We’ve Moved!

Our blog is now at home at CoronadoSoap.com. You can find us at http://www.coronadosoap.com/blog/.

See you there!



Featured: Humboldt Herbal with Hemp Oil $1 Off

This week, get $1 off each bar of Humboldt Herbal, our hemp oil soap named for the notorious crop of Humboldt County, at our Alice.com store.

This natural soap contains hemp oil, which is pressed from the seed of the cannabis plant. No, it does not contain any of the THC that marijuana is so well known for so don’t expect your shower to make you feel THAT good!

Hemp is produced commercially in Canada. It is a remarkable crop: it grows ambitiously with little or no fertilizers or pesticides. It’s fibers are excellent for making cloth and yarn and the oil is not only good for soap but is nutritious, too. It has a perfect blend of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids for humans. Wikipedia even reports that it has been shown to be effective for relief from eczema when taken orally.

The United States has a history of it’s own with hemp production: (Wikipedia yet again)

“As early as 1619, the first Virginia House of Burgesses passed an Act requiring all planters in Virginia to sow “both English and Indian” hemp on their plantations. The Puritans are first known to have cultivated hemp in New England in 1645.”

Yes, that said “Puritans”, folks. Hemp production was an important part of the colonial United States economy. Not surprisingly, industrial barons ousted this efficient, eco-friendly, and sustainable crop in favor on another crop – one that they controlled.

Today, groups are working hard to bring back this useful crop; hemp production has been legalized in Oregon and Oregon State University has researched the feasibility of returning this crop to the mainstream.

Just to be Clear

To transform this nutritious oil into soap, the hemp oil is combined with coconut, palm, and olive oils to provide a well-balanced bar that provides a light, fluffy lather that cleans gently without stripping your skin of it’s natural oils. We add a touch of cedar, moss, vetiver (an earthy scent that is very relaxing), lemon, and patchouly to accentuate that natural goodness. Please note that the scent does darken the soap a bit: this will not affect the quality of the soap.

Humboldt Herbal Soap


Coronado Farmers Market

Here’s our haul from this week: a beautiful head of red leaf lettuce, beets, apples, cilantro … and the best cheese in the world.

Farm Fresh Food

I really enjoy meeting the folks who grow my food. It is further inspiration for our “Shop Locally” project … stay tuned for how to “Soap Locally” too!


This Balmy Weather

Lip Balm. Everyone has their favorite, be it luxury, classic, fruity, or smooth. There is a formula that is just right for your lips right now; with the weather exactly what it is today.

Making lip balm is an art: a delicate balance of waxes, oils that are hard at room temperature, and soft, moisturizing oils. Depending on the weather, you might want a thicker balm to really stay on your lips and protect them or a light, avocado-rich balm that will be absorbed and leave your lips soft and supple.

Very Vanilla Lip Balm

Our Orange Butter Lip Balm is the thickest balm we make. It has plenty of firm oils, flavored with essential orange oil from the zest of oranges, not with artificial flavoring.

Lemonade is a lighter, lemon oil flavor sweetened just a touch with sweet flavor oil. It has a light, moist feel to it that will be absorbed quickly to moisturize and soften.

Just Peachy! has a juicy, peach flavor that tastes like summer-ripe peaches, not like an artificial peach flavor. It again is light and juicy – never drying.

And Very Vanilla is our special Valentines’ balm. It has a rich Vanilla flavor and a slightly thicker formula. It is just right for these winter months: soft enough to glide on easily but firm enough to stay put for the long run. It is not currently listed for sale as it is a special, limited edition. If you would like to try Very Vanilla, please send email to: sales@coronadosoap.com.

Skin Care Simplified

Perhaps the most pure form way to moisturize skin is simply to apply oil. You could grab that bottle of olive oil from the cupboard and rub it all over your parched skin. Your skin would absorb the oil, some would stay on the surface, and you would probably have a nice “glow.” However, those who have tried it can attest to the fact that it is very dense, hard to spread over your skin at an even rate, thick, and leaves ones skin feeling oily, to say the least.

To remedy this problem and make our lives easier, the moisturizing lotion (cream, butter, elixir, etc.) was invented. It uses an emulsifier to blend water and oil together in a solution that can be applied easily without leaving a dire excess of oils on the skins surface.

From that simple combination, big, commercial lotion makers have gone to great lengths to add cheaper ingredients to their lotions. What they have left behind are the natural oils that are so good at moisturizing and nourishing your skin.

Oil and Water

When we make lotion here at the Soap Factory, we get a little crazy, too. We start with distilled water, add a variety of oils, then add emulsifying wax to keep it together. Our ingredient list is not short; we know that if you wanted olive oil and water, you could handle that yourselves! Instead we start with coconut, and age-old skin care ingredient, then we add a dollop of mango butter for it’s light, fresh feel. Organic evening primrose, often used for aging skin, red raspberry seed, apricot kernel, and jojoba are familiar skin care oils.

WarmedThen we heat gently to allow the waxes and oils to melt, and blend vigorously to create …


Lotion. There we go: there’s no mystery left in lotion! It cools just a bit and then we stir in a paraben-free preservative to keep micro-organisms from growing in the lotion. A tiny bit of fragrance adds a clean citrus smell and out lotion is ready to bottle.

Now it’s your turn: Apply liberally.

A Visit to the Soap Factory

It feels like time for yet another Virtual Tour of the Soap Factory. Today is a great time to visit as we’re just about to mix up a highly experimental new batch of Peppermint Tootsies.Now don your gloves and protective goggles and we’ll pop in for a minute.

Coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil

Melted Oils at 120 degrees

Here in the soap kitchen we can see the warm oils, ready for us to add the lye solution. Lye (sodium hydroxide) is very caustic and can cause serious burns. If it gets on your skin, it will saponify (that is, to make soap) the lipids (fats) in your skin. This is why your fingers feel greasy and slippery if you get bleach on them: the base has reacted with the acids in your cells to produce soap right then and there. Cute on a small-scale. downright dangerous on a large-scale!

Mixed Soap

Oil Plus Lye Equals Soap

Once the lye is stirred into the oils, a whole lot of stirring happens. Stirring a batch of soap by hand can take several hours but a handy little stick blender helps speed things along. The fragrance is also added here; can you smell that fresh peppermint essential oil? Delicious!

Notice how thick and creamy the soap mixture gets! Goggles are firmly in place still as this mixture has a long way to go from here until it’s safe enough for your skin.

Splitting the Mixture

Dividing the Mixture

Here’s the idea: We want this soap to be really exfoliating for feet but we want to make sure there’s plenty of soap to it, too. So we have divided the soap into parts. One bowl will be loaded with finely ground oatmeal to exfoliate; the other part will get a few little shavings of colored soap in an attempt to keep it from being entirely dull.

Oatmeal and Mint

Adding Color and Oats

Now the oats have been blended into the bowl in the foreground. Not a very exciting color, is it? And there are some soft blue shavings in the back bowl. I already have visions of red peppermint swirls for the next batch. I wonder how I can make those?

Oats and Mint

Ready for the Mold

The oatmeal-loaded portion goes into the molds. The blue doesn’t really look all that pretty, does it? Somehow I seem to have forgotten that “oatmeal” is commonly used to refer to things that are dull!But onward we go, and pour the blue speckles on top of this crunchy oatmeal blend. Then a cover goes on the mold and it gets wrapped in blankets for 24 hours as the lye and oils continue to meet up and react.

At this point, the soap kitchen  is a mess, but we’ll leave that and continue on to the curing room.

soap making equipment

Eeew! What a Mess!

After 24 hours, there is no longer any lye in the soap because it has all reacted with the oils and has been consumed. What are we left with? Just soap (saponified oils) and a little bit of extra oils because THAT’S the secret of soap: calculate enough oil to consume the lye with just a touch leftover to make your skin feel good!

One last peek into the kitchen and look, order is restored!

soap making equipment

Clean Equipment

Tune in soon for the Finished Product.

Balms for the Boobies!

A friend of mine is walking the 3 Day soon. She is hosting a fabulous event to raise funds for the fight against cancer. Coronado Soap is providing “Balms for the Boobies” Here’s the first label – the “60 Miles for Our Melons” is from Sue.There is a link to donate (and a lot of good reading!) on Sue’s Blog here.

Because Cancer Sucks