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!
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.
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.
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!
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.