True Natural Beauty comes from within...

True Natural Beauty comes from within...
Welcome, to my natural bath / beauty and clean eating blog, where nature is our pantry....take a few quiet moments to enjoy free recipes and tutorials using natural ingredients. Have questions about recipes or where to find these ingredients? Put your question in the comment box and I will be happy to answer .............Anna

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

How to use Clay in soap

Updated: 2/4/16
Clay in handcrafted soap is beneficial on several levels. Used in shaving soaps it gives the soap "slip", meaning it helps the razor to glide or slip over the skin smoothly.  Used in daily use soap, it makes a lovely complextion bar, and all over body soap. The various types of clay add different properties and natural color to your soap as well.

Bentonite clay is an affordable, easy to find clay, with many awesome uses.  A light greenish color, bordering on grey, clay. The largest deposits being mined in Wyoming and Montana, USA.  It's greatest property is it's ability to absorb toxins and impurities. Hence, it makes a lovely complexion bar that gently cleanses skin,  is highly absorbent and good for oily, or acne prone skin.  Adding Bentonite makes a silky, creamy feel to the soap.  Pictured below is a soap I made with Bentonite clay, oatmeal, tea tree and rosemary.

Left: Bentonite clay

Kaolin clay

Rhassoul clay is a highly prized spa favorite all over the world. Only found in the beautiful Atlas Mountains of eastern Morocco, this reddish brown clay, makes the soap a light brown with specks. History shows it has been used for over 1400 years as a soap and skin conditioner. It contains higher percentages of magnesium, potassium and calcium than other clays which make it desirable additive to any skin care line. Rhassoul has been known to reduce dry and flakiness in skin, improving the skins natural elasticity. clarity, and tone, as well as absorb toxins. Suitable for all skin types. Pictured below is a soap I made with Rhassoul clay, calendula tea and orange essential oil.

French Green Clay, soft green in color,  is made up of healing volcanic ash that is full of important minerals. It is very effective in deep cleansing, and as with all clays is a natural de-toxifier as it absorbs and pulls out toxins deep within the skin cells. This helps to rejuvenate, tone and brighten the skin. This is another great shaving soap, as it makes a dense creamy lather with nice "slip". Suitable for oily skin.  Below is another Bentonite clay soap, with rosemary and lavender.

1-2 Teaspoons of clay per pound of oils, ( I used 2 tsp)

Here are several methods:

1) Once your oils are melted, take out a few Tablespoons of oil and stir your clay into it. Mix well so there are no clumps, then add clay/oil back into your melted oils. Stir. Add your lye/water and proceed as normal. 

2)Another method is to add your clay directly into your melted oils and stick blend them in. I have seen little clumps this way, so be sure you stick blend well and fully disperse the clay. 
Then add your lye/water and proceed as normal.

3) At trace you can add clay in and stick blend until no clumps. I find this to be the easiest method and the one that I usually do.

Clay can be added in Hot Process and Cold Process soap methods.
Be sure and use cosmetic grade clay!

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO WITH YOUR CLAYS that you bought to make soap with?

Clay and Herb Mask recipe:
2 parts clay 
1 part finely ground herb, oats, and/or tea (I grind mine into a powder in a coffee bean grinder)

Hydrate this mix with water or tea, apply to skin in circular motions, leave on 10 mins. Rinse off.

Note: use wooden or plastic utensils when working with bentonite clay due to it's natural components and the reaction to metals.

According to Mountain Rose Herbs:  

Bentonite is very unusual in the fact that once it becomes hydrated, the electrical and molecular components of the clay rapidly change and produce an “electrical charge”… When it becomes mixed with water it rapidly swells open like a highly porous sponge. From here the toxins are drawn into the sponge through electrical attraction and once there, they are bound.

Clay facial
1 part clay
2 parts liquid, adding more if it's still too dry. You can use water for normal to oily skin,
or milk for normal to combination skin.
optional:  melt a little honey and add

Smooth on, leave on for 10 mins and rinse. Using a warm, wet washcloth works best. 
Then splash face with cool water.


Doreen... said...

Dear Anna and family,
I have a very bad conscience. I'm really very sorry that I have not reported me for so long. But I still think often of you. We had unfortunately a lot of stress in the family and in the job. Since everything was different back something. I have just got your comment on my blog.
All the best to you dear Anna and your dear family.
Greetings Doreen

Sew And Tell Quilts said...

I'm just new to soap making and really appreciate the information on your blog. I have really come to love hot process over cold because I'm just too impatient to wait! I want to make some soap that could double as both good for your skin and also for shaving. What I didn't know, after I got my bentonite clay, was when I can add it to my basic recipe. I will add it to the hot oil as you suggest and quit worrying about it! You are as I've found successful soap makers to be - generous. I aim to be as supportive! Thanks and all best!

Unknown said...

Sew And Tell Quilts....I too was too impatient to wait for cold process soap...have you ever tried CPOP (cold process oven process). Starts as cold process but then you put it in the oven and that forces it through gel...and poof...its done. As with all soaps the longer you let it sit the better it is...but it is ready the next day. Just wanted to share!

cheldi said...

I made my first shaving soap recipe yesterday, and completely forgot to add the bentonite clay I was planning to use! Darnit! I'm wondering if I could have any luck with remelting that soap and adding the clay in. I'm especially interested now in doing so with just half of the batch so I can compare them in a few weeks when both are ready. It's so difficult to compare when I make my regular soaps months apart to avoid excessive piles of soap waiting around to be needed!

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Hi Cheldi,
Yes, you can re-batch your soap and add the bentonite clay to it.
Did you do your soap the Hot Process Method or the Cold?

Either way you can re-batch.

Chop up as much soap as you want to re-batch, and put in crock pot.
Add water or milk. Milk is really fabulous to use when re-batching.
How much milk? This depends on how much soap you are re-batching.

A good rule of thumb is... look at your chopped up soap like a salad, pour milk over it to the amount you would salad dressing. Make sense?
When it begins to melt together again, put in your bentonite clay. Add more milk if needed.

I have forgotten things in my soap and have had to do this! I made this really super cool looking fancy topped soap and was SO proud. Then realized I didn't put the fragrance it it! I had to dump the whole batch out, and stir in the fragrance. It smelled good, but it definitely was not cool looking any more, LOL!

hope this helped!

cheldi said...

Thanks so much for your reply! I think I will try with half and see what happens. (It was cold process)
On another note- any suggestions to re-batch a soap that ended up too soft? I've never had this happen before. More than 24hrs later and it won't come out of the molds in tact. Did I not cook it long enough? This was cold process, too, and went through the lye calculator. If I re-batch, can I add anything to help it get more solid? Adding liquid seems counter intuitive...

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Hi Cheldi,
Here is a link to trouble shoot the different reasons cold process soap can be too soft.
Sometimes we just don't know though! If we think we know what the problem may be we can correct it by re-batching.

I don't do much cold process soaping, my experience is mostly with hot process, so I'm not real sure about this. There is just so many different factors that could cause the soft soap.

I would let it sit longer and see if it will harden. If it just won't, then try a re-batch.
Hot process it, and after it is melted add colloidal oatmeal. Stir well and do a zap test.
This is what I would do.

Any other cold process soaper's out there that could address this topic for cheldi, please feel free to leave your comments.
thank you!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the information on the clay. I've only been soaping for a minute, and already I've got so many soaps happening. My family is excited to try them all (I've made several in the last 2 weeks). my daughter has a exzama (sp) on her lower half. I use my own infused coconut oils and shae butter mixes, they worked well for years before, but now she's six, and going through physical changes, so the oils and butters just aren't enough. SOO, change the soap. That's where the interest began. Your info on the clay and recipes helps me out a lot. My daughter says Thanks!

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Your welcome Toi, glad you are enjoying soap making and I could be a help!

dayindenver said...

Toi, I made a soap with Pine Tar for a friend with skin condition. It's supposed to be good for eczema and psoriasis, but of course can't advertise that if I were to sell it... as it becomes medicated and must meet certain FDA standards. Anyhow, she will try it soon. The smell needs getting used to so using other EO with clay should help.

Sevgi's organic products OH MY LOVE said...

Hi Anna I made clendula & camomile infused herbal soap myself without lye. I don't want to use lye or any chemicals. the texture is good but no lather. how can I get more foam/ lather for my soap. I should rebatch again. I had cut it all and put it freezer now. :) thank you for your advices aand information. regards Sevgi xx

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