I am super excited to be bringing you the first in our new line of four soaps. In my last blog post, I explained about having the honor of working with a local SC mangalitsa pig farm, Gypsy Wind Farms, who is supplying me with their high-quality lard! I love the sentimental idea behind making soap, truly the old fashioned way. When farm to table was the only way of life and using every part of an animal was not just an option but a necessity.
Stepping forward into the here and now, the industry has learned a thing or two about the properties of lard and its effects and benefits for use in bath and body products. At first, I was sold on the idea of making 100 percent lard soaps, but as I began to do research on the benefits of using lard in soap, I found out that although it makes a very mild, conditioning soap, the cleansing properties are deficient as well as its ability to create a stable lather. Armed with that knowledge and the knowledge I have gained over the years, I began to formulate a recipe that would ring all the bells for a bar of soap I would love to use.
Although lather is not necessary to get clean, I prefer a bar of soap that does. Just so happens, I know coconut oil has cleansing properties as well as the ability to lather. However, the lather is not stable, so I will need something to archer the lather it creates so that the bubbles will hang around longer. In comes castor oil. Castor oil is a lather stabilizer, helping oils like coconut and palm, lather better and stay around longer. Best of all, you don't have to use a lot to get a great result. Actually, you don't want to use too much, or you will end up with a sticky soap. I don't know about you, but that's not appealing to me. My next thoughts where about moisturizing benefits, so, of course, I added olive oil in combination with canola oil, which offers very similar benefits. Then to bring it all home and make this bar over the top luxuriousness, I added raw organic shea butter to enhance the creamy lather and add additional moisturizing properties.
Now that I've formulated the recipe, I began to think about the kinds of additives I wanted to include in this line. I'm not against using, mica to provide my soaps with beautiful, vibrant colors, but for this particular line, my inner creative was telling me to go the completely natural route. To keep it farm to table in every way possible. For this soap, I took inspiration from one of my favorite teas. You guessed it, Chamomile, Honey & Vanilla. I already had organic chamomile on hand, which I knew would provide a beautiful natural color as well as some local SC honey. Check! I didn't have vanilla essential oil and the last time I checked the price of anything vanilla has skyrocketed. However, I remembered, I had just bought some benzoin essential oil from, sadly, I fellow soapmaker who went out of business. Benzoin smells very similar to vanilla and has many benefits. Check! (This is already getting long so maybe I will share those benefits in a separate post. Feel free to google them yourself tho.)
I'm now ready to get this party started! Hooray! I have filmed a Youtube video showing the making of this beautiful soap and score; I'm also leaving the recipe below. If you are a soapmaker, feel free to go wild and make this soap your own. Please use #ghcreativestudio on Instagram & Facebook; I would love to see what you come up with!
Oh! I almost forgot! I have been using the heat transfer method to make my soaps for about six months now, and I love it! The heat transfer method is very simple. In the video, I'm going to give you my definition and show you how I do it!
I'm giving you the recipe in percentage form so you can customize the size of the recipe for the size mold you will be using. If that is confusing to you, I would suggest doing a little research on soapmaking for beginners. Feel free to substitute any of the fats out with something similar - such as liquid fat for liquid fat or solid fat for solid fat - if there is something in my recipe you don't have or don't care to use. FYI - palm oil is an excellent substitute for lard if you are looking to make this recipe vegan. And as always, ANY changes you make to the recipe needs to be ran through a lye calculator to make sure you have the correct lye and water ratios. My favorite is soapcalc.net.
Coconut Oil 30%
Olive Oil 20%
Shea Butter 12.5%
Canola Oil 12.5%
Castor Oil 5%