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  • Connie Sue Boggess

Formulating Soap Recipes - Making

People have asked about why I have several formulations - for each of our items. Well - one size does not fit all! The specific request was "I'd like to learn more about the oils and butters you use in your soap and how they help our skin?" So, this question helps me too - it allows me to revisit the origins of this journey.


Back in 2011 - is when I started making soap for my family, I started researching, looking for local classes to take (none!), buying books (yep the paper ones), and watching videos. It was funny how I go back now - and look at some of those videos - and they are primitive to say the least. Modernization - with filming in homes - has definitely evolved. Thankfully!


Over the years - I joined the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild, Unique Makers, and more I have taken face to face classes, attended workshops from the folks that wrote the books, and sat down with these men and women and discussed the processes. I have watched them do their thing - learned to make products from scratch - 99% of #good_horse_scents_wv products are made from raw ingredients that are strategically and purposefully combined to create our products.


So . . . let us delve into the why of the oils that I have chosen for our main soaps. That seems an easy place to start.



Lard - It is readily available here in West Virginia - it is not transported from over seas - it is found locally at butcher shops/slaughter houses where the pigs are processed 1 mile down the road. My friends from the #putnamfarmersmarket #cragocountryfarms #gandgheritagefarms, raise their own pigs - and so sourcing the lard is important for me. I know what they feed. I learned to render it from scratch! Its part of soap making history, and it has wonderful properties that translate into a hard, long lasting bar, that makes a beautiful white bar of soap. The lather is stable and creamy. Plus 100% Lard bar makes a great laundry detergent, stain stick, and is safe to clean even the tiny humans.



Olive - Pomace, Virgin, Extra Virgin - creates a low slippery lather - that really doesn't product bubbles - doesn't strip your skin as it has low cleansing properties. What that means is that it is mild, nourishing - takes a long time to cure into an extremely hard bar.



Coconut - Bubbles galore - large, fluffy bubbles - super cleansing, hard bar that is brilliant white. I combine it with other oils as it can be over cleansing - stripping the natural oils from your skin. A 100% no added superfat soap makes a superb laundry, car cleansing bar of soap.



Castor: Yep - the stuff they make you drink to feel better! this viscous bean oil - helps to boost the bubbles of coconut oil - balance the bar out and OHHHHHH I love how it helps the bar soap feel. It helps the soap be more easily dissolved in water. I only add 5-10%.



Apricot Kernel: I needed a soft oil that didn't irritate my skin - as I am personally allergic to Almond Oil. I also wanted an oil that helped to have a mild cleansing and medium lather


Cocoa Butter . . . if you know me at all - I LOVE chocolate! and this is the best smelling, raw butter EVER, in my opinion. When I added it to a formulation - the lather was lotion like, it added additional hardness making the bar soap even longer lasting. Plus, the moisturizing properties . . . OMG!!! I could formulate with 5% all the way to 15% - Devine!!!!


Shea Butter - Butters definitely take some of the lather away - meaning - its not super bubbly - but more lotion like, creamy, smooth, luxurious, moisturizing, conditioning and just exotic. I like to use about 5%-20% depending on the other oils and butters and truthfully - what I want the bar to do.


Palm - I bought what was on sale - buy 50 lbs get 50 lbs. I don't like to use it. It feels slick and sticky (I said that) and you should see #andreacremeans face when she reaches into get it to put it into a formulation. It makes me giggle! A LOT!


Rice Bran Oil - creates a sheen on the bar - making the finished soap less dull - but if you know me too - I'm not about beauty - but function - Rice bran is a wonderful oil - probably one of my favorites. It is a good replacement for olive oil. And as a Agriculture person - I look at sourcing it - and crops - the time it takes for it to get processed and shipped here. It also contains good fatty acids - that makes hair and skin shine.


I also use Jojoba Oil, Sunflower, Hemp, and another favorite Avocado! Oh the possibilities are endless. The combinations are endless - but the percentages in a recipe are not. That is why it truly is a creative endeavor. It takes thought and effort to create my own recipes. It takes thought and effort to formulate based upon a humans skin, an animals skin, and continue to be natural and nourishing to your SKIN!


We have vegan bars and we have lard and soon tallow based soaps. I finally am sitting down to make a list that can help all folks decide what they want to put on their bodies. Regardless of your preferences - just use good sense and use "Good Horse Scents"! Soap and water is the key to good hygiene.


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