Friday, 29 April 2016

Honey Natural Handmade Soap - Tips and Recipe.

Honey is a wonderful ingredient in natural soap and with a few precautions you can get a lovely bar soap with all of honey's benefits.

My first attempts were not so successful as the honey separated and settled to the bottom of the mould.  Finally I found a comment that advised reducing the water content in the batter.

Instead of using the default water content Soapcalc lye calculator uses (38%) I use 33% and separate a small portion of that to add to the honey to thin it out before I add that to the soap batter at trace.

Be aware that honey or any type of sugar ingredient (including milks) will increase the temperature of the soap batter.  If you insulate your mould the temperature could get too high and cause the soap to erupt.  Normally I stop the gel phase by refrigerating or freezing the soap for about 12 hours though this is not necessary if you wish it to gel depending on your room temperature.

I have recently been successful in making a honey soap that has twice the recommended level of honey to use as a shampoo bar soap for dandruff problems.  I am hoping this eliminates the need to massage honey into the scalp (a very effective anti-dandruff) an hour prior to washing as it is a little inconvenient.

I made this soap harder than normal.  This caused it to have a lower conditioning level which I compensated with a higher superfat (free oils).  I also added  salt at 5% oil weight in a brine solution.  This adds to hardness and also I like using salt for its natural preservative characteristics as well as its benefits to the skin. ( Be aware that table salt has some nasty additives as free flow agents etc.  I like to use pink Himalayan fine ground rock salt but unrefined Sea Salt is good as well with all the other minerals salt was meant to have, still in it.)

I also used individual moulds (a silicon muffin tray) and put it in the freezer over night.  I could feel the increased temperature very soon after putting the batter in the mould, so I didn't waste any time getting it into the freezer.

A log mould will allow the batter to hold the heat and though I am sure it will be fine in the freezer.  If it was a standard honey content (1/2 the amount) I would use a fridge.  This may be fine but I would be a bit nervous about it.

I have read comments by cosmetic producers that salt should never be used on the head.  They obviously didn't live near the ocean and never sweat.  Salt is excellent for many skin problems.

A high honey content soap.

Beef Tallow      225gm
Castor Oil          60gm
Coconut Oil      215gm

Lye (NaOH)    78 gm(1% Superfat)
Water             150gm
Honey             30 - 40gm (2 Tablespoons)
Essential Oil   20gm    (Because I am hoping this will be good for dandruff I used Tea Tree Oil)
Coconut Oil    50gm    (To bring the superfat up to 11%.  I prefer to use Coconut oil for a larger superfat as it has a better shelf life than Beef Tallow,- your choice)

Use enough salt to dissolve in the water for the lye.  4% or less of the oil weight might be fine.
This is not a salt bar as there are no crystals in the soap but would be called a brine bar.  Increasing the salt content will decrease the bubbles and cream.

The reason I make this hard is because of the high honey content; I don't want the soap to go "soggy".

 Smells great.

The second time I made this, I spontaneously thought to add some milk powder into the honey mix adding it at trace.  Don't try this.  The heat got away on me very quickly going very orange then dark brown and the mix separated in the moulds - like curds and whey.  The next day I cooked and and remoulded it.  I'm expecting that the milk burnt and will be able to tell soon by the smell.  It gets a vomit type odour.  If it is I'll just store it away somewhere till that passes.  The milk may have no benefit after that but the soap does work fine and the EO smell comes back OK after a few months.

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