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Laurel berry- and olive oil-based soap

Before I started making CP soap myself, I've bought and tried a handmade Aleppo-like soap from someone else... I've appreciated the mildness of the soap, the benefits exerted on my very dry skin in a short period of time and the intense and amazing smell due to the bay laurel oil. On the other hand, I noticed that the soap slice didn't last long and once wet it became very slimy and soft (this can be due to the extremely high content in olive oil). 

With the hope of fixing these issues while retaining the benefits of the olive and bay laurel oils, I decided to create an original recipe myself.  

A bit of background... 

The original Aleppo soap recipe comes from Syria. Aleppo soap is basically made with olive oil and bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) berry oil (the % of which can range from 5% to 30%). It's a 100% natural soap with no colours or fragrances  added (believe me, bay oil is incredibly scented and dark green-ish so that you don't need to add anything else to the emulsion). 
Image result for laurus nobilis
Laurus nobilis

Aleppo soap is made through the HOT soap making process (HP). Olive oil and lye are mixed in huge vats and the emulsion is boiled and constantly stirred over few days. The bay laurel berry oil is infused in the thick liquid soap only at the end of the process.
Then soap is poured, cut and left to age/cure for 6 months up to a full year

Bay laurel is a Mediterranean aromatic plant the leaves of which are used for cooking or seasoning. It's also used as an ornamental plant and has some use in alternative medicine too. 

Indeed, leaves contain essential oils with calming, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties

The oil extracted from the laurel berries has many beneficial properties and when used in soap it helps skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and acne... the limiting factor in using this oil is its price!

I recently placed my first order to Aroma-Zone (AZ) and received in few days a parcel containing olive and bay laurel berry oils, a catalogue with all the products sold by AZ and a leaflet with some recipes for home-made cosmetics. Catalogue and recipes were for free, as well as shipping costs since I've spent more than 35 Euros (for international shipping I'm afraid the threshold is higher).

Referring to my recipe I decided to keep the olive oil content within 50% of the total amount of oils to avoid limit the slimy texture.
Laurel berry oil was kept at 15% (nice benefits/price ratio ;-) ) and I've also added some coconut and palm oil to slightly increase the soap cleansing properties and bar hardness. Last but not least, I've included in the recipe some shea butter which has emollient and moisturising qualities.

I went for Cold making process (CP), not HP!

Soaps with a lot of olive oil are known to require longer time to harden. After pouring I've waited 24 hours before unmoulding and now I'm going to wait 3 full days before slicing it and 4 more weeks of curing before using it (which will require a lot of patience by the way)! 

I'll be releasing a new post describing the results of this new soap formulation soon!!! 

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