Castile Soap Recipe with Bee Pollen Powder
While a traditional, pure Castile soap recipe is made using 100% olive oil, a modern Castile soap recipe may contain additional oils so long as olive oil is part of the Castile soap recipe and it consists of all vegetable oils. However Dictionary.com offers a looser definition defining Castile soap as fine hard bland soap made from olive oil and sodium hydroxide; also : any of various similar soaps. An example of a modern, non-traditional Castile soap would include Dr. Bronner’s well known liquid Castile soaps.
However some soapmakers prefer to make a distinction between a traditional Castile soap with 100% olive versus an all vegetable soap with olive oil and would call this a Bastille soap instead. Regardless of your preference, as there are discrepancies across the cottage soapmaking industry in what one considers Castile, I recommend labeling your soaps with a full ingredient list if you are selling this soap so consumers are aware that this is not a 100% Castile soap bar.
My homemade Castile soap recipe is made using 50% olive oil combined with palm oil and coconut oil to create a Castile soap that’s both harder and lathers better than a traditional Castile soap bar.
In addition I’ve also added bee pollen powder to my Castile soap recipe. Bee pollen has skin soothing and anti-inflammatory properties and is often used in skin care products to help calm inflammatory conditions and common skin irritations such as psoriasis or eczema. Further, the amino acids and vitamins naturally found in bee pollen are believed to help protect skin as well as aid in cell regeneration.
As my family and I tend to suffer from dry skin in the winter I also added a small amount of lanolin to this Castile soap recipe for it’s moisturizing properties. However, the lanolin is optional and can be omitted if you prefer not to use it to keep to a true to an all vegetable soap. I just thought I’d offer it as an option for those who enjoy the feel lanolin adds to soap like I do. (It’s one of those “I started out with an idea and then I had another idea I threw in a the end because I just couldn’t resist” sort of things.) Alternately you could also increase the amount of superfat in this soap and run the numbers back through a lye calculator to get the new amount of lye needed with your changes.
Bee Pollen Castile Soap Recipe
11.8 oz. distilled water
4.9 oz. lye/sodium hydroxide
2 – 2.5 oz. fragrance oil, optional (for a non-Castile bar)
3 Tablespoon bee pollen powder
Water as % of oils = 33%
1 oz. fragrance oil per pound
The lanolin is not figured into the SAP value for this Castile soap recipe so omitting the lanolin or changing the amount of lanolin used will not affect the amount of lye needed for this recipe.
The oils were used at the following percentages: Olive oil=50%, Coconut oil=20% and Palm oil at 30%.
If you prefer not to use palm oil you can easily sub lard for the palm oil which has a similar SAP value and soapmaking properties without having to recalculate the lye. However, if you are resizing this soap recipe and subbing the palm oil with lard you’ll want to run it back through a lye calc just to be sure.
I used a Sandalwood Patchouli fragrance oil from Wholesale Supplies Plus for this Castile soap recipe. As this fragrance has 5% vanilla content it did turn the soap a light brown. Also as this fragrance is a bit on the stronger side I used only 2 oz. of fragrance oil. However in keeping with not having any artificial ingredients in a Castile soap recipe, you can use half the amount in essential oils instead if desired or leave it unscented.
This cold process Castile soap recipe yields 10-12 bars of soap that will weigh around 4 oz. each depending on how they are cut and fits inside my DIY wooden loaf soap mold.
You’ll need to follow your basic cold process soapmaking instructions to make this Castile soap recipe. (If you’ve never made cold process soap before here’s another good, inexpensive beginner’s cold process soap recipe.) Be sure to take all proper safety precautions when working with lye including goggles and gloves.
Begin by measuring out the distilled water in fluid ounces. Pour into a heat safe pitcher. Next, using a digital scale weigh out the lye. Slowly pour the lye into the water in a well ventilated area and stir until all the lye has dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Now weigh out the soapmaking oils and lanolin, if desired, using a digital scale and combine in a stainless steel pot. Heat over medium heat until melted then remove from heat and set a side to cool.
When both the lye-water and oils have cooled to 90°-95°F you’re ready to make soap. Begin by measuring out the bee pollen powder with a measuring spoon and add to the soapmaking oils. Mix with a stick blender until fully incorporated.
Now, pour the lye-water into the oils. Mix using a stick blender until you reach a light trace. Add fragrance oil if you’re using one and then mix again until well blended and soap is at a medium-heavy trace.
Pour the soap into your prepared mold.
If you’d like a “honeycomb” textured top on your bars of homemade soap, cut a piece of bubble wrap to fit the size of your mold and press it onto the top of the freshly poured soap. Otherwise lightly cover the soap and allow to set for 24 hours. (Discover more behind the scenes pics like this one by following me on Instagram!)
After 24 hours remove the bubble wrap from the top of your soap loaf and unmold the soap.
Now cut your soap into bars and allow the soap to cure 4-6 weeks before use. Wrap and label as desired.
Now try out my traditional Castile soap recipe found here.
If you liked my Castile soap recipe be sure to also try my Neem Oil & Bee Pollen Skin Cream Recipe. This natural neem oil and bee pollen skin cream recipe combines the healing power of neem oil with the skin soothing, anti-inflammatory properties of bee pollen to help improve problem skin issues including acne, shingles, cold sores, minor cuts and abrasions, athlete’s foot, eczema and psoriasis. Feedback I’ve received via my Facebook page include the following: “I tried this recipe and it healed a cold sore in record time.” and “I shared a little jar with my co-worker who had surgery recently and she told me that it’s healing her up and softening her keloid scarring as well. That is a bonus!” Learn how to make it here.
For more of my homemade soap recipes as well as bath and beauty DIY’s be sure to visit Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen. You can also follow me on Pinterest for collections of not only my homemade soap recipes and beauty DIY’s but also some of my favorites from around the web.