Soap With Natural Exfoliation
Exfoliating is one of the best things you can do for your skin. It helps rid your skin of dead cells and promotes the growth of new ones. One of the most common exfoliants to use in your soap is loofah, a plant related to the cucumber that can be used as an exfoliating tool when dried.
For this project, you'll need:
- 4 pounds of clear melt-and-pour soap base
- A 12-inch PVC pipe mold with end cap
- A quality 12-inch piece of clean, dry loofah
- Fragrance and/or color, as desired
- Pyrex pitcher
- Cups for fragrance oil
Prepare the Mold
Make sure the soap mold is free of any dust or dirt on the inside. Put the end cap on firmly.
If you don't have an end cap, use several layers of plastic wrap and some tight rubber bands to seal the end.
Insert the Loofah
Insert the loofah down into the mold.
If it's longer than the mold, cut the end off. If it's shorter, add another piece to fill the mold.
Cut, Weigh, and Melt the Soap
Cut, weigh, and melt your soap base.
This 12-inch pipe mold holds about 40 ounces of soap base. Because you don't know exactly how much space the loofah is going to take up, melt a little more necessary, just to be safe.
Put the soap base in the microwave and melt it in one- to two-minute intervals until it is hot (about 180 degrees) and completely melted.
Add Fragrance Oil and Color
Add one ounce of fragrance per pound of soap and stir. If using, add the coloring, and stir well.
Pour Soap into Pipe Mold
Slowly pour the melted soap into the top of the pipe mold. Leave an inch or two of space at the top. Tap the mold against a hard surface to dislodge any air bubbles from the soap. After you've thumped the mold on the counter, fill it the rest of the way. Set the mold aside to cool for two to three hours.
Unmold the Soap
After the soap has cooled completely, it's time to get it out of the mold. This can be a difficult process at times.
Put the mold into the freezer for about 20 minutes before you unmold the soap, and then pop the cap off of the end. Place a standard size vegetable can under the mold. With the three-inch pipe, the can will fit just inside of it. Slowly push the pipe down onto the can. The log of soap will start to come out of the top. Press slowly and firmly. It will move very slowly at first. Keep pushing and it will come out completely.
Slice the Soap
Use a sharp serrated knife to cut through the loofah soap. Slice the soap every inch as it's coming out of the mold. The edge of the mold provides a straight, even cut.
Head for the Shower
After your soap is sliced, it's ready to use. Some people find that loofah is a bit too scratchy for use in the shower and prefer to just use it as hand soap. You can also make loofah soap in a less-scrubby variation.