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  • Writer's pictureTina

Tuesday Spotlight: Lemongrass Grapefruit

Happy Halloween, dear reader! Today is my favorite holiday. What could be more fun, more nostalgic, and better than dressing up as someone you are not, walking friendly neighborhoods in the most glorious time of the year, AND getting free candy? Seriously, it doesn't get any better. I love Halloween. My little bean, who isn't so little anymore, is gifting me with one more year of trick-or-treating. She even graciously invited me to walk along with her and her friend. I love how my child is careful with my heart and my feelings. I'm realistic enough to know she is not 100% invested in trick-or-treating anymore. I know she is doing it mainly because I love Halloween. She loves Halloween, too; she is simply growing up...insert a tear and sniffle here.

On this very cold and Halloweenie Tuesday, The Smiling Goat Soap Company offers no tricks, just treats for our Tuesday Spotlight. Lemongrass Grapefruit soap and moisturizer are on special exclusively on the website. Save $4 on bars and jars this week. The Lemongrass Grapefruit essential oils blend is a fresh, citrusy, bright, and lively scent that you will smile when you sniff. The Lemongrass Grapefruit essential oil blend is as close to a true citrus scent as I can achieve naturally.

Let's talk soap making. I'll try to keep it interesting and not bore you to death with details only I find interesting. So, I use the old-fashioned cold process method of making soap. Cold process is a bit of a misnomer. Reader's Digest abridged version of soap making: blend solid fats with liquid fats, add liquid, in our case, it is fresh goat's milk and lye, bring all to a similar temperature, and allow the fats to saponify or turn to soap in a natural, unaltered environment without the introduction of a heat source to speed up the process. Thus, the term cold process soap. However, one must understand that during the saponification process, which is the chemical reaction of lye, liquids, and fats turning into soap, the mixture can exceed 200 degrees. It's a bit unnerving to touch a silicone loaf filled with soap batter sitting on a table and having it feel hot to the touch. Honestly, it is fascinating. Sorry, I'm soap geeking on you.

When essential oils or natural fragrances are introduced, they can heat up the soap batter even more, sometimes exceeding 250 degrees. All essential oils have a temperature limit or flashpoint, in which they are considered stable or before they begin burning off due to the heat. Citrus scents, in general, have a low flashpoint. Citrus scents have an average flash point between 110 and 160 degrees. To create an even greater challenge, most citrus oils tend to aid in heating up the soap batter during saponification. Therefore, it is difficult to get a citrus scent to "stick" during the soap-making process. I have had the best experience with the blend of lemongrass essential oil and grapefruit essential oil. Both oils have a higher flashpoint than, say, lemon or orange. If we can keep our soap batter at a lower temperature, we have the best chance of maintaining the integrity of that rich, citrusy scent. It is a bit of art and science to maintain that level of consistency.

I could go the route of synthetic oils to create citrus scents, but why would I choose to do that? Would I be able to achieve an authentic, fresh lemon scent? No. Probably not. I have yet to find a safe lemon scent that doesn't smell like floor cleaner. It also would not contain the natural properties of the essential oils that benefit one's skin. You see, dear reader, there is a method to my madness. I will never give you a face that smells like cookies or shampoo bars that smell like cotton candy because there are no benefits to such oils. Are they fun? Absolutely. However, if they don't add benefits to your natural products, what is the point? If scent alone is your goal, I can't help you.

Do you remember a particular "gentleman" who created bathtime bubbles in your tub as a child? It rhymes with Sister Stubbles...hint, hint. Every time I mention said product, every one of my peers, including The Bibbed Wonder, had a similar experience. This "gentleman" had a rather ungentlemanly reaction to one's nether regions. To be blunt, it made your pee hole sore. Yes, you came out of the tub smelling like fruit or bubble gum, but you paid the price for smelling yummy. Nobody likes a sore pee hole. That example, right there, is why I will only use natural oils to care for your body.

Now, just because it is natural doesn't mean one can't have a reaction. Our bodies all react differently to various elements. For this reason, I always recommend a spot test before you slather yourself in anything. I do not have overly sensitive skin. However, there are essential oils that make me feel uncomfortable, either with a mild burning sensation or a bit of redness. When this occurs, I stay away from said oils. I don't wait to see what will happen. I don't think it's a fluke. I don't try to power through the discomfort because it is natural, after all. I stop using these products; end of story. Common sense must come into play. Use your common sense with all products, be they mine or someone else's. Allow me to remove my teacher's cap and jump down from my soapbox. (Ha! Get it? Soapbox?) Sigh, I kill myself sometimes.

If you are a lover of citrus scents, this week's special will make you smile. As always, there is no promo code needed for the weekly special. Also, every day, orders of $50 or more ship for free. This is a lovely week to try something new, stock up on a favorite, or purchase an affordable gift for someone. On this chilly Halloween, stay safe, be smart, use your common sense, enjoy the savings, and keep washing your hands.

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