With the market for artisanal soaps and luxury toiletries flourishing at the moment, many new businesses are showing an interest in developing their own ranges of soaps, shower gels and hand washes. At the same time, well-established companies and brands are looking to introduce new ranges and to innovate unique products for their customers.

This guide for businesses is designed to help companies to understand what is involved in the creation of exquisite craft soaps and luxury beauty products.

We will explain our thoughts on what the different soap bases are and how they are used. We will also look in detail at some of our favourite O&3 soap bases that are currently available to order. Finally, we will look at a simple recipe example that illustrates how our bases and essential oils can be effectively combined to produce an exciting new soap product with a USP.

Article Contents

  • What are Melt & Pour and Liquid Soap Bases?
  • Melt & Pour Soapmaking
  • Melt & Pour vs. Liquid Base Soaps
  • Some of Our Favourite Soap Bases for Businesses
  • 3 in 1 Body Wash Base
  • Easy Lotion Base
  • Bodywash Certified Organic Base
  • Melt & Pour Carrot Cucumber & Aloe Base
  • Melt & Pour 100% RSPO Palm Base
  • Melt & Pour Crystal Suspending Base
  • Recipe Example for a Simple Layered Soap Bar
  • Technique Outline
  • Conclusion

What Are Melt & Pour And Liquid Soap Bases?

Melt & Pour and liquid soap bases form the foundation of soaps, shower gels, hand washes and a whole host of specialist toiletries.

These bases are ideal for the craft market because they simplify the production process, meaning that companies can create specialist soaps and beauty products on a small scale without the need to invest heavily in specialist equipment. They are also very well suited to manufacturers with large-scale, automated production because they provide a simple means of producing unique twists on classic products.

Melt & Pour Soapmaking

Melt & Pour Soap bases are used for creating traditional bar soap. First, the base, which comes as a solid, is melted – this is usually at a temperature of around 50 degrees centigrade. (In fact, each O&3 base has a slightly different melting point. It ranges from 49 – 64 degrees centigrade but 50 degrees is typical).

From here, the fragrance and the colour are added to the base. This is the stage at which the soap is given its identity and the product really comes alive. Using our essential oils, either just as they are or carefully blended, a few drops are added to the base and mixed in to create a soap with a unique character.

Once thoroughly mixed, the soap is poured into a mould and left to cool. This is the stage at which the shape of the soap is formed. Any number of designs are possible here, from a simple, traditional rectangular block to more unusual forms such as heart shapes, shells and leaves, or novelty designs such as fruits, lips and fish. This is also the stage at which branding can be set into the soap. After cooling, the soap is ready to be pushed out of the mould, cut and packaged.

Melt & Pour vs. Liquid Base Soaps

Liquid base soap products include hand washes with pump dispensers, shower gels, bath gels and, in fact, most soap products that will finally be used by customers in a liquid form. Unlike with Melt & Pour, the liquid base does not require melting before being crafted. The essential oils are added to the base, thoroughly stirred and then the process is completed by the addition of a salt solution to thicken the soap. No moulding is required for liquid soap – the finished product is simply poured into bottles ready for its final branding and packaging.

Some of our favourite soap bases for businesses

The following products are some of our favourite soap bases for business. They show the range that we offer at O&3 and give an indication of the versatility of our products. (See our full selection of soap bases here.)

3 in 1 Body Wash Base

Our 3 in 1 Body Wash Base is an incredibly versatile base that can be used to create a hand wash, a shower gel or a bubble bath by simply adding colour, fragrances and additives. It is suitable for all skin types and paraben free, yet at the same time offers fantastic foam and lathering levels. Since it is naturally clear, this transparent liquid is easily coloured and comes pre-preserved and pre-thickened for ease of processing.

Easy Lotion Base

This Easy Lotion Base is not designed for bar soap or a gel but rather for a body lotion that leaves the skin feeling silky. It is produced using sunflower oil and is enriched with Vitamin E. There is absolutely no thickening required with this base – it can be blended with colour, fragrance, essential oils and additives and then used in either bottles or pump dispensers.

Bodywash Certified Organic Base

We’re particularly proud of this Bodywash Certified Organic Base; it contains organic glycerine derived from sunflower oil and coconut oil and is certified by the Soil Association. Blended with gentle surfactants, this base provides a creamy lather and is pre-thickened so requires only the addition of essential oils or fragrance for an exceptional bodywash. You can read more about our organic certifications in our blog post – Quality Guaranteed: Our Organic Certifications

Melt & Pour Carrot Cucumber & Aloe Base

This Melt & Pour Carrot Cucumber & Aloe Base is made using natural carrot oil, cucumber seed oil and aloe vera. It is rich in Beta Carotene and ProVitamin A and contains Vitamin E, b1 and C, as well as Omega-6 fatty acids. Due to its high glycerine content, it helps ease acne, eczema and rashes. This is a delightful vegetable-based product that is PEG and paraben-free with no SLS or SLES.

Melt & Pour 100% RSPO Palm Base

Our fantastic Melt & Pour 100% RSPO Palm Base is particularly well-suited to companies that prioritise the provenance of their beauty products and their environmental impact. It is made with 100% RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certified segregated Palm Oil and Palm Kernel Oil. Additionally, it offers excellent foaming and lather and superior colour stability even if kept at a high temperature for extended periods.

Melt & Pour Crystal Suspending Base

The O&3 Melt & Pour Crystal Suspending Base is unusual in that it allows for some very exciting soap bars that incorporate suspended particles into the design. Perfect, then, for the inclusion of everything from microbeads to fruit pieces, this bar also foams exceptionally well and is highly moisturising for the skin.

Recipe Example for a Simple Layered Bar Soap

The following recipe example illustrates how our soap bases and essential oils can be combined to produce original soap designs on either a small or large scale.

This layered rosemary and lavender soap incorporates two complementary scents and contrasting colours to give it a USP. The base is Melt & Pour ST – Clear Base – one of our most popular Melt & Pour bases. It is used for crystal clear soap bars, is vegetable-based and highly moisturising.

Technique Outline

  • Begin by dividing the soap base into two equal portions –half will be used with rosemary oil and the other half with lavender oil.
  • Make the rosemary batch first by melting your base and combing with our Rosemary (Camphor), Essential oil. This gives a pleasant aroma to the soap and is also a natural anti-inflammatory. Once it is well mixed, pour the soap into your mould and let it partially set.
  • Make the lavender batch in the same way, melting the base and this time combining with our Lavender Essential Oil. This oil, from lavender grown in the mountainous areas of France, lends the soap a delicate yet sharp aroma.
  • To combine the layers, spray the first layer of soap with an alcohol spray and then pour the second layer on top. Allow both layers to completely set before turning out.
  • Finally, cut the soap into individual bars, brand and package.


The O&3 soap base range allows companies to produce original and exciting craft soap products and luxury toiletries at low cost and with a minimum of investment in equipment. Our soap bases are compatible with production on either a small or large scale, making them well-suited to both artisans and larger producers.  We take pride in the provenance of all of our products and always enjoying discussing what we do, and how we do it, with our customers.

If you’re interested in ordering O&3 soap bases and essential oils for your business or have any questions about our soap bases, get in touch with our team today on +44 (0)1765 522120 or get in contact with us here.