Brentwood Darlington Apothecary

Soaping!

I have been really into soap making recently.  I made my first cold process batch a few months ago using a quick-mix of oils from Brambleberry. This made it really easy for my first batch.  I added lavender essential oil to it. We’ve used it as our hand soap in the kitchen, and I am really happy with it.  My goal is to make lovely all natural herbal soaps eventually incorporating herbs I grow in my own garden.

It’s important to me to use organic ingredients whenever possible and only natural colorants, like herbs and clays.  I only plan to scent only with essential oils.  It’s also important to me to make all my bars palm free.  The quick mix from Brambleberry has palm oil in it. Although they claim it’s ethically sourced, I’ve heard that there are still a lot of issues.  I’d rather just avoid it if at all possible.

I’ve been going a little crazy working on recipes and finally decided to highlight a few below.

Herb Garden Soap

This was only the second cold process soap I ever made. I sort of impressed myself with it.  If I had waited a couple more days to un-mold it, it would have been harder.  But it was soft and got smushed when I took it out of the mold It still ended up looking ok. It just finished curing last week and I’ve been using it as my shower soap for a few days now. I think it’s pretty awesome. It’s got calendula infused olive oil and ground nettle leaf and yarrow added directly to the soap – all good herbs for the skin.  The scent is subtle, but I love it! Clary Sage with lemongrass and marjoram.

Ingredients:  Calendula Infused EVOO, Distilled Water, Coconut Oil, NaOH, Shea Butter, Avocado Oil, Apricot Kernal Oil, Castor oil, Essential Oil Blend [Clary Sage, Lemongrass, Marjoram], Nettle, Yarrow

Herb Garden Soap

Herb Garden Soap

Charcoal Tea Tree Soap

The technique for the rings was kind of a pain in the ass and really messy, so this will probably be something that I do only for special soaps.  But I love the way they came out!!  I used it to wash my face for the first time this morning, and it’s great.  Not drying at all.  The charcoal and the tea tree are supposedly good for acne, although I don’t have to worry about that anymore.  It would also make a good kitchen hand soap, because the charcoal would help remove odors.

(As I was typing this, my housemate just came out and asked, “Can we just pick one soap for the bathroom?” I was like, I don’t know which one and she said she votes for charcoal, because that is her favorite so far.)

Ingredients:  Distilled Water, Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond, Oil, Olive Oil, Rice Bran Oil, NaOH, Shea Butter, Castor Oil, Tea Tree Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil

Charcoal Tea Tree Soap

Charcoal Tea Tree Soap

Marble Shampoo Bar

I haven’t used this one as a shampoo yet, because even though it should be safe to use, I think it should dry a bit more. It will be really good in about 3 more weeks. I re-batched this bar from soap that I previously made with lots of ‘luxury oils’, specifically for re-batching.  I’ve used it a little (only as a hand soap) because there was a little extra that I just rolled into a ball and have tried that.  It’s got a really slick feeling on the skin from the clays and I like the subtle floral/herbal scent.

Even though I haven’t used this shampoo bar yet, I have been using shampoo bars that I previously made and I love them!!! My hair was falling out for the past couple years. I thought it was just genetics, stress, and diet, which has been terrible mostly due to stress.  But I started using a shampoo bar that we made in one of my classes with an apple cider vinegar rinse, and my hair stopped falling out.  That’s the only thing that changed in my lifestyle, so I have to think it’s due to the shampoo bar/ACV rinse combo.

This would also be a good hand, bath or even shaving soap, if you are not down with the shampoo idea.  The clays make it slick for the razor and it’s got a lot of emollient oils in it. I am excited to try the bar when it’s ready!

Ingredients: Distilled Water, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Rice Bran Oil, NaOH, Mango Butter, Avocado Oil, Apricot Kernal Oil, Hempseed Oil, Rose Water, Castor Oil, Cocoa Butter, Jojoba Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Essential Oil Blend [Ylang Ylang, Rosemary, Basil], Rhassoul Clay, Red Brazilian Clay, Citric Acid

Marble Shampoo Bar

Marble Shampoo Bar

Citrus Swirl Bar

This one needs to cure for a couple more weeks, so I haven’t used it yet.  I did use calendula infused olive oil, but that is the only real herbal benefit in this soap.  This batch was more about me experimenting with color and swirl technique and getting a good palm free base soap recipe down.  (The previous soaps, I went a little crazy with all the extra oils and herbs.  I decided that I should get the perfect basic recipe down first, then I can play with adding extra stuff in.)  It still should be a good soap, and I think it smells ah-mazing! It’s a combo of Litsea Cubeba and 10x orange essential oil.  Citrus oils don’t always do well in cold process soap. That’s why I used the concentrated orange and the litsea cubeba gives a very lemony scent that sticks.

The color and the technique were a bit of a fail.  I used paprika to give it an orange color to the swirls. But the paprika bleeds color, so there is not really a clear definition between the plain and the paprika colored soap at the swirls.  Also, I was trying a technique that I thought might give me a similar look to the charcoal swirls, but was easier. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.  I don’t think it looks bad, but it was not what I was going for.  I’m still looking forward to trying it out to see how the simplified recipe worked.

Ingredients: Distilled Water, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil (Calendula Infused), Rice Bran Oil, NaOH, Shea Butter, Castor Oil, Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil, 10X Orange Essential Oil, Apricot Kernal Oil, Paprika

Citrus Swirl Soap

Citrus Swirl Soap

Earth Mama Hand Milled Soap 

This is another one that I’m letting it dry for a couple more weeks to harden up.  This was also re-batched from the same soap that I used for the Marble Shampoo Bars. So the base is the same with all the luxury oils.  The only reason for this soap was to play with scents.

Like I said, since I am only using essential oils, it makes it a little hard.  Some essential oils don’t play well in cold process soap and you need kind of a lot. This makes some oils way too expensive to use.  I had previously gotten interested in DoTerra oils. (Not to sell, I hate the MLM aspect of it, but the oils are really great quality.) DoTerra offers a blend called Whisper, which can be used as a perfume that is amazing smelling. This soap was my attempt to recreate it.

I used bergamot, patchouli, ylang ylang, and touch of cinnamon essential oils.  Whisper also has rose, vanilla, and cocoa absolutes, but those are way too expensive. So I used rose water instead of distilled water to rehydrate the soap (I also did that with the shampoo bar). I also added pure vanilla bean powder to half of the soap and raw cacao powder to the other half.  The scent is a little on the subtle side, but to me smells very close to the DoTerra blend.  Although it’s not the prettiest soap.

Ingredients: Distilled Water, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Rice Bran Oil, NaOH, Mango Butter, Avocado Oil, Apricot Kernal Oil, Hempseed Oil, Rose Water, Castor Oil, Cocoa Butter, Essential Oil Blend [Bergamot, Patchouli, Ylang Ylang, Cinnamon], Jojoba Oil, Vanilla Bean Powder, Raw Cacao

Earth Mama Hand Milled Soap

Earth Mama Hand Milled Soap

So that is it! I’ve shown a few of the batches I’ve made. I will continue to make more until I have a few perfect recipes.  My goal is to start selling them at that point.  If you know me personally, you’ll probably get some soap as a gift in the next year!

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