I’ve wanted to make an oatmeal milk bar for a long time—they’re one of the quintessential bars of soap. Mild, classic, and comforting. So I finally got around to making one… and the strangest thing happened overnight. It turned bright red. I have absolutely no idea why.


I used my cheater’s way of doing a milk base; I added powdered milk powder at trace, along with the white white kaolin clay (USA / Canada) (I blitzed everything together in a coffee grinder to break up lumps). I added two different textures of rolled oats; one finely ground, and the other roughly chopped (a coffee grinder comes in handy here as well).


The essential oils are lavender and cinnamon. They seemed like the perfect pairing for an oatmeal milk bar; calming and warm, with a hint of spice. Like a cross between an oatmeal cookie and an oatmeal bath. Mmm.


And all went well—the soap was creamy and beige when I poured it. And somehow, as it saponified, it turned a bright, beautiful red. How strange, yet beautiful.

Cinnamon Oatmeal Soap

40% olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada)
25% refined coconut oil (USA / Canada)
20% lard or beef tallow (why?)
5% castor oil (USA / Canada)
5% oat oil
5% unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada)

Per 500g/1.1lbs of oils:

Calculate to a 5% superfat

2020 update: Given the irritation potential for cinnamon essential oil, I’d recommend using a cinnamon-y fragrance oil rather than the essential oil. Please refer to supplier documentation for maximum usage rates for the particular fragrance oil you’re using when used in soap/rinse-off products. This probably means the soap won’t turn red anymore, unfortunately, but your safety is more important than red soap!

Unsure about how to use SoapCalc? I made a video to walk you through it! Please ensure you’re familiar with standard soap making procedure before diving in.

Once you reach trace, blend in the essential oils, clay, blitzed oats, and milk powder with your immersion blender. Once that’s smooth, stir in the chopped oats.

Pour the soap into your mould, insulate it, and let the soap saponify for 24 hours before slicing (it should turn red as it saponifies!). Let cure for a minimum of three weeks before using. Enjoy!