Tuesday, February 5, 2013

First Contact...Coconut Milk!

There's been a lot of 'buzz' lately in the soap making community about the benefit of using coconut milk in making cold process soap. Coconut milk comes from the 'fruit' of the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) plant and is high in saturated fats that add wonderful moisturizing qualities to soap. In addition, coconut milk contributes to a nice bubbly lather!

With my curiosity piqued, I decided to give coconut milk a try. I purchased organic coconut milk from the refrigerated section of my local grocery store. I had planned to use coconut milk for 100% of my liquid, so with that in mind, I adjusted my lye discount down to between 4 and 5%. 

I froze coconut milk in ice cube trays the night before, then measured out the amount needed for my recipe.  I only discounted my water slightly, soaping at 36% (water to oil weight).  I also soaped at cooler than normal temperatures (below 100 degrees).

 My goal was to keep the lye/milk solution from overheating.  It worked nicely and ended up staying very light in color with minimal odor.  (It's not uncommon for milk soaps to have an ammonia-like odor due to the chemical reaction between the lye and milk. Soaping at lower temperatures can help minimize that.) I added a small amount of honey, colloidal oatmeal at trace, as well as  Oatmeal, Milk & Honey fragrance oil.  A picture is worth a thousand words. I'm in love with this light and lovely soap!