Treat yo’ self: herbal soap making

Valentine’s day is all about giving love to others. We also think it’s important to give love to oneself and it was this thought that inspired our Treat Yo’ Self herbal soap making workshop. And so for the afternoon of Feb 14th we transformed the classroom at Hackney City Farm into our soap-making laboratory. Here’s what we got up to!

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Equipment and ingredients – calendula oil, coconut oil, lye, essential oil and dried herbs
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We start off with a brief history of soap and its origin at Mount Sapo in Ancient Rome
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Calendula officinalis – pot marigold, proof that is does flower every month of the year
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Straining calendula petal out of the infused olive oil
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The calendula petals enrich the oil with flavanoids (anti-oxidants) which repair the skin
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A bit of chemistry: Oils (acid) + Lye (alkali) = Soap (salt)
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Dissolving caustic soda to form lye which is the alkali cleaning part of the soap (goggles on!)
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Careful measurement of coconut oil which is dissolved in the heated calendula oil
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Saponification begins! Whisking the oils and lye to begin the soap making process
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When we reach trace, it’s time to add lavender essential oil…
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… then pour out into silicone moulds and decorate with dried flowers and herbs
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Looks good enough to eat!
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A special treat yo’ self goodie bag with herbal tea, oat face scrub and calendula seeds

Hackney Herbal are available for private workshops and events so do get in touch if you would like to work with us!

A special thank you to Glenn Jeffery for taking all these lovely photos.