Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Whimsical Soap by Marie Browning

It's easy to be artistic and create whimsical images in your soaps! Fields Landing Soap Factory Soap Gems mold gives you an abundant array of fun shapes to 'draw' colorful motifs floating in clear colored bars.

Materials Needed

Fields Landing Soap Factory -
Creamy Coconut Soap Base: 4 ounces Gentle Glycerin Soap Base.
8 ounces Bubblegum Fragrance Oil: 4 drops per bar.
Red, Orange, Yellow, Green & Blue Liquid Colorants.
Standard Bar Soap Shapes Mold # 71120 & Soap Gems Mold # 71121
2 Cup Pyrex measuring cup
Metal Spoon
Microwave (or follow manufactures directions for melting in a double boiler)


1. Slice Creamy Coconut soap into thin 1/8" strips for quick, easy melting.

2. Place 3 oz. of Creamy Coconut soap base into measuring cup and microwave for approximately 45 seconds to 1 minute on high. The melting time will vary depending on the amount of soap. Remove and stir lightly. Continue to microwave at 15-second intervals until completely melted.

3. Color the soap with a few drops of your chosen color and pour into the Soap Gems mold. If the soap starts to set, simply place back into the microwave for 10 seconds or until it has melted.

4. The Soap Gems cool very quickly. Repeat the steps with additional colors.

5. Melt 3 oz. of Gentle Glycerine soap base, then pour a ¼" thick layer into your chosen soap bar molds. Immediately place soap gems in place, face side down.

6. Add fragrance and colorant to the remaining melted glycerin soap.

7. Carefully pour scented glycerin soap over colored gems. Let the soap cool and harden completely before removing from mold. For a fast set, allow the soap to cool for 1 minute then cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until cold.

Copyright 2004 - Environmental Technology Inc. - www.eti-usa.com

If you are looking for other recipes, check out some of the links in the side bar or check in my archive. There are alot of recipes in both places. I am always looking for new recipes to post on my blog, so please return in the future.

Source: http://www.eti-usa.com/consum/Soap/Soap%20Recipe%206.htm

Rustic Lavender & Rose Soap, by Marie Browning

A country fresh soap with the bracing scent of lavender, rose and the gentle scrubbing action of ground almonds. The soap is a light lavender hue with natural speckles throughout from the dried botanicals. Makes three oval bars.

Materials Needed:

Fields Landing Soap Factory -
Creamy Coconut Soap base: 12 ounces
Lavender & Victorian Rose fragrance oils: 5 drops Lavender oil and 15 drops Victorian Rose oil.
Red & Blue Colorant: 5 drops Red and 2 drops Blue.
Standard Bar Soap Shapes Mold, #71120

1 Teaspoon each of finely chopped dried Lavender buds, dried Rose petals and wheat bran.
1 Tablespoon finely ground almonds
2 cup Pyrex measuring cup.
Metal Spoon
Microwave or double boiler.


1. Slice soap into thin 1/8" strips for quick, easy melting.

2. Place sliced soap into the Pyrex measuring cup and microwave for approximately 45 seconds to 1 minute on high. The melting time will vary depending on the amount of soap. Remove and stir lightly. Continue to microwave at 15-second intervals until completely melted.

3. Mix in the dried lavender buds, rose petals, wheat bran and the ground almonds.

4. Add a few drops of fragrance oil until desired level of fragrance is achieved.

5. Mix the soap as it cools until it becomes jelly-like. This helps to distribute the botanicals evenly throughout the soap, rather than sinking to the bottom of the mold.

6. Pour the soap into the mold. Let the soap cool and harden completely before removing from the mold. The soap will pop out easily when completely set. For a fast set, allow the soap to cool for 1 minute then cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until cooled.

Copyright 2004 - Environmental Technology Inc. - www.eti-usa.com

If you are looking for other recipes, check out some of the links in the side bar or check in my archive. There are alot of recipes in both places. I am always looking for new recipes to post on my blog, so please return in the future.

Source: http://www.eti-usa.com/consum/Soap/Soap%20Recipe%201.htm

Monday, July 30, 2007

History of Commercial Soap Making

Soap is the most ubiquitous consumer item used in the modern world. It is so commonly available that we hardly give a thought to how it was that soap of such good quality came to be manufactured on a large scale.

The knowledge of a soap like substance was probably known to the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians who perhaps used it for washing fabrics. They may have used potash derived from burnt charcoal and animal fat to make this substance.

The Romans used a soap like substance and probably learnt it from the Celts. The latin word “sapo” means a mixture of tallow and ash.

Before the industrial revolution, soap making was a cottage industry with animal fat used in the middle ages.

The French tried to use olive oil, but the resultant product lacked what the kind of quality today’s soaps have. This was due to the use of potash instead of caustic soda which still remained to be discovered.

It was in the 19th century that caustic soda or lye was discovered by the French chemist Leblanc which revolutionized the soap manufacturing industry. His method of producing caustic soda left undesirable by products and large scale soap making therefore had to wait for some more time.

A Belgian chemist Solvay managed to derive lye from salt and water, and this was the
breakthrough needed to manufacture decent soap on a large scale.

For more information on soaps and soap making recipe, visit soap making recipes

About the Author

The author is a freelance writer and associated with http://www.soap-making-recipe.info.

Source: ArticleTrader.com

Create Your Own Essential Oil Fragrances

By Eu-Leh

If you want to try your "nose" at creating your own blends of essential oils for your soaps and candles, it's not hard. Whether you're an experienced aromatherapist or new to scent blending, you can create your own complex scent blends that will make your soaps and candles smell wonderful with a scent that is uniquely yours. Grab a notebook and let's get started.

Here's How:

1. Choose a combination of essential oils. (You can also try this with simple fragrance oils.) You can choose based on having at least one top note, middle note, and base note, or just choose several oils that you think will go well together. This is all about experimentation.

2. Open the oils and the small glass jar. You may be able to get a preview of your scent blend merely by having the three bottles open at the same time.

3. One at a time, dip the tip of a clean cotton swab into the fragrance or essential oil. Squeeze any excess oil from the swab on the lip of the bottle.

4. Place the swab in the glass jar.

5. Repeat for each of the essential oils you want to add to the blend.

6. Make sure to write down each essential oil you include in the blend.

7. Walk away from the jar and wait a few minutes.

8. Come back to the jar and gently sniff the air above the jar. This will be the scent blend in its early stage of development. Take notes on your thoughts about it. Is one oil overpowering the others? Do two of them seem too similar to tell apart?

9. Put the lid on the jar and leave it in a cool, dark place. After a few hours, open the jar and smell the blend again. The scent should have mixed further and "matured" a bit. Take further notes on your thoughts about the blend.

10. Put the lid back on the jar and leave it again in a cool, dark place. After about 48 hours, open the jar and smell it again. The scent blend should be fully mixed and "matured" by now. Take further notes about the blend.

11. Make corrections to your blend. Perhaps try two parts of oil A and one part of oil B. Or add some oil D to your blend of A, B, and C. Try the blend again until you find the perfect combination.

12. Last, but not least, try the blend in a candle or soap, and take notes on how it works in them.


1. Try to get equal amounts of fragrance or essential oil on each cotton swab, and make sure your they are completely clean - or else you'll risk contaminating your essential oils.

2. Instead of cotton swabs, you can use an eye dropper or disposable pipette and a paper towel, but you must use a fresh dropper or pipette for each essential oil.

3. Don't stick your nose into the jar to smell the blend. Let the scent rise from out of the jar.

4. Sniffing coffee beans or ground coffee will cleanse your scent receptors. (Yes, just like cleansing your palate.) Sniff some coffee beans in between tests and you'll get a more accurate reading on the scents.

5. Experiment, experiment, experiment! Don't be afraid to try odd combinations, or combinations that don't adhere to the top-middle-base note ideal. Above all, be sure to take good notes!

What You Need:

An assortment of essential or fragrance oils
A small jar with an airtight lid
At least one clean cotton swab for each scent oil in the blend
A notebook to record your results

Source: http://entrepinoys.blogspot.com/2007/07/create-your-own-essential-oil-fragrance.html, candleandsoap.about.com, photo from life.uiuc.edu

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Detoxify Your Body In 30 Minutes With A Bath

Dealing with all of the environmental toxins today, can be quite a load on the body. A simple way to help combat these toxins is to take a detoxification bath. In spas today, the use of water therapy is very popular. Bathing in waters containing various healing ingredients can help
to release toxins, promote energy, circulation and well being.

This bath can be done in your very own bathtub and does not require special equipment. Hot water helps draw toxins out of the body to the skin’s surface. When the water cools, it pulls toxins from the skin. The ocean, mineral, hot springs and herbal baths have been used for centuries world wide, for their therapeutic effects.

This is the simple recipe that I regularly use to help combat toxins and detoxify my body:

1 cup Epsom salts
1/2 cup Baking Soda
About 1/2 cup Powdered Ginger

Pour Epsom salt or Baking Soda, and ginger into a warm bath and soak for 15 to 20 minutes. After soaking, scrub the skin gently with a natural fiber like a cotton washcloth or a loofah sponge for 5 minutes. Do not remain in the tub for more than 30 minutes. Note the "murky" appearance of the water, this is due to the toxins released in your bath water. Wrap yourself in a large towel or bathrobe and then cover up with a warm blanket. You will sweat for about an hour. The next morning you will feel fantastic!

You can take a detoxification bath often, or at least once a month. In addition to detoxifying the body, this bath is also helps relieve pain.

About the Author

Danielle Sims explored her library of alternative health, herbal books, and aromatherapy books and created a blueprint for making her own body wrap formulas at home. For more information visit Danielle's website http://www.wrapyourselfslim.com

Source: ArticleTrader.com

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Photosensitivity of Essential Oils

According to Kelly Ewing, author of Making Candles and Soaps for Dummies, some essential oils increase your chance of photosensitization when particular EO's are exposed to the sun. Photosensitization basically looks like a rash or increase your chances of getting sunburn. The most common photosensitization oils are from the citrus family which includes bergamont, lemon, grapefruit, lemon, lemon verbena, lime, and orange. Others that fall under this category of photosensitization are angelica and cumin.

I was in Lori Nova's Lotions and Creams 101 class on 5/19/07. I asked her if you use any of the essential oils that causes photosentivity in your products, how long should you wait until you go outside? She did not know. But she recommends not putting any of these products on your face prior to going outside and if the products are on other parts of your body that can be covered by clothing then do so. So, do not wear these products and go lay out in the sun.

According to Donna Marie, author of Making Aromatherapy Creams and Lotions, that citrus oils should never be used on the skin within several hours (recommending 6 to 12 hours) of exposure the sun because a serious burn or hyperpingmentation (discolored spots) can occur.

I also found out that the following essential oils such as angelica, cumin, bergamont and yuzu are also photosensitive.

So when making your bath and body products with citrus essential oils, take this information to heart.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Aromatherapy/Essential Oils Books

If you are interested in books on Aromatherapy or Essentials Oils, the bookstores do carry a very limited selection. These books will be located in either in the New Age or Health/Alternative Medicine sections of your bookstore. I like the bookstore environment because at least you can thumb through and see if you like it. If you know a title of a book and the bookstore does not have it, they can place a special order for you.

Another place that you can look for books on this topic is at Elephant Pharm. They have locations in Berkeley, Los Altos and San Rafael. I believe they will be opening a store in Walnut Creek.

Of course, an alternative to purchasing these books is through Amazon.com. They have a wide selection of books for great prices, but you cannot skim through the pages to see if you like the book. Some books have a preview of some pages, normally they are the table of contents and the index, which may or may not help. Sometimes there are reviews by customers who have previously purchased the books. These reviews can or cannot be helpful. I would say the bad thing about purchasing books through Amazon is that if you do not like it then you lose out on alot of money by returning it.

Some of the books I have purchased on aromatherapy or essentials have been a hit or a miss. Here are some of the books I have purchased:

The Essential Oils Book by Colleen Dodt. This book has alot of good info from an introduction to essential oils to blending advice to other uses. The one thing I do not like about the book is that the text is printed in a shade of blue which makes it very difficult to read.

The A to Z of Essential Oils by E. Joy Bowles. This book has alot of good information on essential oils. Section 1 discusses the essentials of aromatherapy from plant information to massage. In Section 2 goes into the directory of essential oils. Each essential oil is described by how it is made to what it is used for and why it works. Of course, if there are any cautions in using a particular EO (Essential Oil), then it is noted. Also, there is information on what is the active consitutents for each EO. I really like the colorful photographs in this book.

The Directory of Essential Oils by Wanda Sellar. This book includes information on more than 80 EO's. It will describe aroma to properties to precautions to blends.

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valarie Ann Worwood. I would say this is the best book on this subject so far. It is very comprehensive on the subject and is practical and in an easy to understand format for using EO's and aromatherapy in everyday life.

The Aromatherapy Bibleby Gill Farrer-Halls is a great book on learning how to prepare essential oils in various remedies as well as how to use them effectively. This book also provides recipes for creams and lotions and also includes a directory of common oils. The only complaint I have about the book is the size. The dimensions of the book are 6 1/2" by 5 1/2" which makes the rather small text hard to read. I wish this book had a 8 1/2 by 11 format because it would be alot easier to handle.

500 Formulas for Mixing Essential Oils for Every Use by Carol Schiller and David Schiller is a recipe book on creating your own personal aromatic oils for every day use. There are alot of good recipes in this book, but the book lacks instruction on how you should mix the ingredients and what tools you need. Also, it may not be really clear on how much of the mixture you should use for your particular need. There is some good information in the chapters on scent and touch and selecting and using pure oils, but if you are looking for extensive information on this particular subject then this is not the book for you. I would say that this is a great compliment for any other books you have on aromatherapy and essentials oils that give more elaborate info.

There are many more books on this subject that you will find on Amazon.com. You can often read the comments that customers have left behind to determine if that is the book for you. This can be helpful I found that the bookstore do not carry alot of these books. Your favorite bookstore will be more than happy to take order a particular for you.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

How to Make Soap Hangtags in Microsoft Publisher

Hangtags can be used to label just about anything. They can be used to label soaps, gifts, handmade goodies from the kitchen, or custom made clothing and accessories; and just about anything that needs custom labeling.

Hangtags are a bit different from regular labels in that with hangtags one has a very small area to work with. Typically hangtags are tiny; usually between 1-3 inches.

Graphics used in hangtags should be very small or used as background graphics so as not to overwhelm the information that the hangtags convey.

Below are instructions for creating a simple hangtag. At the end of the page is a link to hangtag designs that are complete designs but may also be used as a template to make custom hangtags. Replace wording with your own. Graphic included can be used in personal and business hangtags without any copyright obligations.


1. Open a new document in Microsoft Publisher.


2. Organize your workspace. By zooming in you are able to get a better view of the tiny details on the hangtag. Then set layout guides (optional). The sample file available for download already has the layout guide set in the Publisher document with 5 spaces across and 4 spaces down for a total of 20 boxes for 20 labels, so we will skip this step (To revisit this step, see Optional Instructions at the end of the article if you need to customize the layout guides to change the size and number of hangtags).


3. Add Baseline guides. Baseline guides are guide lines that help with text alignment. They are not printed when you print your document but are quite helpful to get the fine placement of text and graphics correct on the page (optional - this step is optional, since the sample file available for download is setup already with this parameter.)


4. Add a textbox. The textbox forms the body of the hangtag. Everything contained within the hangtag will be placed in the textbox. The reason for this is that having a large textbox as the main body of the hangtag means that a preset border can be added. This takes the place of using a whole graphic for the border art. Preset art options in Microsoft Publisher include lines, double lines, dotted and dashed lines and tiny border art.


5. Customize the borders of the textbox. At this point the lines for the border and border art maybe selected.

FORMAT----------TEXTBOX --------COLORS AND LINES--------LINES (Select black color for the border)--------DASHED (REGULAR LINE)--------WEIGHT(thickness of line).

All texts in the sample hangtag maybe replaced with your own information.

6. To add a logo or any graphic to the design, you will have to insert the graphic from your computer. One of the great things with Publisher is that if pictures or art is slightly too large, it can be resized in the program to fit the printing requirements. The sample file that is available for download already has a graphic. To replace the graphic, select it and delete, then reinsert graphic of choice.

INSERT-------PICTURE FROM FILE--------(select picture)------INSERT.

Link to get free hangtags Floral Graphic Hangtag Design. This design is very simple with a small graphic. The graphic file maybe taken out for a cleaner look. To delete graphic, select it and hit the backspace button to delete. Then replace the verbiage for your own. The size of the hangtags maybe changed by changing the grid guides and by changing the text box size. Instructions can be found in the Optional Instructions below.

Classic Scroll Design This design features a classic scroll at the base of the hangtags. To better view and edit the design, zoom in to at least 100-150%. half of the labels have been left bare. If you choose to keep this design and layout, copy the contents of the completed boxes and paste them into the empty fields.

Optional Instructions

To add layout guides
ARRANGE---------LAYOUT GUIDE-----GRID GUIDES-----(Set number of columns, rows and spacing between the rows and columns). You may play with these numbers and print out test copies with plain paper to see what works.

To change and customize the size of the hangtags first change the GRID GUIDES (The grid guides are the underlying blue colored dotted lines that makes a grid of the page so it is easy to place the hangtags in their correct locations). See instructions above ADD LAYOUT GUIDES.

Next select the textbox. When the textbox is selected, points appear at the corners and midway between corners. Drag the corner out to the size you desire.

Or, to get a more exact size textbox -----(SELECT TEXTBOX)-----goto---FORMAT----- TEXTBOX--------SIZE(Set the size here).

Frequently asked questions about these labels:

1. Can I resize the label?
Yes you can. First change the grid guides (which are the blue lines that sits under the labels that are devided into boxes to help you to place the text in straight alignment. ARRANGE---------LAYOUT GUIDE-----GRID GUIDES-----(Set number of columns, rows and spacing between the rows and columns). You may play with these numbers and print out test copies with plain paper to see what works.

Then change the individual text boxes. First select the text box (which is the main box where all the information is container within each individual label and GOTO-----FORMAT----TEXTBOX------SIZE (CHANGE SIZE HERE). All the label sizes will have to be changed.

2. Can I resize the graphics?
yes, graphics in these files are high quality gifs with transparent backgrounds. First select the graphic portion of the label, then drag it out from the edges to resize.

3. What paper can I print the labels on?
Because the graphics are transparent, these labels can be printed on any background, cardstock paper, vellum, kraft paper, and even cloth.

Source: Permission to reprint by Winsome Tapper, Soapmaking Editor, www.bellaonline.com/site/soapmaking.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bath Bomb Recipe

If you are looking for another bath bomb recipe to add to your collection, here is one from Herbal Accents:


1/2 cup baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup citric acid
1 teaspoon deodorized cocoa butter, melted
2 teaspoons of scent of your choice, essential oil or fragrance oil
1 tablespoon distilled water
colorant, if desired

Mix the baking soda, cornstarch and citric acid together in glass or stainless steel bowl. Make "well" in the middle and drizzle melted cocoa butter and scent. Blend well. Add a few drops of desired colorant to your distilled water and add to your other ingredients. It will fizz a little. If it fizzes too much, use less water next time. Pack firmly into soap mold. The more compact you do this the better your bomb will be. Turn out onto wax paper or plastic wrap. Let dry and harden. After a few hours, package. Keep from getting damp again. The bombs will fizz when added to your bath.

The new Molds we now carry are perfect for the bombs. Go to our Soap Mold link to see pictures. The molds are 3 to 4 cavity and sell for $5.00 each.

Here at our shop we shrink wrap our bath bombs in our 6 x 4 shrink bags. The bombs stay together very well. Our 6"x4" PVC shrink bags can be purchased from us. 100 bags are $2.50, 500 bags are $10.00 and 1,000 bags are $18.00. We now carry impulse sealers to seal the bags. Go to our packaging page or see our downloadable catalog.

If you are looking for other recipes, check out some of the links in the side bar or check in my archive. There are alot of recipes in both places. I am always looking for new recipes to post on my blog, so please return in the future.

Source: http://www.herbalaccents.com/lipbalm,butter_lotionbars,bathbombs.htm

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cold or Hot Process Soapmaking

Cold process method is when fats and oils are converted to soap without cooking. Once the oils are heated to a desired temp, a lye/water mixture is added. After stirring for a period of time, the mixture will be converted to soap. Now the only difference between cold process soap making and the hot process, is that the hot process refers to the soap being cooked. This is where the oils and the lye/water mixture solutions are boiled together resulting in soap alot faster. I have heard that the curing time is alot short for the hot process than the cold process method.

I do not teach either method of making soap. But if you are interested in learning how, then may I suggest the following:

The Nova Studio (www.thenovastudio) in Point Richmond, Ca has classes in this method of soap making. I know this may sound like far to go, but as of now this is the only reference I have for a class in this method of soap making.

If you are more interested in reading a book on this subject, my favorite book is "Handcrafted Soap" by Delores Boone. I really like this book because it is easy to follow with beautiful color photos. It is a very good information and recipes for those who want to create their soaps in this manner.

Another book I like is "Essentially Soap" by Dr. Robert S. McDaniel. It has some great recipes and what I really like about the book is the information on fragrances, essential oils, glossary and other ingredients.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sugar as an Ingredient for Your Body Products

In yesterday's 3-type Body Butter's class at The Nova Studio asked if they could substitute sugar instead of table salt in the exfoliating recipe. Lori brought up a good point that I would have thought of and that is sugar would easily melt in the bath. Plus it is really not a good idea because it may attract ants.

So, I was thinking of all of those Sugar Body Scrubs recipes out there. Most ask for regular white sugar or brown sugar. There are some that will ask for raw sugar. But a recipe from PV Soap that had a combination of both table salt and sugar. And if you like that particular texture then that is what is recommended if you are planning to make a sugar scrub.

3-Types of Body Butters Class @ Nova Studio

In this demo style class, you will learn how to make three completely different types of all natural body butters that are great for rough, dry skin.

The first recipe you will learn is a traditional body butter. This butter is usually a mixture of pure vegetable, nut butters and sometimes liquid oils to create a rich, dense body balm which is great for dry elbows, knees, lips, cuticles and feet. I really like this recipe because of its texture and the way it glides on my skin. It can be alittle greasy, but I just got use to it. The only products that I have tried in this category was a treatment butter with shea butter and sweet almond milk that I purchased on HSN. I would say that this product did not compare with the one made in this class. I really like this recipe because I can add my own fragrance and coloring to fit my mood. What I really found interesting was adding color to this recipe. I normally have used a liquid colorant to most of my body and bath products, but this product I am unable to. Since this product is oil based and a liquid colorant well is water based, the two will not mix. In order to color this traditional body butter we added a mica powder. Mica powders are shimmery, but added to this recipe it will be more creamy because there is no light going through the product. I picked a light green color with a mojito scent. My finished product reminded me of a margarita or daiquri ice sherbert from Baskin Robbins.

The next recipe created in the class was a solid butter bar. This recipe can be used for either a massage bar form or adapted for a stick version for easy carrying. For class purposes, we made the bar version. Once the ingredients were melted, it was poured into a mini muffin silicon pan. Once cooled each student learned how to wrap the bar into a foil candy wrapper. And place a label on the appropriate spot. This would really be cute to make multiples of these and place them in a cellophane bag and give it as party favor. In the future, I do plan to try to make the stick version of this recipes for gifts.

The last recipe created was an exfoliating body butter scrub. I would describe this products as cross between a whipped body butter and a body scrub. If you ever made a salt body scrub with a carrier oil it similar in someway but only in a solid form. After making both products, I think I prefer the body butter version over the regular salt body scrub. The reason being is that I like the creamy consistency of the butter than the liquid body scrub.

Just to let you know that you will receive a bonus recipe that will not be created in class. This bonus recipe is for a whipped body butter version. It is very similar to the exfoliating recipe without the exfoliating ingredients. I would have to say that the whipped body butter recipe is probably a widely used process because I once did see another local person by the name of Joan Moraris demonstrate a recipe on a Sacramento television station.

What is really great about this class is the handouts. They are very detailed with all of the information you need to recreate these recipes. Information on selling your products, packaging and labelling and online resources are also included. I am glad Lori covers how to make your own labels, even though she includes resources on others creating them for you. I had an experience of purchasing some Avery labels and the number did not match so I had to match up the actual size of the label instead. But it still worked out great!

So, I strongly recommend this class if you are interested in making this type of body product. The next class I am taking is the Lip Balm, Bath Melts and Solid Scrubs on 10/13. Look for my next class review!

Friday, July 20, 2007

New Bath Bomb Recipe

Calling all past students who have taken my Handmade Bath Products class!

Remember, in this class you learned how to make your bath bombs look like muffins? Well I found a really cute way to make your bath bombs look like cupcakes. Check out this link: http://soap-queen.blogspot.com/2007/06/bath-bomb-cupcakes-instructions.html.

If you are looking for other recipes, check out some of the links in the side bar or check in my archive. There are alot of recipes in both places. I am always looking for new recipes to post on my blog, so please return in the future.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Making Your Own Lotions

I really wanted to learn on how to make my own lotions. The time I spent trying to learn on how to make this type of product this is what I learned. There are many recipes and ways to learn how to make your own lotions. Here are my trials and tribulations. First there are the kits that you can purchase Michael's or Joann's. These kits include a lotion base, fragrance, coloring, bottles and labels. The good thing about these kits is that everything is included to make 4 bottles of lotions. The bad thing is that you do not have any control over the ingredients and you might have a difficult time finding more ingredients to make more lotions so you will have to purchase another kit. And these kits cost around $20.00.

Second, finding books on this subject are very rare. I found a book titled "Natural Bodycare" by Julia Meadows. It does not have too many recipes although it has a basic recipe. The author claims to be simple to make through an one jar process. It did seem simple enough, but what not as simple was some of the ingredients. For example, the recipe calls for 2 tbsp sorbitan monstaerate, 2 tsp isosteroyl lactylate and 1/2 tsp modified lecithin. I am thinking what are these ingredients and where do I purchase them. So, I through the book and I found out what the ingredients were. Sorbitan monstaerate is derived from the berries of the mountain ash tree, sorbitan monstaerate powder is a food-grade emulsifier and humectant used in natural lotions and creams. Isosteroyl lactylate is a derivative of lactic acid (a natural component of human skin), isosteroyl lactylate is an excellent alpha hydroxy acid which is an excellent humectant that maintains the skin's pH level. Adding this ingredient will emulsify and stabilizers oil in water. And modified lecithin originates from soybean oil. Lecithin is a natural emulsifier and contains phospholipids, an integral part of all human and planet cells. Phospholipids from lecithin are remarkable emollients, moisturizer and cell-regenerating substances when added to skincare formulas. Even more difficult pronouncing these words was trying to find vendors to purchase these ingredients. The book was no help and I got lost finding them on the Internet, so I gave up on this recipe.

Next I found a recipe from a show called Creative Living. Creative Living is a show that airs on my local PBS channel. They had a guest who was demonstrating some bath products. I went to the internet and found site (http://www.kenw.org/cl/cl.htm) and located a down loadable book entitled "Creative Living - 5000 Series". The recipe I was looking for was under the health section on page 2. The recipe was simple enough but once again I stumbled on one main ingredient which was Velvachol. Oh no here I go again! I was trying to figure it out since it ended with "achol". I thought it might be an alcohol based ingredient. According to the author this ingredient is an emollient based which can be found at drug stores and it may be special ordered for approximately $20.00. I am not sure that was very reassuring because sometimes the employees of these establishments are not always knowledgeable. Since I was currently in the internet search mode, I found alot of sites that had recipes. But I was still at a major roadblock.

The best option for me was taking a class on the subject. I was lucky enough to know someone who taught such a class. And I knew of her reputation because I had previously taken some bath and products from her in the past through DeAnza College's Community Eduction. This class was offered at her studio (www.thenovastudio) in Pt. Richmond, Ca. Sure at first I was hesitant to drive but I really wanted to take the class. So I decided that I was going to venture out on BART to get her studio. Once I planned my route taking BART was not so bad as it sounded. What was great about her class is that Lori is very knowledgeable in her craft plus was really great is that she created this recipe all by herself. So she really knows that this recipe works. She combines distilled water, carrier oil, preservative, glycerin and antioxidants into a luxurious lotion. Plus she tells you were you can purchase the ingredients! What is great about this recipe is that once you learn this process you can use any carrier that you wish as long as you stick to Lori's amount. The one thing you should know that her recipe is more involved than mixing it in a boil. So prepared to use more equipment than a boil and a spoon. I don't want to scare anyone off, but I once I got over the fear of measuring precisely and heating the ingredients to the correct temperature then I felt it was worth the time and effort to making a better product. So, if you live in the bay area and are interested in learning about making lotions and creams then I recommend taking a class at the Nova Studio.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Goat's Milk Soap from Life of the Party

I was in Joann's in Redwood City today and I noticed that in their soapmaking aisle they are now selling Life of the Party 2 lb block of suspension formula soap with Goat's Milk for $9.99. If you are a big Life of the Party soap fan then you might want to try this. Also, Joann's has a shea butter soap in a 5 lb block. The price is around $21.00.

If you are interested in a better quality of these types of soap try Juniper Tree in Berkeley or some of the other online vendors I have suggested on my blogs.

Skin Care: Papery Skin

If you have papery skin, then your skin is sensitive, fragile and papery to the touch; fine-textured with no visible pores; prone to developing fine lines and wrinkles.

(1) Use a mild cleanser with ingredients such as marsh mallow to help repair damage. Shea butter and geranium, rosewood, and bitter orange essential oils (EO) will leave the skin supple.

(2) A calming spray of chamomile and orange blossom waters, and honey and nectar extracts will soothe, tone and help prolong hydration.

(3) Exfoliate this type of skin with a rich mask. Oatmeal and white clay provide a gentile, refining action.

(4) A hypo-allergenic cream containing evening primrose oil to stimulate cell renewal and moisturizing agents derived from sugar and nectar will strengthen the protective barrier.

Massage Oil for Dry, Papery Skin

Use this replenishing blend for a facial massage:

24 ml of jojoba oil
4 drops of neroli EO
3 drops of patchouli EO
3 drops of sandalwood EO
2 drops of rose or rosewood EO

If you are looking for other recipes, check out some of the links in the side bar or check in my archive. There are alot of recipes in both places. I am always looking for new recipes to post on my blog, so please return in the future.

Source: Home Spa...Pamper Yourself From Head to Toe by Chrissie Painell-Malkin, page 50.

Skin Care: Tired, dull Skin

For tired and dull skin, you may find that your skin is lacking in elasticity and firmness; expression lines and wrinkles are more marked; your complexion lacks radiance and looks dull.

(1) Use a cleanser, toner and mask designed for dry, sensitive skin to maintain the moisture levels in the upper layers of the skin.

(2) Before you apply a moisturizer, smooth on a firming serum that will reduce the appearance of small wrinkles and expression lnes. Soya protein and Mimosa terriflora (which is known as the skin tree' and is renowned for its healing and revitalizing capabilities) will firm up and repair the skin and provide good protection from ageing free radicals.

(3) Use an intensive, restructuring moisturizer to continue the firming and repairing action.

Mask or Massage Blend for Tired Skin

Directions: Apply as a mask for 10 minutes o massage into the face.

24 ml of apricot kernel oil
5 drops of petitgrain EO
4 drops of sandalwood EO
3 drops of chamomile EO

If you are looking for other recipes, check out some of the links in the side bar or check in my archive. There are alot of recipes in both places. I am always looking for new recipes to post on my blog, so please return in the future.

Source: Home Spa...Pamper Yourself From Head to Toe by Chrissie Painell-Malkin, page 50.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Skin Care: Combination or Oily Skin

If your have combination or oily skin, you may find that your skin feels comparatively thick and strong; skin is shiny around the T-zone (forehead, nose and chin); some pores may look open; and your make-up will not last well.

(1) It is important to cleanse oily skin throughly, but gently so as not to cause irritation and to help it stay in balance. Use a foaming gel with purifying essential oils such as peppermint, cypress and lemon.

(2) Witch hazel and rosemary extract will tone thee skin, while zinc will help to balance the acid mantle. An alcohol-free clarifying toner will refresh the complexion.

Mask for Combination or Oily Skin (Purifying & Exfloiating Action)

20 ml soya oil
4 drops of geranium EO
3 drops of chamomile EO
2 drops of sandelwood EO
1 drop of lavender EO

Leave the mask on for 10 minutes, then remove it gently with a cotton-wool pad and tone with rosewater.

If you are looking for other recipes, check out some of the links in the side bar or check in my archive. There are alot of recipes in both places. I am always looking for new recipes to post on my blog, so please return in the future.

Source: Home Spa...Pamper Yourself From Head to Toe by Chrissie Painell-Malkin, page 49.

Skin Care: Normal Skin

If your skin is naturally firm and supple, smooth-textured with no signs of open pores, velvety to the touch, fresh and transparent-looking if you are blond then this regiment is ideal for you.

(1) Remove any make-up and dirt with a wipe-off cleanser. Massage the cleanser gently into your skin with your fingers and wipe away the excess with a cotton-wool pad.

(2) Remove any traces of cleanser with an alcohol-free toner such as orange blossom water.

(3) Use a moisturizing face mask to promote radiance. A suitable mask may combine essential oils of lemon, eucalyptus, juniper, lavender with peach extract, ginseng and highly moisturizing Shea butter. Apply the mask to the skin, avoiding the eye area, and leave it for 10 minutes before wiping if off with a cotton ball or cotton wool.

(4) Apply a moisturizing day or night lotion that also includes stimulating ingredients such as ylang-ylang and musk-rose oil.

Moisturizer for Normal Skin (to maintain the balance of normal skin:

20 ml of wheatgerm or peach kernel oil
3 drops of neroli EO
3 drops of lavender EO
2 drops of geranium EO
2 drops of frankincense EO

Source: Home Spa...Pamper Yourself From Head to Toe by Chrissie Painell-Malkin, page 49.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Essential Oils: What are they Good For?

Essential oils have many properties and each oil can help in several different areas. Below is just a listing of which oils can help where. These are not the only essential oils that can be used, it is just a very small guideline.

Abscesses/Boils: basil, chamomile, clary sage, eucalyptus, geranium, juniper, lavender, rosemary, thyme, tea tree

Acne: aspic, calendula,chamomile, juniper, lavender,myrrh, neroli, patchouli, tea tree, thyme

Allergies: chamomile, lemon balm, rose

Anxiety: bergamot, basil, clary sage, cinnamon, coriander, jasmine, neroli, orange, pine, ylang ylang

Asthma: eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, lemon balm, rosemary

Coughs: aniseed, cypress, fennel, niaouli, thyme

Depression: bergamot, basil geranium, lavender, lemon balm, neroli, nutmeg, pine, rose, ylang ylang

Eczema: bergamot, chamomile, geranium, lavender, lemon balm, rosemary

Headache: basil, clary sage, fever few, lavender, lemon balm, marjoram, neroli, peppermint, rose, ylang ylang

Insect Bites: bergamot,lavender, lemon balm, tea tree,

Insomnia: chamomile, lavender, neroili, rose, rosewwod, marjoram, sandalwood

Menopause: clary sage, cypress, geranium, lemon balm

Sore Muscles: ginger, juniper, mint, nutmeg, peppermint, pine, rosemary, thyme

Nervousness: bergamot, coriander, fennel, lemon balm, marjoram

PMS: chamomile, clary sage, marjoram, neroli, ylang ylang

Stress: bergamot, clary sage, fennel, lavender, neroli, rose, sandalwood, vetiver

Sunburn: chamomile, lavender

Source: Aromatherapy for Health Blog

Monday, July 9, 2007

Four Methods of Making Soap at Home

There are four basic methods for making soap at home:

Melt and Pour - melt pre-made blocks of soap and add your own fragrance
Cold Process - the most common - making soap from scratch with oils and lye
Hot Process - a variation of cold process where the soap is actually cooked
Rebatching - grinding up bars of soap, adding milk or water, and re-blending them

Each method has pros, and cons, and variations.

Pros of Melt and Pour

An easy and inexpensive way to start making soap.
No need to deal with dangerous lye mixture.
You don’t need a lot of ingredients to start.
Your soap is ready to use as soon as it hardens.

Cons of Melt and Pour

No control over your ingredients.
Melt and Pour is not quite as “natural” as other methods. (Many manufacturers add chemicals to increase lather or to better allow the soap to melt.)
Your soap is only as good as the base you purchase.

Pros of Cold Process Soap Making

Your soap is truly made from scratch
You control all of the ingredients in the soap
You can tailor your recipe into unlimited variations

Cons of Cold Process Soap Making
You need to learn how to safely work with lye
You’ll need more ingredients and tools to start
It takes longer to make and there is more cleanup involved
You need to wait several weeks before your soap is ready to use

How To Use Essential Oils

In the bath: Add the recommended number of drops of essential oils, but not more than 10 in total, to one tablespoon of neutral from or vegetable oil and pore it under running water.

As a Massage: Blend 10 - 12 drops of one or more essential oils into 30 ml of a carrier massage oil.

For a Facial Moisturizer: Place 2 drops of essential oil in a 4 ml of a neutral lotion or cream base. Avoid applying near the eyes.

For a Body Lotion: Place 5 drops of essential oil in 10ml of a neutral lotion or creme base.

In a Sauna: Add 3 or 4 drops of essential oil to a ladle of water and pour it over the hot coals.

In a Perfume Diffuser: Also known as a vaporizer. Add 3 or 4 drops of essential oils to a little water in the dish before switching it on or lighting the candle underneath.

In a Room Spray: Add 2 drops of essential oil to 150 ml of warm water in a clean plant mister.

Source: Home Spa...Pamper yourself from head to toe by Chrissie Painell-Makin. Published by Barnes and Noble. 2006. pg. 128.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

French Milled Soap (or triple milled soap)

Is a commercial process where soap (typically made from synthetic detergents) is made, dried into crystals then rolled three or more times through steel rollers. This repeated milling crushes the crystals turning them into a fine paste. This paste is then pressed and formed into bars. Removing glycerin from the soap is necessary to keep the soap from being too sticky and adhering to the rollers. French/Triple milled soap means that all soap bars will be identical with no variations in color and texture. True milled soap is impossible to do if you are not a commercial manufacturer with the steel rollers.

Now, I never heard of this process before and I do not know where you can learn this technique. If I come across anymore information about this process I will let you know.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Hot Process Soap Making Process

The hot process method is a much easier and convenient way of making soap. What I mean by that is you would combine the oil, lye and distilled water like you would for the cold process method and then stir the mixture to trace. The difference here is that you cook the soap using indirect heat by using the slow cooker method, oven method or double boiler method. Indirect heat is more predictable way to ensure a successful batch of soap. Once the soap mixture has been cooked, stir the mixture until it cools slightly, then add your fragrance and put the mixture in the molds.

A major advantage to making your soap by the hot process method is that the saponification process is alot quicker than waiting a few weeks with the cold process method. You will also save money on your fragrance and essential oils because you will add them after the soap has cooled. Plus do not have to worry about seizing.

Just like the cold process method, you have to be precise with your measurements or your batches or they can come out all wrong.

My favorite book on this subject is "Handcrafted Soap" by Delores Boone. She really goes into great detail about using the indirect heating methods, charts and references, and alot of recipes. My second choice is "Essentially Soap" by Dr. Robert S. McDaniel. It has some good information especially on fragrances, colorants, and step by step instructions. He does not discuss the various heating methods/options that Delores Boone discusses in her book. His recipes are so so. Alot of his recipes ask for lard or vegetable shortening, whereas Delores uses olive oil, coconut oil, almond, avocado oil, and other oils. She does dedicate a page of recipes on tallow and lard soaps.

If you are the type that likes to take a class on this subject, The Nova Studio in Pt. Richmond, CA offers a class on this subject. Check out the studio's site at www.thenovastudio.com to see when the next class is offered.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Cold Process Soap Making Method

One of the most common methods of making soap is called cold process. This method of making soap you are combining oils, distilled water and lye and bring the mixture to trace. Trace is when the oil, distilled water and lye thickens. Then you add the fragrance and pour it into the mold while it is still pourable. With the cold process method, sapnification will actually take place in the mold. After a few weeks, the soap will cure and harden.

There are a few disadvantage to making soap by this method. First of all, it takes a long time for the soap to harden. Which means that you have to find a convenient place to store the soap while it cures and saponifies. And another disadvantage is that you need to use twice as much fragrance or essential oils which can get costly. See what happens is that when the lye and oils combine there is a chemical reaction which produces heat. Once you add your favorite fragrance to the mixture, it will dissipates because of the heat. A common problem occurs is the active lye and the fragrance react with each other. They soap can suddenly thicken, curdle or the oils may separate and will not mix back together which causes seizing. You must also realize that when your soap by this method that your measurements must be very accurate. If you put too much of an oil or use water from the tap instead of distilled water it can ruin your batch.

There are many books on this subject. As far as classes. The Nova Studio in Point Richmond, CA offers classes on this subject. Check her website at www.thenovastudio.com for upcoming classes.

Hand-Milled Soap Making Process

Hand milled (aka re-batching or French Milled) is a soap making process that is different from the melt and pour process, This process starts by grating a pre-made bar of soap, such as Castille Soap, melting it with water and adding additives, fragrances and oils to make a bar of soap, A bar of soap made by this process takes 2 to 4 weeks to cure before you can used it.

Soap base - Start with a pre-made bar of soap, preferably a vegetable base soap by the cold process method. You can also purchase a high quality bar of soap such as Castille Soap. In either case, it is best to use soap that has no fragrance or coloring because you want able to create your own unique bar of soap. If the soap base you are using has coloring or fragrance in it, it may interferer with what fragrances and colors you want to add.

Method - The soap will be grated and melted with water in a double boiler. Fresh preserved additives, oils, fragrances, dried botanical and colorants can all be added to create your unique bar of soap,

Curing - A bar of soap made by this process sometimes requires up to 4 weeks to completely cure, but in most cases it will be ready to be used in 2 weeks. It is not necessary to wrap in plastic and over time they become harder and better the longer they cure.

Molding - Use simple shaped molds with large embossed decorations. The most common form of a hand milled soap is in the shape of a ball which has been molded by hand. You are limited in this process of making soap, but is an excellent way to produce a natural looking bar of soap.

General Directions for Hand-Milled Soap Making:

1. Grate and process 2 cups of vegetable based soap until fine.

2. Place grated soap in a heat resistant glass measuring cup or bowl.

3. Add any oil that the recipe calls for. Add 1/3 cup of water.

4. Place measuring bowl in a hot water bath on the stove top. Melt the soap, stirring gently until the soap starts to appear "stringy".

5. Remove the melted soap from the heat and add the additional ingredients. Stir the mixture to disperse the ingredients.

6. Work quickly, spoon or pour mixture into prepare mold.

For more information on this process, pleae refer to "Natural Soapmking" by Marie Browning, Sterling Publications. As of this writing, I am not aware of anyone who teaches a class of making soap by this method.