This particular soap is one of my most requested. It is a coconut milk bastille soap with cocoa butter and rice bran oil. It is colored with activated charcoal and brick red oxide. It makes a nice hard and light soap that lasts a long time and manages to smell like burning incense.
I have always used fresh aloe vera gel in the place of water for my aloe soap but this time I am testing out an aloe x 10 extract to see how it differs. Because I think aloe is a more soothing soap I designed it to be very conditioning and I upped the super fat to 8%. I usually stay in the 5-6% range unless I am using a lot of coconut oil.
I planned on trying out powdered coconut milk but I decided not to incase it medled with the white color I wanted to achieve.
I figured the combination of Aloe and White Lilac is a good spring soap selection. It should finish curing just before Easter.
I used an emerald green mica sampler. I have experience in the past that green colorants that I have used tend to react strangely with lye. My Hydrated Green turns grey and then back to green again the next day. This one ’emerald green’ turned more blue than green when mixed into the lye and never quite came back to the green it originally was.
For this soap: Palm, coconuts and salt for hardness. Hemp seed, shea and olive for conditioning. Bamboo, algae and charcoal for colorant, and mild exfoliation. Castor and sugar for lots of lather.
This is a basic vegetable based soap, made of olive oil, palm oil, coconut oil, rice bran oil, cocoa butter and castor oil. I added 1 teaspoon of sea salt and sugar to the oil and I replaced half of the distilled water with coconut milk.
For the colorant I separated the batter into three parts and blended in brick red oxide and activated charcoal, I used activated charcoal and some titanium dioxide for the grey.
I was looking for a thicker trace to do a drop swirl that wont instantly blend, plus alternating hangar swirls.
The scent is Dragon’s Blood, the resin from the dracena tropical plant.
Pine tar is made from placing pine in a kiln and heating it until it becomes charcoal and pine tar, which drips down from the wood and is caught in a container.
Pine tar has been used for centuries for sealing wood, protecting rope from sea water, for bug bites and skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis. Despite advances in modern medicine pine tar soap is still around and people with skin conditions still use it. As to if they are being old-timey or it’s still relevant in comparison I cannot say. It does however make a uniquely wonderful soap.
A caution however, when wood burns it releases creosote which is a carcinogen, most pine tar contains some creosote. But you also have to consider other interactions you may have with creosote for perspective, when you eat BBQ for instance, or use liquid smoke on your food, you are ingesting creosote. There is creosote free pine tar for those who wish to eliminate creosote though it can occasionally be hard to find closed kiln pine tar.
I has a very strong scent you will not be able to mask with a fragrance oil. It smells a bit like pine, rubber and smoke. Some fragrances that can work well with it are peppermint, patchouli, rosemary, cedar wood, tea tree and fir needle. You can also leave it unscented, eventually the pine tar scent will mellow. I choose to scent mine with Siberian Fir needle essential oil, it smells like pine trees and camp fire with a hint of kerosene.
There are several methods to adding the pine tar, it is recommended you add it to your oils before you add the lye water. Then blend it to thin trace and pour immediately. You can also add it just after emulsification at the thinnest trace but you should use a whisk once it has been added because it will thicken incredibly fast. Pour it as soon as you have it mixed well or it will solidify and you will be scooping and squishing it into your mold. If you add your pine tar at emulsification and whisk you should give yourself no more than 60 seconds from the addition of the pine tar before pouring, the faster the better.
This soap will be a bit soft in terms of unmolding. I let mine sit for a bit longer than usual before unmolding and cutting. I added extra water to this recipe to help with how fast it was going to thicken. I am planning on it taking 3-6 months for a full cure before this soap will be at it’s best.
317 g olive oil
272 g lard
91 g coconut oil
91 g palm oil
136 g pine tar
365 g distilled water
111 g sodium hydroxide
I have a great love of salt bars and I have been wanting to try a brine soap. Soleseife is a German soap made from salt water and coconut oil, also known as Brine Soap or Salt Water Soap the salt makes for a smooth extremely hard bar of soap. The only difference between this and a salt bar is I am dissolving the salt into the water before I add the lye, I am using 80% coconut oil, 15% olive oil and 5% Sunflower oil with a 10% superfat. I added Breton sea salt at 25% of the water weight. I will split the batch once emulsified and fragrance is added and then add Bentonite clay to half and rose clay to the other. I expect this to have much of the same behavior as salt bars and harden quickly. I will use individual molds. because trying to cut a bar of this is just asking for disaster. This type of soap is ideal for using delicate soap molds.
This recipe can be fiddled around with a bit, just make sure it is properly recalculated with a soap calculator. Coconut oil is one of the only oils that can lather is salt water. However you want to keep the coconut oil content above 50% and superfat high, at a 10-20% range so that it is not drying. Clay usually makes for small bubbles so if you want big bubbles you would want to leave out the clay. I scented this batch with ‘bite me’ from Nature’s Garden.
If you are looking for an exfoliating bar of soap you can add the salt at trace instead of dissolve it, here is a link to a salt bar recipe.
The oil you use can effect the overall color of your finished soap. If you want a beautiful white then lard is a good choice. Another good addition was rice bran oil, it tends to make a soap look shinier.
Soap Method: Cold Process
Design Method: In the Pot Swirl
Mold: Tall & Skinny
Soaping Temperature: 117 (oil) 130 (Lye)
Fragrance: Aqua Di Gio from Natures Garden
440 g manteca
330 g coconut oil
110 g castor oil
110 rice bran oil
110 g shea butter
330 g H2O
15.7 g NaOH
34 g fragrance
Mica: Caribbean blue, celestial blue and black knight mica’s from Brambleberry and Natures Garden.
I used a lot of rice bran oil, Shea butter and cocoa butter in this recipe and bentonite clay. The clay adds some slip to this soap as well as changing the texture of the bubbles to be dense and foamy. Because of the clay the batter set up faster than I was prepared for, I didn’t have a chance to flatten out the tops before they were solid but these are just for family so it doesn’t matter much.