No Lye = No Soap

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Jasmine Soap

Over the years that I have been making soap, there have always been questions customers have for me about my products. Today I am addressing the most frequent question I receive about my SOAP!

“Do you use LYE to make your soap?” My Answer is YES!

Yes, I use LYE to make my soap BUT the soap no longer contains Lye once it has combined with the oils and cured!

Without LYE, also known as Sodium Hydroxide, you cannot have soap!! Even glycerin bars, melt & pour bars, liquid soap…….ALL SOAP requires either Sodium Hydroxide(LYE for bar soap) or Potassium Hydroxide(LYE for Liquid soap) to make it soap. You see, Sodium Hydroxide is a chemical that is harmful ALONE! When you combine it with the right ratio of oils & water, it binds to the molecular structure of each producing a COMPLETELY different element, SOAP!

The end result is no longer, Lye, Oils OR water, but a combination of all to produce the soap!

The Babylonians were the ones who invented soap at 2800 B.C. when the mixing of animal fats & ashes produced a cleansing product used for utensils & skin conditions. Even today, Lye CAN be made from ashes, rock and hay in a large wooden barrel. Now, Lye is produced commercially so it can be calibrated for modern recipes using exact measurements, thus refined for exactness. It is still a caustic substance that can harm you if touched!

Do not approach Lye lightly. ALL precautions MUST be taken when handling it and making soap. The Saponification of the Lye & Oils, (chemical reaction that creates soap) happens over time.

Here I am mixing the Lye into the water wearing ALL of my protective gear!

Here I am mixing the Lye into the water wearing ALL of my protective gear!

Here you see me mixing the Lye with the water. I am wearing protective eye wear, long gloves and an apron. I am also mixing on a newspaper lined table in my work station AWAY from children, pets and distractions! This is the MOST important!

Getting the right temperature before combining the Lye into the oil!

Getting the right temperature before combining the Lye into the oil!

After the Lye has come to the 100-98 degree temperature, I then mix it with the oils of the same temperature. It immediately starts swirling in the pan, showing me that the two are combining.

The oils & Lye start combining!

The oils & Lye start combining!

I then stir and “mix” with my immersion blender. This helps speed things along. You CAN use just a spatula or spoon to stir, but it does take much longer, as I have tried this method, before learning about the immersion blender 🙂

"Pudding" like consistency tells me it is ready to pour!

“Pudding” like consistency tells me it is ready to pour!

Then after it has produced a “pudding-like” texture, I pour it into wooden molds lined with freezer paper for easy removal once it is set.

Clay Tea Tree Soap Just poured into the mold!

Clay Tea Tree Soap Just poured into the mold!

It sits, covered, for 24-48 hours before being cut. It still MAY contain some traces of Lye in the water molecules left in the soap, so I handle WITH my gloves on!

Clay Tea Tree Soap Curing

Clay Tea Tree Soap Curing

They then are exposed to air for 4 weeks minimum, being rotated every day for even drying. They are then ready to use, OR the best option would be to let them dry/cure longer!

**Why CURE soap?**

There is a reason for “curing” the soap. This is to allow the traces of lye that may remain in the left over water found in the soap to evaporate. The longer the soap sits, the better! It will harden up nicely and last much, much longer!

Did you know that the longer it sits, the better it gets?

Soap is not going to “go bad”, it will actually get BETTER! For example, there is one bar from last year that I found in my toiletry bag used for travelling. When I used it recently on an overnight outing, it lathered up MORE than before and was VERY hard! Even though I used it frequently for a few days, it looked as though I had not used it at all!! This just goes to show that the longer it sits, the longer it lasts 🙂

Organic Cinnamon Roll Soap

Organic Cinnamon Roll Soap

*So the take away from this post is:

~Without Lye you do not have soap of ANY type!

~4 weeks minimum is needed before soap is ready to use.

~The longer it sits the better it gets!

~Keep soap well drained & dry in-between uses so it lasts longer! *************************************************************************

I will be covering different questions that are frequently sent to me about my products!

♦Do you have any questions about my products that you want answered?

♦Do you understand the basics of soap making and how LYE is on every soap?

Please leave your comments below!

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Now my Organic Walnut Apricot soap!!

So now the review you have been waiting for…..My newest creation, Organic Walnut Apricot Soap!

“Organic Walnuts? Organic Apricots?” you say. Well Walnuts have been prized for centuries for its properties that help to soften and tone skin. It contains skin nourishing Omega Fatty acids that moisturize as well as plumping up wrinkles,rich anti-oxidants that help repair free radical damage & contains a high amount of natural Vitamin E which is awesome for the skin! It is also a great choice for those who suffer from eczema, warts and psoriasis. I only use Certified Organic Walnuts which have not been sprayed with pesticides, an important factor to consider, which I do! ~So how do you extract all of the skin loving proponents of Organic Walnuts?~
Well first I soak them overnight and make a nut milk out of them. I use the nut milk as my water base in my soap recipe. Very moisturizing!

It is so moisturizing that I have to let it cure some extra time because it is so soft at first from all of the natural oils in the walnut that come out in the soap!

And Apricots….They have been used for toning skin for a long time as well. Not just the Apricot Oil which is extracted from the Apricot Kernels, but the Apricots themselves. They are a natural source of Vitamin A which serves as a great toner for the skin helping to soften and repair skin cells. It also helps the skin stay moist, and produce the enzymes that stabilise the production of collagen, what keeps our skin firm & young!Again, only Organic Unsulphured Apricots! The Apricots you find in the regular grocery store that are not Organic have not only possibly been sprayed with pesticides when they were growing as Apricots, but also have been dunked in a sulfur solution so they retain their bright orange color even when dried. As you can see, the Organic Unsulphured Apricots are not a bright orange, but a muted brown orange. It is no problem because it doesn’t matter what they look like, as long as they don’t have any chemicals on them!
So I have taken the Organic Unsulphured Apricots and soaked them as well. Then I puree them into a paste that is then incorporated into the soap at the end as well as all of the Organic Walnut pulp left over from making the nutmilk. Nothing is wasted, it all goes back into the soap for that much more skin loving punch!

You can see the bits of orange in the soap, that is the apricots peeking through!

This soap will be available for sale on April 29th!! Look for it on my website http://www.honeybeeholistics.com
and at my Etsy shop
http://www.honeybeeholistics.etsy.com

Next up for review is my Herbal Bath salts! They will be featured in my Mother’s Day baskets available this next week!!

Review of my next new soap……Organic Oatmeal Honey!

So it is raining outside, as it has been off an on for a few weeks now! I pop out every so often when it gets down to a sprinkle to enjoy some fresh air! Sometimes there is sunshine!! It will be nice when the sun makes more visits, I miss it! Don’t get me wrong, I am quite pale and I don’t like the sun THAT much cause I burn so easily!

So I have added a new product so I can tolerate the sun better…..Organic Sunscreen! It is made with my healing Organic Calendula Lotion with added titanium dioxide & zinc oxide. These are natural minerals that help reflect the sun from your skin. I tried it on my face too, and it rubs in quite well!

Plus it is Organic and is free of parabens and chemicals! It works better if applied to dry skin, then re-applied every hour or so. It has not been tested by the FDA or anything, but I know that the percent of titanium & zinc is compared to a 25-30SPF.

Available for sale on my website http://www.honeybeeholistics.com & Etsy shop! http://www.etsy.com/listing/71642182/organic-sunscreen-lotion-protects-from

So now for the Organic Oatmeal Honey Soap!! It is made with skin loving Organic Castor Oil, Local Beeswax & Local Honey to name a few ingredients! It is very moisturizing and contains Organic Ground Oatmeal for a gentle exfoliation! I had to make a new batch recently because it was so popular!! Sorry I don’t have any pics as I was making it because it sets up so fast I have to pour it QUICK! No chance to take pics. Available now at my website:http://honeybeeholistics.com/hand_crafted_soaps.html
AND My Etsy Shop:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/72349297/organic-soothing-oatmeal-honey-soap-made

Next to be reviewed…….My newest creation, Organic Walnut Apricot soap!!

New product for those who love Mint!!

   Yesterday was a cold and rainy day. A perfect day to stay inside and get to making some new products for my shop! I now present to you my newest soap and item……. Honey Bee Mint Soap and Lavender Mint Body Powder.

   The Honey Bee Mint Soap is a Honey Bee Holistics exclusive! Made with Organic Olive Oil, Organic Coconut oil, Palm Oil, Organic Fair Trade Shea Butter infused with dried and ground Organic Peppermint & Spearmint (grown here on our Farm) with Organic Peppermint & Organic Spearmint Essential oil mixed throughout!! It is then topped off with a light sprinkling of the same dried Peppermint & Spearmint for a minty “zing”! The health benefits of Organic Peppermint Essential oil include its ability to treat indigestion, respiratory problems, headache, nausea, fever, stomach and bowel spasms and pain. It is also purifying and stimulating to the conscience mind.

  Next we have the Lavender Mint Body Powder. It is made of Tapioca Starch, Corn Starch, Baking Soda, and Ground dried Organic Lavender grown here on our Farm.  It is a safe alternative to the commercial powders that are available because it does not contain harmful TALC! Talc is a form of asbestos which is harmful in its own right, but is carminitive that is thought to lead to cancerous mutations in the body. The Lavender soothes the skin, healing it as well, while the Mint is antiseptic and cooling keeping your skin from being over heated. The Tapioca and Corn Starch work to wick away moisture from your body while the baking soda serves as a mild deodorant keeping bacteria smells at bay. It is not only good for your body as a whole, but works great as a foot powder before putting on your socks, especially if you have more than normal sweaty feet!
  My next product revealing will be this weekend with my Honey Shea Body Mousse!!! An ultra moisturizing mousse like cream that will protect your skin from moisture loss this winter!