Coloured clays were amongst the first natural colourants I started experimenting with when I started making soap – and I quickly realized that creating beautiful looking soap was only a small part of the appeal of clays. The major benefit (in my humble opinion!) is in the silky feel and great lather of a clay soap, and how good your skin feels after you’ve used it.
As I live in France, most of my experience is with the French Argiletz clays and Rhassoul clay, which seem to find their way into almost all of my soap! I have also used a pink China clay, which I liked a lot – I acquired a small “stash” to try, but decided not to buy more in the spirit of sustainability and using local ingredients.
Although some soapers are nervous about using clays in swirled soaps because of concerns that the soap will thicken up too quickly, I’ve not really had a problem ….. But I think that’s because I always mix the clay in some water at least a half hour before I add it to the soap. Different clays absorb different amounts of water, with Rhassoul, green and yellow clay absorbing a LOT more water than kaolin, or pink and red clay. So giving the clay a chance to absorb water before you add it to the soap seems to address this problem.
But this post is not about swirled soaps – it’s about celebrating 2 types of clay in all of their individual glory! I’ve found that a lot of people (including myself) really like plain, simple soap bars. So I decided that it was too long since I made some …… and set out to make these.
I used a single batch of soap, which I split into 2 halves before adding the respective clays. The palm-free soap recipe I used is one which people with sensitive skin will like, and it has no scent or additive other than the clay. And decoration is limited to a somewhat fancy top, which is the result of my experiment with using a fork to create an interesting appearance. So just plain, simple, wonderful soap!
I’m really pleased with how the bars turned out – and both are great to use. Although my skin is fairly dry, so I’ll reserve the green clay bars for my friends with oily or combination skin and max out on the pink bars.
Thanks for reading – and happy soaping!