Lately a friend of mine has been struggling with some skin issues. Their doctor recommended using a body wash with Tea Tree to help fight the infection. When I heard about this I offered to come up with an all natural soap that is packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients.
I chose to use the hot process method so she wouldn’t have to wait the full 4-6 weeks before getting the benefits. Technically you can use hot process soap as soon as it’s cut, but I prefer to wait a week or two. Just like cold process soap, the longer you leave it, the harder it will get and the longer it will last.
I found this turmeric infused coconut milk while I was last at the supermarket. Turmeric has been in the media a lot lately. I cook with turmeric a lot and love the taste, but I have yet to use it in soap. Adding milk to hot process soap is a great way to loosen up the mix so it isn’t so thick and rustic looking. The fact that this milk was loaded with turmeric is awesome!
Largely due to its curcumin content, Turmeric is often credited with these benefits:
- Fighting inflammation
- As an antioxidant
- Protects the heart in various ways
- Helpful for arthritis
- Brain boosting
- May be helpful for fighting diabetes and cancer
Possesses antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. Cleanses infected wounds, boils and carbuncles. Helps clear spots caused by chicken pox and shingles. Useful with burns, sores, sunburn, ringworm, warts, tinea, herpes and athletes foot. Helpful with dandruff.
helps relieve pain in and , as well as headaches resulting from viral like , , , and fevers. It also helps cure general pain resulting from and .
Castor oil is rich in ricinoleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid. These types of fats act as humectants and can be used to moisturise the skin. It also has impressive anti-inflammatory properties. Castor oil stimulates tissue growth so that a barrier can be formed between the wound and the environment, decreasing the risk of infection. It also reduces dryness and the buildup of dead skin cells that can delay wound healing.
The concentration of natural vitamins and fatty acids in shea butter makes it incredibly nourishing and moisturising for skin. Due to its cinnamic acid and other natural properties, shea butter is an anti-inflammatory.
Manuka honey’s antibacterial properties are what set it apart from traditional honey. Methylglyoxal is its active ingredient and likely responsible for these antibacterial effects.
Additionally, manuka honey has antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. In fact, it has traditionally been used for wound healing, soothing sore throats, preventing tooth decay and improving digestive issues.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY HOT PROCESS SOAP RECIPE
Step One: Add the lye very slowly and carefully to the water, stir gently until the lye is completely dissolved. Once you’re sure the lye has completely dissolved, set aside in a safe area to cool.
Step Two: Turn your crock pot on low to start warming up. Combine the coconut, rice bran, sweet almond, castor oils and shea butter and fully melt. Once the lye has cooled to between 40-50C add the sodium lactate to the lye water and mix. Once both the oils and the lye are between 40-50C add the lye to the oils and stick blend until you reach a thick trace.
Step Three: Put the lid on the crock pot. After 15 minutes, check the soap to see the progress made. Starting from the outside, the texture and colour of the soap will start to change. If the middle does not appear to be changing, stir the batch to ensure even cooking. Don’t be surprised if the soap starts to grow in volume and tries to climb out of the pot. Do not leave your soap unattended for this reason. If the soap gets too high in the pot, take the pot off heat and stir until it recedes.
The batch will be ready when it’s the texture of mashed potatoes. This may take another 15 minute session or even two or three more stir’n’waits. When you think it’s ready, use a pH strip to test the levels. It should be showing below a 10. To test the pH; take some soap and dissolve it water, then dip your pH test strip in this water/soap mix.
The amount of time that the soap takes in the crock pot depends on the size and shape of your crock pot. My batch took roughly 25 minutes to fully cook.
Step Four: Once your soap is cooked, remove the bowl from the crock pot jacket. Add the milk, honey and essential oils then stir well. You may need to use your stick blender if your batch is a little lumpy.
Step Five: Pour into the mould and tamp down to get rid of any air bubbles. Set aside to cool and harden.
The great thing about hot process soap is that it’s ready to cut so quickly! My batch was made in the morning, and I was cutting it five hours later. While you can technically use hot process soap immediately, I like to wait a week or two just to let the soap cure even further ensuring a long lasting bar.
Check out this super zoomed in (sorry!) and speeded up video to watch how the soap cooks.