I love a good, hand made herbal soap. It always has been something I have wanted to try and make but I never have gotten up the courage to just bite the bullet and do it! Have you read a soap making book recently? The “normal” books have a lot of processed junk I wouldn’t put on my skin, and I haven’t found a good many books that use “natural” ingredients, if they do they often are written for the advanced soap maker. Seeing as my experience with making soap is the melt and pour variety I definitely would not be considered “advanced”.
This is why I was so excited to hear that Jan from The Nerdy Farm Wife was working on a book for beginners using NATURAL ingredients! Jan always has amazing recipes whether they be food, herbal or soap you know whatever she shares will be a winner. She sent me her book to review and I am so glad to have the chance!
In her book Cold Process Basics & Recipes Jan holds your hands and takes you step by step through the soap making process. She explains key terms, safety information, and ingredients making you feel comfortable with the information provided. It is truly written for the beginner to quickly become acquainted with the ins and outs of cold process soap.
Her recipes are beautiful and inspired using oils, herbs, and essential oils to meet the needs of different skin types and skin issues. You can tell she has made each recipe several times as she is good about telling you what problems may arise, what to expect, and what to do if something unexpected does happen. This is all very practical advice and is a comfort to know that soap making is as much an art as it is a process – the herbalist in me is very excited about this.
I used to be terrified of using lye, just the thought of having it in the house with little ones terrified me. She made a point of saying that lye is very alkaline and how to properly handle it BUT there are other toxic or caustic things in the home like bleach, or, in my case, certain herbal tinctures that need to be taken with much care that I keep well away from my kids, and that lye should be treated like these other caustic substances.
Now, I am no longer afraid to get what I need to make my own handmade soap. In fact I am so excited I can hardly contain my self! This book is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in learning more about soap making.
You can purchase your very own copy here!
Now, I have to say that she has made both a nettle-cucumber soap and chamomile-honey soap for the Natural Herbal Living Herb Box (We still have a few extra chamomile boxes if you would like to get one before we run out!) and both were AMAZING. I have absolutely no problem believing every recipe in her book is fantastic.
Just for kicks though she is sharing this recipe exclusively with us and doing a give away! Be sure to swing by her site and say thank you!
Honey and Hemp Shampoo Bar Recipe
by Jan Berry from The Nerdy Farm Wife
This dual purpose bar includes plenty of hemp oil for a moisturizing, silky lather and jojoba oil, which is excellent at conditioning both hair and skin.
- 15.5 ounces Olive Oil
- 7.5 ounces Coconut Oil
- 4.5 ounces Hemp Oil
- 2 ounces Castor Oil
Liquid & Lye Portion:
- 10 ounces distilled water
- 4.1 ounces lye
Add at trace: (she explains what trace is in the book)
- .5 ounce Jojaba Oil
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
If you’ve never made homemade soap before, thoroughly research the process first. You can find detailed steps with photos in my ebook, Cold Process Basics & Recipes.
- While wearing proper safety gear – gloves, goggles, and long sleeves weigh ten ounces of distilled water into a heat proof plastic or stainless steel container.
- Next, weigh out 4.1 ounces of sodium hydroxide (lye) into a small container and carefully pour into the water. Stir with a heavy duty rubber or silicone spatula until dissolved. The mixture will get hot, very fast, so be careful. Turn your head away to avoid directly breathing in the fumes. I like to work in my kitchen sink, so that any spills can be safely contained.
- Allow your lye to cool to around 90 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
- While the lye solution is cooling, weigh out your oils in an enamel or stainless steel pot, dedicated to soap making. (Never use aluminum when making soap as it can react badly with the lye.) Set the pan over a low burner and heat them up to around 90 to 110 degrees as well.
- At this time, make sure that your mold is prepared and ready. This batch is sized to fill around a three pound soap mold. If you don’t have one on hand, you can use a glass bread pan, but make sure you line it with parchment paper so it won’t stick.
- Once your lye and oils are somewhere around the same range (they don’t have to be exact and can be ten to twenty degrees different), pour the lye into the oil.
- Using an immersion (stick) blender, start combining the two mixtures. Work in short spurts of 20 to 30 seconds blending, then 20 seconds stirring with the power off. If you run the the stick blender non-stop, you risk burning the motor up or causing multiple air pockets in your soap.
- Once your soap thickens, or reaches trace, stir in the .5 ounce jojoba oil and 1 tablespoon honey.
- When it’s incorporated, pour your raw soap batter into your prepared mold.
- I leave the mold uncovered when I make this soap, since honey tends to overheat when insulated.
- After the soap has been in the mold for 24 to 48 hours, you’re ready to unmold and slice into bars!
- Allow your bars of soap to cure in the open air for four to six weeks. This time allows excess moisture to evaporate, creating a harder and longer lasting bar.
Would you like to win your very own copy of this book and some of these shampoo bars?
Jan is kind enough to offer a copy of her e-book AND two shampoo bars to TWO lucky winners! You can enter to win in the form below. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*I was given a copy of this book to review. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions of this product are my own. This post contains affiliate links which I get a small kick back from which helps fund this blog and my herb habit. Thank you for supporting me by purchasing through these links. *
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