Yerba Buena – ‘The Good Herb’ Soap – Hand made with Bergamot Mint essential oil

This is my first attempt to go Palm Oil Free with a cold process (CP) soap recipe. All I’ve read seems to indicate that even what we are told is ‘sustainably produced’ Palm Oil may still in fact be having a damaging effect on people and natural habitats.  This recipe uses locally sourced beef tallow as a substitute for Palm Oil, which I realise some will prefer not to do. We all make our own choices, and I like to think that being informed allows us to make better choices – which is pretty much why I make my own soap. For a recipe that contains no palm oil and no beef tallow you could try this. Personally I think the tallow makes a great soap. This chart based on the data from the SoapCalc app shows a good balance.

Soap Quality

Soap Quality,  green = ‘suggested’ range and yellow indicates this recipe

Bergamot Mint Essential Oil – although sounding minty due to it’s ‘mentha’ name, does not contain much menthol. Aromatically, Bergamot Mint Oil resembles a combination of bergamot (who would have guessed?), fresh lavender and the slightest hint of mint. Sometimes I swear I smell oranges 🙂

This fills a 1.5ltr mould.

Liquid & Lye Portion:
• 149 grams lye (7% superfat)
• 410.40 grams distilled water

Oil Portion (1080 grams total):
• 375 grams olive oil (34.7%)
• 290 grams beef tallow (26.9%)
• 275 grams coconut oil (25.5%)
• 70 grams rapeseed oil (6.5%)
• 70 grams castor oil (6.5%)

At light trace, add:
• Bergamot Mint essential oil (I had 15ml but for a stronger fragrance you could double or even treble that)

yerba buena

This turned out to be a great soap with excellent ‘fresh’ colour and a great (very light) natural fragrance.

As with any CP recipe, please be sure you understand the basics of safety – for example when handling lye – and that you measure accurately, especially when making small batches of soap like this. I use an Ohaus Triple Beam Balance that allows me to measure accuarately to 1/10th of a gram, but a good digital balance is an equally wise investment.

Sources: (Prices and availability at time of publishing)

The Natural Soapmaking e-book – Jan Berry <- The best place to start!


Asda ‘Light in Colour’ Olive Oil

The other oils (apart from the tallow) came from

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