This herbal cold process soap with summery flowers like chamomile and calendula offers a luxurious lather with cooling and calming skin nourishment.
This is a sponsored post. This means I received product and/or monetary compensation from the company or organization mentioned in this post. This helps to support my blogging efforts and my family. I only partner with brands that I value and respect, and all thoughts and opinions share herein are my own.
Please welcome my dear friend Amber Reddinger from Pine Creek Dry Goods to the blog today! -Devon
I can remember the plant world creeping into my consciousness as a child as if it were just last week, instead of almost forty years ago. Laying on my belly in the newly green grass on the first warm Spring day, digging through the blades for signs of Veronica in bloom, while nibbling at tangy Wood Sorrel. Or popping sunny Dandelion heads off their stems and playing with their sticky milk while happily watching those first sleepy bees making their rounds to the flowers that hadn’t met their untimely ends by my tiny hands.
As the seasons progressed, the towering Foxtails in the fields behind my grandparents’ house became fairy wands, or royal sceptres. And tall, slender Ribwort Plantain flowers and stalks were stately elders, their white-fringed heads nodding proudly above their gently stooped, slender, green bodies. Soft-needled Pine sap seeped languidly down countless trunks in crystalline teardrops just begging to be plucked and rolled between my fingers until each droplet gave way to the warmth and pressure of my hands, and my skin could suddenly be used to pick up any object I wished, simply by placing a gluey palm against it, as if by magic.
Not much has changed in my adulthood really (except that grownup me leaves those first Dandies untouched for the hungry spring bees), and I spend a great deal of time involved with plants of all kinds: chatting with them, growing them, eating them, occasionally foraging for them, making medicines with them, and using them in my handmade soaps, salves, and balms.
What I’d love to share with you today is an homage not only to two of my favorite gifts of Summer: chamomile and calendula, but also to one of my greatest passions: cold process soap making. I’ve created a recipe just for the occasion based around some of my favorite Mountain Rose Herbs ingredients like coconut, hemp and olive oils as well as cocoa butter (and a few homegrown ones as well), that I think captures the sunny warmth and cheerful smell of early summer — the smell part courtesy of this top quality organic bergamot essential oil.
Sunny Summer Flowers Cold Process Soap Recipe
Sunny Summer Flowers Cold Process Soap
- 16 oz organic Coconut oil
- 16 oz organic Extra Virgin Olive oil
- 8 oz organic Hemp Seed oil
- 7 oz raw organic Cocoa butter
- 17 oz herbal infusion [ 20 oz filtered hot water with dried organic Hibiscus petals, 1 tsp, Annatto seeds (1 tbsp), Calendula petals (1 cup), and Chamomile blossoms (1/2 cup). Steep until cool, strain, and use 17 oz of the strained liquid for your lye solution ]
- 6.8 oz lye NaOH
- up to 1.4 oz Essential oil or leave unscented! Just remember many essential oils will fade in cold process soaps, especially citrus ones, so don't expect your cut bars to smell the same as that freshly opened bottle.
- To start, bring about 20 oz of water to at least 180º F. This recipe requires only 17 oz of liquid, but you'll need to compensate for any loss through evaporation or the herb material retaining liquid during straining. Add your dried herbs to the hot water and steep, covered, while you weigh your fats.
- Combine and melt your oils and butters together at a low temperature (I do mine in the oven on the "keep warm" setting, which is around 170º F, but any low temp indirect heat source will do.)While your fats are slowly melting, strain your herb infusion and place your (heat-proof) container with 17 oz of the strained liquid in the freezer or in an ice bath to cool before adding your lye. I use this time to prepare my molds, tidy up my sloppy spills, stare out my window at my backyard, hum a little soapy song -- the possibilities are endless!
- Once your infusion has cooled, slowly sprinkle in your lye, stirring steadily as you go. This recipe will create a bright red-orange lye solution that will fade to a buttery yellow in your finished soap.
- At this point, I always cool my lye solution a little bit before removing my fats from their heat source. The fats are about 170º F, and the lye solution can be as much as 30 degrees hotter than that, so I give the lye solution a cooling head start before bringing both temps down to around 120-130º F in preparation for mixing.
- Once you've thoroughly hand-mixed your lye solution into your oils, use an immersion blender to bring your mixture to trace. I like to bring my soaps to just a light trace (as seen in the picture above), because I love to create simple, blocky bars with flat tops, but you can make it as heavy as you'd like of course, depending on how exciting you want to get with your tops. Now you can add your fragrance and plop that soap in its mold or molds!
- I sprinkled this batch with dried organic Hibiscus and Calendula petals before covering and insulating for the night, and I left this one in its molds for 24 hours before unmolding, even though this recipe was at the high end of the hardness scale on the lye calculator.
- The next evening, I unmolded and sliced these lovely, sunny bars of goodness.
Check out a luxurious rose scented cold process soap here!
Guest Author Bio:
Amber is a mother, maker, and lover of nature living in Berks County, PA with her husband and three children. In her free time, she enjoys knitting, sewing, hiking, gardening, making soap and other handmade body products, and a million other things. She can be found on Instagram @the_pine_woods_witch, and she sells her handmade goods and other items in her “Pine Woods Dry Goods” Etsy shop.