This is my second batch of soaps, made about a month ago. By that time, I had a better understanding of soapmaking. I made these formulations with less water (33% lye concentration) and a lye discount of no more than 5%. Actually, it bothers me that I can’t be very accurate with the lye discount because the SAP values available on the internet are simply averages. For now, I will have to live with this and pray that my lye discount is not very far from the actual one.
1. Honey Cocoa Butter (Unscented) – I made this with olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, cocoa butter, castor oil, and honey. I mixed the honey into the oils, but I think I should have thinned it out with a little warm water before adding it to the oils. With 10% cocoa butter, I expected this soap to be harder than the rest from this batch, but it’s the opposite. I suspect it’s because I did not insulate this due to the honey. I will give it 2 more weeks (or a 6-week cure) before using. It has a nice chocolate smell.
2. Charcoal and Oatmeal – I wanted to make a swirl pattern, but ended up with this instead. I could not wait and started using a bar after just two and a half weeks of cure. It has held up remarkably well. I can imagine some might find this soap too rough or scrubby, but I like it. I added the oatmeal and charcoal at trace, alongside the lavender and peppermint respectively. The color of the charcoal bleeds into the suds (I used 1 Tbsp or 4 grams charcoal for 500 grams soap mixture), something I did not encounter with a previous charcoal soap. I think 1 to 2 tsp charcoal p.p.o. should work fine. This is made with olive, coconut, palm and castor oils.
3. “Ambitious” soap – With my limited soapmaking skills, I only intended to use 2 colors, but at the last minute, I became ambitious and gunned for 3 (titanium dioxide, charcoal, and annatto seed powder). When I added in the essential oils (peppermint and lavender) and the colors, the soap mixtures became very thick. I panicked and quickly plopped the mixtures alternately into the mold. It is not the prettiest sight, but the soap itself is quite decent. I used it after 3 weeks of cure. It is a hard bar of soap with good lather, but the scent is like a distant memory. It is made with rice bran oil, coconut oil, palm oil and cocoa butter.
4. Green Velvet – I am at a loss what to name this soap, but for now, let’s just call it green velvet because I like the sound of it. The photo does not pick up the green tinge, but it’s there. The green is from the pili pulp oil. Pili is a fruit that comes from the same tree as Manila elimi. The pili kernel is usually prepared as a candied nut and is considered a delicacy in the Philippines. It has a very high fat content with its own delicious unique taste. Yum! Oil can be pressed from the nut and from the pulp of the fruit. These oils are kinda scarce. I had to order mine from a producer in Sorsogon, a province where pili is indigenous. I wanted to get the pili kernel oil but I almost fell off my chair when i heard the price. I settled for the pili pulp oil, more affordable, but still not cheap! For this soap, I used the following: olive oil, coconut oil, rice bran oil, pili oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, kaolin clay and lavender. I had to mix at a higher temperature so that the beeswax (melted over a pot of boiling water, not the microwave) would stay liquid. This traced very fast and became quite thick. I started using this the other day and I simply love it! It is a relatively low-lathering soap but it has a silky/velvety feel to it.