An (almost) all coconut soap

I’d seen and read about others all-coconut soaps, how they loved how wonderful the soap feels, like a lotions was applied right after use, and my curiosity really would not leave me alone about this until i tried it.  I had to do this, so on to the great Research & Development department to see what we can pull together.

The first two were a no-go.   Didn’t like them at all!  These soaps have one thing we have to know right from the beginning – coconut really, REALLY cleans your skin.  Some describe it as drying, but that’s a bit of a misnomer It’s not so much a drying oil as it is an oil that cleans very well.  It’s a great bubble producer, too, which is why so many soaps are built around coconut oil. But unfortunately some folks can’t have nut oils, like coconut, almond, etc, due to allergies.  For those, I like to use Babassu oil in the place of Coconut.  But that featured item is for another day.  Right now we’re all about Coconut!

I love making a bubbly bar of soap, one that foams like a fiend in the shower when you use a pouf, or washcloth, leave your skin clean, but I don’t like soaps that leave you  feeling dried out.  Most of the other soapers I’ve read posts from on the topic of all-coconut soaps have used all coconut, 100%.  Mine, I decided to do the superfat with sweet almond oil.  Not sure why unless it was to make it easier to mix the micas in for the swirls.  But that couldve been done with just a few teaspoonfuls.  I guess the main reason, if I had to state one, is that I like using almond because of the moisturizing properties the oil is known to have plus it’s excellent for mature skin.  The skin loves it and absorbs it readily, taking in without leaving too much on the surface to be lost on the things you touch or pick up.

With the super-cleansing coconut is known for, it’s necessary to use a large  amount of superfatting with this particular type of bar soap.  I went with the standard here and used a 20% superfat, but did that with the Sweet Almond.  For those who are new to soap-making, please note here that superfatting and a lye discount are not synonymous.  Use the full amount of lye for your soap recipe, then take the amount of oils you have in that baseline recipe and multiply that by 20% or .20 to get the amount of required oil to do the superfatting.  This is your superfatting oil.  I also took the lye discount out of my calculator completely.  I use SoapMaker 3, just in case you’re wondering, but reduced the discount down to 0%, then calculated the superfatting and added it into my Notes for the recipe.  If I’d added it into the baseline recipe, it would’ve changed the amount of lye required, increasing it to match the newly increased amount of oils in the recipe.  This would not give me a superfat of 20%. It would have increased the lye amount by 0.67 ounces reducing the superfat percentage  to under 5%.  This would not have been enough to make the soap ideally cleansing and softening as it’s hoped to be. I used two colours to match the fragrance notes of citrus and cilantro, plus an oil/mica swirl of deep emerald green on the top.

Coconut soap, as yet unnamed

Coconut soap, as yet unnamed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and here are some views of the bars after they’ve been cut….

 

Citrus Cilantro 3 (1024x768)

Sunflowers!

How could anyone stay grumpy when confronted by such a happy face?

 

Sunflowers

Sunflowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t they just make you smile without even thinking about it?  Sort of the way pansies do, too.  Such sweet little faces they have, like little freckle-faced boys and doe-eyed girls looking for permission to have just one more cookie.  Right before supper.  You can’t resist, you just have to smile and say it’s okay!

These robust flowers, while bright, cheerful, often statuesque, are not that much in the fragrance department.  I don’t recall a scent when walking amongst my own sunflowers in summertime, but well, I guess it’s more of a figurative scent than a literal scent.  The fragrance evokes the feelings of warm, sticky days spent outside, watching the large blossoms nod in a warm breeze as they follow the sun westward.  A lazy, hazy, kind of day.  Spent best in a hammock and a glass of ice tea sweating in your hand as you sway dreamily in time to the beat of the bees humming and hummingbirds thrumming.

This scent is actually an extremely complex blend of fruits and florals, beginning with lemon in the top notes and ending with sandalwood as a base. In between it’s accompanied by bergamot, jasmine, rosewood, and rose, melon, and a host of others to bring on thoughts of sunshine, time spent outside, fresh breezes, and warmth on your skin.  The scent, too, will make you smile just as those adorable blooms up there do!

I’ve been using the same recipe in the past few soaps to see how it behaves with various types of fragrances.  it includes olive, coconut , hemp, watermelon seed, and cherry kernel and frankly I’ve been a bit surprised by it.  It seems to heat regardless of the fragrance used, though this one seems to have been a bit on the hotter side.  I didn’t add any beer, wine, or other spirits, yet it’s heated nearly as much as the Champagne Pear did.  The sugars from the champagne caused that one to heat up, but this batch today didn’t have any spirits in it at all.  It had coconut milk, but then so do all my soaps with only a couple of exceptions.   The hemp milk doesn’t seem to cause the heating to the same extent that coconut milk does.  It doesn’t have the sugars that coconut does.   It also doesn’t have the same amount of fats that coconut does, which is part of why I prefer to use coconut.  It gives such a creamy texture to the lather and the soap, that it’s irresistible to use it in soaps!  Use the milk then top it off with some coconut water and it’s heavenly!  Love using coconut but some folks can’t have it, so they’re the reason why I experiment and explore other options in soaps.

This batch had the coconut milk, too, of course, and the colloidal oatmeal, Tussah silk, and some Kaolin clay for a nice glide across the skin as well as the cleansing it’s known to provide.  The soap’s initial image in the mold just before going into the fridge follows and the cut views will be edited in later once they’re available.  Probably tomorrow.

Sunflowers & Sunshine Silk Soap - in the mold

Sunflowers & Sunshine Silk Soap – in the mold