Anyone who has read any of my posts will almost certainly be aware that I’m a big fan of rooibos tea in soap – and that I’ve made many different rooibos soaps over the years. Including my rooibos ghost swirl soap for the Soap Challenge Club last year:
I’m currently using the very last bar (one of the 2 in this photo) of this batch in the shower, so realized that I’d better make some more rooibos soap before that particular shelf in the metaphorical soap cupboard is bare!
The skin benefits of rooibos have been studied extensively, and as a result of the positive findings rooibos or rooibos extract is widely used in cosmetics in South Africa. I described my research on the topic in detail in the blog post about the ghost swirled soap, so click here if you’d like to read up on it.
For these new soaps, I decided to go with my usual soap-making cold method rather than doing another ghost swirl. This involves working at room temperature and refrigerating the soap for a few hours to avoid gel, in the hope that this will ensure that the beneficial properties of my soap-making oils are not lost due to heat*.
And to make the soap even more wonderful, I decided to make 2 different soaps – or the same soap, but split into 2 batches, and adding a different ingredient to each.
To the first soap I added a local honey from a neighbouring village, which I mixed with a little rooibos to thin it out before adding to the soap at an early trace. I’d seen bubble wrap used to create the textured top, and have been wanting to try it for some time – so this was my opportunity!
I really like how the top turned out, and everyone who’s seen the soap has commented on how it looks like a honey soap ….. Mission accomplished, I’d say.
To the second soap I added some home-made colloidal oatmeal. I have a wonderful, industrial strength blender that grinds the oat flakes pretty finely – so I was able to produce my very own “bio” oatmeal. I wanted it to be fine, but not too fine so that small particles are visible in the soap. The tops are decorated with oat flakes, and I love the simple, natural appearance of these bars!
I am very happy with how both of these soaps turned out, and can’t wait to have used enough of each to see which I prefer. Perhaps next time I’ll just add both honey and oatmeal to my rooibos soap ….
Thanks for reading – and happy soaping!
* As I’ve specified in my posts before, there really is no evidence that the heat generated during gel phase does impact on the properties of the oils. But I do worry that even if the oil itself isn’t affected (beyond the saponification reaction, of course), some of the beneficial unsaponifiables in some of the oils I use may be altered by the heat. And because there doesn’t seem to be any evidence, I choose to use a method most likely to preserve the beneficial effects of the oils.