Saturday, September 7, 2019

Autumn Pumpkin Soap

I've been debating on making some sort of soap for the upcoming autumn season for several months. I had to stop debating and make a decision this week because I knew I'd be making a cold process soap if I was making an autumn soap and adding food stuffs (like pureed pumpkin) and it will take at least four weeks for cold process to cure before I can list it in my shop.

Once that was decided I started looking into the benefits of adding pumpkin puree to soap. Pumpkin has a lot of healthful benefits like vitamin C which is great for the skin. Vitamin C helps protect skin from free radicals that cause wrinkles and other skin issues. Pumpkin also has carotenoids that are antioxidants which can help improve skin texture. It contains potassium, copper, zinc, manganese and other minerals.

Now, mind you, these are only a few of the great benefits of pumpkin, and that's when it's eaten. How much of this transfers to topical use, and after going through saponification when making soap? Honestly? No idea. However, pumpkin is used for facial masks and creams for a healthy, bright complexion so maybe it will be a beneficial addition to soap.

To me, the coolest thing about using the pumpkin is...well, it's pumpkin. It's a natural ingredient and the tiny bits of pumpkin will gently exfoliate. It's also a sign of autumn, my favorite time of year!

When I started blending everything together the oils were at 88 degrees F and the lye solution was at 93. I wanted them cooler but I was getting impatient. Between the sugars in the pumpkin and heavy cream and lye reacting to each other and the palm oil (RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) Mass Balance) the batter came to a thick trace pretty quickly. It was quite pudding-like when I poured it into the mold.

Fresh in the mold Autumn Pumpkin Soap. Smells so good!
It was my goal to add autumnal scented essential oils, like cinnamon. Cinnamon is such a strong scent but once I started researching I decided I didn't want to add it to this soap. Cinnamon can be a major irritant for people that can cause skin issues and possibly breathing issues.

The clove oil, which can be a slight irritant, has been added in an amount that is below the suggested safe amount by IFRA (International Fragrance Association). I've also added ginger, vanilla and orange essential oils. Warm and spicy, it smells pretty autumn-ee! In hopes of there being a bit of orange color to the soap I also added a few ounces of annatto seed oil. (Keep in mind that essential oil scents are pretty fragile so you shouldn't have to worry about smelling pumpkin pie-ish after using it.)

Superheated up to 145 degrees F pretty fast, a few minor cracks on the surface.
Once I poured the soap batter into the mold it went into gel stage and heated up very quickly. It doesn't matter how many times I make soap, I still find the whole process so fascinating!

Freshly cut and going on to the curing rack for at least 4 weeks.
I'm really hoping that as the soap cures it turns the color that you see on top and the side edges of the bars. Time will tell...

Before I list any new soaps in the shop I test them myself and give some out to family members, I feel like they're pretty honest with their feedback! The soaps will be listed in the shop in mid-October if the cure is done curing. 

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