Making soap with beeswax is kind of the same.
Beeswax adds some hardness to the soap bar, but too much in the soap recipe causes "drag" on the soap and reduces the lather. Plus, there are other ingredients that you can use/add to still get a nice hard bar of soap.
You can also add beeswax to combat ash in your soap recipes. And there are some unsaponifiables (not affected by the lye) in beeswax, but nothing that's really going to be special for your skin.
So why use it? Well...other than "because you can" or "because it's fun to try new ingredients in soap recipes" by far the best reason to incorporate beeswax into your soap recipe is the label/marketing appeal. It just sounds cool to have beeswax in your soap - it sounds natural, and beeswax connotes warmth and hard working bees and the scent of honey.
So let's make a batch of soap using beeswax as one of the ingredients. And while we're working with the beeswax theme, we'll add some honey too, and use a mold technique to make the top and bottom of your soap look like a honeycomb.
With the beeswax. you can use anywhere between 1% and 3% of your total oils. Be sure to include it as one of the oils in your recipe when you are calculating your recipe
As for the honey in the recipe, I usually add about 1 Tbs. per pound of oils.
So...for this batch, which had a bit more than 3 pounds of oils in it to make about 4.3 pounds of soap, I used:
- 13.5 ounces olive oil
- 13.5 ounces coconut oil
- 13.5 ounces beef tallow
- 2.4 ounces castor oil
- 4.4 ounces almond oil
- 1 ounce of beeswax
- 6.8 ounces of lye (a 5% lye discount/superfat)
- 14.5 ounces of water (more water than I normally use in recipes, but the extra water helps things not get to trace so quickly)
- 2 ounces of fragrance or essential oil - but be sure to use one that you know will not accelerate trace!
- 28% olive oil
- 28% coconut oil
- 28% beef tallow
- 5% castor oil
- 9% almond oil
- 2% beeswax
But first, we're going to include a neat mold technique that goes along perfectly with our beeswax theme.