Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mediterranean Garden Spa Shaving Soap


Time to make more shaving soap for the hubby! I found David Fisher's shaving soap recipe on About.com and thought that it sounded nice.

The recipe calls for coconut and palm oils for a stable, creamy lather. Olive oil, sweet almond oil, and cocoa butter condition the skin and provide lots of luxury. Castor oil, which I usually use at around 3%-5% of the total oils, is bumped up to 10% for an extra boost of lather. And bentonite clay (about 1 Tablespoon per pound of oils) gives the soap some extra slip for shaving with the added benefit of being oh-so-good for skin.

(Tip: Mix the bentonite clay with a little bit of liquid glycerin before adding it to the soap to prevent clumping.)

Here's the recipe I used:

~ Coconut oil - 30% ~
~ Palm oil - 30% ~
~Castor oil - 10% ~
~ Sweet almond oil - 15% ~
~ Olive oil - 10% ~
~ Cocoa butter - 5% ~

I did tweak David's recipe a bit. His calls for sunflower oil, but I didn't have any so I substituted sweet almond oil in its place. (And I ran the new recipe through a lye calculator, of course!)

The first thing I noticed about this recipe is that 65% of the oils are hard oils. Olive oil accounts for only 10% of the total oils. Most of my soap recipes are fairly heavy on olive oil with it being about 40%-50% of the total oils. The last shaving soap I made was 45% olive oil. Also, 72% of the oils were soft oils in the last recipe, and palm was a mere 8% of the total oils. This new shaving soap recipe is kinda the opposite of the previous one, so I was very curious to try it.

Once I had settled on a recipe, it was off to the fragrance cabinet to find a clean, masculine scent. I had a one-ounce bottle of Mediterranean Garden Spa fragrance oil, which was perfect since I was using one pound of oils for my recipe.The scent smells very green, herbaceous, and outdoorsy to me. The colors blue and green came to mind, and I decided to do an in-the-pot swirl.

Soon after adding the fragrance oil, bentonite clay, and lye solution to the oils and stickblending for a bit, the soap batter thickened to a pudding-like consistency. I'm not sure what caused this, considering that many factors can contribute to trace acceleration. The batter was workable, though, so I continued on with my plan to swirl. I managed to get the soap colored and then swirled the colors together, but it just didn't pour fluidly, which is what you really need for a successful ITP swirl. I knew that the soap batter didn't have the right consistency for an ITP swirl, but I pig-headedly carried on. Perhaps I would have had better luck with an in-the-shaving-bowl swirl.

Here's a video of me making this soap:


The soap still turned out lovely manly, and I kinda like the textured look in the bowls. And as the soap gets used, the swirls start to reveal themselves more.

It has been a few months since I made this shaving soap, and my hubby has been using it for a while now. He says that it's his favorite shaving soap so far, and he really likes the recipe. Sounds like it's a keeper! I may go in search of a palm-free shaving soap recipe, too, and see how he likes that.

The soap seems to be lasting him a good while, too - I think we're working on month three now - and the soap stays nice and hard and dry in between uses, not gummy at all.

I'll bet this would make an awesome body bar, too! I usually use regular soap to shave with in the shower, but I should make a bigger batch of this and make bars out of it. Then I could enjoy this shaving soap recipe, too!

Do you like shaving soaps? Got a favorite recipe?

34 comments:

  1. Your colors go well with the shaving pot color and I really like the swirled effect you achieved, even if it did move quickly, Jenny. Well done - I really need to get on the ball and give shaving soap a try.

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    1. Thanks, Suzy! The colors do go well with the bowls. My hubby really likes the shaving soaps. I need to make some bars so I can take it into the shower, too!

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  2. Oh Jenny, your post is coming at the right time for me. I'm planning to make some shaving soap and I'm so glad your hubby likes this recipe! Nothing better than first-hand experience! The soap turned out great, no matter it started to set up too early and I love this green, my green pigment is kinda different green shaddow.
    As always, it's a pleasure watching your video and listenig to the music you choose for covering them!

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    1. Thank you, Maja! I'm glad that you enjoyed the video, and I hope the post helps with your shaving soap project. I can't wait to see what you come up with!

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  3. I love your soap Jenny! And of course your videos are so informative. I like the subtle swirling, and the colour combination. Great choices for a masculine soap.

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    1. Thanks, Monica! I'm glad that you enjoyed the video. The swirls still turned out nicely after all. The Mediterranean Garden Spa FO is a great masculine scent!

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  4. Great soap Jenny! I have not tried any shaving soaps and your blog is giving me some ideas :)

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    1. Thanks, Roxana! I hope that you give shaving soaps a try. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

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  5. Lovely soap, Jenny! I admire your work in making interesting posts( video, explications, pictures etc). I have never made shaving soap,ut I am so curious to try to make them, thanks for sharing your recipe8

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    1. Thank you, Natalia! I'm glad that you enjoyed the post and the video. I hope that you give shaving soaps a try. David's recipe here is a good one to start with!

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  6. :) I really enjoy reading your stories. And this shaving soap sounds very interesting. I have tried one recipe, but I did not like it at all. I have to get some more castor oil and clay and I definitely going to try this soon. Now I use my trusty salt soap as shaving soap because the lather is so thick and creamy.

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    1. Thanks, Marika! If you try this recipe, I hope that you like it. I'll bet salt soap makes a great shaving soap! The lather is perfect for it.

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  7. The swirl looks like water, I'd dive right into it ;)

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    1. Thanks, Marieke! The swirls do look like water. And the scent works well with the effect - it's a very clean-smelling FO.

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  8. The soaps turned out really great, your husband is really lucky to have such unique product for shaving! I also like your photographs – such perfect color combination!

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    1. Thanks, Gordana! And thanks for the compliments. My hubby hasn't used shaving cream from a can for a long time now, and I make sure I've always got some shaving soaps cured and ready for him!

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  9. The shaving soap looks great and so do the pics..I just want to take that brush and work up a lather! :) I like the textured look in the bowls too..the soap looks real creamy!

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    1. Thanks, Kalla! The lather is nice and creamy.

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  10. I love this Jenny, the colors and texture really look like the sea and compliment the Mediterranean fragrance well! That looks like a really nice recipe too.

    I haven't made a shaving soap yet, but I'd like to try one, and I'm wondering if you think certain clays are better for shaving soaps than others?

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    1. Thanks, Cee Gee! It is a really nice recipe - hubby likes it! This is my second batch of shaving soap and I've used only bentonite clay so far, but I would think that other clays would work, too. I've seen shaving soap recipes calling for kaolin clay, which sounds nice.

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    2. Thanks Jenny, I have both so will give them a try :)

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  11. I love how these shaving soaps turned out, the texture is very unique! =)

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    1. Thank you, Anne-Marie! I wasn't planning on the soap looking quite like that, but it still turned out nicely and the textured tops give it some character.

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  12. Hi Jenny! I've been wanting to make shaving soap but haven't gotten around to it yet. Thank you for your recipe. I will try it soon.

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    1. Thanks! I hope that you like the recipe if you give it a try. I can't wait to see your shaving soap!

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  13. Shaving soaps! Love making them and yours looks heavenly, though the guys very likely won't use that descriptive term. Love the 'deep sea' kinds of colours.

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    1. Thanks, Denise! I like how the blue and green look together, too. And with the textured tops, the soap kinda looks like waves.

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  14. I started cold process soapmaking in 2010 and still feel rather new at it. I enjoy your videos and the music is nice to listen to. Your soaps are so pretty and the scent combinations sound wonderful. I'm learning a lot from watching you. Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to see more.

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    1. Hi, kaytique! Thank you so much for the kind words! I'm so glad to hear that the posts and videos are helpful.Thanks for reading and watching. Happy soaping!

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  15. Hi, You said above that your husband has been using the soap for 3 months now, but you made it 3 months ago, did I miss read that? Did you let it cure for 4 to 6 weeks per recommendation? I am sure you did cause you mentioned LATER something about letting the soap cure, so, I must of missed something, right? I loved your video and love the colors you did... What super fun, I cant wait to try making this myself. I am a soaper too

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    1. Hi, Shelly. Thanks, I'm glad that you liked the video. I said that I made the soap a FEW months ago and that my hubby had been using it for almost three months. Looking back at my notes, I made this soap on March 2, so it was about four and a half months old as of this post. It cured for about 6 weeks before he started using it. Hope that clears up any confusion.

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  16. Hi, here is another question. I see that you used Glycerin for the clay and the colorants, but I did NOT see that you ran that thru the LYE Calculator, I make soap too, and i was taught to run EVERYTHING thru the LYE calculator, so, I was wondering why you did not do that, it looked like you used many tablespoons to mix with your clay and colorants. I was taught to take a portion of the OIL USED in the recipe, the oils that were put thru the LYE calculator, and use those oils to mix with colorants and additives like clay, so, by NOT running that Glycerin thru the calculator, I was wondering why you did that...did I miss something? learn something wrong? I will learn the right way, if you show me or telll me why you did that. Thanks, I am an open book :-)

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    1. Hi, Shelley. Pulling some of the oils from a batch is a wonderful and popular way for soapers to mix their colorants. Sometimes soapmakers also use water or liquid glycerin. I like using glycerin because then I don't have to worry about whether the pigment or mica is water- or oil-soluble. Lye calculators calculate the amount of lye needed to saponify the oils/fats and convert them into soap. The glycerin is an additive and isn't factored into the lye calculation. I'm not sure how you would even run glycerin through a lye calculator - I have never seen it listed on any lye calculator I've ever used. I don't use a lot of glycerin, just enough to moisten the pigment and make it fluid. If you use too much glycerin the soap can get soft or sticky. Hope that helps.

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    2. You DID HELP ME so very much...lol, I got to tell you, I MADE this soap the other day, a two pound batch...but I am laughing because when I got done making it, I found that I FORGOT to add the clay..ha ha...so, I guess I simply made SOAP, and NOT a Shaving Soap. Oh well, I guess that means I get to make it again.....Thanks for the reply back, I did NOT know that about the Glycerin. SMILES

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