How to Make Hot Process Bastille Honey Soap---Great for Babies!
What on earth is Bastille soap? I wondered the same thing when I heard that name. Bastille soap is a close relative of Castille soap, which is the traditional pure olive oil soap--no other oils are used at all. Castille soap is incredibly softening and good for your skin, due to the olive oil, however, it doesn't lather very well, and it requires a VERY long curing time. It can also be a bit finicky to make.
To counteract the downsides of Castille soap, a soap maker many years ago came up with Bastille soap. Bastille soap includes any soap that is at least 70% olive oil. Other oils can be added to help with lather, shorten the curing time, etc. Even though it's not a pure olive oil soap, it's STILL wonderful for your skin due to the very high olive oil content.
You can find out more about Castille vs. Bastile soap in this article with a rundown of pros and cons of each as well as recipes.
The recipe I’m sharing here is for a Honey Bastille Hot Process Soap, and it is perfect for sensitive skin and babies.
If you've been around here very long, you know how I feel about hot process soap: I LOVE it best. So, generally, I'll have to mess around with a recipe in order to convert it to a hot process version that works out well. This Bastille Soap is no exception!
I decided to add honey to this soap for the additional skin soothing benefits :-) It's scented with Lavender Essential oil and just a touch of Vanilla to give it a bit of sweetness using ingredients that are exceptional for the skin.
Overall, it's a very gentle, soothing soap, suitable for babies and young children or people with sensitive and itchy skin.
A lot of soap recipes call for coconut oil (as opposed to palm oil) because it can help the lathering process as well as palm, but without the sustainability problems palm oil has. All my soap recipes are palm free for this reason, and I’ve learned to work with coconut oil very well.
But when I learned I had an allergy to coconut oil used on my skin, I was leery of soaps made with it. But I soon learned the saponification process does change the chemical make up of the oils, therefore I can tolerate coconut oil in soaps.
But I decided to make this soap without the coconut oil this time, even though the lather of the soap was a touch affected, and I'm not one bit sorry even still. It turned out great!
I have to tell you about the smell of this soap as it was cooking! It smelled JUST like a cookie! I don't know if it was the oils or the honey added in....but it smelled REALLY good. Maybe I just have a weird nose, but this was a very nice soap making experience. :-)
Usually scents don't last in the soap, except for the essential oils added at the end....but this soap actually retained a little of that cookie scent, even after cooling down and having the essential oils added in! It turned out to be a really nice soap, and that’s why I’m sharing it with you.
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How to Make Honey Hot Process Bastille Soap
My version of Bastille soap was inspired by Jan Berry's Bastille soap recipe as well as a recipe I got from another friend who uses honey in hers. You can find out more about Jan's soap making recipes and learn to make soap from her in this link.
If you are new to soap making or to making hot process soap, you should probably read through one or both of these articles because they are more detailed with lots of pictures: How to Make Hot Process Soap and/or Lavender-Rosemary-Vanilla Hot Process Soap. You'll find out when your soap is ready for sure as well as answers to all your hot process questions.
Ingredients for Honey Bastille Soap Recipe
9.3 ounces distilled water
3.54 ounces sodium hydroxide (lye)
21 ounces olive oil (Yep! That much! This is a soap with 75% olive oil.) **Costco has the best prices!
4.5 ounces shea butter
2.5 ounces castor oil (helps with lather)
I added about a tablespoon of honey to the oil mixture as it was melting in the crock pot, and it gave the soap a pretty brown color. That's not why I added the honey, but that is what it did to the color.
Tools You'll Need to Make Hot Process Soap
The tools needed for hot process soap differ just a little bit from cold process soap. The chemical process is sped up during the cook time, and although hot process soap is the more traditional method, these days modern soap makers use a crock pot! Here are the tools you'll need:
1) A large crock pot, and I prefer the manual ones.
2) A hand blender
3) A kitchen scale for measuring
5) Heat resistant pitcher for the lye solution
7) Soap mold
Directions for Honey Bastille Hot Process Soap
Step 1) Measure your oils (not essential oils) into the crock pot. Set to low.
Step 2) Get your safety gear on! Measure out your water. Then the lye. Pour the lye into the water and mix well.
***Never pour water into the lye because you might just get a lye explosion, and that can be dangerous.
Step 3) Once the oils are melted together in the crock pot, gently pour in the lye solution.
Step 4) Mix to trace with the hand blender.
Step 5) Cook until ready!
Step 6) Press firmly into your soap mold
Step 7) Allow to cool
Step 8) Remove and enjoy! You can cut your bars as needed and leave the loaf intact if you like. This actually helps preserve the scent of the soap too---just another little perk to the hot process method of soap making!
Final Thoughts About Bastille Honey Hot Process Soap
Making your own soaps gives you total control over the ingredients and what is going on your skin. What a blessing and a joy this is! No worries about toxins, and you can make it the way YOU want!
This recipe for bastille and honey soap cooked a little more slowly than most of my other soap recipes, but in the end it turned out beautifully! It smells incredible, too! Most soaps retain a bit of the scent of the saponifation process of the oils, but this soap actually smelled REALLY good, and you really wouldn't have to use essential oils if you didn't want to.
It lathers ok, not as well as I would have hoped with the amount of castor oil I used, but it still is a wonderfully soothing and softening soap for sensitive skin. I really like it! I'm excited to try other versions of Bastille soap now!
Do you make hot process soap? Bastille soap? We'd love to hear your questions, experiences, and advice, so please leave a comment in the comments section! :-)
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Hugs, Health, & Self-Reliance,
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