Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Mastic Soap

Mastic Branches, Leaves & Resin

It's been a year-long dream of mine to make mastic soap, and the cooler temperatures outside were encouraging me to finally do it. Now that all the mastic bushes got a nice shower from the rain, and it wasn't so crazy humid I didn't need to worry about my face melting off and saponifying with the caustic soda fumes... Which seems quite feasible in 90% humidity. 

Mastic Resin

Grinding Mastic Resin

Ground Mastic

Mastic Leaves in Olive Oil

Ice & Lye

I worked with the mastic leaves in both the oil phase and the water phase, and both with the leaves and branches (which I steamed in the water; as well as infused in oil for about a month). The resin had to be pounded into the finest powder humanly possible, using marble mortar and pestle, and then infused in gently warmed olive oil for the course of several hours.

Mastic Soap, Freshly Poured into the Mould

Freshly Sliced Mastic Soap
Mastic has many benefits for the skin, digestion and in particular oral hygiene. I really wanted to work with it for a skin formula, first of all because i like the smell of it, a LOT. Secondly, it is know to have anti-fungal properties; and it is used as a remedy for eczema: an oil infusion just like the one I made, mixed with honey can be smeared on the affected area. It was interesting to with mastic for its plasticizing, binding properties which made the soap solidify really fast; strangely, at the same time it made the soap also cure really slowly, remaining soft and strangely pliable for a long time before I could slice it. It reminded me so much of the mastic ice cream I had as a kid - it literally stretches as you dig into it with a spoon and bring it closer to your mouth. And the smell is heavenly!

The soap will be ready November 9th, and can be already pre-oredered via my online boutique. I can't wait to try it! 

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