Photo by Lara Ferroni. I ❤ all of her photos. Swoon.
There are a wide variety of natural ingredients that can be used in cold process soap. From natural colorants and exfoliants to essential oils and extracts, new soapy ingredients are always popping up. Recently, adding fruit and vegetable purees to cold process soap has become extremely popular. Natural purees can add color and skin-loving properties to your bars. In addition, natural purees in bath and beauty products are fantastic from a marketing standpoint. Who doesn’t want a bar of soap made with their favorite fruit or veggie?
In general, there are no limits to what kind of natural purees you can add to soap. In my new book, Pure Soapmaking, there are recipes that include purees of blueberry, cucumber, tomato, aloe leaf, banana and potatoes. Here on the blog, you can find soap made with purees of pumpkin, strawberry, carrots and avocado. If you can blend it into a smooth consistency, you can (most likely) add it to cold process soap.
Adding purees to soap is an advanced technique. If you have never made cold process soap before, I highly recommend getting a few basic batches under your belt before using purees in your soap. It’s important to get an understanding of how soap behaves without additional sugar, water and fats. A solid grasp on how “normal” cold process soap behaves will allow you to alter your techniques and recipe accordingly when you begin to add uncommon ingredients. Remember: soapmaking is a science. Tweaking a recipe with extra ingredients (like purees) alters the chemical reactions between the lye and oils.
Purees add extra sugar, fats and water to your soap. Each type of puree will affect your soap recipe a little differently. The amount of water, fat and sugar will vary depending on the ingredient and how the puree was made. Before adding your puree, it’s important to consider the properties of the fruit and vegetable and how it will affect your batch. For example, a strawberry puree will add extra sugar and water. Using an avocado puree will add extra fats and water, but not much additional sugar. A cucumber puree (shown below) adds mostly water and a very small amount of sugar.
Each puree will add different properties to your soap. For example, cucumber puree (shown above) will add extra water to the soap, but very little sugar. Photo by Lara Ferroni. ❤❤❤.