Lavender Lemon Yogurt Soap Recipe

I am officially in love with yogurt soap.lemon and lavender soap

I’ve always enjoyed the classic oatmeal, (goat’s) milk, and honey soap but had never even thought about yogurt in a soap until I read this post from Sylvia over at Soapjam.  Her soaps look so lovely and creamy that I just had to make some soap with yogurt. I’m so pleased with the results that I might just start adding yogurt to ALL my soaps!  Need more reasons to try adding yogurt to your soap?  Yogurt is rich in lactic acid which provides hydration and gentle exfoliation.  It’s also chock full of skin-loving proteins and minerals.

What I love about this process is that the yogurt is mixed into the oils before lye is added.  No more mixing dairy into the lye mixture and worrying about sugars scorching!

I decided to create a light and clean scent using a natural blend of essential oils.  Lavender and lemon are wonderful scents on their own but blended together they’re even better.  Lemon essential oil is refreshing and uplifting for the nervous system along with being a powerful antioxidant.  Lavender is calming, soothing and rounds out the the sharp top note in lemon to create a complex and interesting scent.  It also has antibacterial and antiviral qualities that are always good in a product for cleansing!

Recipe for Lavender Lemon Yogurt Soap (makes ~12 5.5oz bars)

23oz Olive Oil

16oz Coconut Oil

7oz Sunflower Oil

4oz Castor Oil

7oz Lye

12oz Distilled Water

7oz Plain Yogurt

1oz Lemon Essential Oil

.5oz Lavender Essential Oil

1.5mL Clary Sage Essential Oil

.5mL Marjoram Essential Oil

If you’ve never made soap before, check out my post on Soap Making 101 for detailed instructions.  I’m not going to include any step-by-steps here because I assume that if you’re looking up cold-process soap recipes, you probably know what you’re doing.  🙂

  1. I am fairly new to soap making but found out early about using yogurt. I make my own to. Does the yogurt soap over time have any problems like ash or dos or mold, etc. So far mine hasnt but only about 6 months old. Thanks for sharing and the soap sounds scrumptious.

    1. Hi Carolyn,
      If your soap has been good for the last 6 months, it will be fine. I haven’t ever had any problems with my yogurt soaps getting moldy, DOS or ash. I just love how creamy it feels when using it, don’t you? I’m glad you like the recipe!

  2. I don’t want to make as big a batch as yours as my mold is small. How did you calculate the amount of yogurt needed for your recipe? I know how to recalculate the lye when I adjust the recipe to for my mold but I just don’t get the yogurt ratio. Thank you.

    1. Hi Daana,
      I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you – it’s been quite a busy month! I have learned that when adding purees or yogurts to my soap batches, that the 5-7oz range works really well for that amount of soap. I mainly got to that number by trial and error over the years. If you’re downsizing your batch, I’d recommend seeing what percentage smaller it is than what is shown and then multiply the yogurt amount by that much. (eg. If your batch is 30% of the size of my recipe, then you’ll add in 2oz yogurt). I hope that helps!

  3. Hi I am new to soaping and I try the recipe I added some natural lavender and yogurt I don’t have not found the affordable essential oils so I was trying to find out if I could use natural ingredients in there and what would be the outcome I know this is an old blog but I’m hoping someone still out there reading and commenting for me thanks loving soaping in addition I tried the recipe and it took a long time to trace and was kind of fluid e so a refrigerated it waiting for the outcome

    1. Hi Ruth!
      You can definitely use natural ingredients – they just won’t offer the same smell as an essential oil. I’ve noticed that any herb that I’ve added to my soaps doesn’t really carry it’s scent after being exposed to the lye. BUT, I’ve always loved the smell of unscented soap. It seems very clean and creamy to me so I hope you love your end result. I’m sorry your tracing took awhile. That’s not usually an issue that I’ve had. I’ve had someone recommend adding the yogurt to the oils and mixing it in before adding the lye water. I tried this the last time I made the soap and it did seem to make it a little easier to work with. They had mentioned that adding in the cold yogurt at trace can affect the new soap. I’m going to be changing the directions on this recipe since it was easier. Let me know how your batch turned out! PS – I’ve never heard of putting soap in the refrigerator to help it harden. Usually, you want to insulate the molds and let it heat up well so it goes into the gel phase. This can help you to get a harder bar that’s easier to unmold.

  4. I’m curious why you add the yogurt at trace when the recipe you reference – Sylvia’s over at Soapjam – mixes her yogurt into the oils first, before the lye water. Why the change?

    Adding the yogurt at trace is riskier, as adding any cold component at trace can cause the whole thing to accelerate or freeze up (as some of your commenters have experienced!)

    1. Thanks for this tip! I’ve tried it by mixing the yogurt into the oils and it did seem to work a bit better. I’ll be updating this recipe so others don’t have those issues!

  5. Thank you so much. I just bought some yogurt to make soap and had been reading everything I could. I’m all in now.

    1. Hello Irene,
      I’m not experienced with the crockpot method enough to tell you yes or no. If you can add color and eo’s to the batches you do in the crockpot then I’d say, ‘go for it’! And let me know how it goes. 🙂

  6. I am new to soap making and would like to make something comparable with just a soap base and crockpot. Suggestions?

    1. Hi FloridaMollie,
      You know, I’ve never used a soap base but most of the companies that I’ve bought from and am very pleased with seem to have them. Two very reputable companies are: Majestic Mountain Sage ( and Brambleberry (

  7. I’m a novice “maker” I want to make a white bar with lavender buds and mint. I am wondering about this combination. What is your
    opinion? Thank you so much I love your site and your soap making ideas. Thank you for your time and this site!!

    1. Hi MaryFrances! I’m sorry it’s taken me a few days to get back with you. I love lavender with mint so I think those essential oils will be wonderful together! I will only caution you with using lavender buds and mint leaves in the soap. Both will turn black on you from the heat of the soap gelling. I’ve done both and they end up looking a little sad. If you can keep the soap from gelling, then they might keep better color but the yogurt makes it heat up so I’m not sure if it’s possible. If you do it, please let me know!!! Also, I’ve learned that dried parsley in soap can be substituted for mint leaves as parsley stays green.

  8. Just made it and it has gelled on me. Looks like almost all the way through. Did I ruin it or should it come out okay? I completely forgot about the milk products making it saponify at a higher temp oops! I also only had the lemon and lavender essential oils and only half the recommended amount. Needless to say I was slightly excited to try it. Lol! Cant wait for it to cure so I can try it if it comes out okay!

  9. I’m wondering where you get your essential oils? My tiny bottles are only half an ounce. That can get pretty pricey per batch of soap. Any suggestions?

  10. I noticed you put 7,2 lye and 7,2 water does the yogurt count as liquid?.I’m new at soaping and thinking there should be more water

    1. Hi Lou,
      Thank you for pointing that out!! I hadn’t realized my water ratio was so low. Yes, I discount 7oz of water for the yogurt but it shouldn’t have been the same as the lye. I’ve got it fixed and also switched up the oil blend a little since I’m no longer using palm oil in my soaps. Thank you for your help Lou!

  11. Hi Emily. Just made yr soap awesome did put it in the fridge as it gel but was not sure for how long so thought maybe overnight let see how it turns out thank for Emily yr receipes but please could u do one on Any milk product. I followed one came out great gave it a month of curing. After a few washes the soap becomes gluggy. It there a reason to why. Thank u.

  12. Hi Emily I have made two batches of the yoghurt soap now but with lavender mint and Lavender Rose. The first batch went together well but I lightly insulated it briefly and it did over heat leaving translucent lines in the soap. It was a pretty colour but I won’t be giving these away. The next Batch again became hot I didn’t cover it at all in fact I placed my mould in the frieezer for a few hours before making it.. It still just slightly erupted on top but was fine. When you pour yours what do you do next? I am determined to make a fantastic one next time just need some idea of how you go about the moulding stage.
    I adore the look and thought if these soap, great website by the way,
    Geri x

    1. Hi Geri,
      I’m so glad you’ve been liking the recipe! I think that adding the yogurt does make it a little hotter during saponification so I usually don’t cover and insulate it. I like to put mine in the fridge when I first notice it going into gel phase or if I see any signs of it wanting to crack open on the top. This usually keeps any eruption or glycerin lines from happening. Let me know if that works better for you.

    1. As soon as I started adding everything and mixed it, no delay’s!! It just harden as I was mixing it

    1. I just use plain ‘ol plain yogurt! In fact, many times I’ve used homemade yogurt. I’ve never had double cream yogurt but it sounds delicious! I’m guessing that it would be fine to use in the recipe.

    2. I don’t recall what kind of plain yogurt i ised but at the end, it turned out fine. Tnx

  13. Hi, I loved the idea of this recipe and I did it, however a few things happened and I don’t know if I did something wrong. 1. I added the yogurt at light trace as you said, mixed it and then the fragrances and mixed it again but it started hardening so much that I could barely put it in the mold. 2. After 2 1/2 days I cut it and even though the cutting went really smooth and i liked the fact that there was no grease like in other soaps, I noticed there was a line of different color (like orange), on the exterior part and the inside of the soap was more yellowish. It doesn’t look bad, in fact looks quite nice!!! 3. It also grew. Thank you and I’m waiting to see how this feels on my skin

  14. This looks great! I’ve been making soap for awhile but have never used dairy products or essential oils. A couple of questions. Do you put the yogurt and EOs in at the same time (ie does the order matter)? And is there any difference in curing time and/or storing the bars due to the dairy content?

    1. I usually put whatever additives in before any essential oils or fragrance oils. Certain oils can cause soap to seize so I usually add it at the very end – just in case. I haven’t noticed any difference at all with the curing or storing time for the bars! They’re just like any other soaps but creamier.

  15. it sounds wonderful and I will give it a try…however I wouldlike to share some wisdom… 🙂 Please try to avoid lemon and orange essential oils when making soap or face and body cream coz there is a danger of skin discoloration… it only happens gradually so u r not able to notice it before it too late.. |I know it smells wonderful but…
    kisses from sunny Greece

  16. Hi,
    yesterday I make the yogurt soap and I think is OK. The color is different from yours but I hope in time it will be change.The smell is awesome.
    Thank you soo much from all your recipe who share with us.
    My english it’s not so good but I thik you’ll understand me.
    Thank you again

  17. Hi,
    I think I am still sleeping. Your olive oil is irish green or light green. I think the colour of that oil matter in the soap colour.
    Thank You.

    1. Hi!
      To answer your earlier comment, yes, you can add honey at trace. I’d probably only add 1-2 Tbs since this isn’t a huge batch.
      Also, I don’t find the olive oil to be too darkening. I’m not looking for this to be a white soap so it isn’t too much of a concern to me. Yes, the color occurs naturally from the ingredients.

  18. Reblogged this on Whistling Trees Rabbitry and commented:
    Alright, I just saw this on a blog I follow and it sounded wonderful. Although I do not have supplies to make ANY soap, once the goats start a milkin’, I will be making a lot of soap. I really need to order some beeswax and lye!

  19. Your yogurt soap looks great and the lemon lavender combination sounds awesome! I’m happy to have found a fellow yogurt soap lover. 🙂
    Thank you for the shout-out, Emily!

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