Essential Oils in Handcrafted Soap
One of the most common questions I get when live streaming on Periscope is: What is your favorite scent to add to Natural Soap. This is always a tough question to answer as it changes depending on my mood and what I am trying to accomplish with my handmade soap. When crafting signature scents I need to consider:
- Do I want this batch to remain “all natural”?
- Does the scent help to convey the essence of the colors?
Typically if the answer is yes, I go for an essential oil as these offer aroma-therapy properties along with the conditioning elements of the ingredients in the base recipe of my handmade soap. This combination creates an unforgettable experience. The jury is still out on whether or not this is still considered all natural but for our purposes, essential oils in your soap help it to remain a natural bar of soap. The choices are vast when it comes to essential oils, today our spotlight is on lavender essential oil.
This batch in the picture above was was crafted and cut live, you can catch the replay here.
Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil
The thought of lavender essential oil puts me in an instant state of Zen. Known for its ability to relieve nervous tension and induce sleep, Lavender has a well-researched influence on both the autonomic nervous system and the skin. According to a study by the Journal of Phytomedicine, lavender essential oil helps your body produce three of its own most powerful antioxidants: glutathione, catalase and superoxide dismutase, all of which promote healing and improve cellular communication in skin.
StyleCraze, All Remedies and Beauty Health Tips are all popular blogs that go into all the Lavender with articles like: 20 best benefits of Lavender Essential oil, Benefits of Lavender for hair, skin and overall health and Benefits of Lavender for the body. With so many articles already floating around there is no need for me to go into grave detail here.
How is Lavender Oil Extracted?
The Steam Distillation process of extracting essential oils involves placing quantities of plant materials in a large container of water. This water and plant mixture is then brought to a boil and steam is produced. Distilling Lavender oil is the preferred method for Lavender oil extraction. In Lavender oil distillation the essential volatile plant oils are carried by the steam through a cooler (the coil) where it condenses. This liquid made up of plant oils and water is collected. The essential oils are floating on top of the water in a thin film and must be separated. Not all of the produced essential oils can be captured from the liquid. The water and oil that remains after the process is finished is known as a hydrosol. Do not confuse it with a floral water. True hydrosols are the resultant byproduct that comes from the steam distillation process.