I have to admit to being a bit of a 'tweaker' when it comes to soaping....or cooking....or arranging furniture. There just always seems to be some little change I could make to improve on whatever I'm doing. Typically with cooking recipes I'll reduce the sugar or oil a little (not that it helps my waistline - but it's nice to know that if I have seconds it won't be quite as 'nourishing'!!)
Unlike cooking, soaping can take quite a while longer before we can make assessments and implement changes. Sometimes we know when we pour a batch that it 'saponified' a little too quickly. We make a note to reduce harder oils and increase softer oils such as Sweet Almond Oil, Grapeseed or Olive. Occasionally we make assessments at cutting time. If a batch is a little too 'sticky', we may need to decrease the castor oil and increase another. After curing, which can take 4-8 weeks we'll try our soap ourselves. We can make small changes to increase moisturising or creaminess or lather if it's needed.
One of the major changes we've made with our Lemongrass soap had nothing at all to do with formula. A year ago, frustrated with the colour and freshness of our purchased calendula petals, we decided to plant our own. The petals are harvested regularly and air dried in our soap room with the dehumidifier going. The result is these lovely, bright orange blossoms grown without chemicals and as fresh as they can be.
Studies have proven Calendula to have anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. Calendula petals are also recommended for the treatment of acne and to sooth irritated tissue.
This is one recipe that will be stamped with "DO NOT TWEAK" across it. Our Lemongrass soap is jam packed with healthy goodness, not to mention an earthy-fresh scent. There is nothing more to be done except plant more calendula seeds.