formulating days rock!

by Heidi on February 20, 2010

So …

As you may know, bodygoodies is working on bringing two new bars to the line. I have been working on these for the past few weeks, researching new ingredients, which ones to go in which bars. Then the waiting process, to get all of the new ingredients in from many suppliers.


One new ingredient you will notice is castor oil. On the backburner for bodygoodies, is shampoo bars and doggie bath bars. Castor oil is an essential part of shampoo bars. So before we do those, we need to experiment with the oil in soap, and see how it behaves and how it behaves with botanicals and other oils and in which amounts its used. So ive decided to incorporate it into the new bars. The oil is fab. Its benefits are many,for shampoo bars,  the most important being its ability to lather. Its got an extreme capability to lather, and when properly formulated with its mixture of other oils, it can be the most luxurious bubbly experience youve ever had.

So far, im loving castor.

Also, the new bars will be missing an ingredient you often see on our label, shea butter. I want to do some shea free soaps. Although shea is a great butter, it also poses a potential irritant for people with a specific latex protein allergy. So the bars are loaded with extra mango butter instead, which - just so happens to be my favorite butter on the planet.

I’ve spent the past couple of weeks getting to know new botanicals and herbs. Olive leaf, hibiscus, calendula, camomile, bourbon vanilla - to name a few of them( did you know the little seeds in vanilla pods are called vanilla caviar? they are sooooo amazing and tiny!! they are also the most expensive part of vanilla when buying any form of vanilla ). They all have their own unique beneficial properties, and it was really hard for me to decide which bar would get which ingredients, i loved them all so much.

now, working with cp soap is always fascinating for me. You never know what ingredients are going to behave/react like once added to the actual formula. Like, something which is bright pink, will turn brown in a soap. Something that is green can turn brown, something green can stay green.  So you never really know whats going to happen until you actually get in there and start working with it.

My intent for the first bar, was a TON of infusions which would turn the bar a really dark rustic looking color, and smell like fresh floral botanicals. Something bodygoodies does not currently have in the line and i am ready to bring to it. So i did a fresh hibiscus infusion, a calendula infusion, a camomile infusion, a green tea, white tea, and black tea infusion. All of these ingredients are great for sensitive skin types. I also wanted to add rose geranium which is also great for sensitive skin. So i added a bit of that and a few other essential oils to make a really nice blend which smells FANTASTIC! its not all floraly like i was initially planning on, it lacked something that way, so i added a bit of lemongrass and peppermint to it. IT SMELLS AMAZING. its hard to describe, so i just hope soon, you will smell it :)

some of the infusions..



Now, the initial batch when poured came out nothing like i had hoped it would. So - bodygoodies got to try something new this weekend. re-batching. I have had no experience with rebatching, as, not to brag, but ive only once had  a batch turn out to be something so ugly that ive cared to try to rebatch it. and instead i threw it out. So, this time.. i decided to go for it. Rebatching soap means you chunk up your cold process soap that you dislike, throw it in a pot and put it back on the burner. I have to be honest, there was a point i was ready to toss it out.. it looked like vomit as it was heating back up. It turns to a gel like substance, a little thicker, and with chunks of unmelted soap in there it really looks awful. But i stuck with it and decided to make something good turn out of it. So, i added some black clay. Black clay is great for oxygenating and mineral depositing.  This now changes my idea of this bar being a smooth plain dark soap that looked like it had been in a basement in italy for the past 1500 years, to a really freaking cool bar loaded with botanicals, and now earthy good clay.

So, as im about to put the soap ive now rebatched into a mold, i realized.. its a COMPLETELY different consistency than i am used to working with. Its like globs or puffy soap stuff. It isnt pourable, it isnt sticky, its just odd! so i quickly whipped up another batch of the same original formula, and added nothing but peppermint to it.

this is the result, today.

dscn5270dscn5267that bar in the front is one i was testing out under water to see how it behaves. And even though it is SO fresh, its amazing off the bat. I cannot wait to use it once its fully cured!

Now, since the bar was an accident , saved and turned into something wonderful, im not sure if it will officially be in the line as it is, or if i will do some futher formulating but keep it similar, and add it. Time will tell. The reason for that is, i cant imagine having to make a batch of soap, only to rebatch it to make another bar. Its too time consuming! so, we’ll see.

The other bar in the works is — mmmmhm, vanilla. I may add a touch of bay in there, but im not sure. Right now its still in its formulate and test stage,  so it will be a while before the final decision is made. This bar I am creating to have something neutral and mild in the line. Not a bar that does anything specific even if you want it to. Its not for eczema, its not for acne or aged skin , but it will be smooth, moisturizing and made as well and with all of the same care that each bodygoodies soap is made of. its formula also has castor, and no shea. SO far im loving the bar.

Now, vanilla is a tricky thing to work with in soap. First of all, vanilla fragrance oils are well - fragrance oils. And anything vanilla will turn a bar brown. Vanilla just does that. Vanilla is also a very interesting little thing — you cant just get ” vanilla essential oil” it doesnt work that way. its a funny little bean and has some strange properties when attempting to extract the fragrance. So, its usually mixed with alcohol ( such as your extracts for baking would be) or mixed with an oil. They make it into a paste, and crush up the beans completely then mix them with maltodextrin for your vanilla powders. However, as usual, those options werent to bodygoodies standards, and i didnt stop until i found a solution. I found a company, which has PURE powder with nothing added, and also, vanilla caviar. WOW are these little seeds awesome! I also added some turbinado sugar cane to the top of the bar, with some added vanilla powder :)


So, this is the beginning stage of the bar. I have to experiment with the ingredients and their amounts and behavior in the bar. I will say, its a very light fragrance. Its really really nice though. I dont like powerful fake smelling things. So, here is the sneak peek of the bar, and i will keep you posted on its availability :)

And for those of you who are local …. you get the added bonus of being able to visit the shop and pick up soap from test batches - they are only sold here! yeeeeaaah!


1 Maryanne Caleris February 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

If you need someone test them….me…me…me. Will gladly test you new creations. They sound great.

2 Heidi February 22, 2010 at 10:44 am

woohoooo you know where to get em maryanne :) stop in and grab some anytime!

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