We’re continuing our Lavender Aloe theme today with a batch of beautifully swoopy and swirled Lavender Aloe Soap. The top is decorated with a dusting of violet biodegradable glitter, and I had a lot of fun bevelling the edges of each bar with a vegetable peeler for a softer look (seriously—if you’ve never taken a vegetable peeler to your soap you are missing out!). Let’s dive in!

How to Make Lavender Aloe Soap

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Knowing I wanted to create a swirl from the pour of the batter, I created a fat blend that would stay fairly liquidy and moveable while we worked with it. It’s not ultra-liquidy, but I found I had plenty of working time. I’ve used beef tallow as our primary hardening fat, with some support from rich shea butter. Olive oil softens the blend and brings its dense lather to the bar, while castor and coconut bring the bubbles.

 

When it comes to picking oils for soap, I recommend choosing the least expensive version of the ingredients. I use pomace grade olive oil and RBD (refined, bleached, deodorized) coconut oil rather than their more premium, virgin versions. I don’t find I notice a difference in the end product, and soap is, after all, a wash-off product. Soap making is already expensive enough given the scale of the project, so there’s no need to make it even more expensive by using your fanciest ingredients if you have the option not to. I’d usually use 40/42 lavender essential oil in soap, but I’m on a mission to use up a few bottles of older lavender essential oil at the moment. Learn from my mistakes—don’t buy 100mL (3.3fl oz) bottles of essential oils you don’t intend to soap with! Soap is just about the only thing that’ll use up a 100mL (3.3fl oz) bottle of essential oil before it oxidizes if you only create things for yourself/friends/family.

With the lavender element coming from the essential oil, our aloe element comes from the inclusion of some 200x concentrated aloe vera powder in the lye water (you could also add it at trace). If you don’t have the 200x concentrated powder you could use a less concentrated powder, adjusting the amount as required (if yours is 100x concentrated you’d use twice as much; 50x concentrated would require 4x as much, etc.). You could also use aloe vera juice as part of the lye water, or even try blending some pulp scraped from a meaty aloe leaf into the lye water. I haven’t tried it myself as I don’t have an aloe plant (someday!), but I found some helpful discussion about it here!

Our colours come from some easy-to-use, vibrant micas. The three different colours of batter intermix beautifully as everything is poured, so we can do a lovely bit of swirling on the surface of the soap as well. That’s very pretty on its own, but I decided to add some biodegradable glitter for some added sparkle because…. why not, basically! You certainly don’t have to, but I like it 😄

I’d say this soap is on the easier side of mid-level; if you’ve made 15 or so batches of soap you should be fine! The most challenging part of this soap is keeping the trace on the thinner side of things so you get a good level of inter-mixing when you pour the batter into the mould. No worries if the batter ends up being a bit too thick, though—you can supplement the inter-mixing with a hanger swirl! Happy soaping 😊

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Lavender Aloe Soap

30% beef tallow (wondering why?)
25% olive oil
20% shea butter
20% coconut oil
5% castor oil

Calculate to 5% superfat with the water at 30% of the oils

Per 500g fats:

To colour (all as needed):

Kick things off by calculating out your recipe for the amount of soap you’re making to get the finite amounts of the fats, lye, and water. Unsure about how to use SoapCalc? I made a video to walk you through it! Please ensure you’re familiar with standard soap making procedures before diving in (click that link if you aren’t!).

Prepare your mould—you’ll want a loaf mould for this soap. Melt your oils together in your soaping pot, and have two extra containers with pouring spouts handy (I use these awesome funnel pitchers). Let your oils cool to slightly warmer than room temperature. Mix up your lye water (be sure to include the aloe vera powder!) and let that cool to about room temperature (you can use ice for part of your water to speed up the cooling process).

Arrange your work area so you can easily grab your essential oil and micas. Prepare your mould by lining it, if required.

Now you’re ready to get started! Add the lye water to the melted fats and bring the batter to a thin trace. Blend in the essential oil. Pour approximately 10–15% of the batter into each of the secondary pitchers and leave the remaining 70–80% of the batter in the main pot.

Using the pre-dispersed micas, colour one of the small parts purple, and the other green. Leave the bulk of the batter (the stuff in the pot) uncoloured.

Now it’s time to pour the soap! Pour the batter in this order: (watch the video to see it in action!)

  • 1/3 uncoloured batter
  • All the purple batter, zig-zagged
  • 1/3 uncoloured batter
  • All the green batter, zig-zagged
  • The rest of the uncoloured batter

Lightly swirl the surface of the batter with a shallow back-and-forth motion across the width of the mould, and then dust the entire top of the soap generously with the purple glitter. Leave the soap to saponify and set up for about 36 hours before slicing. Be sure to slice the soap through the side, rather than through the top, so you don’t drag glitter through the bars (I found it looked best if I used a wire slicer rather than a knife). If you’d like to bevel the edges with a vegetable peeler I’d recommend letting the bars sit for two or three days before you do to reduce the chances of pushing a fingerprint into any of the bars. Leave the soap to age for 3–4 weeks before using or gifting. Enjoy!

Gifting Disclosure

The purple mica and purple biodegradable glitter were gifted by YellowBee.

 

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