A long time ago, in a shower far, far away…is where a girl can escape for a few minutes and think of nothing, solve a problem or come up with a brilliant idea. Cleansing, refreshing, renewing. Yes, Every Day is Spa Day, but in addition to enhancing my shower with bath salts, I’ve recently discovered how much a good bar of soap can add to the experience. A bar of soap I made.
In researching different soap making methods, I decided pretty quickly on the melt-and-pour method. There are several melt-and-pour soap bases – aloe, avocado cucumber, clear glycerin, goat’s milk, olive oil, shea butter, soy, white glycerin, etc. – to which you can add essential oils, exfoliators and colorants. Melt the soap base, mix in the additives and let cool. Easy breezy.
I am not a purist when it comes to soap making for two reasons: I don’t want to worry about an ingredient (lye) eating through my skin, and I am more apt to try things that don’t take a whole lot of time and effort. I do, however, prefer organic soap bases and am not a fan of synthetic colors.
My foray into soap making began with Soapmaking the Natural Way: 45 Melt-and-Pour Recipes Using Herbs, Flowers & Essential Oils by Rebecca Ittner. I spied the book at Michaels; scooped it up, along with a silicon soap mold and soap cutter; went home and ordered organic olive oil melt-and-pour suspension soap and dried lavender flowers from Bulk Apothecary. I was going to make Simply Lavender soap, billed as “perhaps the easiest recipe in this book”. And, it truly was.
I used the soap cutter to cut the block of organic olive oil melt-and-pour suspension soap into cubes (husband helped, as he was curious), melted it in a double boiler I bought from Bed Bath & Beyond (with 20 percent off coupon, yes!) and added the dried lavender flowers. Next, I poured the mixture into a glass measuring cup , stirred in lavender essential oil and poured the soap into the mold that I had sprayed with rubbing alcohol to eliminate bubbles. After I filled the soap mold, I sprayed the alcohol on the surface of the soap, as well. Once the soap cooled, I popped it out of the mold. So easy, and the soap, which I’ve named La-La-Lavender, is divine.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I happened upon lotion bars at the Pigeon Forge Soap Company. I purchased the Sandalwood Rose Lotion Bar for the ingredients alone: coconut oil, bees wax, shea butter, Vitamin E and essential oils for fragrance. I put the lotion bar in my hands, as if I were washing my hands with it, and oh, wow! Where have you been all my life?! Unlike hand lotion, no drying time. Great coverage, and my husband said, something smells good. Yes, indeed.
After my success with soap making, I thought I would try making lotion bars. And last night, I made lavender lotion bars from Top Knot’s DIY Lotion Bars Facebook tutorial. I’ll spare you the details, as the video is right on, but I’ll give you a couple of tips. Just as I poured my lavender soap into a glass measuring cup and then poured it into the soap mold, I did the same with the lavender lotion bar mixture. I am a clutz and didn’t want to get the lotion bar mixture all over the place. Worked like a charm, but next time, I’m pouring the mixture from the pan into a plastic cup and then into the mold.Both the soap and lotion bar recipes take less than 15 minutes to make. Cleaning the soap off the pan and measuring cup was easy, because it’s soap. Cleaning the lotion bar mixture off the measuring cup after the mixture has dried, is not easy because bees wax. Making lotion bars is similar to making lip balm, which also uses bees wax, and I use plastic pipettes, instead of glass dropper to fill the tubes, because cleanup is easier. Just throw the pipettes away.
So, it’s a tossup as to which I like better, bar soap or lotion bars. Let me know which you prefer, or if it’s a tie, and your favorite recipes in comments. Credit to hubs for this post’s sub-title. Until next time, lather and moisturize like a soap star!
Pigeon Forge Soap Company Sandlewood Rose Lotion Bar; My DIY Lavender Lotion Bars
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