Making Shaving Soap

I’ve mentioned before that my husband Chris and I have switched to exclusively using my homemade soaps since I started making them.  We like them that much!  Well, I wanted to make something special just for Chris.  He’s always been very into fancy shaving creams and brushes, and I decided to find a recipe for a nice, cold process shaving soap.  Brambleberry to the rescue!

Anne Marie of Soap Queen TV (and the CEO/Founder of Brambleberry) posted a blog almost a year ago with just what I was looking for — a small batch recipe for jarred cold process soap designed specifically for shaving.  Bonus?  You can buy all of the ingredients for this recipe, including the jars, from Brambleberry.  Just click the link under her recipe, and it will add all the items to your Brambleberry shopping cart.  Easy peasy!

Because we’re pouring this soap into 8 oz. bail jars, the soap will be getting very little air for curing.  Normally that would mean the soap would take much longer to fully cure.  However, Anne Marie specifically formulated this recipe to account for that.  For one, we’re using a 15% water discount.  Using less water means there’s less moisture to evaporate during the curing process.  I’ve actually started using a water discount in my other, more recent soaps because they harden faster allowing you to unmold them sooner.  The addition of cocoa butter in this recipe also works to harden the final product.

This recipe has a couple of other new ingredients that I hadn’t used before.  First, bentonite clay is added to provide a slick feeling to the soap.  That’s exactly what you need in a shaving soap so that your razor glides easily over your skin.  Second, we’re adding avocado butter.  This rich butter is the softest one I’ve used.  It’s full of skin-loving vitamins, and it adds conditioning properties your final soap.

This particular “kit” uses a combination of two essential oils for fragrance — spearmint and patchouli.  I have to admit, I am not a huge fan of patchouli.  However, I really like the combination of the two!  The spearmint is really, really strong.  We actually use a little bit more of the patchouli, which tempers the spearmint a tad.  The finished product is a beautifully balanced, invigorating scent.  I would like to note that if you have sensitive skin, and especially considering this soap is meant for shaving, I might leave out the essential oils altogether.  Mint essential oils in particular can be irritating for those with sensitive skin.

As always, if you have any questions about this soap or have suggestions for future projects, let me know in the comments below.  I’d love to hear from you!

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