Archive for the ‘soap ingredients’ Category

In the Pot Swirl Soap

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

in the pot swirl soap Soaping with the cold process method allows you to create some really beautiful bars.  Not only are these bars creamy, bubbly, and cleansing, but they are also conditioning.  Plus, with the right recipe, bars can contain skin loving ingredients that nourish your skin too.

There are various ways to achieve beautiful designs in your cold process bars.  Some of the more popular designs include:  the peacock swirl, the mantra swirl, and the mica swirl. You can even try your hand at marbling your soap if you like.

When it comes to swirling, this is where you really get to let your creativity soar.  Through colors and varying design techniques, you can take your wonderful soap recipe and make the visual aspect just as appealing as the skin nourishing one!

The ideal scent when making cold process soap is one that is a Perfect Pour.  What this means is that the fragrance oil does not accelerate trace, rice, or discolor.  However, many times with floral scents, acceleration is a part of the package.  Although swirling is not impossible to achieve with an accelerator, it can be difficult if you do not move fast enough.  There is however, a swirling method that can be done when a fragrance oil accelerates trace.  This is known as the in the pot swirl.

Here is how to make an in the pot swirl soap.  The recipe, steps, and photos are included to help.  With the exemption of the lye and water, all of the ingredients for this soaping venture can be purchased at Natures Garden.  Although for this recipe, the Peace Sign Mold was used, any mold that is cold process soap safe will work.  To see the full list of soap molds available, please click on this link.

If you have never made cold process soap before, please click here for a  Basic CP Soap Making Class. Also, before attempting to make any cold process soap, please become familiar with Soap Making Safety Class first.

The Recipe:
108 grams of water
40 grams of lye
20 grams of Apricot Kernel Oil
11 grams of Castor Oil
85 grams of Coconut Oil 76
40 grams of Mango Butter
43 grams of Palm Oil
37 grams of Shea Butter
48 grams of Sunflower Oil
17 grams of Sodium Lactate
18 grams of Peace Fragrance Oil
18 grams of Vanilla White Color Stabilizer
FUN Soap Colorants: Neon Red, Neon Yellow, Neon Orange, Neon Blue, Ultramarine Violet

The Process:
Step 1: 
Put on your  safety gloves,  apron, safety mask, and safety glasses.

safety gear for soap making

Step 2:  Weigh out your lye and water.  In a well ventilated area, slowly pour the lye into the water.  Use a spatula to stir slowly.  Keep stirring until no lye granules are left in the water.  Do not breathe in any of the lye water fumes.  Allow this to cool to around 90-100 degrees F.

stirring the lye water

Step 3:  According to the recipe, in a pot weigh out the coconut oil 76, mango butter, palm oil, and shea butter.  Melt all of these ingredients down on low heat until each one is in a liquid state.  Stir.  Then add the apricot kernel oil, castor oil, and sunflower oil.  Stir again.  Remove from heat.  Transfer all of this into your mixing bowl.

melting your oils and butters

Step 4:  Now, get your 5 mixing bowls.  Assign each bowl a color.  Then, weigh out 2 grams of each neon colorant in its specific bowl.  The ultramarine violet bowl needs 4 grams weighed out.  A great tip:  Reuse the containers from the 1lb Whipped Soap Base.  They make perfect mixing bowls for colorant in cold process soaping!

weighing out the colorant for soap

Step 5:  Check the temperature of the lye water.  When it is cooled to around 90-100 degrees F, add your 17 grams of Sodium Lactate.  Stir carefully.  Now, once the temperatures of the lye water and the soaping oils and butters are within 5-10 degrees of one another, it is time to move on to the next step.

adding sodium lactate

Step 6:  Slowly pour the lye water/sodium lactate into your oils and butters bowl.  Use a spatula to get all of this out and into the other bowl.

mixing the oils, butters, and lye water

Step 7:  Using your stick blender, begin to mix everything together.  You will notice your batter will begin to look creamy and thicken slightly.  Now, stop blending.

stick blending cold process soap

Step 8:  Add your fragrance oil.

adding scent to in the pot swirl

Step 9:  Now add your Vanilla White Color Stabilizer.  Once added, stick blend to incorporate.  Do not forget to scrap the sides with a spatula.

preventing discoloration in soap

 

Step 10:  Now, place 90 grams of the soap batter into each bowl.  Stir well with a spoon.  This will help slow down trace.  Then, starting with the yellow soap, pour it back into the mixing bowl.  Try your best to keep it in one area.

multiple color in the pot swirl

 

Step 11:  Repeat with the orange.

second color in the pot swirl

Step 12:  Now, the red.

adding red in the pot swirl

Step 13:  Then the purple.

adding the purple batter
Step 14:  Finally, get your blue soap batter into the bowl.

all five colors in the pot swirl

Step 15:  Get your spatula, start by placing it alongside the inside bottom edge of the bowl.  Then, come straight up the center of the bowl.  When you reach the top, pick the spatula up.  Now, starring on one side, begin your swirls (using the spatula).  Repeat on the other side.  Do not over swirl.

step by step in the pot swirl
Step 16:
  Grab your mold.  Then begin to pour the soap batter into each mold opening.

molding the in the pot swirl

Step 17:  Once the mold is filled, cover it with plastic wrap.  When the soap has hardened enough to move, place the mold somewhere it will not be disturbed.

insulating your soap
Step 18: 
After your soap has set for 24 hours, place it in the freezer for about 10 minutes.  This step will help to release the soap from the mold.  Then, carefully remove the soaps from the mold.

unmolded soap

Step 19:  Now, allow your soap to finish curing before use.

Congratulations, you just completed an in the pot swirl technique!  Note:  You will notice as your soap cures that the neon colors will become more vivid.

After the cure, your in the pot swirl soap is now finished.  The ending bar will be nice and firm.  The lather will be creamy and filled with lots of bubbles.  These bars will cleanse, yet still provide your skin conditioning elements.  Enjoy!

Natures Garden is not responsible for the performance of any of the recipes provided on our website. Testing is your responsibility. If you plan to resell any recipes we provide, it is your responsibility to adhere to all FDA regulations. If there are ingredients listed in a recipe that Natures Garden does not sell, we cannot offer any advice on where to purchase those ingredients.

Patchouli

Friday, January 10th, 2014

patchouli essential oil Facts about Patchouli

In America, when most people hear the word patchouli, they immediately think of hippies, universal love for one another, and tie dyed peace signs. But patchouli is so much more than that and has quite an interesting history.

Deriving its name from the Tamil language (the official dialect of Singapore and Sri Lanka), patchouli means “green leaf”.  A robust and extremely fragrant plant; especially when rubbed, patchouli’s scent has been used for centuries in perfumes.

Belonging to the genus Pogostemon, patchouli is a green, leafy herb that is in the mint family.  Growing best in hot, tropical climates; patchouli thrives when it is not in direct sunlight and has the potential of reaching a height of 2-3 ft.  Contrary to common belief, patchouli is more than just leaves; the plant also has flowers that bloom in late fall.  These flowers produce seeds that can be harvested to produce even more patchouli plants.

There are two ways to grow patchouli.  The first is to attain cuttings from the mother plant.  These cuttings are then rooted in water and will cultivate additional patchouli plants.  The second way to grow patchouli is to plant the seeds of the flowers.  The only hesitance with this way is that patchouli seeds are very small and have to be handled with great care.  These seeds are extremely fragile and can be easily crushed, deeming them useless.

When it comes to harvesting patchouli, the leaves of the plant can be collected several times in one year.  However, the strongest scent/oil comes from the top 3-4 pairs of leaves in the patchouli plant.  In order to attain the extraction of patchouli essential oil from these leaves, the leaves must go through a steam distillation process.  This is typically achieved with dried patchouli leaves.  However, there are some claims that to achieve the highest quality of patchouli essential oil, fresh leaves should be distilled.  Ideally, close to where the leaves are harvested, ensuring true freshness.

There are other ways to obtain patchouli essential oil.  One is through a fermentation process.  This process involves bundling the dry patchouli leaves and allowing them to ferment for a long period of time.

The essential oil of patchouli is a rich, earthy aroma with a woody yet minty undertone.  One of the most notable characteristics of this essential oil is that it actually improves over time.  The two most sought out components of patchouli essential oil are patchoulol and norpatchoulenol.

Although, it is true that patchouli essential oil is vital to the perfume industry, patchouli also had another massive worth in history.  Patchouli is believed to be an insect repellent.  It was common place for silk traders of the oriental to pack the valuable silk that they were trading with dried patchouli leaves.  Not only did the leaves prevent the mating of moths on the traders’ silk, but also hindered the moth from laying eggs on the precious silk as well.

This practice, which had started as a means of protection for the silk, ended with patchouli being considered an affluent scent.  Historians now hypothesize that due to the fragrant nature of patchouli; much of the traded silk acquired the aroma during the long travel.  Before long the distinguished scent of patchouli marked authenticity in traded fabric goods although the vast majority did not know what it was called.

One of the possible explanations as to why patchouli was considered an upscale scent to Europeans of that time is due to a notable historical conqueror.  The infamous Napoleon Bonaparte attained some of these patchouli scented cashmeres, through his vast travels to Egypt.  He then brought them back to France.  This mysterious scent of patchouli and its origin were kept secret, and it was not until the year 1837, that the smell and the source were identified to the remainder of the western world.

Making Cold Process Wine Soap

Friday, November 1st, 2013

wine-soap1

If you are looking to add an alluring ingredient to your handmade cold process soaps, wine is one way to go.

Wine in Soaps?

Yes, it is true.  Wine is used in a variety of ways- cooking, drinking, and now even for body care.  Because wine is made from grapes, wine adds an extra aspect of antioxidants and rich nutrients to your product.  And, besides the skin loving benefits, wine also offers a highly luxurious lather, rich in creamy bubbles to your finished soap bars.

Soaping with Wine

Please Note:  Soaping with wine is a more advanced process.  Therefore, if you are new to soaping, you may want to give this recipe a try once you are completely comfortable with the soaping process and have a few cold process soap batches under your belt.

After making several recipes involving unique ingredients in cold process soap, we decided that we were ready to give the addition of wine a try.  Just like with beer soap, the extra ingredient of wine is not something that can be taken lightly or on a whim.

Before cold process soaping with wine, there are proper steps that need to be taken.

The first step in preparing your wine is the simmer.  This step is completed by placing the wine into a pot.  Then, on the stovetop and stirring occasionally, simmer the wine for 30-40 minutes.  Then, the final step in prepping the wine is the freeze.  Once the wine is back to room temperature, carefully place the wine in an empty ice cube tray.  Finally, place the ice cube tray into the freezer and freeze overnight.
Once the wine is frozen, it is now ready for soaping use.

For this recipe, the wine is used as half of the water amount.

Now, when adding the lye to the frozen wine/water, the best precaution to take (besides the regular safety gear and steps) is to mix this portion of the recipe in a deep bowl or pitcher in the sink.  This way, if there is any chance of a volcano effect taking place the sink will minimize the affected area.
The rest of the soaping recipe steps take place as normal.

And, that was all we were prepared for.  However, once the batter was poured into the mold, it decided that it was going to wail a final surprise.

The two pound batch that we were testing was perfectly peaked with gorgeous crests both big and small.  The color of the batter was perfect.  Everything seemed to be great.  When suddenly out of nowhere the batter started to move as if it had taken on a life of its own.  Next, the batter started to spat and bubble.  And, what we conceived was a final battle of disobedience, the soap batter came oozing out of the middle of the mold.

All we could do was take our spatulas and work as fast as we could to try to get the batter back into the mold.  The batter seemed to be unruly.  We thought for sure this batch was done for.  It did take some time, but about 30 minutes after the pour, the batter had settled.  We finally assumed the “drunk had fallen asleep.”

What had happened:

After reviewing our recipe, our steps, and the outcome of what had happened we found the problem.   Cold Process Soaping with a wine that has a high sugar content speeds up gel.  That is what caused the bubbling and spatting in the batter.  A word to the wise is to prepare for this to occur by safe guarding the area where your molds lay.  When using wine in your soap recipes, we suggest using a wine with a low sugar content.

In the End:

Soaping with wine was quite an experience but totally worth the extra effort!   The color of the bars is a perfect wine hue.  The lather of the soap bar is luxurious and creamy.  This recipe, even with its unruliness, was a win.

Since the wine is added as half the water portion of the recipe, you can use any of your favorite cold process soap recipes.  However, if you would like a Wine Cold Process Soap Recipe, Natures Garden has one listed under their free recipes and classes section of their website.  Or, you can simply click here to see the 4 pound Wine Soap Recipe.

Adding Beeswax to a Soaping Recipe

Thursday, October 17th, 2013
beeswax

Adding beeswax to your cold process recipes provides a harder, long lasting bar of soap.

So, we had a brilliant idea, and we ran with it.  But, as we learned having a brilliant idea does not always equate to a brilliant end result.  Instead, our brilliant idea was a learning experience!

The Scenario

It all started out with the scent Nectarine and Honey, which by the way happens to be a fabulous scent.  In true Natures Garden form, we wanted to take this fragrance oil and kick it up a notch.  So, to the brainstorming mobile we went- hello think tank!  Back and forth the creative ideas started flowing- anything that was related to nectarine and/or honey was noted.  What resulted was a cold process soap recipe focused around the scent Nectarine and Honey that would incorporate bee products; Honey, Beeswax, and Bee Pollen Powder.  Once we knew how luxurious this soap was going to be, the clever name Royal Honey Bee Soap seemed to be the perfect match.

The Special Bee Ingredients

Honey was an easy choice.  We know that honey contains awesome skin loving benefits.  It is a detoxifier, loaded with antioxidants, and it’s very moisturizing.  After using body products with honey your skin feels extremely soft and supple.  Through our research we found that even Cleopatra herself bathed in honey and milk to supplement her natural loveliness and beautiful, soft skin.

Bee Pollen Powder was also chosen for the benefits it provides to the skin.  Bee pollen is rich in vitamins, amino acids, and minerals.  Products with bee pollen powder leave your skin feeling naturally soft and smooth.

Beeswax was selected as our warrior.  Although this ingredient is commonly used to help harden soaps, (making them last longer) we wanted it for a different reason. It also brought another element to the table- it locks in moisture for your skin.  Besides helping to keep your skin moisturized, after using products that include beeswax- a thin protective layer is left- a shield for your skin against the harsh outside elements of your environment.

We were set.  Super excited about how magnificent this recipe was going to be, we happily plugged our ingredients into Soap Calc, double checked our values, and moved on to the testing stage.

The Creation

Everything was set.  The lye solution was cooling.  The beeswax, butters, and oils were melted.  We were just waiting on the green light (temperatures).  The excitement was thick in the air.

Finally, the time had arrived.  The soaping procedure was normal.  Really, the only changes were: honey was added at light trace, and the bee pollen at trace.  This was easy!

The soap batter was beautiful- thick, creamy and smelled divine.  There was no denying it; you could just envision how great these bars were going to turn out after cure.  Seeing this gorgeous masterpiece coming together was intoxicating.  The anticipation of molding this batter was building, and we couldn’t wait to get started.

Since Nectarine and Honey fragrance oil naturally discolors to a creamy peach and the addition of bee pollen powder will add somewhat of a yellow hue, we thought this final color would be perfect.  So, really the only thing we wanted to accomplish was a heaped loaf with peaks.  Easy, right?

Yes, it was… so easy!  The batter was poured and heaped through the center of the mold.  We felt like Pablo Picasso working on a yet to be viral masterpiece.  Everything was going as planned.  Once we started peaking with a spatula, it was perfection in its finest hour.  Each peak held to the spatula and gracefully formed the most breath-taking, stunning crests.  The playful batter was alluring, begging for more peaks, and we did just that.  We peaked and played until it was perfect.  The soap batter was not only enchanting, but also captivating visually.  It was quite possible that we may have just stumbled upon a divine soap recipe- one to go down through the ages. 

After waiting the 24 hours to remove the soap from the mold, it was almost too much to handle.  We couldn’t wait to get these beauties out and cut; let alone the rest of the cure time.  But, we did- that’s soaping 101; it comes with the territory.

Finally- the Cure is Over

The first day that the soap was finished, we couldn’t wait to give it a try.  The bars were angelic.  The color was flawless, the bars were nice and hard, the scent retention was amazing!  We just had to try them out.  To the sink we went, and this is where our demise met us.

We soaped, and we were heartbroken.  Although everything seemed to be perfect throughout this whole process, our soap bars were crumbly.  Too crumbly!  We were defeated, and it was the beeswax that was the culprit.  The same ingredient that memorized us with its playful nature in the soap batter was now our arch enemy in the final product.  We felt as though we were victims to the sirens of the soaping world.  Back to the drawing board.

Analysis

After reviewing our notes and recipe, we found that the percentage of beeswax we used in the original recipe was too high (10%).  Investigating further, we found that the normal usage rate for this ingredient was a mere 1-2%.  Yikes!

honey soap

This is a finished and cured bar of Royal Honey Bee Soap by Natures Garden.

We did recalculate and remake the Royal Honey Bee Soap Recipe.  However, this time we decided to leave out the beeswax.  The bars were still gorgeous, soothing, and the scent retention was phenomenal.  After using it our skin did feel soft, supple, and nourished.  The honey added an extravagant element of luscious royalty.  The soap bars were still a win even without the beeswax.

In hind sight- we will try again to create a soap recipe that includes beeswax just not at 10%.  Sometimes, the most memorable lessons in life are the ones that you have to see for yourself- even if they result in less than desirable outcomes.

Soap Making with Milk

Monday, October 14th, 2013
cleopatra1

This cold process soap was made with heavy whipping cream. These bars have a very luxurious, creamy, lather and is super nourishing for your skin.

Soap Making with Milk

In today’s market, some of the most popular cold process soap recipes are the ones that involve dairy products such as milks, creams, and yogurts.  The reasoning behind this popularity is the fact that cold process soap recipes that use dairy products actually result in finished bars that are very creamy, luscious, soothing, and moisturizing.  In fact, milk itself is a gentle exfoliant- a perfect remedy for any sensitive skin types.  This is because milk contains lactic acid, which slightly reduces the alkalinity of soap.

When it comes down to making the cold process soap recipe, dairy products can be added (if applicable) in 3 forms:
1. Fresh (can be added as water for the lye solution, part of the water for lye solution, added to your room temperature oils before the lye solution, or  added at light trace.)
2. Powdered (combined with a small amount of oil or water to make a liquid- then added at light trace and hand whisked in until incorporated.)
3. Canned (used as half the water amount of the water ratio.  This is usually added to oils before the lye solution to make the soap batter.)

With the exception of the powdered, both the fresh and canned are commonly used in a frozen or slushy (almost frozen) state.  This is done for two reasons.  The first is to help control the lye solution temperature and the second is to help prevent the dairy product from burning.  Burnt dairy products have a very distinct smell and will turn your soap batter a bright orangish color.  This is due to the heated lye solution caramelizing the sugars in the milk.  A great step to help minimize this reaction is to give the container you are mixing your lye solution in an ice bath.  The other option that you have is to add the frozen/slushy dairy product at trace, allowing the batter to thaw the frozen like diary product.  Then, blend well with a stick blender to incorporate.

Temperature is everything.

One of the most important things to realize when working with dairy products is their sensitivity to heat.  This comes into play if you are mixing all or some of the dairy product to make the lye solution (which heats as the reaction is taking place.)  Dairy products will burn and/or curdle if not combined correctly.  The best way to combat this is to closely monitor the temperature of the lye solution using a thermometer.  You never want the temperature to go above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  The other tip to help control the heat of the lye solution is to take your time when adding the lye.  Sprinkle in small amounts and stir.  The key is to wait a few minutes in between the next small addition of lye again.  Do not be afraid to truly take your time with this step.  A good time gauge to set for yourself is 10-15 minutes to add all of the lye to the lye solution.  This will help control the overall temperature of the lye solution.

There is no set rule as to how much of the dairy product to use as the water portion of the lye solution.  Some soapers prefer to use the dairy as the full water portion.  Others play it safe by using a 50% ratio (half milk and half water.)  This works by making a super concentrated lye solution (the full amount of lye the recipe calls for; then split the water amount in half.  Mix the lye into the water.  Let cool.  Add the rest of the unused water portion as the milk- which is added to the room temperature oils before the lye solution is added to make the batter.  The last option is the dairy product at 25% of the water ratio.  This is done the same way as the 50% ratio, only it is 25% of the total water amount.

The rest of the soaping recipe is done normally.

Other things to consider:

Superfatting may be affected.  Do not forget to figure in the fat percentage of the dairy product.  For the most part, general milk products (where the fat percentage is 4-6%), really won’t affect your end bar.  However, using a product like heavy whipping cream (which has a fat of 36%) will directly affect your end bar.  In this instance, you may what to use the dairy portion of 25% of your water ratio.  That is unless you play with your superfatting percentage number.

Rancidity of your soap is always a possibility when using larger portions of dairy products in your recipe; especially those that have high fat content.

Our Findings:

Recently, we tried our hand at making cold process soap with the addition of heavy whipping cream.  For our recipe, we selected the cream to be 25% of our water ratio since we did not want to majorly superfat our soap.  The frozen heavy whipping cream was added to our soaping oils/butter before the lye solution.  We found that this method worked perfectly.  We had no issues with the remaining soap procedures.

In the end, the bars that resulted were exactly as we imagined- pure creamy bliss!  And, with all of the wonderful nourishing benefits that dairy products have; our skin loved it too.

Too see the full recipe for Natures Garden’s Cleopatra Heavy Cream Cold Process Soap Recipe, click on the link.  Or, you can also find the recipe on Natures Garden’s website under the Free Recipes and Classes area.

Making Cold Process Beer Soap

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013
Cold Process Beer Soap

Soaping with beer involves a few extra steps, but is totally worth the effort!

Some times the littlest things- like the addition of a unique ingredient to your recipe- converts to major sales of your product.  Beer would happen to be one of those ingredients.

But, what exactly is it about Beer in Soaps?

There is no straight forward answer to this question.  Some people are just amazed by Beer Soap because it was made with beer.  For some, they look at beer soap and can instantly list 10 people that love beer and therefore would get a kick out of beer soap.  For others, they seek out the thick and super creamy elements that a bar of beer soap provides them every time they wash.  And, even still there are others out there that know the great conditioning aspects that beer soap contributes to their skin.  The list of reasons is limitless, but one thing is for sure… Cold Process Beer Soap does get attention!

Soaping with Beer

Please Note:  Soaping with beer is a more advanced process.  Therefore, if you are new to soaping, you may want to sidebar this recipe until you are completely comfortable with the soaping process and have a few cold process soap batches under your belt.

Recently, we decided that we had to give cold process beer soap making a try.  As we found out, the addition of beer to a soaping recipe is not something that can be taken lightly or on a whim.  First things first; one of the most important steps in prepping your beer soap recipe is removing all of the carbonation from the beer itself.  This is extremely important to the soap recipe because beer is used to replace the full water portion of your recipe.  When adding the lye to a beer that is still carbonated you just don’t get a volcano, the volcano you get is supercharged with bubbles (carbonation.)  This is why you want a flat beer before beginning to soap.

One of the best ways to remove the carbonation from the beer is to let it set out for 3 days.  You do this by opening the can, pouring it into a bowl, and occasionally stirring it throughout the 3 days.  A good rule of thumb to use is every time you enter the room that the beer is setting in, give it a stir.

The next step in preparing your beer is the boil.  After the three days have elapsed, place your beer into a pot on the stove top and boil it and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  This step is also taken as a precaution to eliminate any leftover carbonation.

The final step after the boil is to freeze the beer.  Let the beer temperature drop to room temp, then carefully place the beer in an empty ice cube tray and freeze overnight.  This step is beneficial in two ways- eliminating carbonation (once again) and offsetting the high temperature for when the lye is added to the frozen beer.

Once the beer is frozen, it is now ready for soaping use.

Now, when adding the lye to the frozen beer, the best precaution to take (besides the regular safety gear and steps) is to mix this portion of the recipe in a deep bowl or pitcher in the sink.  This way, if there is any chance of a volcano effect taking place the sink will minimize the affected area.  Now, the other special note to be aware of in this step is the adding of the lye.  Because the beer is frozen, the lye (as it reacts) will melt the beer.  You want to constantly stir the beer cubes around after each small spurt of lye is added.  This will become easier as the frozen beer melts into a liquid.  Keep adding the lye in small amounts until all is used.  And, stir until you are sure that all the lye is dissolved.  Also, it should also be noted, there is quite a distinctive odor that is given off by the beer/lye solution- you will want to definitely want to make sure that you are in a well ventilated area.

The rest of the soaping recipe steps take place as normal.

In the End

Soaping with beer was a new experience!   The end results are simply amazing.  The color of the bars is a perfect beer hue.  The lather of the soap bar truly is thick and creamy.  And, after bathing with it, your skin feels soft and supple.  Cold Process Beer Soap is worth the extra steps.

Since the beer is added as the water portion of the recipe, you can use your favorite cold process soap recipe.  However, if you would like a Cold Process Beer Recipe, Natures Garden has one listed under their free recipes and classes section of their website.  Or, you can simply click here to see the 4 pound Beer Soap Recipe.

Sodium Lactate in Soap & Lotions

Thursday, September 26th, 2013
sodium lactate

Sodium Lactate: Most commonly derived by the fermentation of corn or beets, this natural body product additive has a smooth, clear appearance with almost no odor.

 

Sodium Lactate is quickly gaining the spotlight as an additive in the creation of bath and body products.  Although it is not a mandatory ingredient, sodium lactate can hold its own when it comes to functionality in a recipe.  

Sodium lactate, a water soluble ingredient, is added during the water phase of the creation.  It is used in bath products and has many beneficial aspects to its use.  It is a natural moisturizer, humectant (bringing moisture to itself), and pH regulator.  Sodium Lactate is used in a variety of bath products such as soaps, lotions, and shampoos.   In fact, when it comes to lotion formulations, sodium lactate can be used to replace vegetable glycerin.  Why is this a benefit?  Using sodium lactate instead of vegetable glycerin will give you a final product that lacks the stickiness that usually occurs when using vegetable glycerin in a lotion recipe.  Sodium lactate also helps reduce the “greasiness” of the oils in your emulsions, while improving the absorption capability of emulsions.   In emulsions like lotions, sodium lactate is used at the rate of 1-3% of the weight of your recipe.

Sodium lactate is used in cold process soap recipes to harden the soap, making for a harder, longer lasting bar of soap in the tub.  One of the great bonuses of using sodium lactate in your soap recipe is the easier releasing of the soap from the mold, especially if you are using more of a complex shaped mold.  Besides adding moisture and conditioning aspects to your soap, sodium lactate helps to increase lather and can even add mildness to the soap.

For cold process soap makers, the sodium lactate is added to your cooled lye water solution.  What results is a harder bar of soap that will release from the mold easier, and can be cut earlier than the traditional cold process soap.  Also, the physical appearance of a soap that has the addition of sodium lactate will improve.  The bars will have a creamier look to them, and the soap will provide a more luxurious lather. Sodium Lactate aids in keeping your soap batter in a liquid state longer.  This makes coloring/swirling and pouring easier.  But once the soap is molded, sodium lactate will harden your soap faster, allowing for the soap to unmold easily.

For hot process soap makers, sodium lactate is added to your lye water solution, and other ingredients are mixed in.

Testing is key for finding the right percentage of use for sodium lactate in your recipe.  For a great starting point is 1/2 oz.  sodium lactate per pound of soap oils. But, test, test, test!  Be cautious not to add too much sodium lactate, this will cause your soap to be brittle and/or crumbly.

Natures Garden is not responsible for the performance of any of the recipes provided on our website. Testing is your responsibility. If you plan to resell any recipes we provide, it is your responsibility to adhere to all FDA regulations. If there are ingredients listed in a recipe that Natures Garden does not sell, we cannot offer any advice on where to purchase those ingredients.