“There is a legend that if you go take shower and scream out loud “Mom” three times, a nice lady appears bringing the towel you forgot.” -Source unknown
As promised, I am back with another soapmaking project. This time, it’s peppermint and charcoal soap.
I decided to eye-ball my measurements again and trust my instincts. Since there will be no flower buds or teas going into this soap, I was not very wary about what the results might be.
To start, I chopped up my last bits of opaque white glycerin melt-and-pour soap base to get 1 & 1/2 cups of melted soap.
Before melting the soap, I took 1 tsp of shea butter and melted it in a glass measuring cup using the microwave. It was at this point that I realized my soap base melted quicker than the tiny amount of shea butter I put in. I had to wait for a couple minutes to put it back in the microwave to heat and melt further. I was afraid the glass measuring cup will not be able to take more of the heat and shatter inside if I did not stop every 30 seconds until the butter has completely melted.
Now on to the star of the soap…
Activated charcoal is said to be very good in helping remove impurities. I have also used a few charcoal soap bars and my skin always felt squeaky clean afterwards.
I dissolved 1 tsp of the activated charcoal in the shea butter before adding to my soap base that I melted after three 30-second bursts in the microwave. Most of the recipes I looked at called for 1 to 2 tbsps of charcoal for every 2 lbs of soap base so I felt like 1 tsp should already work for the amount of soap base I had.
I was not expecting my soap base to turn into an intense black color given that it was so opaquely white. If I had used clear glycerin or goat’s milk melt-and-pour base, I am sure it would have turned much more darker and closer to black.
Next, I added about 20 drops of peppermint essential oil, stopping when I reached my preferred level of the scent’s strength.
I love peppermint anything from tea to candies to peppermint mocha drinks. I also love it in bath products like the Peppermint Fresh Scalp Shampoo from SkinFood that my sister let me use when I stayed with her in Hong Kong.
I poured the mixture into two of my round silicone molds and was able to fill an equivalent of nine round soaps. Then I sprayed the tops with alcohol to try and get ride of air bubbles. Then I let the soaps cool and harden on their own.
I waited for two hours before popping them out and here they are!
Some of the charcoal powder refused to completely dissolve in the shea butter and sank at the bottom of the mold during the cooling process. Hence, those specks of carbon you can see on some of the soaps.
The soaps smelled so good and lathered up nicely. Despite the addition of shea butter, it is still advisable to follow up with moisturizer. My dermatologist always reminds me to moisturize even if it does not feel like a very exciting idea when you live in a country with tropical climate.
I still have a few melt-and-pour recipes to try but I am now very curious on how I can make the soap base myself. I just need to prepare all that I need to safely handle the use of lye. Also, I will need the patience in allowing the saponification process to take its course of a few weeks before being able to use the soap base safely. Guess I really have to save up for the Php 5,500 workshop to learn the tricks.
To read about my other soapmaking projects, click here.