First soap of the year

So, for the first time I’ve actually made a soap because I needed it.  For the past year or so I have replaced my morning rinse-off cleanser with my own Lavender Facial Soap.  Now I’m not saying it’s any better than my expensive French skin care, but it certainly isn’t any worse.  It does just as good a job at cleansing, in fact I find it more effective at removing my mascara (oops!  I may just have let slip that I sometimes sleep in my makeup … time for a New Year Resolution me thinks).  My skin doesn’t feel any tighter or drier using soap instead of cleanser.  And, it’s a lot cheaper.  So I’m a definite convert to good old soap and water.

However, I was down to my last bar so it was time to make some more.  My original recipe was 90% olive oil and 10% rosehip oil with, as always, Tussah silk and goats’ milk powder plus some pink clay and a little bit of lavender essential oil.  For this batch I decided to make the Oatmeal Soap for Babies from Soap Queen, Anne-Marie Faiola’s fantastic new book Pure Soapmaking. This had more olive oil than my original recipe (92%) but also 5% shea butter and 3% castor oil, as well as bentonite clay and colloidal oatmeal.  I’ve made soap with oatmeal before and it is so soothing, and I had hoped that including castor oil would help to boost the lather a little.  Of course, I had to add some milk and silk and this time I also added 28g (1 oz) of honey.  After all, what’s not to like about milk, honey and oats.  I also hoped that the addition of a little natural sugar might boost the lather as well.

I made the soap in my trusty cylinder mould (aka Pringles tube) lined with a silicon 20170121_134003mat for a little interest since it was colour free.  It was also fragrance free and I have to say it still smells rather nice.  However, today I tried actually using a bar and I’m not blown away by the lather.  In fact there is none.  It creates something more like a lotion, and a slightly slimy one at that.   It’s certainly feels gentle on the skin, and rinses away cleanly, so I’ll be happy enough to use it.  However, I might reformulate and return to my original formula, but infuse the olive oil and add a little oatmeal as per Anne-Marie’s recipe.  Not sure about the honey – could that have caused the tackiness in the lather?  If you’re a more experienced soapmaker I’d welcome your thoughts.

Happy soaping in 2017!!


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