Soap making secrets: The versatility of avocados

Soap making secrets: The versatility of avocadosAh, the avocado. That beautiful fruit with the bright green, tasty flesh. You know that avocados are tasty and nutritious. But, did you know that they make a wonderful addition to bath and body products?

Avocado oil, an oil pressed from the avocado fruit, is chock full of Vitamins A, B1, B2, D and E. It contains a high percentage of “unsaponifiable” components. This means that, when used in handmade soap, much of the oil doesn’t react with the lye and remains oil in the final bar of soap. This is great for your skin which easily absorbs the oil.

Avocado butter is also a popular ingredient in handmade soap and has many of the same properties as the oil. My favorite way to use avocado butter, however, is as the main ingredient of body butter. When whipped with oils like meadowfoam or jojoba, it makes a thick, creamy, luxurious body butter that combats the driest of skin. I’ve been experimenting with body butters for a few months and working on perfecting my recipes. If you visit me at any of the maker fairs I attend this summer, you’ll be able to try them for yourself!

Some soap makers are brave enough to use fresh avocados in their soap, like this recipe from Modern Soapmaking for Luxury Argan & Creamy Avocado soap. Using fresh avocados is on my list of things to try!

Looking to benefit from this “super food” in your bath? Check out Beachin, Rose for Katy or Eucalyptus Lavender & Mint soaps, sold in the Emmet Street Creations Etsy store.

Cucumber, avocado and wheatgrass soap

I have a surplus of cucumbers in my garden right now. Someone had the bright idea to plant five cucumber plants for two people. I’ve been eating cucumbers like crazy and I can’t keep up. Since I don’t use chemical fertilizers or pesticides in my garden, I decided the cucumbers would be perfect for making soap. Cucumber is a wonderful skin toner and when used in soap, has gentle cleansing properties.

I juiced a couple of large cucumbers and made a batch of soap by replacing all of the water I would normally use with cucumber juice. I wanted to make this batch moisturizing and luxurious, so I used oils of olive, coconut, palm, hemp seed and avocado. I also used a generous portion of avocado butter, my new favorite butter. In its raw form, it’s rich and creamy and very easy to work with. In soap, it provides gentle moisturizing and loads of vitamins and antioxidants.

Cucumber juice

I colored the soap with powdered wheatgrass, something I’ve wanted to try as a natural colorant for a while now. I was not disappointed. The soap came out a very pretty light green color.

Cucumber avocado and wheatgrass soap

This all natural soap, scented with lime essential oil, will need to some time to cure and will be available in my Etsy shop in about 6 weeks. The waiting is the hardest part!

Do you make soap? Which foods and natural ingredients have you used in soap making?