This month’s soap challenge, hosted by Amy Warden at Great Cakes Soapworks, is about using alternative liquids (liquids used instead of distilled water) in CP soap.
Since ancient times, however, rose oil, rose water, rose jam and rose juice have been used to beautify, heal and feed people. This source gives information on the major production centers and the medicinal properties of rose oil and water. Historically, rose water was “discovered” and used before rose oil distillation methods were developed. Traditionally, it has been used for food flavoring, to treat digestive problems (as a mild laxative) and liver problems. Directly applied onto the skin, it has been used to treat eczema, dermatitis, and dry skin. Nowadays, it is included in cold creams, tonic waters and facial masks. I find it both toning and moisturizing and like to use it as a room spray, too. Despite the fact that it has been known to have some medicinal properties, this article says that it is much better to use medicines specifically developed for a particular illness rather than rely on the mild effects of rose water treatment.
This month’s challenge “Alternative liquids” was a good opportunity to use rose water (rose hydrosol) as a substitute for distilled water in cold process soap as a friend of mine gave me a couple of bottles when she came back from her summer vacation. After experimenting with red cabbage juice and discovering that the anthocyanins are broken down to other substances when treated with NaOH, I decided that I wanted a liquid which would not be bullied by the caustic soda and therefore would retain the substances which make it good for the human skin and body. The four major constituents of rose water (geraniol, citronellol, phenyl ethylalcohol, and nerol) are said to not react to NaOH which makes them stable in cold process soap. Fortunately, the rose water did not change color when mixed with the NaOH flakes and I could proceed without having to worry about discoloration of the finished soap.
I used the following colorants:
Madder root powder
I infused sunflower oil with madder root powder. Since I did not strain the oil some of the powder went into the soap and I think it contributed a lot to the beautiful velvety red.
White kaolin. Nowadays, I use approx. 20 g of white kaolin per 500 g of soap (approx. 4% of the soap weight). However, as I needed the soap to become as white as possible, I used 2.5 times the usual amount to saturate the soap batter with white particles and therefore make sure that the soap would not discolor to beige even if it gelled.
The soap was drop- and hanger-swirled. It is scented with a blend of rose geranium, Peru balsam and spearmint essential oils. This blend smells very rose-like and since I was not expecting such a result at all I am very excited about it!
Thank you Amy for this wanderful challenge. It was indeed a great opportunity to learn and experiment with new liquids! I am very much looking forward to reading the posts of all the challengers this month – a lot of new things to learn!
Good luck and have a wonderful weekend everyone!