Monday, December 31, 2007

Martini Soaps

From "Craft Lab"episode DCLB-261 on the DIY Network.

GUESTS : Debbie Chialtas

This would be a great soap project to create on New Years Eve! Add mini ice cube soaps to a martini glass or another special container for a great gift!

Jennifer Perkins and Debbie Chialtas make mini-cubed soaps with mini ice cube trays. This is a great idea for making simple soaps for around the house or to fill chic containers to give as gifts!

glass measuring cups
clear glycerin soap (Melt & Pour)
green and red liquid colorant
peppermint fragrance
rubbing alcohol in spray bottle*
2 mini ice cube trays craft sticksmartini glass - optional

*Fill a small spray bottle with rubbing alcohol to break any surface bubbles on the soap while it’s still liquid.

- Cut clear soap into 1-inch chunks and place in a glass measuring cup. Melt enough for 1-cup in the microwave.

- Add a few drops of red color and stir with a craft stick.

- Add 2 ml of fragrance and continue to stir.

- Pour the mixture slowly into the mini ice cube trays, filling to the top of the cube walls.

- Spray the soap in the tray lightly with rubbing alcohol to eliminate air bubbles.

- Let the trays sit at room temperature for 10 minutes until set. If desired, put in freezer for 5-10 minutes to loosen the cubes.

-Unmold the martini soaps out of tray and let dry overnight to eliminate moisture.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Wake Up Scrub

Here is a recipe for a scrub from the diva herself, Martha Stewart:

Nothing rouses you in the morning quite like the smell of coffee, so go ahead -- slather some on. A skin-softening body scrub made from coffee grounds and aromatic plant essences is a traditional treatment that's used in Thai and Balinese spas, and it's a luxurious way to start the day.

This recipe couples a rich, smoky coffee aroma with the sweet scent of peppermint -- known in aromatherapy for its mentally stimulating, energizing properties. Thanks to raw sugar crystals and olive oil, which exfoliate and moisturize, your body gets a pick-me-up, too. It makes enough for two to three applications.

Tools and Materials
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup pure turbinado sugar
15 drops peppermint essential oil (Mentha piperita)
1/2 cup used coffee grounds from a freshly brewed pot

Wake-Up Scrub How-To

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; using a fork, thoroughly blend. Transfer the scrub to a wide mouthed jar, and store in a cool place until ready to use. The scrub will keep for one to two weeks, longer if refrigerated.

2. While showering, apply handfuls of the coffee scrub to wet skin in circular motions, starting at the feet and working up. The scrub contains oil, so it's best to do this over a rubber mat to avoid slipping. Pay particular attention to rough spots such as heels, ankles, knees, and elbows.

3. After scrubbing, cleanse skin as usual using a mild natural soap or body wash. Pat skin dry with a fluffy towel, and follow with lotion to seal in the moisture.

First Published: March 2006


Friday, December 28, 2007

Citric Acid Profile

Botanical Name- Non-botanical ingredient
Origin- Canada
Shelf life- 3 year recommended

Notes- The particular variety of Citric Acid offered by Mountain Rose Herbs is USP grade and is soluble in water and very soluble in alcohol. Can be used for both cosmetic and culinary use.

Ingredients (Derived From)
100% pure anhydrous Citric Acid from crystallized fruit sugar

Assay- 99.98% Pure
Color- White
Appearance- Crystalline powder US #30 Mesh
Odor- Odorless
Heavy metals- <3>

Citric acid is a very useful and effective preservative, obtained from naturally occurring organic acids. It exists in many different fruits and vegetables, but is especially concentrated in lemons and limes. Although it is also produced in refineries by using cane sugar, molasses, and dextrose, the citric acid stocked by Mountain Rose Herbs comes from the fermentation of crude fruit sugars. Citric acid is used extensively in the food, beverage, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. It has been recognized as safe by all major national and international food regulatory agencies, and is also approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and in Europe for use in food.

Citric acid is used for many different reasons, including (but not limited to):

Antioxidant and preservative properties
Prevents rancidity and bacteria growth
Astringency and Acidity
Used in sourdough bread for an extra tart taste (known as "sour salt" among bakers)
Adjusts pH
Stabilizes the ingredients, color, taste, and flavor of a product
Rapidly biodegradable
Readily metabolized and eliminated from the body

Undeniably, citric acid is a very important ingredient for use in natural body care and cosmetic recipes. Not only does citric acid have many varied applications and uses, but it has also been approved by the FDA and other food regulatory agencies. Furthermore, since citric acid is present in almost every life form, it is consequently easily metabolized and eliminated from the body.

Citric acid is often a base ingredient in bath bomb recipes, and is the agent responsible for the "fizzing" action. In the majority of body care recipes, it is used in small proportions, usually not making up more than 0.5% of the total solution. At room temperature, citric acid is a white powdered form. However, it may be dissolved and easily incorporated into your recipes by heating it in a liquid mixture to a temperature above 74 degrees Celcius.

Precautions: Direct contact may result in skin and eye irritation if exposed to concentrated solutions of the dry product.

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bath Potions - Recipes

If you are interested in other bath and body products here is a link for several recipes on bath salts, bath bags, bath cookies, and dusting powders:

If you have tried any of these recipes, please let us know how they turned out.

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.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Choosing the right mold for melt and pour soap

Plastic molds used for melt and pour soapmaking are found in abundant quantities on the internet and from craft stores. Though these kinds of molds are so readily available yet there is a big distinction between molds that are of high quality and those that are not.

Having good soap molds is important especially if one makes soap as a business. Too often molds are relegated as an after thought especially when juxtaposed to a fantastic recipe and killer fragrance/EO mixtures. After making soap for a while, what becomes clear though is the need to have a stock of good molds to make consistently attractive and intact melt and pour soap.

Here are some things to consider when choosing the right mold for the job:

1. How often the mold will be used. Consistent use with a high pouring temperature degrades molds that are flimsy. In addition some fragrance oils, and essential oils applied directly to molds degrades the mold because of the various chemical components they contain. Most plastic molds are made of petroleum products which tend to degrade in the presence of certain strong chemicals used in soapmaking.

TIP: Find out from the manufacturer the lifespan of the mold with continuous use and the suggested pouring temperatures. Also, find out if the plastic can be degraded with contact from certain chemicals, like essential oils and fragrance oils. In addition when using, be sure to completely mix fragrance oils and essential oils into soap mixture then cool to luke warm before pouring into soap mold.

If the soap has to be cooled down in the refrigerator then put it in the lower part of the refrigerator rather than the freezer. Sudden temperature changes and switching from hot to cold temperature causes the plastic to crack and even shatter so ease into temperature changes gradually.

2. Flexible material vs. nonflexible: Molds for melt and pour soaps usually have to be manipulated in some form to facilitate ease of unmolding soap. This is especially true for very tiny molds with lots of details. Some of the best molds, though costly are made from natural latex and silicone. Kits are available to create your own custom molds from small objects and custom art casts.

My experience is that the more flexible the mold is, the easier it is to unmold the soap. Check out the sources listed below for some of the best molds for melt and pour soaps.

Where to Buy Melt and Pour Molds and Moldmaking Material

Chase Molds ( has some of the most creative molds. They carry one of my favorite flexible material tub molds and hundreds of bar soap molds. Their designs range from butter molds and wedding cake soap molds to even flapper girl molds.

Environmental Technology Inc ( is the place to visit for supplies to create your own molds.

Source: Permission to reprint by Winsome Tapper, Soapmaking Editor,

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Homemade Bubble Bath Project for Kids

From "DIY Kids"episode DIK-205 which airs on the DIY Network.


1 cup baby shampoo
3/4 cup water
1/2 to 1 tsp. glycerin
5 drops of scented oil or extract (optional)
Bottle Paint pens


- Mix together baby shampoo, water, and glycerin.

- Add scented oil (peppermint, orange, etc.) if desired.

- Pour into a squeeze bottle for easy dispensing, and decorate bottle.


- Start with 1/2 teaspoon of glycerin in your mix. If the bubbles don't last, you can add another half-teaspoon.

- All products can be purchased at grocery, drug, or all-purpose stores nationwide.

- No special products needed.


Soap Making for Kids
Model: 0590635050
Author: Editors of Scholastic(1998)
Scholastic Books
New York, NY 10012
Phone: 212-343-6100


Decorative Soap Projects for Kids

From "DIY Kids" (episode DIK-205) which aires on the DIY Network.


1 bar of glycerin soap
Food coloring
Cooking spray
Mixing cup with spout and handle
Cutting board
A soap or candy mold
Mixing spoon


- Spray molds lightly with cooking spray.

- Cut five cubes of glycerin soap and place in microwave-safe mixing cup.

- Microwave for 30 to 50 seconds, until soap is melted. If this time is not sufficient, continue heating in 10-second increments. Some microwaves may vary on the amount of time required.

- Add food coloring (better to use colorant specifically for soap) and stir.

- Pour into molds and let cool for at least one hour, or until firm. (Be careful when pouring the melted soap: it's HOT!)

- Pop out of molds.

Safety alert: Never leave soap unattended while it's melting!


- Always have an adult supervise when using hot liquids, sharp objects or appliances.
- Plastic mixing cup should be microwave-proof.
- Recommended molds for use are the plastic-tray variety.
- All products can be purchased at craft and general all-purpose stores.


Glycerin Soap
Life of the Party (Available at Michael's or Joanns)
North Brunswick, NJ 08902
Phone: 732-828-0886
Fax: 732-828-0980

Soap Making for Kids
Model: 0590635050
Author: Editors of Scholastic (1998)
Scholastic Books
New York, NY 10012
Phone: 212-343-6100


Monday, December 24, 2007

Carved Sponges Project for Kids

This is a fun project for kids from "DIY Kids" (episode DIK-205) which airs on the DIY Network.


Rubber sponges
Permanent markers
Paper stencils
Hot glue
Craft foam
Googlie eyes


- Hot-glue the narrow edges of sponge pieces together. There's not a lot of surface area, so be patient. It has to cool completely. Safety alert: Be careful: the glue is HOT!

- Trace the outline of the sponges onto a piece of paper.

- Draw a design within the box on the paper. Keep it big and simple.

- Cut out the paper pattern you have drawn and trace the outline onto the sponge.

- Cut the shape out of sponge.

- Snip and trim sponge to even edges and to contour it. Remember, you can always take more off, but you can't put back on.

- Add other pieces of smaller sponges to give your design a 3-D look. Continue to decorate by hot-gluing on craft-foam shapes or googlie eyes, or just draw on it with permanent markers.


- Always have an adult around when using hot glue and scissors.

- We found that inexpensive rubber sponges worked the best.

- All products can be purchased at craft and all-purpose stores nationwide.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Forecasting and Inventory Tips From Wholesale Supplies Plus

On my way to work this am, I called a good friend to see if she wanted to meet for a drink after work. She couldn’t because her husband is out of town and she didn’t have a babysitter. It was a bummer because I really enjoy her company. She told me that her husband was at a week long annual forecast meeting for his business. Knowing that her husband works in the chocolate industry and I said something like, “is 2008 going to be a good year for chocolate?” That is when she told me he is forecasting inventory and sales for 2011!

It got me to thinking about today’s topic. Forecasting Sales and Holding Inventory.

Wholesale Supplies Plus, on average forecasts inventory 8 weeks out. In other words, we place an order with our manufacturers 8 weeks before we actually run out of stock. Some manufacturers have a lead time of 2 weeks, some are 12 weeks and a few are 24 weeks….but on average it is about 8 weeks.

I always feel bad when we run out of stock but it is so darn hard to forecast when new customers present themselves everyday and loyal customers land that “big account” they have been working months to land. Let me tell you, they inevitably order all of a type of a candle wax that would normally take two months to sell....and there is a four week lead time! Overall, I think our purchasing department does a pretty good job.

We have learned, from the last 10 years, that we need to increase our stock on hand by 25% in August and let it run back down in June. It is an expensive swing that causes cash flow to be incredibly tight…..but as my very wise Uncle Stan once told me, “don’t think of it as money sitting on the shelf, think of it as…you can’t sell apples with an empty apple cart!”

As our lead times lengthen with the fall season approaching, I am sure you also have to increase your inventory for your upcoming busy season. My guess is that we are both glad we are not trying to forecast for 2011!

Wishing You Much Success!
Debbie May


Friday, December 21, 2007

Glyerine Soap Project From DIY

On a segment of Ask DIY (episode #DI-102), a demonstration of Melt and Pour Soapmaking is featured.

Q: I'm looking for ways to dress up a first-floor guest bathroom. Any ideas for something other than just monogrammed towels?

A: (Debbie Stapley, Craft Expert) To add your own touch to any bathroom in the house, why not make your own decorative soaps? They're easy, and there are infinite ways to make them fun.

Here's the basic process:


Clear, unscented glycerin soap
Trinkets to put inside, such as spare change, shells, beads, game pieces, toys, etc.
Colored glycerin soap, cut into pieces
Small bread pan
Soap mold
Essential oil
Soap dye
Microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl
Cooking spray
Heat-safe knife and fork

(1) Cut a bar of clear glycerin soap into one-inch pieces. Place them in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, and microwave for about one minute.

(2) If you wish to color or scent your soap, add about four drops of soap dye or one drop of essential oil to the melted soap, then blend gently with a metal fork.

(3) Spray a bread pan or soap mold with vegetable oil to make it easy to remove your finished soap.

(4) Fill the pan or mold with about 1/4 inch of the liquid soap and let it stand for three minutes, or until a skin develops across the top.

(5) Place objects on the soap layer, with their prettiest sides down.

(6) Reheat the rest of the soap until it melts again. Then slowly pour it into the mold until the soap is 3/4 inch to one inch higher than the objects inside.

(7) Working smarter: Use a sharp knife to pop any air bubbles in the mixture before the soap gets too hard.

(8) Wait 15-30 minutes for the soap to harden.

(9) Run a knife around the sides of the soap. Then turn the pan or mold upside down and hit it on a hard surface to release the soap. Now you have a beautiful bar that can be cut into smaller pieces if you like. Or if your soap didn't turn out the way you wanted it, you can melt it down and start over.

Tip: For more color, add little pieces of colored glycerin soap to the pan before topping with the second batch of liquid soap.

More questions for Debbie:

Q: Can you use food coloring to color the soap? A: No, stick with dyes that are specifically made for soaps.

Q: If I can't find clear glycerin soap in the store. Is there another option? A: Yes, there is, but there is also a rule of thumb: If you can see through the soap, it will probably melt easily. If you can't see through it, it will burn. The good thing about the see-through glycerin soaps in other colors is that you won't have to purchase dye separately. You may even want to try to find a soap that's already scented, so you don't need the essential oil.

Web extra:

Q: Can you use different molds or cookie cutters? A: Use any soap mold that appeals to you, but use a cookie cutter just to cut shapes after the soap has hardened -- not as a mold.

Web site resources for glycerin soap:
Al & Abigail's Country Place information
Zenda's Homemade Soap and Beauty Recipes
Sweet Cakes soap-making supplies information

Soap -- Making It, Enjoying It By Ann Bramson
Workman Publishing
708 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
Phone: 212-254-5900Web site:

Beautiful Handmade Natural Soaps By Marie Browning
Sterling Publishing
387 Park Avenue, S.New York, NY 10016
Phone: 212-532-7160
Fax: 212-213-2495
Web site:

Handmade Soap By Tatyana Hill
Lorenz Books (1999)
An imprint of Anness Publishing
27 West 20th St.New York, NY 10011
Phone: 800-354-9657
Fax: 212-807-6813
Web site:


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bath Teas Recipes

It is that time of year again of giving gifts. If you have run out of ideas or on a limited budget,you may want to consider making bath tub teas. They are unique and different to give someone who loves taking baths. Also, it would be a great addition to any other bath & body gifts you may be giving. Here are some recipes you may want to try:


Have fun with this recipes. If you have any favorite recipes that you would like to share, please post your recipe in the comments area. Thank you!

Happy Holidays!

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.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Now you can protect your oils and prevent oxidation with nitrogen gas

Ox Blox, from Lotion Crafter takes keeping oils from oxidizing and going rancid or just fizzing a away to a whole new level. What is so great about this new product is that it is a totally harmless gas that protects a great many of the kinds of supplies we use from the damaging effects of oxygen.

(This description is from the Lotion Crafter website)

Oxidation is the enemy of fine essential oils, fragrance, and fixed oils. Now you can protect your oils and prevent oxidation of these materials by laying down an inert nitrogen gas blanket over their surface, shielding them from interaction with oxygen.

Produced especially for us, Ox-Blox™ is an inert, safe and environmentally friendly mixture of nitrogen, argon and carbon dioxide. It contains no fluorocarbons, is non-flammable and non-toxic. Protect your investment in your oils, use Ox-Blox™ every time you open your bottles!

Depending on the size of your bottles, one can is good for up to 300 uses!

Price: $9.95

Supplier: Lotion Crafter (

Source: Permission to reprint by Winsome Tapper, Soapmaking Editor,

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Botanicals @ Juniper Tree

I was at Juniper Tree this weekend. I was going to buy some ingredients to make some lotion for Christmas Gifts. But, silly me forgot my recipe so I decided to buy some other things for my upcoming soap making class at the Palo Alto Adult School.

What I really wanted to tell you that if you wanted to add some different botanicals to your bath salts, Juniper Tree has some new ones you may want to try. The first one was a Pink Angel Wings. The color is very vibrant and has a very nice fragrance. These botanicals are rather large, so you will have to cut them down to add to your bath salts or bath bombs. The other is a wild orchid. These would be a pretty addition to your bath salts or bath bombs. The color is very delicate and I would say that there is no fragrance to interfere with your scents that you add to your products. Just like the Angel Wings, you will have to cut these flowers down to size.

Do you like those reed diffusers that are sold everywhere, but hate the price? Why not make your own? Juniper Tree has the liquid diffuser base, scents and reeds to make your very own. The only thing you would have to find elsewhere would be the decanter.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Making Loaf Soap with Bread Tube Molds


- Melt approximately 2 oz. of soap base.

- Fill metal end cap of loaf mold with this melted soap so that it fills the end cap ¾ of the way full.

- Immediately insert the loaf mold into the end cap and stand straight up with the opening at the top. Other end cap will not be used.

- Place the mold in the freezer for approximately 15 minutes to allow the soap to harden or let harden at room temperature for approximately 1 hour. This will seal the bottom of the mold so that your warm soap base will not run out the bottom when poured.

- Once the bottom is completely sealed, pour melted soap base into the mold so that it completely fills up to the top.

- Let soap dry at room temperature for approximately 3-4 hours until the soap is completely hard.

- When completely dry, remove end cap from the bottom. Peel away any soap that is sticking to the sides.

- To remove the loaf of soap from the mold, warm the outside of the mold slightly with a hair dryer for approximately 2-3 minutes.

- Push the loaf of soap from one end and slide it out the other end.

- Once the loaf is removed and completely dry, slice to desired sizes.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Homemade Hair Gel Recipe

Some of us absolutely can not style our hair without some sort of gel. Especially those of us with curly and hard to manage hair. It adds up though, and can get quite expensive buying different hair care products.

The following recipe for homemade hair gel is on our home hair care recipes page at Idea Queen. It’s also found (with many, many others) in the Bath & Body recipes ebook, which has over 250 different recipes you can try out at home.

Homemade Scented Hair Gel


1 cup water
2 Tablespoons flax seed
2 drops scented oil — your choice of scent


-Combine water and seeds in a small saucepan.
-Bring to a boil then remove from heat.
-Allow to set for a half an hour.
-Strain through fine collander.
-When completely cooled, add scented oil.-Transfer to a wide-mouthed jar with lid.

NOTES : Use as you would any hair gel product.

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, December 13, 2007

Soothing Milk Bath Powder

A really great way to end the day!


1 cup goat's milk powder
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup epsom salts or fine sea salts
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon perfume fragrance or essential oil


Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix around until fragrance is incorporated. Place in a wide mouth jar or plastic bag tied with a ribbon on top. Use 1/2 to 3/4 cup per bath.


Layer your bath powders with dried flowers such as lavender or rose buds. Start with a layer of powder in the bottom of your jar, add a layer of flowers, and alternate between flowers and milk powder until the jar is full.

Small sea shells work well for scoops.

For more interesting recipes, check out Lynden House's website at

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Additional Essential Oil Cautions

Here are some additional guidelines to consider when using essential oils:

* Avoid contact with the eyes and mucus membranes. Flush with olive oil in case of contact.

* DO NOT flush with water.

* A skin patch test should be conducted on a small skin area to determine skin sensitivity prior to using an oil for the first time.

* To do a skin patch test, place a small amount of diluted essential oil on the inside of your elbow and applya band-aid. Never apply undiluted essential oils to the skin. Wait 24 hours to see if there is any form of reaction. This step should be done even if a particular essential oil is known to cause skin irritation.

* If you experience redness, itching, swelling, burning, or irritation of any kind, discontinue using that particular essential oil.

* If you find yourself using alot of essential oils on a daily basis, take periodic breaks. For example, if you have been using a particular oil for six days then you should take a rest for a day or for three weeks and then take a break for a week, and so on.

* Avoid applying essential oils immediately after perspiring or after getting out of a sauna.

* Always store essential oils away from extreme cold, heat. light dampness and electromagnetic frequencies. It is best to store them in amber glass bottles because it provides the best protection from indirect sunlight.

* Always keep the bottles of your essential oils tightly closed. There should be a small amount of head room at the top.

* Essential Oils are flammable. So it is not recommended to any drops to a burning candle or placing them close to an open flame.

* Essential Oils are not meant to take the place of a qualified practioner.

* It is best to consult a qualfied aromatherapy practioner before using on children.

* Keep your essential oils out of the reach of children.

If ever in doubt about using essential oils, it is best to consult an trained aromatherapy praticioner.

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: Essential Oils Cautions by Lori Nova of The Nova Studio. 2005.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

FDA Labeling Guidelines for Soap

The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 was signed by FDR amidst a burgeoning public outcry for consumer protection from quack cures and cosmetic products that caused harm rather than cure or enhance the user. The act was designed to protect the public from products that made unsubstantiated or fraudulent claims, or that caused harm due to inclusion of harmful ingredients. The act covered the broad scope of both what is consumed or ingested as food and those ingredients that are used to treat, cure or enhance cosmetically.

Though this new law made it illegal for manufacturers to include ingredients in products that could be harmful to an unsuspecting public yet it wasn't until it was amended to include - the Pesticide Amendment of 1954, the Food Additives Amendment of 1958, and the Color Additive Amendments of 1960 – that the law became specific in nature requiring manufacturers to use only ingredients (which included additives and color) in manufacturing that prior research revealed to be safe for public consumption.

However, it wasn’t until The Fair Packaging Act of 1967 that strict labeling guidelines became standard manufacturing practice which required manufacturers to own up to ingredients used in the manufacturing and processing of their products - and to this end to be accountable to a certain standard and disclosure to the public who bought their products. What this act did more than anything else was to usher in the era of ‘truth in labeling’ that held manufacturers responsible for ensuring that the products that they brought to the marketplace was safe for consumers by assuring that ingredients used in products were tested and deemed safe, that the manufacturing process did not expose product ingredients to contaminants and that required a listing of all ingredients along with company contact information on all items that was used for food, drug and cosmetic purposes.

Plain soap is not a Cosmetic or Drug

Manufacturers who create soaps are still held responsible for creating a safe product. Soap that makes no claims to do anything than its intended purpose, that is, as a cleansing agent is not a cosmetic under FDA guidelines and is not subject to the rigorous labeling guidelines of cosmetics. Instead it is regulated by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, an independent federal regulatory agency which is charged with protecting the public against unreasonable risks of injuries and deaths associated with consumer products. The Federal Hazardous Products Acts gives jurisdiction to CPSC for regulating "...all noncosmetic, nondrug substances used in the home."

Soaps that are Cosmetics or Drugs

However, there are exceptions to this. Once a manufacturer uses verbiage which claims that the soap has a special use other than that which it is intended for - such as claiming that the soap has special moisturizing properties or that it treats or cures a certain skin condition, then the soap as per labeling is not just plain soap anymore but is now a cosmetic or even a drug and subject to the regulatory guidelines of cosmetics and drugs. In addition, what sets plain soap apart from cosmetic soaps is how they have to be labeled. A soap that claims it has special properties that will enhance or alter the molecular structure of the user has to be labeled with ingredients listed in International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients format. International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients AKA INCI, is a special naming convention which classifies ingredients used in cosmetic and body care manufacturing based on scientific, Latin or English names.

The Fair Packaging Act of 1967, sets specific guidelines for labeling products which states that all products should have the basic components listed below- Please note that if you are making regular soap which has no other claim than as a cleansing product then these guidelines apply to you:

This statement is taken from the Federal Trade Commission's Website

The FPLA requires each package of household "consumer commodities" that is included in the coverage of the FPLA to bear a label on which there is:

* a statement identifying the commodity, e.g., detergent, sponges, etc.;

* the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor;

* and the net quantity of contents in terms of weight, measure, or numerical count (measurement must be in both metric and inch/pound units)."

Links to Resources:

Federal Trade Commission website with link to the Fair Packaging Act which directs how manufacturers should label consumer commodities:

FDA Regulatory requirements for labeling of cosmetics marketed in the United States:

US Food and Drug Administration

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction.

OSHUN Supply INCI listing of common names and INCI names of ingredients used in soap and cosmetic product manufacturing:

Source: Permission to reprint by Winsome Tapper, Soapmaking Editor,

Monday, December 10, 2007

Solid Brown Sugar Scrub


4 oz. melted melt and pour soap
8 oz. grapeseed oil or Avocado Oil
3-4 oz. brown sugar
1/2 oz. honey
Fragrance oils or essential oils (20 drops)


Mix your grapeseed oil, honey and melted melt and pour soap together. Add the brown sugar and mix together with hands. You can add your fragrance or essential oils at any point during the mixing process. Divvy up into wide-mouthed jars. Wait 24 to 48 hours for the mixture to harden into a semi-solid mixture.

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.


Saturday, December 8, 2007

What makes an essential oil therapeutic grade?

Standards have been developed by the Association French Normalization Organization Regulation and adopted by the International Standards Organization to distinguish true Therapeutic Grade essential oils from inferior oils merely used for fragrance. This is a growing concern as demand for essential oils increases due to health-conscious consumers desiring to ward off today's stressful lifestyles--thus diminishing the supply.

True Therapeutic essential oils are immune-system stimulating, anti-viral, anti-infectious, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, antiseptic, anti-tumoral and even anti-fungal.

Gas Chromatography Purity Testing
Gas chromatography is the scientific method employed to differentiate imposters from the real McCoys. It measures whether basic components of an essential oil occur in a precise percentage. If only two primary constituents do not meet precise percentages, the oil cannot be AFNOR or ISO certified--although the oil may qualify as Grade A. Gas chromatography can also identify oils that have been synthetically manipulated. At Mountain Rose Herbs, we go the extra mile and request the use of a 50-meter column during gas chromatography testing. Most U.S. labs utilize a 30-meter column, which is adequate for vitamins or minerals--but is certainly not adequate for the chemical complexity of essential oils. An oil's purity can be affected by myriad environmental factors: geographical region, altitude, climate, soil, growing conditions and harvest method and season. Even the time of day the plant is harvested can affect the oil's purity! Producing genuine Therapeutic Grade essential oils is indeed a fine art. We do painstaking research at Mountain Rose Herbs, insisting on knowing harvest location, methods utilized to extract the oils, and data reports assuring the oil's character.

Proper Distillation
The distillation method also affects an essential oil's purity--and Therapeutic Grade oils mandate preserving as many of the plant's compounds as possible. Therapeutic Grade essential oils must only be distilled in glass, porcelain or stainless steel cooking chambers at the lowest possible pressure and lowest possible temperature. Glass and porcelain essential oil distillation is the most superior method employed today, however production is limited thus resulting in a slightly more expensive product.

Extremely high temperatures, high pressure, or contact with chemically reactive metals such as copper or aluminum can quickly destroy delicate compounds. And the method of distillation is one of the most important steps in the production of essential oils.

Every essential oil offered by Mountain Rose Herbs is 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade, and all of the essential oils we stock are obtained by steam distillation of the plant's volatile oils, with the exception of citrus oils which are produced using the cold pressed method.

All of the oils offered by Mountain Rose Herbs are derived from the first distillation--never the second, third or fourth! The only exception to this rule is our Lavender 40/42, which is a blend of many different lavenders; and absolutes, which are extracted by alcohol. These oils may not suitable for therapeutic aromatherapy, however they are deliciously intoxicating as a fragrance or perfume.

No Additives
The primary components of 98 percent of all essential oils in the market are synthetic. They should not be used for therapeutic applications, and they potentially carry risks. Only pure essential oils should be used for therapeutic purposes. At best, synthetic oils may not produce desired therapeutic results--at worst, they could possibly be toxic.

Mountain Rose Herbs essential oils are 100% pure, natural plant oils. They are free of added water, alcohol, carriers or other diluents. No chemical solvents are added during distillation, and nothing is added to the oil after distillation. A very large selection of oils offered through Mountain Rose Herbs are certified organic through Oregon Tilth Certified Organic. Although organic certification is an intensely painstaking process that a few of our suppliers are still striving to attain, any oils we stock that are not yet certified organic are guaranteed to be free of pesticide and chemical residues. Mountain Rose Herbs essential oils are wholly suitable for aromatherapy, cosmetics, cooking and body application.


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Herbal Tub Tea

What a great item to add to your bath gift basket. On a segment of DIY Crafts (episode #DIC-247), a demonstration of a herbal tub tea is featured.,2025,DIY_13820_2273931,00.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.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Bath Melts Recipes

How would you like to add something special to your bath? Why not try Bath Melts? Bath melts, aka "bath candy" or "tub truffles" are great treat for any bath. Here are some recipes to create your own delicious treats for your bath:


The holidays are coming up and this would be a great addition to any gift basket.

If these recipes are not to your liking, then try any of the sights in the side bar to see if there are any that you would like to try. And if I find any others, I will be sure to post them here. So check back often.

I am always looking for new recipes to pass along. So if you have a favorite, please post your recipe in the comment section below. Thanks.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

How to Make Holiday Striped Soaps (from Martha Stewart)

Delight someone with a fresh-scented and boldly striped soap. Purchase clear and white glycerin soap at a crafts store. Use a mini loaf pan as a mold; each "loaf" of soap requires 2 cups of each soap and yields six bars of soap.

Striped Soaps How-To

1. Melt the glycerin according to the package instructions, using 1/4 cup at a time.

2. Stir in a drop of peppermint oil (available at most health-food stores) with a plastic spoon; for the clear glycerin, add drops of red food coloring, stirring until you get the desired hue.

3. Pour the 1/4 cup of melted soap into the loaf pan. Let cool for 20 minutes.

4. Score the top with a fork. Repeat, alternating colors, until the pan is full.

5. Let set for 4 hours. Pop soap out of pan, and slice into bars.

6. Wrap each bar in cellophane; tape it shut, and tie with bakery string.

7. Cut holly-leaf tags out of green construction paper.

First Published: December 2004

Check out Martha's website for more interesting soap making projects.


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Grapefruit Seed Extract Profile

Botanical Name- Extracted from organically grown Grapefruit (Citrus paridisi)
Origin- USA
Extraction- Glycerin Extracted and Isolated-USP
Shelf life- 3-5 years

Notes- Heavily concentrated! Grapefruit seed extract should be diluted accordingly to at least a 2% dilution ratio.

Is severely irritating to the skin in its undiluted form. Avoid contact with eyes. Not to be used internally unless properly diluted to at least a 2% dilution.

The Grapefruit seed extract offered by Mountain Rose Herbs is the Citricidal brand and is fully biodegradable, safe for water treatment, and is safely and effectively used for sanitation, food, cosmetic, and agriculture use.

Laboratory Analysis
Color- Lemon Yellow
Odor- Mild Citrus
Total Ingredients- Grapefruit Extractives (58%) and Glycerin-USP (42%)
Density - 9.5 lbs/gal
Specific Gravity - 1.110
Melting Point - n/a
pH- 2.5

Ascorbic Acid- 3%
Glycerol- 37%

Diphenol Hydroxybenzene (Quaternary compound from Grapefruit Bioflavinoid)- 58.5%

Heavy Metals- None detected
Benzethonium Chloride- None Detected
Methyl Hydroxybenzoate - None Detected
Propyl Hydroxybenzoate - None Detected
Triclosan- None Detected
Solubility- Water, alcohol and organic solvents

Grapefruit Seed Extract Uses
Grapefruit seed extract is a marvelous creation from Mother Nature that is in need of more respect and is an underrated treasure. It cleans us, protects us, preserves our delicate foods, and so much more. Outlined here are some of the greatest uses for grapefruit seed extract and a list of very simple to administer recipes.

*** Internal (never use full strength extract)***
Dental Rinse: (For healthy gums and fresh breath)
Stir 1-2 drops of extract into 2 oz or more of water. Vigorously swish the water around your mouth for about 10 seconds. 1-2 times daily .

Throat Gargle
Stir 1 drop of extract into a small glass of water (3 oz or more) Gargle several times and use as often as needed.

Ear Rinse
Thoroughly mix 1-3 drops of extract into 1 oz of vegetable glycerin or alcohol. Apply 1-2 drops of this solution into the ear 1-2 times daily. Use as often as needed

Nasal Rinse
Mix 1 drop of extract with 6 oz of water. With head tilted back, fill one nostril at a time with an eyedropper full of mixed solution. Bring head up and down in a forward motion to force mixture into passages. Return head to normal position to allow the solution to drain. Do not inhale this mixture.

Vaginal Rinse
Mix 1-2 drops of extract in 8 oz of water. Douche once daily for about a week.

***External Use***
Facial Cleanser
Thoroughly splash, or moisten face with water (either cool or warm is fine).
With hands still wet apply 1-2 drops of extract to your fingertips and massage into skin using a circular motion. Rinse thoroughly after use and pat dry. You may notice a minor tingling sensation afterwards. This is the deep cleansing properties of the grapefruit seed extract.

Skin Rinse (For very minor skin irritations)
Dilute extract with water (about 1-2 drops per tablespoon). Apply this solution directly to irritated area of the skin twice daily. If additional irritation continues discontinue immediately and seek the advice of your physician.

Nail Treatment
Dilute extract with water or alcohol (1-3 drops per tablespoon).
Apply this solution directly on the surface of the nail along the cuticle and underneath the front of the nail. Or soak nails twice daily for as long as needed

Scalp Treatment
Add 2-3 drops of extract to each shampooing. Massage into scalp and leave on for a minimum of 2 minutes. Rinse of thoroughly and be cautious not to get in eyes.
This may also be used without shampoo.

*** Household Use ***
Toothbrush Cleaner
Stir 2-4 drops of extract into a glass of water. Immerse toothbrush for 15 minutes. Be sure to rinse toothbrush before using. Change water and remix every 2-3 days.

Vegetable Wash
(Sink Washing) Add 20 or more drops of extract into a sink full of cold water. Briefly soak any vegetables, meats fruits, or poultry.

(Spray Washing) Add 20 drops per 32oz bottle of water with sprayer pump. Shake thoroughly and spray on any vegetables, meats, fruits, or poultry. Rinse when done.

Dish & Utensil Cleaner
Add 10-20 drops of extract to sink dishwashing water or to final rinse. You may do the same for dishwashers.

Cutting Board Cleaner
Apply 5-10 drops of extract to cutting board and work into entire board with a wet sponge or dishcloth. Leave on for at least 30 minutes. Rinse with water before using.

All Purpose Cleaner
Add 15-30 drops of extract to any 32 oz pump sprayer filled with your favorite cleanser or this can be added just to water. Use on all surfaces of the house.

Do not put in eyes and do not use in its undiluted form.

For educational purposes only
This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease


Saturday, December 1, 2007

Tye-Dye Soap

(Submitted to Soap Wizards


• Clear soap base
• Soap making fragrance of your choice
• Soap mold of your choice
• Red glycerin soap colorant
• Blue glycerin soap colorant
• Yellow glycerin soap colorant
• Eye dropper


1. Melt your soap base and add your choice of fragrance.

2. Let the melted soap cool slightly, and pour into your soap mold.

3. Once a light skin forms on your soap, take your eye dropper (with one of the soap colorants in it) and place a few drops on the soap skin. Repeat this procedure for the rest of the colors.

4. Take a toothpick and lightly stir the colors into the molded soap and let cool.

5. Un-mold and your soap is ready to use!

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.

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