tree insert into the mold face down. This ensures that you have a nice layer of soap filling the front of the bar. Allow your bars to cool. Then finish pouring your clear base into the mold until the tree is covered. You can spray a spritz of rubbing alcohol over the backs of the bars to remove those tiny little bubbles that form.
EXPERT TIP: Usually I would recommend a soap colorant that is not water based so that the colors do not bleed. However, I’ve found that when putting a white insert into a colored clear soap base, the bleeding is minimal–or possibly doesn’t happen at all. I can’t actually tell the difference!
I made both red and green soap bars, but I think I like the green ones best. What do you think?
Thanks for visiting today! Stay tuned for some more great soap projects! Stephenson has some new bases coming out in 2015, so you’ll definitely want to keep checking back here for more!