Soap Ministry generously sponsored a giveaway on Mummies’ Voices earlier posts and 2 lucky mummies got to attend a Breast Milk Soap Making workshop!
What is soap making?
Soap making is using natural oils to make soap. Natural soap is highly sought after as it is soap in its purest form, without unnecessary chemicals. Making full use of nature’s best gifts to clean our skin allows our skin to remain supple and healthy.
There are a few different types of soap making such as melt-and-pour and cold process. For breast milk soap making, cold process method is used as melt-and-pour method does not allow much liquid to be added to the soap. In cold process method, usually around 20-40% of the soap is made of breast milk (depending on exact recipe).
Breast Milk Soap?
In the cold process soap making, water is also needed to be added to the natural oils. In place of water, breast milk can be used.
Breast milk has natural anti-bodies, enzymes and many other undiscovered goodies in it. By adding breast milk into soap, we can harness the natural goodness of the oils and breast milk for our skin.
Who needs breast milk soap?
Breast milk soap is great for the ENTIRE FAMILY!
Depending on the oils used, it can be made for generic use or specific uses. Popular recipes are those for eczema sufferers as common commercial soaps are too harsh for their sensitive skin.
Now, we were all super excited about the workshop and thought it will be super easy. Put oils, add breast milk, whip whip and viola!!!
However, we were in for a surprise!
Soap making is AN ART. It requires so much knowledge which we could barely squeeze into our brains in such a short time. However, Diana from Soap Ministry was so patient and animated with her explanation that we understood quickly and enjoyed the session very much!
In Singapore, you can’t make soap at home by regulations set to protect the general public. Lye, which is necessary for soap making, is considered a controlled substance in Singapore and only licensed businesses are allowed to import/stock/use them. Even the location in which they are allowed to store/use lye is controlled too.
As such, cold process soap making is only offered at Soap Ministry’s Head Office at Pioneer Point.
Different oils have different purposes for our skin. They also have varying properties. These properties need to be carefully considered during the soap making process as it will affect the final product. If you use an oil which is ‘soft’, you may end up with a gooey bar of soap instead of a solid bar of soap! It’s a fine balance and even the amount of lye & liquid required need to be carefully calculated to decimal points!
Calculating and recalculating to get a good recipe which they prefer really took up a lot of time!
Diana’s helpful staff stepped in to check the calculations to ensure that the recipes created by Priscilla and Jerelyn will work. Otherwise, their breast milk and efforts will go to waste!
So they started carefully…. Noticed Jerelyn’s baby missing? Auntie Audrey was carrying him so that mummy can work on the soap. If you are keen to join the workshop, do arrange for a caregiver so that baby stays far away from the lye.
Another though part was mixing the FROZEN breast milk and the crystal lye.
As the chemical reaction when lye touches a liquid produces heat and may overheat the breast milk, frozen breast milk is used. This ensures that the breast milk will not over heat and destroy all the goodness inside!
It was very tough having to poke and mix the lye into the frozen bits of breast milk.
And after that, the lye & breast milk mixture had to be added carefully to the oils.
The most memorable part of cold process soap making was the whisking required! Imagine whisking non stop for 30++ minutes to get the mixture right!
From the briefing to completing the soap took us a whooping 5 hours!
It’s definitely not simple and this is why breast milk soap making services are pricey.
And the soap isn’t ready at the end of the session! It has to harden in the mold for a few days, then taken out to slice. After slicing, it has to be aired to allow the lye to cure properly so that the soap will become safe for use.
Soap Ministry is dedicated to safety and they set minimum timelines for the curing process and check carefully before they release the soaps to customers.
It typically takes 8 to 10 weeks to cure in a cool dry place. Soap Ministry has a lovely area designed for this and they are very meticulous with labeling. Don’t worry about getting your soaps mixed up!
Check out this short video on our session at Soap Ministry!
Now… the true test will be using the soaps ourselves (this is the reason why this post is here so late when we did the workshop a few months back)…
Personally, the kids are all using the breast milk soap. Myself included.
Comparing with other soap makers, I like the ones made by Soap Ministry (details in another post coming soon).
Mummy Priscilla has also told me that she likes the soap and they are happy with the soap. The ones that she made in the workshop are a little more mushy than the standard formula ones she ordered from Soap Ministry (made by their staff after our workshop). I guess this is the difference between recipe designed by the experts and us. :p
Mummy Jerelyn also likes the soap very much and said that just rubbing a little on the skin was enough to clean baby well.
Anyway… While the mummies were busy with their soaps during the workshop, I walked around and chanced on these…
I’m sure most mummies face the same issues as me… HAIR LOSS!
Mine was pretty serious so I was a little on the desperate side. And I saw these!
I bought all 3 types to rotate as I have oily hair, I have hair loss and I do want my hair to GROW back!
After 2 months of using these, my hair loss did lesson significantly and I’m having baby hair growing back already!
But, bar shampoo aren’t the same as commercial shampoo. They do leave the hair dry. You will need to use conditioner separately. I decided to use coconut oil as conditioner as I heard that it helps with hair growth too.
Breast milk soaps are GREAT! And the workshop was superbly fun! I think it’ll be a very fun mummy gathering activity!
Do contact Soap Ministry for more information on their workshops.
Melt & Pour soaps are suitable as a family activity with the kids. You can bring along their fave small toy and hide them in the soap to encourage them to use the soap!
After attending their workshops, they also allow you to head back to make more soaps on your own! Simply pay rent (it’s a small sum & includes washing up service) & pay for the ingredients used, and you can make more soaps on your own!
Hope you enjoyed reading about our adventure at Soap Ministry!
Mother of 3