I started to experiment with making cold pressed soap's about 6 months ago. And through lots of trial and error, have come up with a recipe I am very happy with.
I have been using the same base for my hand made cold pressed soaps, then I add special or extra oils, skin safe fragrances from a reputable company, Australian clays, and cosmetic grade pigment dispersions (colours) that are vegan/vegetarian friendly, the list is endless of what you can add to soap. The soaps are also Vegan unless otherwise stated. I will be trying to make a goat milk soap, so that of coarse is not vegan, unless you use goat's milk products!
I like to use the best ingredients that I can afford to buy.
I also cure the soap for at least 6 weeks minimum, usually longer. I find it makes a harder (longer lasting,) and gentler bar.
Anyone can make soap, it is easy, but making a great soap is very difficult. And trying to make a bar of soap affordable isn't easy either, especially when you use great i.e expensive products.
My vegan friendly soap bases are made from:
Organic Coconut Oil, for super lather, it's also great for all skin types.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, conditioning and highly nutritious.
Unrefined Shea Butter, it is hailed for its protecting and emollient properties. Used as a treatment for minor skin irritations. The reason I like to use unrefined as opposed to the 'pretty' white refined Shea, is because they are sometimes chemically extracted, or bleached to make them so white. I prefer as natural as possible, and I like the natural nutty smell.
Mango Butter in equal quantity to the Shea, is highly prized in the cosmetic industry, it act's like a mild lubricant for the skin. Mango butter has a very luxurious feel.
Jojoba Oil, is super rich in vitamin E and very close to skin's own sebum.
Sodium Hydroxide and Demineralised Water