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It’s time for another soap recipe!  This is one I formulated specifically to promote smooth complexions for teenagers and adults.  My family all uses it and likes it so much that they voluntarily check on our inventory and alert me if we ever get low.  It has a creamy smooth, soothing lather, a refreshing cool scent, and clears up oily skin and acne without over-drying.  I literally don’t use any other products on my face.  Besides the base oils of Olive and Coconut that I use in all kinds of soap, Grapeseed oil has astringent properties, Jojoba is very closely related to the protective oils in our skin, Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca) is a natural antibiotic and antiseptic, and peppermint is refreshing and tightens the pores.  Every ingredient is natural and has a specific purpose.

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I will refer you to my prior post about soap making for more specifics about how to get started.  If you’re familiar with that process, with a few simple changes in the ingredients you’ll soon be making Cool Complexion Soap.  I always make this in Pringles cans so we can distinguish it from my hand and body soaps.  Face soap is round, like your face.

IMG_0129Here’s a refresher about tools and utensils you’ll need:  A large (plastic) bowl for oils, pitcher for mixing lye, long handled plastic or wooden spoon, rubber spatula or scraper, stick blender, meat or candy thermometer digital scale that measures in ounces.

. . .And a little safety reminder before you begin:

  1. Prepare your mold first. In this case, that means rinse and dry three regular sized Pringles potato crisps cans.
  2. Keep CHILDREN and PETS AWAY while you work!
  3. Wear PROTECTIVE GOGGLES and RUBBER GLOVES while handling lye, and long sleeves.
  4. IMG_0156Keep a spray bottle of VINEGAR handy to neutralize any spills or accidental contact with skin.
  5. Opening a window is a good idea.
  6. Use a reliable THERMOMETER, and an accurate DIGITAL SCALE  It is imperative that you MEASURE PRECISELY!  REMEMBER to RESET the SCALE with each measurement to SUBTRACT the WEIGHT of the CONTAINER!
  7.  NEVER use your containers or utensils for other things, particularly food items.
  8. ALWAYS measure, mix, and melt oils together FIRST.
  9. ALWAYS add your lye to the water, NEVER add water to lye!!!!
  10. For clean-up:  Using rubber gloves, spray all your utensils with vinegar, rinse, then wash with dish soap and dry.

So. . . Here’s the recipe!

Cool Complexion Soap

  • 20 oz Peppermint tea (Strong) Prepared in advance and refrigerated–the colder the better)
  • 12 oz coconut oil
  • 60 oz Olive Oil
  • 10.5 oz. lye

Measure and mix the coconut oil and olive oil.  I find it easier to liquify the coconut oil by liquifying it in the microwave before measuring.  (You can use the microwave bit by bit to adjust the temperature so it reaches 100°F at the same moment that the lye mixture cools down to 100°F.)

IMG_0189PUT YOUR GOGGLES AND GLOVES ON NOW.

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Carefully measure the lye into a DRY container and add it to the peppermint tea pitcher, stirring gently.  You will notice that it heats up very quickly.  Stir and check the temperature occasionally as it cools.  (You may add up to four ice cubes to help it cool.)

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Keep checking until your oils and lye mixture both reach the same temperature of approximately 100°F.  (Warmer temperatures will produce a darker finished product.)  Pour the LYE MIXTURE INTO THE OIL, stir gently, then mix with your stick blender in short bursts until trace.  You’ll know it’s trace when it looks like a soft pudding.  (Drops can be seen on the surface.)  In my experience, this can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 25 or 30, depending on temperature, types of oil, and who-knows-what other factors.  Just enjoy the colorful changes that take place, and don’t worry, they’re just part of the chemical reaction you get with the tea.

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This batch was not made with tea, so it’s a lighter color than you can expect from my updated version of Complexion Soap with peppermint tea.

Add at trace:

  • 4 oz Grapeseed Oil
  • 4 oz Jojoba Oil
  • Tea Tree (Melaleuca) Oil (I use approximately 1/3 oz.  Tea Tree Oil has a very strong Piney sort of scent, and if you’re not familiar with it, you may want to go a little easy to begin with.)
  • Peppermint Oil (The amount is also based on your personal preference.  Try about 10-15 drops.  You want just enough to give it a little “chill.”  If you use too much your soap may have a frosty “sting.”)

Mix them in well, then you’re ready to pour your soap into molds.  Cover the molds with the original lids.

Soap heats up as a part of the chemical process, but it also needs to maintain even heat, and cool down slowly to come out right.  Huddle your Pringles cans together as much as possible, and wrap them with a kitchen towel or two to insulate for about 24 hours.

Next day:  Use rubber gloves while you snip into the cans and tear the molds from the soap.  It will be about the consistency of a block of cheddar cheese, and can be cut into bars.  Place the bars on a rack or tray in an out-of-the-way place where they can get good air circulation.

Try to be patient!  I know, you can hardly wait to try it!  Your new soap will have finished curing and be safe for your skin in two to three weeks.

Happy Soap Making and a Smooth Cool Complexion to you!

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