It’s fun to experiment. Sometimes it works and others … well, not so much.
I thought I’d let you see the results of some of my more famous/infamous tests from 2015.
1. Corn Silk Soap
Awww….corn silk…purported to be an excellent source of Vitamin K, a wonderful skin conditioner often found in skin and hair products. Corn silk also claims to add a silkiness and light exfoliation to soaps.
Testing its silkiness made me laugh -- at myself. My testing laboratory was the shower, but testing was momentarily delayed as when I picked up the bar of soap it when flying out of my hands. After retrieving it, I quickly realized that this bar of soap had more “slip” than my normal bars. I repeated the same test the next morning with duplicate results as the bar again went flying to the shower floor. I’ve found the lather to be a bit silkier as well and love how my skin feels after using it. The other good news is that I’ve adapted and the corn silk bath soap now remains firmly in hand.
The result: Corn Silk will gain a prominent spot in future soaps and I look forward to trying it out in liquid soaps, too.
I made a liquid shampoo that was made out of just two oils – lard and coconut oil. My forums had led me to believe that this would make a fabulous shampoo. And it did. I let you know about the results early on Facebook extolling its success although noting that it was just a bit thinner than I liked. I loved, loved the lather, loved how my hair felt, loved the transparency of the soap and loved the fragrance. A!!
The weather turned cooler.
My too thin soap wasn’t too thin anymore. In fact, I had to microwave it for a moment to return it to a runnier state.
Then South Dakota got really cold.
My shampoo is now closer to “Shampoo Snot.” There’s no other way to describe it. I refuse to give it a failing grade – it is snot with wonderful lather and fragrance. But it definitely lacks visual appeal.
I’ve even tried putting it in a Foam Pump bottle and diluting it 7:1 water: soap. It still resists being in a liquid state.
The Result: The consistency issues are not ok at any level, so will be re-formulating the recipe replacing some of the coconut oil and lard with soft oils – maybe some Avocado, Apricot Kernel and Sunflower.
3. Cream Soap
I had no intentions on cream soap being part of my testing this year. I had received a SARE grant to implement GMP (Good Manufacturing Processes) and do product safety testing. The incentive for applying this grant was falling in love with the first batch of Oatmeal Milk and Honey Cream soap and then having a batch failure on my second batch.
I implemented GMP so that I wouldn’t have failures -- as long as I followed it!
Imagine my consternation when I again had batch failure on batches 3, 4, 5, and 6. By batch failure, I meant that the product was separating.
You’ve got to be kidding.
GMP ruled out the process. It must be the honey.
Batch 7 – no honey. Failure. What????? My first success must have been a fluke. It became time to reformulate the recipe.
Batch 8 – reformulated used Honeyquat instead of honey and added clay. Success and then…do I smell something?
Alas, I had fallen in love with the earthy sweet smell from the oats and honey and didn’t use any additional fragrance. When I reformulated using Honeyquat, I continued to not scent it. But Honeyquat has its own scent which isn’t quite as appealing. Not awful, just not “right.”
By this time I fell out of love with my Oatmeal Milk and Honey Cream Soap recipe and turned my back on it.
Results: I do love cream soaps but am not happy with the Oatmeal Milk and Honey formulation. But for my sanity I will be creating just 3 types of cream soap – Shower Bubble Bath, Shaving Soap, and Facial Cleanser. I am also going to be focusing the product development around being able to keep it fluid enough to put in Malibu tubes. This will be the year of the cream soaps!
4. Tomato Soap
The premise behind using tomato pulp in soap was two-fold
Lower the PH
The results: It did lower the ph of the soap, but the color was a very very light orange. Not in love. Although I did like that the ph was loaded, this one will remain an experiment and not become a regular soap.
5. Soap Challenges
I did participate in a few soap challenges so here's a look back at those also.