One of the best medicinal plants that is gifted to us by Mother Nature is the aloe vera plant. Any part of this remarkable plant is loaded with health benefits. While the benefits range from that of curing of stomach ailments to reducing the occurrence of headache, the most skin-friendly part of the aloe vera plant is its pulp.
This pulp is extracted from its leaves and aids in dealing with skin burns, acne, yeast and a host of other skin ailments.
The aloe vera gel very easily goes through three layers of skin and cleanses out all that oil and bacteria that cause acne and blackheads. It also delays the occurrence of fine lines and wrinkles. This is because of the fact that there are a number of enzymes in aloe pulp that enable the reproduction of new skin cells.
It is this wide range of beauty benefits that make aloe vera such a preferred choice in terms of soaps and creams. However, this does not necessarily mean that you need to shell out a fortune to give your skin the care that it deserves. This article tells you how you can go ahead and make your very own aloe vera soap at home.
• Take appropriate precautions
Before you go ahead with making your very own aloe vera soap, it is important to realize that sodium hydroxide is corrosive in nature and may result in you suffering from burns. That is why you must make it a point to wear gloves before you start off with the task.
• All that measurements
Measure some water and pour it in a jar. Into the water pour 1/4th cup of lyre. Do not pour all the lyre in one go. Rather make use of a spoon to pour the lyre little by little. While doing so, take appropriate precautions to save yourself from all those fumes. Once that is done, allow the mixture of water and lyre to stand for sometime undisturbed.
• Preparation of the oil mixture
For this, all you have to do is take equal quantities of coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil and sunflower oil in a jar and mix them together to form a pint. If all the three types of oils are not available, you can choose any three of the aforementioned oils. Once the oil mixture is ready, heat the same in the microwave oven at 120 degree for about a minute. If you do not have a microwave oven, you can place the jar in a pan of water to heat. However, make sure that under no condition should you place the jar under a direct flame.
• Getting that optimum temperature
Once the oil mixture is prepared, we have to wait for the same to cool down. The temperature that we would want the mixture to be in is in the range of 95 to 105 degrees. It is important for us to stick to this temperature range for the soap will not come around if the temperature is higher or lower than this range.
• Preparation of trace
Now, while continuously stirring by hand, make sure that you slowly add lyre to the oils. Make sure that the stirring lasts for at least 5 minutes. Doing so will ensure that the lyre gets in proper contact with the oils. At this point, you will notice a gradual lightening in color ad thickening of the soap mixture. This is what is known as the 'trace'. It is at this point that you can add other special ingredients to your soap. These special ingredients may range from essential oils and natural colours to flavoured essences. Whatever you do, make sure that you trace and stir the mixture properly for a long period of time. Remember, the better you stir, the better will the quality of your soap be.
• Setting the moulds for saponification
Make sure that you wash your soap moulds before using them. Once they have been rinsed dry, go ahead and pour some soap mixture over them. Make sure that you cover the moulds properly. Doing so will ensure that the heat remains trapped inside. You can use a plastic wrap or a towel to cover the moulds. Thus, you are now ready to initiate the process of production of soap. In scientific terms, this is known as saponification.
• Checking regularly
Now, it is important to realize that the amount of time that the soap takes to set is not very definite and it is practically impossible for us to predict the same. In such a situation, the best thing that one can do is to check the soap mixture that has been kept in the mould after 24 hours of the initial setting. In case it is still warm or soft, allow it to stand for 12 to 24 hours more. Once you are confident that the soap mixture is cold and firm, take out the same from the mould and wrap it in paper.
• The final steps for getting it all ready
Cut the soap bar into pieces and then leave it to cure. This process may take 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the season of the year and the climate you are in. While doing so, make sure you expose all the sides of the bar of soap to air by turning it over at least once a week. In case it is the monsoon months, make sure that you turn it every couple of days (in order to protect the bar from all that excess humidity in the air).
• Storing it
Now that your soap is ready for use, it may so happen that you do not need the soap at that very moment and would like to store it for future usage. In such a case, the best thing to do is to wrap the soap in wax paper and keep it in an airtight container. This will ensure that the soap retains its medicinal properties for months.