Tuesday, December 14, 2010


A few days ago I found from my stash this soap that I had made some months ago. It is a soap in which I had just dumped all the remaining oils I had that time so I did not expect very much of it. However, I was extremely amazed how good the soap was! So lovely for my winter dry skin. The thing different from my regular soap recipe was that this one had rapeseed oil in it. I had abandoned rapeseed oil earlier since it has been said to be prone to spoilage because of the high amount of linoleic and linolenic fatty acids. That has never happened to me, but I just wanted to be on the safe side.

After trying this soap I started to look more closely into the issue and found out that there are so many good things regarding rapeseed oil that I am now considering taking it back as one of my soaping oils.

Firstly, rapeseed is one of the rare plants that is grown in Finland for vegetable oil production and thus one of the rare oils that I am able to source locally. It is also very beneficial in crop rotation where it improves soil and effectively prevents plant diseases. In addition, usually in the oil production, the crop is pressed once a year and the oil is stored as ready-made until the next harvest. On the contrary, rapeseed oil is pressed from the seeds year round, so it is always available freshly pressed. The vitamin E content of the Finnish rapeseed oil is relatively high  (19 mg/100 g*). The coldpressed rapeseed oil would be the best choice since it is pressed from the seeds and then mechanically filtered many times before packing. The regular rapeseed oil is purified using chemicals and heating the oils which causes oxidization.

In soap, rapeseed oil is extremely moisturizing and contributes to creamy lather. It is slow to trace so it's a blessing when doing swirls, layers or other complicated patterns. And I just love the shiny and smooth texture it gives to a soap.


36% Olive oil
32% Rapeseed oil
21% Coconut oil
11% Mango seed butter

7% superfat

Scented with essential oils of bergamot, geranium, mandarin and lavender.

PS. You might have noticed that I am not using Shea Butter any more. My new favorite is Mango Butter instead. The reason is that I have become allergic to Shea Butter. Even a small amount of it in soap gives me a horrendous itch!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

If you have any chemistry related questions...

I wrote some time ago that I've got a licence to sell soap, which required that I would need to found a company. The company is called Saponina and that's our logo. (It's designed by Antonio who you are more than welcome to contact if you need a logo etc.)

I was very lucky when my sister Suvi agreed to join me in the soaping business. She holds a PhD in synthetic chemistry and even though we are using my recipes, she is able to provide all the information we need to be sure that our products are safe and that we adhere to the good manufacturing practice.

Now that we have finally opened an online shop, I realised that I really wouldn't have been able to do all this without you, my fellow soaping bloggers. I have learnt so much from your experiments! So we - me and Suvi - thought that we would want to give something back. Therefore she has agreed to answer any chemistry related questions about soapmaking.

So if you want to ask something about the chemistry of soapmaking, please post a question to the discussion board on our Facebook page. Suvi will be happy to answer all the questions she can!

Monday, December 6, 2010


It's been amazing the last five days. I participated in a crafts fair that had about 380 female exhibitors who sold mainly handcrafted items. During those days I met some wonderful and extremely talented female crafters and entrepreneurs. In addition, I received lots of advice and tips from more experienced entrepreneurs for my soap business. The atmosphere was really warm between the exhibitors.

My table is the third on the left.

I just love the older ladies, about 70+ years. They just came up at my table, checked out the soap and picked a few to buy. It seemed that I did not have to give them my usual speech about the benefits of handmade soap, because they knew all that perfectly well already. Most of them told me that their mom or aunt had made soap when they were young. I think it is amazing how soap in a sense can bridge the gap between generations.

This is my table.

There were also some other soapers exhibiting their products. Seeing their soap made me even more asserted with the choices that I have made: to use only plant based natural ingredients. The other soapers had beautiful soaps with beautiful bright colours and scents of yummy foods. Still I found the rustic and natural looks of my soap more appealling. And I sold really well too ;-)

My first attempt of cake shaped soap.

Ooops, I had one exception in my "all natural" policy. This soap cake had allergen free fragrance oil Dark Chocolate. I decided to make it so late that I had to use oven hot process. I mixed the scent only to the bottom and coloured it with cocoa powder. The top is unscented and uncoloured.