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led astray

January 2013

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led astray


Tonight I tried out the soap I made (all by myself) in the shower. This is a report of my findings. The bar itself is soft and a bit floppy. Not at all like the bars you get at the store. The stuff I put in it all sank to the bottom, creating an interesting layered effect. The bad part is that it all turned brown, most likely due to the chemical reaction taking place, and it leavs a brown mark wherever it is laid to rest. However, because it is soap, it washes away easily. It would just be scary if someone didn't know what was going on, and would have skeeved me out if I hadn't been its creator. It smells mostly the way it did last month when it was made, just faded. I used a high fat to lye ratio because I have fair, sensitive skin. There were different brackets for hand soap, body soap and face soap, so I used the face soap bracket, figuring that gentler is better. I think this is at least partially responsible for the bar being so soft, but it's not falling apart, so I am content. However, this also gives the scant lather a slightly oily feel. It washes away fine though. I don't feel residue or oily at all. I am pretty pleased with the way my face feels after using it, and that's saying something. The delicate bits are feeling fine, so the reaction is complete ( there would have burning if it was incomplete due to free lye). There was a bit of chest itching when I was towling off, but this was mild and short lived compared to most manufactured soaps I have used. I used a combination of corn and avocado oils for the base, threw in powdered green tea leaves for thier antioxidant qualities, some powdered basil, eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil for scenting. Overall, i'm pretty happy that I didn't blow anything up. The first batch passes. I think the next batch will use different oil and different floaty bits and smells.


You might want to try coconut oil - it's a little bit drying (I normally cut it with some olive oil), but it firms up the soap, and gives a little bit more lather.

Depending on wether you want to do it in one part or two, you can make the soap base, and then add the extras after it's saponified - or just heat up the finished product and remold it. (Then again, I've made some pretty nice soaps that settled instead, so I suppose it depends on the effect you're going for.)

We'll have to swap recipes some time. I've never tried basil before...
I want to avoid coconut oil. I have really sensitive skin, so I am trying to stay with the gentler oils. I don't mind having a soft bar. I was going to try all olive oil next.

I added the chunks at trace, just before I put them into molds.

The basil just seemed a nice earthy-sweet smell that wasn't too "flowery" for the men in the house to use.