Thursday, August 16, 2012

Rose Clay

This was my first attempt to use rose clay as a natural colorant for soap.   I have used white kaolin clay before and liked the nice creaminess it adds to soap bars.  Rose clay is another kaolin clay, mild and gentle to the skin. The beautiful rose color comes from its iron oxide content.  Like white kaolin clay, rose clay is known for adding a silky creaminess to soap.

 I knew that using clay as a colorant might add some challenges to the soap making process.  Since clays by nature absorb moisture, I was uncertain as to  how much water to use for the liquid portion of my recipe.  I wanted to be able to work in a swirl if possible, so decided  not to go any lower than a a 33% water to oil weight.   I pre-moistened the clay by adding 1 tsp clay to 1 tbsp water (1 1/2 - 2 tsp water would have probably been enough).   After blending my oils and lye solution until emulsified, I mixed in 1/4 tsp  titanium dioxide, then removed a small amount of soap for swirling.  I added the rose clay to the remainder, only using about half of what had been pre-moistened.  The result was a beautiful shade of rose pink.   Using all of the clay would have yielded a deeper color which would have been pretty, too.  I will definitely try that another time.  It soaped nicely and I'm happy with the swirl.  The fragrance is a soft feminine scent with a hint of mimosa, jasmine and musk.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Butter You Say?

Including butters in a basic vegetable oil recipe can add desirable properties to soap. Any number of vegetable butters are available to soap makers, including almond, avocado, olive, mango, shea and cocoa to name a few.   Kokum is yet another, one that I've used before and found that it contributed to a hard bar with nice lather.

Kokum butter is obtained from the fruit kernels of the ‘garcinia indica’ tree, a tropical evergreen that grows along the western coast of India. It is a butter rich in the conditioning fatty acids oleic and linoleic.  It also contains the antioxidant Vitamin E as well as stearic acid which contributes to its characteristic hardness.  Recommended usage in a soap recipe is from 2 - 5 percent.  I added it at a ratio of just over 3 percent.

Kokum butter is a great addition to any soap recipe including this batch scented with Pineapple and Coconut fragrance oil.