Sunday Night Spotlight: Extracts

Sometimes a good bar of soap needs a little something special to take it from being a good bar to a positively super-spectacular-bar-of-awesomeness. While there is plenty to add to soap, from exfoliants to exotic oils, extracts are our secret weapon of choice to create a truly amazing bar of soap.

Bramble Berry carries 14 different extracts. There is much more where this came from.

Extracts are made directly from raw organic materials, such as plants or vegetables. Extracts are great in bath & body products because they harness the unique properties of the plants or vegetables and impart them into the product. Certain extracts are known for their skin-loving vitamin content, while others possess antioxidants or skin-soothing properties.

Extracts are great additives in lotions, creams, hair care products, cold process soap and melt & pour soap. The general usage rate for extracts is 1 teaspoon of extract per pound of product. Many extracts are also lip safe, so check each extract’s individual product page for specific usage rates.

Each extract has it’s own unique properties, so it’s worth it to give each one a thorough read-through. Below is a quick summary of each extract and it’s property:

  • Aloe Extract: Known for it’s ability to soothe irritated or sunburnt skin
  • Avocado Extract: A great moisturizer in hair products
  • Buckthorn Extract: High in vitamins C & E, this is a common additive in anti-aging products
  • Calendula Extract: Known to soothe irritated skin. It’s also used to lighten hair
  • Carrot Extract: High in vitamins A and E and beta carotene. Great in hair care products
  • Chamomile Extract: Possesses anti-inflammatory properties and often used to reduce redness and soothe irritated skin
  • Dulse Extract: Known for its anti-oxidant properties and abundance of vitamins B6, B12, C, E, and A
  • Evening Primrose: Traditionally used in mature skin products
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract: Known for its anti-oxidant properties
  • Green Tea Extract: Great as a soother for sunburnt or irritated skin
  • Mallow Extract: Fantastic moisturizing properties
  • Nettle Extract: A wonderful additive in hair care products. Often used as a remedy for oily hair or dandruff
  • Oat Extract: A common additive for sensitive skin products, especially baby products

Interested in trying extracts in a project? Take a look at these! From top left, clockwise: Eggcellent Easter Melt & Pour with Chamomile Extract, Kissably Soft Lotion with OatBuckthorn Extracts and Soothing Baking Soda Bars with Oat Extract.

Do you have a favorite extract? We’d love to hear it!

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    • Kelsey says

      Hi Cadence!

      I believe so! We sometimes mix water into our melt and pour bases if they get a bit dry, so I think you should be able to mix in a water-soluble extract. A small test batch may help. :)

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

    • Kelsey says

      Hi Cadence!

      Most glycerin-based products are water soluble, so I’m not sure if those extracts will mix in with the oil! I would recommend making a small test batch to be sure. :)

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

  1. Kal says

    Hi, even i’m not sure how much extract properties will be left in soap after coming in contact with lye but would like to try in few receipes to take a call. Can you pls suggest at what stage should I add light trace?

    • says

      Hi Kal!

      Like I said in the above comment, it’s hard to know for sure, but I certainly love the bars of soap that I make with extracts :). Light trace would be the perfect time to add your extracts!

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

  2. Elizabeth says

    I have a bunch of extracts from BB, but I wonder if they really stand up to lye in CP soap … I checked your writeup on Buckthorn Extract the other day (after putting it in some CP soap), but I didn’t see any reference to how it works in soap, so I’m concerned I just “threw away” some nice extract. Since many of your extracts only discuss usage in lotion or other non-soap products, does that mean those won’t work well in CP soap? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Elizabeth!

      This is a great question. It’s tricky because it’s impossible to test without very expensive testing. My guess is that there is some leftover properties from the extracts, but you will receive more of the properties from extracts in leave on products such as moisturizer. Personally, I have made cold process soap with extracts, and I find them to be some of my best bars! :)

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

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