By Lisa Maliga
How many bath & body products have you tried that contain real chocolate? I was intrigued with the idea when about a decade ago I stumbled upon a website that offered a few products like a lotion the color of chocolate milk and some sort of sugar scrub and a massage bar. It was a pink and brown colored site and it fascinated me to think that one could smell like chocolate all day long without eating it. Not that I wasn’t familiar with the main ingredient, cocoa butter, but that was beige and hard and primarily used in lip balms or melted down into a lotion for its emollient properties. Cocoa butter didn’t change color or texture in a handmade lotion, and it usually didn’t alter the fragrance. But that site was the start of my obsession for chocolate scented skin …
After lots of experimentation I discovered that one could add not just cocoa butter to soap, but actual chocolate. It had to be the bittersweet kind which I found at my fave 99 Cents Only store in the form of ye old fashioned baker’s chocolate that came in a yellow cardboard box. So I put some into my soap and there was no earth shattering change of scent or color. Not really, since I was adding my usual sparkling brown mica mineral colorant to it. But when it went into my lip balm, wow wee! It not only changed the color so it looked like a perfect round circle of chocolate, it amped up the cocoa flavor and I just wanted to eat that lip balm. Trust me on this, it’s not a great idea as it’ll eat into your profits. Plus, regular chocolate tastes better.
During the peak of my business, I had 3 varieties of chocolate soap. My favorite was the one I named MAXIMUM Cocoa Butter Glycerin Soap. You’ll find the recipe for it in my eBook, 12 Easy Melt and Pour Soap Recipes.
Yeah, it was fun to create this one as I added no colorant other than this high quality chocolate which I picked up at a health food store. I refrained from eating most of it because I learned real quickly that this was better than Snickers or M&Ms and it was good for you, too! [Unfortunately, I had to remove this soap from my site as too many people were trying to buy it after I moved.]
The best kind of chocolate was the kind that was added to the rebatch soap. This is the real deal soap as I call it as it’s made from scratch and has no added ingredients except what you put in it. And this is where you can include dairy products for an incredibly rich and sumptuous milk soap, or get creative and add yogurt, coconut or soy milk or eggnog. So I made a chocolately bar with the addition of shea butter, cocoa butter and mango butter. Then the crème de la crème was the chocolate I could add as a swirl to make a beige and brown bar that looked like fudge. In my recent book How to Make Handcrafted Shampoo Bars I’ve included a couple of recipes that contain chocolate.
As for other chocolate products, count me in as a Lushie! Well, I’ve mentioned how I felt in a previous post. before I made my first chocolate product, Lush had made theirs. They had this nifty hand sized massage bar called After 8:30 a chocolate mint concoction made primarily from cocoa butter and real chocolate with “scentsational” lashings of peppermint essential oil. The urge NOT to bite down on it was excruciating. The scent, the look, the feel, was chocolate overload. It also contained white chocolate which is really just cocoa butter with added sugar. White chocolate has no true cacao content but it is pure decadent sweetness.
Rubbing this on my skin was a chuckle as there were brown streaks that resembled skid marks! It was like rubbing a mint chocolate bar on my skin and it did get absorbed after leaving it greasy for a few minutes. Then my skin felt soft and chocolate-y and peppermint-y and I just wanted to lick myself like a cat. The mint also cooled me off a bit. I’ve never been that intimate with chocolate before after trying that After 8:30 and I doubt if I’ll repeat the experience.
When making bath & body products, it’s all about experimenting!