Banana Soap

It comes a time in every soapmaker's life when one is inevitably inclined to make soap out of everything. I remember when I was just starting this adventure slash obsession, I read among others 'Smart Soapmaking' by Anne L. Watson. When talking about possible additives to soap, she mentions that probably everything but the cat's pajamas has already been added to soap. At that time, I use to think, wow I may never master the art of soapmaking to that stage where I would feel comfortable with experimenting with fruits and vegetables. Well, now as anyone who has been bitten hard by the soap bug knows, I have developed my curiosity into passion and it is at that stage now, where I find myself uncontrollably thinking about soaps almost all the time. The temptation is getting greater whenever I go to regular grocery purchase. Whilst I should be thinking what am I going to make for lunch with this'n'that, I usually end up thinking how can I incorporate whatever-my-be-in-my-sight-at-given-moment, into soap.

Although I am musing myself with wild ideas, I do however, conduct a thorough research about ingredients. I guess that my academic background is ingrained so deeply into my consciousness, that I have by now developed an automatic habit of making volumes of journals with collected and scraped information. To add to that, I am cautious about wasting my supplies into experiments that are not carefully prepared in order to avoid any kind of disaster. I do not like surprises and so far so good, the soap gremlins have passed my kitchen.

The first fruity soap I chose to make was banana soap. Bananas are a great natural source of fibers, vitamins and minerals. The vast amount of vitamin C help in deep cleansing the skin and can help in preventing infalmmatory diseases. Antioxidants found in banana fruit can also help in removing and neutralizing the bad effects of free radicals on the skin.

Bananas (photo source)

I paired the benefits of bananas with coconut milk. The fatty acids in coconut milk is considered as gentle skin moisturizer with natural properties to sooth dehydrated skin. It is considered that coconut milk helps preventing wrinkles and age spots, as well as treat the symptoms of psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema. And last but not least, the high sugar content in the milk acts as an extra bubbling booster to the soap lather.

Fresh Coconut Milk (photo source)

I have decided to leave this soap without added fragrance oil partially because I was curious to see if the fruity addition would influence the natural smell of soap, and partially because I could not wait for the delivery of my new fragrance oils.

The recipe I mashed up for this experiment is as follows:

60 % Virgin Olive Oil
8 % avocado Oil
8 % Unrefined Cocoa Butter
8 % Coconut Oil
8 % Palm Oil (from sustainable source)
8 % Castor Oil
137 gr H2O
55,2 gr NaOH

Superfat was at 4 %

I tried with frozen coconut milk and ice bath, but either I did not add the lye slow enough, or the ice bath was not cold enough, either way, my milk seized and the solution was not usable any more. Well, OK, off to the plan B. I diluted the lye in 50 gr of water, added to my oils, and added the 57 gr of coconut milk. At a very light trace, I added the rest of 30 gr fresh banana puree. Sorry for the absence of process photos, but I was a bit in a hurry to finish and could not handle additional distractions when soaping a new kind of recipe for the first time. This is the first photo I took when I unmolded the soap. I used the silicone mold, and the soap popped out easily after 24 hours. Personally, I like the look of gelled soaps so this one was no exception in that way.

Fresh Banana Soap
I quite liked the specked look of the soap. The smell did not differ significantly to other unscented soaps I made before with similar basic formulation of basic oils. The only thing I was afraid of was that I may have not mashed the banana enough and that the fruit may spoil my soap. Fortunately, it did not.

Banana Soaps After One Month of Curing Time
I have been using the soap for a week now. Having tried coconut and goats milk soaps by now, I can say that I am not a big fan of using those milks in soap. This is only my (current) preference and it has nothing to do with the benefits of goats and coconut milk in the soap, so please do not misunderstand me here. I am not trying to diminish the value of the ingredients here. But then again, I don't really like to drink coconut milk either, although I love to eat coconut. Oh yes, I can be complicated. As for the banana additive, I cannot say neither that I like it or dislike it. Rather than that, I can describe it as ok. I have to emphasize here that I have a dry skin prone to dermatitis.
I have stocked a lot of soaps for fall now, so the summer is devoted to experiments. Before the banana soap, I made so far 50/50 Olive Oil-Shea Butter and 50/50 Coconut Oil-Shea Butter soaps.
I am hooked on experiments with milk and veggies. Since I enjoy a great deal in drinking the oat and rice milk, I have already envisioned the next experiment for my soap kitchen. So stay tuned, I'll be posting in English all about it.

10 коментара

  1. The soaps look really nice! Coconut milk/ banana as well as Oat milk soaps are also on my “to do list”.

  2. Beautiful soap, Ksenija! I like reading you, somehow I recognize myself in what you write about soaping ;).

  3. Apparently,there are quite of us wanting to make oat milk soap. My to-do-list is so long, I wish I had more time to play with soap ingredients.
    Banana soap looks beautiful, it's amazing how the colour stayed so bright, knowing that fresh banana goes dark on the aer so fast.
    Also,an unusual recipe,little coconut and much castor oil. So, how does it lather?
    You've been away so long, I've been missing your posts.

    1. I thought it's gonna bee darker too, but I guess in order that to happen you need to add more of banana puree. It was dark when I was pouring, but the next say it got this color, kind of creamy yellow-caramel.
      Bubbles are big and fluffy, but not for long. There is a special feeling that coconut milk gives, you really need to be a fan of that. But overall, the conditioning of the soap is quite good.
      Too many urgent things to do, sorry. It turns out that I'll be back in normal in October. What about some photos of your new soaps?

    2. I'll be happy to send you some, as soon as I take them. You were not around for a while,I thought you were stuck with rehearsals,concerts and stuff,so didn't want to distract you. In general,new f.o.samples,new challenges and an old problem with setting up. :-(

  4. @Moj sapun, Thanks Goca! I hope I can get to it by the end of August.
    @Natalia, thank you! You are definitively more versed than me now in soaping with organic additions, I am just beginning to dwell into this subject. I remembered you saying I should blog more in English, and you ere right. Hopefully I'll find strength to continue. :)

  5. Looks great, Kesnija! It is interesting to find out what ingredients will do in different soaps!

    1. OMG! Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I am so humbled that you took time to have a look on my blog. Wow, the Soap Queen herself! Lots of love to all Brambleberrians! Keep on supplying us with the best!

  6. Wow, I love the idea of bananas in soap! This is a great tutorial, thank you for posting it Ksenija. I love your soap and I will be trying bananas in my next soap!

  7. Good choice Anna! This one is my boyfriend's favorite! Enjoy!