Recipe and Giveaway: Dead Sea Mud Spa Bar Soap

The very first bar of handmade soap I fell in love with was a Dead Sea mud bar I used to buy at my local farmer’s market in Georgia before I moved. In fact, it was my love for this bar of soap that drove me to try making my own soap because I wanted to continue to use it, but I didn’t want to have to special order it from my new home in Massachusetts. I started studying the craft of soapmaking, and eventually I formulated several different Dead Sea mud soap recipes, but for some reason, I never tried making them.

At first, I studied the ingredient label on my remaining farmer’s market soaps and tried to replicate the recipe, even in my other bars of soap, but as I learned more about oils and butters over time, I developed my own Dead Sea mud spa soap recipe, and I decided the time was finally right to create my own version of this soap.

Dead Sea Mud Spa Bar

Why use Dead Sea mud in soap? Dead Sea mud is rich in minerals and salt that are good for your skin. Many expensive beauty treatments have Dead Sea mud among their ingredients. I purchased my Dead Sea mud from SoapGoods, but you can buy it many places.

I used a 33% water weight as a percentage of oils when I formulated my recipe in SoapCalc. You can use more, but be mindful of the fact that you have Dead Sea mud in your recipe, and make sure you don’t use too much. I used a 6% superfat for the lye.

  • 40% olive oil
  • 25% coconut oil
  • 15% palm oil
  • 7% shea butter
  • 7% castor oil
  • 6% apricot kernel oil

I used a fragrance ratio of 50 grams per kilogram, or 5%. At this point, I should explain that I usually use grams instead of ounces because they are more precise. You can still use the same percentage if you are using ounces.

You can use between 1 and 2 tablespoons of Dead Sea mud per 500 grams of oils. My recipe is 1,100 grams of oils, and I used 3 tablespoons of Dead Sea mud.

You can use whichever fragrance or essential oil you like for this recipe. I used an essential oil blend of lavender and spearmint. I also put a pinch of tussah silk in my lye water (I usually do this with all my water-based soaps, but I find it too hard to dissolve the silk in milk-based soaps). I also topped my soaps with Himalayan pink salt. You could easily omit the salt.

Dead Sea Mud Spa Bar

Unfortunately, I didn’t take photographs of my process. Note: The reason I use percentages in recipes I post on this blog is that your mold may be smaller or larger than mine, and using percentages allows you to use SoapCalc to adjust the recipe for your own mold. I wish more soaping books also used percentages, but I have noticed that many soaping blogs do. If you want to figure out how much oil will fit in your mold, use this formula for a rectangular mold, check out this link for more information on how to do that.

And now seems like a good enough time for a giveaway, so if you’d like to win one of these bars of soap, enter the contest. Please remember that soap takes four weeks to cure, so the soap will not be shipped out until June 5, 2015. Good luck! Open only to residents of the United States (shipping costs are high; sorry!).

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New Soaps

I bought a new soap cutter (it’s fabulous!), and I have been having too much fun making new soaps. Lavender SpearmintLavender spearmint might be my new favorite. It smells divine (a mix of lavender essential oils and spearmint fragrance). I love lavender, but somehow, this soap smells better with the addition of spearmint. My theory is that the spearmint complements and anchors the lavender.

Lavender SpearmintLook at those swirls! I used a drop-swirl technique. I poured a layer of white soap in the mold, then held the purple high over the mold so that it would penetrate the white layer. I repeated with the other purple. Then I spooned another layer of white into the mold and repeated the process. I like this technique and used it again tonight in a soap I made.

Angel WhiteI like how this one came out. I decided to call it Angel White. I wanted to create a pure white soap, but I couldn’t resist decorating it with some pink. The fragrance I used actually temporarily turned the soap a creamy yellow color, but it turned white again. I have never had a fragrance oil do that. Sometimes fragrances discolor soaps, but it either tends to darken them over time (in the case of fragrance with vanillin), or it gives them a yellower cast that pretty much stays that way. I have never had one turn yellowish and then revert to white. It is Amazingly Grace from Nature’s Garden, if you are curious. It’s a great, light, clean scent, and I had no troubles with it.

Romeo and JulietI am calling this one Romeo and Juliet. I made it with a hanger swirl and scented it with Loving Spell by Nature’s Garden, a scent similar to Victoria’s Secret’s Lovespell. I cut it too soon because I was impatient, so I wound up streaking the soap a little.

Guinness BeerThis soap is made with Guinness Extra Stout® beer and finely ground oatmeal. I scented it with a fabulous beer fragrance. Smells like the real thing!

Cranberry Fig YuzuAnother soaper thought of this first, but this one reminds me of Katniss Everdeen, the “Girl on Fire.” I scented it with Bramble Berry’s Cranberry Fig and Yuzu fragrances. The lather is a tiny bit pink, but it turned out gorgeous. It was also my first soap made with aloe vera juice. Some soapers claim they can’t tell a difference between aloe vera juice and water, but it felt different to me. It made a nice soap. I have noticed a white flaky substance develops when I mix aloe vera juice and lye. I strain it as I pour it into the oils and butters so that it doesn’t wind up in the soap, but I’m curious as to why that happens.

Anjou Pear BlossomThis is a tiger stripe swirl. I love how it came out. I had intended to make it with coconut milk, but I didn’t realize I had run out, so I made it with buttermilk instead. The fragrance is to die for—Anjou Pear Blossom. It is one of my favorite scents of all.

I was snowed in with the great blizzard Nemo and made four batches of soap, but no pics yet. I will try to post some soon.