I 'started' this soap back in August on my last trip of the summer to Rockaway Beach.
I really love the way my skin feels—and smells—after spending a day there.
The ocean water opens my pores and washes out toxins. It's also loaded with hydrating magnesium. Every wave brings a swirl of sand that exfoliates and polishes. Seaweed—chock-full of amino acids and all kinds of vitamins—moisturizes and soothes.
A day at the ocean is better than any spa.
I figured if I used those three elements—seaweed, sand and ocean water—in soap, I’d get similar results in the colder months when my skin needs the most pampering.
I lightly rinsed the seaweed, spread it out onto a cookie sheet and popped it into the (unheated) oven to dry.
The sand got sifted—I wanted gentle not painful exfoliation—rinsed, then into the oven as well.
My bottle of ocean water went in the freezer.
After about a week, the seaweed was dry and I crumbled it up into some sunflower oil to infuse. A little change from my usual olive oil concoctions.
At the beginning of November—when it was already getting dark at 4:30 in the afternoon, I made the soap—in two tandem batches for two separate layers. An exfoliating, sandy bottom layer and one mimicking the ocean with the seaweed. Defrosted ocean water went into both.
I think this is different from soleseife—where you add salt to the water. But I could be wrong.
I mixed up both lye batches at once. They turned an opaque white as the lye absorbed the water and salt crystals formed on the Pyrex containers. I let them cool to room temperature.
The sand layer was just a simple recipe of coconut, castor and grapeseed oils and lard. No essential oils/fragrance added. I stickblended to medium trace and eyeballed what looked like the right amount of sand and poured it into the mold. A sprinkle of cocoa powder for color.
I used the same ingredients in the 'ocean' layer as well as some cocoa butter and the seaweed infused sunflower oil. I strained the seaweed out to get an accurate weight of the sunflower oil but saved it to add at trace.
Fragrance. I wanted this to smell like the ocean—and hopefully leave my skin with that beachy scent. But I was worried the soap would end up smelling like low tide, so I whipped up a blend of lavender, orange, ylang ylang and a smidge of patchouli.
I added dribbles of this at light trace. Just enough to keep the soap from smelling like sushi, but still allowing the seaweed scent to come through.
A little Indigo Girls mica from Mad Oils for an in-the-pot swirl. Peaked top of ocean waves with lots of ash from the salty minerals.
I made a few bars with no mica and a smooth top.
It's not fully cured, but I've started using it. Gorgeous, light, fluffy lather that reminds me of the foam after a waves crashes.
The sandy bottom is the perfect amount of exfoliation. No scratching.
I feel marvelous when I step out of the shower. My skin is hydrated and sleek. It’s not like spending a day in the ocean—and I don’t smell beachy—but the soap will make a nice addition to the arsenal of soaps I’ll use until summer rolls around again.