I thought we would finish up “Sweet Tea Week” with one of my FAVORITE things.
I know what you are thinking, SOAP? And to answer your question……. yes, soap!
I started making my own facial/body soap about 6 months ago. I was on my Anniversary trip which we like to call our “Staycation”. Instead of going on a trip away from home, my parents came to my home and kept the little ones, while the hubby and I took our camper and just parked it at the beach 10 minutes away. I guess I just couldn’t leave them for that long and go out of town. (I’m working on this) Maybe next year?
Oh well, while I was there, I ran out of my regular facewash. I don’t know about you, but I cannot use the same facewash for too long. It will work for me at first, but after about 2, maybe 3 months, something happens and it no longer works for my face. I start to break out really bad and I have to move onto the next thing.
I went to the store and bought an Aveeno product because in my head, Aveeno was great for sensitive skin, like my own. After washing my face a few times, I started to notice my skin was getting a little dry. Then, the next morning, I woke up to complete HORROR! I had all these little itchy red bumps on my face. I have a rosey complexion anyway, so anything that is red on me, becomes blotchy and irritated looking. I grabbed the bottle of facewash and only then noticed that it said Salicylic Acid as one of the MAIN INGREDIENTS! It was clearly stated on the front, which I clearly ignored when purchasing it.
Let me tell you, all of this didnt go away for the rest of the trip. I, of course, felt like the Prettiest girl in the world with my skin looking like I had some contagious disease!
I was pretty much done at this point with store bought facial cleansers. I told myself that as soon as I got home, I was going to research and start making my own. I basically had nothing to lose. I ended up finding out that Glycerin, which is a moisturizing element that is produced during the soap making process with Lye, is often taken out of regular soap and added to things like lotion. This is the reason that lotion is so moisturizing in the first place! Soap companies end up getting more for their money by being able to produce more products. Don’t get me wrong, their is still plenty of soap that contains Glycerin, but I wanted the main thing in my soap to be Glycerin because it is both gentle and moisturizing for the skin.
Which brings me to this recipe. It is a lot of fun. You don’t have to do sweet tea if you dont want to. I just did because it was fun and I was finishing up Sweet Tea Week. I have done Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint. The possibilites are endless.
Here is what I did:
First, start with a “Melt and Pour” Glycerin base. I picked this up at my local craft store for $9.99
It comes in 2 lb. bricks. I only use half of this for a batch. If you were making presents or a lot to share, then use the whole brick and just double the other ingredients.
So, cut brick in half. You are now working with a 1 lb. brick.
Cut the brick up into small pieces so that it melts faster.
This is my version of a double boiler. Fill the pot with about 2 inches of water and place a clear glass bowl on top. If you dont want to use a double boiler, you can melt in microwave. I prefer this way, but you can definitely do it in the microwave. Just follow directions on packaging.
Place all the pieces of the melt and pour into the glass bowl. It will soon start to melt. Don’t worry if it takes a little while.
Meanwhile, start to make tea portion by boiling 3 cups water in a saucepan. Once boiling, add 2 Family Size teabags and remove from heat, cover with lid and allow to steep for 10 minutes.
Remove teabags from saucepan, and add 1/4 cup granulated sugar to tea mixture. The sugar in the tea will actually help the soap have a better lather.
Now go back to the melt and pour. This is after it starts to melt. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
This the mixture completely melted. BEING VERY CAREFUL (steam can hurt really badly!), remove from heat and place on a kitchen towel.
Then I added 1 cup of the Sweet Tea mixture and stirred.
Then, working quickly, I added 1 tablespoon of Almond Oil and stirred.
I also added 1 teaspoon of Lemon Essential Oil, but you can add more if you want.
Pour into a loaf pan.
The soap will cool pretty quickly. There is almost always bubbles that form on the top. You can spray the top with a little bit of rubbing alcohol in a spritz bottle. OR!
You can do what I do and skim the bubbles off the best you can with a wooden spoon.
Allow mixture to cool completely and harden. You can even pop in the freezer for 20 minutes or so right before you want to cut the bars.
To remove, flip over onto a cutting board and the soap should fall out if ready. You might have to manipulate the container a little.
This is what it should look like.
Do your best to measure about half way. I just free hand cut these, so they are never perfect. I think it adds to their “earthy” look though.
I cut them in half with their thickness as well.
Then I wrap them up individually with plastic wrap. They will pull moisture from the air if you dont do this. This will result in a bar that might dry out before it gets used.
So please try this recipe. You won’t regret it. I have noticed my skin is softer as a result of using this glycerin soap and my pores have even gotten smaller. This bar can be used on your entire body. No buying seperate facewash and bodywash.