Saturday, 17 October 2015

Alternative Liquid Soap Club Challenge

I've joined the Soap Challenge Club again, this month is looking at alternative liquids. A couple of years ago I planted some borage (Borage officinalis) which has been gradually taking over the back yard. But its pretty, and the bumblebees like it (we don't get honey bees up where we are on the peninsula). Initially I was trying to see if I could put the flowers in soap and have them stay blue.
Borage is also known as the cucumber herb. Cucumber juice makes nice soap therefore (in my mind) borage should also make nice soap.
Borage is used as a natural insecticide as a companion plant (especially for brassica and tomatoes) and is used in salads and as a tea. Traditionally it was used as a tea to restore energy and morale (this link). I did find one page that states "Externally, it is employed as a poultice for inflammatory swellings" (link here) And so it could be soothing in a soap especially for insect bites. Sweet.
I also make goat milk soap (in fact that is all I make, so a real challenge for me would be to soap with water) so I decided to make it half goat milk soap as well. Goat milk in soap is amazing. Here are a few benefits:
 - it contains lactic acid which acts as a gentle exfoliant 
 - it is packed with vitamins and minerals such a vitamin A which helps rejuvenate skin
 - the pH is very close to that of human skin
 - it makes a mild and creamy soap
There are millions (o.k. lots) of websites explaining the benefits of goats milk in soap but here is a good one : (I love the before and after photos with the disclaimer).
So I actually ended up juicing all the borage, it is really stringy and tough and I'm not sure the juicer attachment on my blender has forgiven me!
Cut borage
Borage juice ready for freezing
And some goat milk (still in the goat - with some baby goats piled in the background)
I use the Anne Watson frozen milk method of soap making and I used that for the borage juice as well. I made one batch of oils and two batches of lye/liquid and then split the oils between the lyes. I used an essential oil blend of lavender, lemongrass, patchouli and peppermint that I got from the LovinSoap Studio Recipe Book by Amanda Gail.
For my design I did a goat milk layer, cocoa powder pencil line, in the pot swirl boarge and goat milk, another pencil line then the rest of the goat milk soap. I always forget to take photos once I start making soap so here we have:
Goat milk portion
First cocoa powder pencil line
Finished Soap
Whoops no photos of the borage portion at all. I also added 1 tablespoon of kaolin clay to the goat milk portion and 1 tablespoon of French green clay and 1/4 teaspoon of chlorophyll to the borage portion. I feel that the borage soap may turn brown and hopefully the clay and chlorphyll will counteract that.
So then the cut soap:
I'm so happy with how it turned out! My in the pot swirls are usually epic fails so I feel like I have finally nailed it!