Saturday, May 31, 2008

End of the Year Teacher's Gifts

It that time of year again when the kids are getting out of school. If you are thinking about giving your children's teacher a gift this year, why not take them to Opal'z Zoaps in Midtown Palo Alto and have them make a personal soap at the Soap Bar. Also, available are a wide range of bath and body products you can purchase to give to that special teacher.

And if your child is having a birthday party, why not have their birthday at Opalz? Opalz has a spacious room upstairs that holds 20 kids comfortable. Opalz party packages range from making soap to lip balms. And recently, Annie has added making candles to the line-up. Now do not forget, Opalz can schedule parties for the adults from bridal showers to singles parties.

For more information check out Opalz website at or contact Annie Jenkins at

Strawberry Smoothie Soap

Ingredients you will need:

Loaf mold
2lbs of Clear MP Soap Base
4 oz Strawberry Seeds
Red Colorant
Irredisent Mica
Strawberry Scent
White Colorant
Wisk or Electric Beater
Alcohol in Spritzer


- Melt 1.5 lbs of clear soap in double boiler.

- Add red colorant and scent.

- Wait 3 minutes until soap is slightly cool and then add 4 oz strawberry seeds.

- Stir to mix all the way through.

- Pour into loaf mold. Now set this aside.

- Now melt the remaining soap and add the white colorant and mica to you liking. I like the white layer to look a little shiny but not too much sparkle. Now take it off the heat and beat until fluffy. Now spritz top layer of strawberry soap with alcohol and then scoop your now fluffy top layer on.
-Let dry over night.

-Unmold, and cut into bars and enjoy.

Source: Submitted by skin_n_tonic to the Wholesale Supplies Plus Forum.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Orange-Mango Lip Butter


4 tspns infused olive oil
1 tspn beeswax pastilles
2 tspns mango butter
10 drops 5-fold orange essential oil, or to taste
20 drops Vitamin E, natural


Melt wax, butter and oil in a doubleboiler, allow to cool slightly, then add essential oil and Vitamin E and pour into clean containers.

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. Another suggestions is to check the soap making forums. Often I found found some really great recipes that members have posted. Or check out my source's website at


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Blending Fragrances

Some of the most popular fragrances are Lavender, Sandlewood, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Rose, Citrus (Lemon, Grapefruit, Orange, Tangerine, Lime), Clary Sage, Chamomile, and Frankincense.

Fragrance oils, especially, for those scents that are not available from essential oils, represent another series of favorites: Vanilla, Rose, Jasmine, Lilac, Gardenia, Almond, Apple, Chocolate, Musk, Cucumber, and Raspberry.

Vanilla works well with all scents. You may want to consider vanilla with the following scents: Mint (Peppermint, Spearmint, Wintergreen), Citrus (Lemon, Grapefruit, Orange, Tangerine, Lime), Lavender, Rose, Raspberry, Chocolate or Chamomile.

Rose also blends well with almost anything and almost anything blends with rose.

It is really all up to you when blending. Think of scents that evoke pleasant memories. Maybe mocha chocolate brings back a pleasant memory for you so consider combining espresso and chocolate. The combinations are endless.

You can blend two or three essential oils into your soap or bath products. Blending essential oils with beneficial effects greater than individual oils are called synergies. When blending different fragrances, you can choose oils that are uplifting or healing or have a physical or emotional effect. It is generally counterproductive to blend oils with opposing effects, such as calming and invigorating. Once your have selected a number of potential oils to use, you want to blend them with the right amount of each oil. The best way to blend your oils is based on their fragrance rather than on their therapeutic properties.

Another way to blend your fragrances is for the perfumery effect alone. You can do this on your own by using essential oils, fragrance oils or combinations of both. The best way of doing this is by placing a drop different scent on one cotton swab. Then bundle the swabs and place them in a plastic bag. For best results it is best to leave the swabs in the plastic bag for 24 to 48 hours before you smell the fragrance. This will give the fragrances time to marry.

The only factor that inhibits creativity in blending fragrances is the cost of essential oils or fragrance oils. However, the ability to use the above cotton swab method to preview your creations without being wasteful. Essential oils are more expensive than fragrance oils since they are extracted from the actual plant, whereas fragrance oils are synthetically manufactured.

Once you find a combination of fragrances you like, I would recommend that you jot down in a notebook how many drops you used. The only reason why is that you may not use that particular combination for awhile and forget how may drops you used. This will be a useful tool to look back upon.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Baby Cuteness Soap Cigarband

This label is my first foray into creating labels for children's soaps. I had so much fun designing this label! The graphic shown is what the label looks like if printed on cardstock that is light brown or taupe. Other colors that I have experimented with are medium yellow, golden yellow, light blue and light green.I have not experimented with other colors but I am sure that this kind of retro type label would be excellent printed on medium toned cardstock paper.

This design is best printed on medium toned colors, kraft, light brown, taupe or any tea-stained kind color cardstock. There are no background colors in this soap cigarband except for the trees and grass and the few flowers, so even those with inkjet or other printers will have no problems with the details in the label. I do not recommend printing this on white paper because the retro/natural look will be lost. Plus, when I say that there is no background colors this means that if you pull the label off the Publisher document you will see that it has a transparent background. The reason for a transparent background is so that whatever cardstock paper color you use will become that background color.

Information about file:

1. File is 300 DPI, which means it is professional printer ready. Normally web graphics are 72 DPI's (Dots per inch). So this high resolution file with look just as good printed on a inkjet printer as well as a professional printer's laser printer.

2. The downloadable file is for personal use. If anyone wants to use for business products then I need to be notified.

Below are the instructions for customizing and printing:

1. Paper used should be a natural color such as tea-stained color, light brown, kraft or any natural color paper that has brownish tones in it. Or any light to medium toned colored paper.

2. Download file from Perfumekits , your source for soap cigarbands, then open file in Microsoft Publisher. Click on zoom in view to see file at 100 percent. Insert text boxes to customiz with your own information.

Enjoy!Download File Cuteness Soap Cigarband.

To see pictures of the actual cigar band, go to

Source: Reprinted with permission from Winsome Tapper, Soapmaking Editor,

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Selecting Storage Containers

When selecting your containers avoid using containers that held medicine, film, poison, household cleaners, spoiled food, compost or fertilizer.

Always sterilize your containers that have been previously used to ensure the purity of your product. If you are planning to sell your products, the FDA requires that you use new containers only. Follow the sterilizing standards set up by OSHA. Plastic containers are harder to sterilize by the boiling method because they may melt. It is better to use a bleach water solution and wipe them individually.

Glass Containers

Clear glass containers are readily available, but glass in amber and blue are becoming more popular because they better protect your products from light. Some of the types of glass containers you will find on the market are Cream Jars (wide mouth jars that are good for creams and salves); Spice Shakers (usually two inches high and are perfect for sprinkling out dried herbs in small quantities or for dusting powders); Woozeys (narrow necked jars designed for herbal vinegars and oils. They come in different sizes, but the most common are 5 oz., 10 oz., 12 oz. Can be used for bath oils); Hex Jars (6-sided, wide-mouthed jar that is used by beekeepers because it looks like a beehive. This jar is useful for creams and moisturizer. Lids for these jars can be unreliable during traveling); Storage or Canning Jars (Available in pint, quart, half gallon and gallon. Great for storing herbs and other dry ingredients. I use them for my bath jelly recipes and bath salts.); Boston Rounds (Come in various sizes and come in blue, amber and clear. Great for bath salts.)

Plastic Containers

Cream Jars (These opaque, white wide-mouth jars are great for lip balms, salves and creams) and Lotion Bottles (Translucent, Squeezable, Flip Top which makes them great for lotions and massage oils).

Other Containers

Tins (Shallow wide-mouthed decorative tins which labels can be put on the lid are great for lip balms and salves); Powder Cylinders (Normally these containers come in white and are great for dusting powders); Muslin Bags (Great for herbal tea tubs and milk baths).

Source: The Herbal Home Spa…Naturally Refreshing Wraps, Rubs, Lotions, Masks, Oils and Scrubs by Greta Breedlove. Storey Publishing. North Adams, MA, 1998. Pages 48-53.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Body Shimmer Lotion Sticks

From Ponte Verde Soap Shoppe
Makes 3 - 1 oz sticks
Shelf Life: 6 mos.
All ingredients were weighed

2 ozs of beeswax pearls
1 oz of natural or ultra natural shea butter
1 oz of cocoa butter
1 oz of apricot kernel oil
.5 oz of virgin coconut oil
1/2 tsp of Vitamin E oil
10 drops of each grapefruit, peach and
mango flavor oil
pinch of gold mica powder

Melt the beeswax, shea butter and cocoa butter in a pot over very low heat until liquefied.

Add the virgin coconut oil, apricot kernel oil and vitamin E oil to the melted ingredients and continue to heat for 15 - 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool for 2 minutes. Add the combination of flavor oils and the mica powder and stir well. Add more flavor if the scent is not strong enough.

Since our flavors are all natural, this may also be used on the lips. Pour into 1 oz Push Up Lotion Sticks and let cool.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

How to Use Essential Oils for Potpourris

Would you like to add alittle aroma around the house?  Then why not create your own potourri with your favorite essential oil.  Adding essential oils to potpourri is not only easy to bring fragrance to a room but it helps keep potupourri smelling good for alot longer period of time.

Never heard of potpourri? Potpourris are dried herbs and flowers, placed in bowls to scent rooms. There are probably alot of recipes online that you can find to make your own recipe.  But if you are looking for a way to refresh your potpourri then check out this article on How to Use Essential Oils for Potpourris which appears on ehow.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Buttermilk Bath Salts


1 cup Buttermilk Powder
1 cup Sea Salt
Add up to 24 drops of essential oils.


Blend well, keep in a sealed jar. Use 1/2 cup per bath. This makes enough for 4 baths.

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.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Lavender Honey Salt Scrub

I love this scrub. It is on the thick side but it doesn't leave your skin feeling oily, it feels moisturized and soft. Honey is a natural moisturizer, not only does it add moisture to your skin but it helps to hold it in your skin. Almond oil is one of the best oils to soften the skin. The smell of lavender in this scrub soothes me and I feel well.

Container: 8 ounce jar
Texture: heavy, thick, snow cone like

¾ cup fine sea salt
1 tablespoon finely powdered lavender
5 tablespoons sweet almond oil
1 tablespoon liquid honey
6 drops lavender essential oil

-measure salt into bowl
-powder dried lavender buds in processor
-add to salt and mix well
-measure oil into separate container
-add honey to oil and stir
-add oil and honey to salt
-mix well
-add lavender essential oil and mix-add to container

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, May 22, 2008

Lavender-Mint Layered Soap Recipe

From David Fisher

Let's Get Started Making Lavender-Mint Layered Soap

Whether it's a soap or a candle, sometimes you just can't decide on just one scent or additive - so here's a project that combines the benefits of two scents while keeping them separate. Basically we'll be making a standard batch of cold process soap, but splitting the batch in two - scenting and coloring one with one scent (lavender essential oil with purple oxide** and lavender buds) and one side with another (mint, green oxide and ground spearmint.) It's a lovely way to meld two scents and make a neat looking bar of soap.

For this project you'll need:

* A basic understanding of How to Make Cold Process Soap

* Understanding of How to Make a Lye Solution

* Understanding of Soap Making SafetyYou can combine any two scent, additive and/or color combinations you like. For this batch, my recipe was:

30% Lard
30% Olive Oil
25% Coconut Oil
10% Sunflower Oil
5% Castor Oil
Lye and Water as per my lye calculatorIt's my basic Grocery Store Soap recipe.

To it, I added
Lavender Essential Oil
Manganese Violet Ultramarine**
Lavender Buds
Bergamot Mint Essential Oil
Chromium Green Oxide
Ground Spearmint** Actually, in making this recipe, I accidentally substituted manganese violet colorant for ultramarine violet - so instead of purple, I got brown - for the full story, read From Purple to Zen

Let's Get Started Making Lavender-Mint Layered Soap
Mix, Mix, Mix
Get Everything Set Up and Ready to Go
Separate and Color the First Layer
Pour the First Layer
Color the Second Half
Pour the Second Half
Time to Saponify
Unmold - Cure - and Enjoy!

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, May 21, 2008

Customizing a Journal

I always recommend to my students to keep a journal close by in order to keep records of fragrance/essential oil blends they created, notes etc. of their experiences while making their bath/body and soapmaking projects.

While I was housesitting last month (April 2008), I happened to glance at a clip from Martha Stewart from Comcast's On Demand on covering composition books with decorative papers. If you like to start your own bath/body/soap making journal and would like to make yours distintive, here is a project I want to share with you.

I am currently looking for the linen tape that Martha suggests. If I find a location where it can be purchased, I will share it with you. Or if you know of a vendor that sells it on line, please let us know.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Capturing the Craft Show Market

Finding the right product to sell at a craft show is extremely
important in finding success on the craft show circuit. You may
already have an excellent craft product or line of products you
are creating or even selling, or you may be looking for a craft
to produce in order to enter the business. In either case,
market research is going to help you find a craft show product
that you can produce at a low enough cost to net a profit - and
one that you will enjoy making. If you don’t spend time looking
into what everyone else has at their craft show booth, you might
repeat what others have, or create a product no one really wants.

What exactly is a craft? The dictionary definition of "craft" is
to make by hand, therefore, theoretically anything handmade is a
craft. Although that's true, a craft typically falls into a
category of items that are normally sold under the umbrella of
arts and crafts that are either decorative or useful or both—and
that consumers generally purchase for ornamental or practical
use. The endless creativity of new craft show items is nothing
short of remarkable. The product you choose will likely be one
you enjoy producing or have a natural affinity for. It might be
a skill passed down from generation to generation in your
family, but you can also learn it on your own. You may decide
to take classes or apprentice to a master to learn a new skill
for producing a craft show item. Yet in order to make your craft
business a success, you should consider doing a little bit of
homework about what craft show item to make, ahead of time.

Market research

What sells? Wouldn't you like to have the answer to that
question before putting all your resources into creating a
product? How can you get the answer? Market research. Any large
company that manufactures products utilizes market research
before developing new products. You can use the Internet as well
as common sense. You can ask friends, visit craft shows,
galleries, retail stores, eBay and other websites to see what is
selling and what isn't. Ask other artisans and craft show booth
owners. Study trends by reading consumer magazines, trade
journals, the fashion section of the newspaper or even watching

Product ideas also come from everyday life—find a niche and fill
it – and you will most certainly find success in craft shows.
But, you need to make sure you stay on the cutting edge.
Children, animals and nature can provide inspiration as well.
Jot ideas for craft show items in your notebook or computer
whenever you come up with something you think would be a hot
seller. Compile a list of possible items and compare it to what
you might enjoy producing. Then ask yourself if the craft show
item is practical, decorative, unique, can be priced right (for
profit), has a personal touch, is of excellent quality and
offers exceptional value.

You might also want to check out the competition in any category
you select. How can you put a spin on your product to make it
distinct and stand out from the others? If you're a crafter,
you're probably highly creative, so use your creativity to come
up with something imaginative. Without plunging into it full on,
see if you can make a few samples and solicit feedback from
friends or store owners. Do a small craft show and gauge
customer response. If all systems seem to be saying "go" then go
for it!

Find a craft you enjoy making, that you can construct
efficiently and cost effectively, and one you can sell, and you
have the craft show market cornered. But, you probably aren’t
going to land the perfect product without some groundwork done
beforehand. If you want to find the utmost in craft show
success, then take the time to deliver a product that you have
researched, and watch craft collectors flock to your booth!

About the Author

Natalie Goyette shows you how to make your craft show business
profitable in her best selling ebook: Craft Show Success Secrets. Visit her


Sunday, May 18, 2008

More Solid Perfume Recipes

If you are intrested in making your own solid perfumes, I found some more recipes that you may be interested in adding to your collection.

Solid Perfume 1

Make a solid base out of sweet Almond oil, Beeswax and a couple of drops of Vitamin E. Heat up the oil so it’s good and warm, melt the Beeswax in it, take it off heat and let it cool slightly, stir it so it thickens, then add the Vitamin E. To this you can add any scent, put in little containers, and it will harden up. To make a lip Balm, all you need to do is add honey to this blend!!!

Solid Perfume 2

½ oz. melted Beeswax
1½ oz. Myrrh infused oil
½ oz. Clary Sage infused oil
25 drops Clary Sage e.o.
10 drops Patchouli e.o.
8 drops Rose e.o.
5 drops Chamomile e.o.
Add infused oils to jar and add wax; stir well. Add Essential Oils and pour into containers (lip gloss tins work well)

Solid Perfume 3

3 parts sweet Almond or Jojoba
2 parts white Beeswax
1 part scent
Melt all over double boiler pour into containers.

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, May 17, 2008

Germall® Plus (Powder)

A patented combination of 99% Diazolidinyl Urea (DU) and 1% Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate (IPBC). Germall Plus is a highly effective, broad spectrum, non-paraben preservative for oil-in-water and water-in-oil emulsions and water soluble formulations. It has no known chemical inactivators and is compatible with virtually all cosmetic ingredients, including proteins and surfactants. Germall Plus is a white, fine, free-flowing hygroscopic powder. Not recommended for products intended to be aerosolized. Shipped with a dessicant packet to maintain product integrity. Recommended Use Levels: 0.05% - 0.2% Appearance: Powder INCI: Diazolidinyl Urea (and) Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate.

If you are interested in using this ingredient to preserve your lotions, Lotion Crafters carries it. And here is a link to this particular ingredient-

There are other online suppliers that sells this particular preservative. Southern Soapers carries it and here is a link to their products -

You may want to compare information with Lotion Crafters to see which perservative would be best for you.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Light Summer Massage Lotion Recipe

by Harvest McCampbell

Blogger Note: If you have taken my lotion crafting class, I talk about using a perservative in your recipes to extend the shelf life of your lotions. I wanted to let you see a recipe that does not have a perservative (see step 6) listed as one of the ingredients. If you want to add a perservative you may want to experiment with any one of the perservatives that are out there. I found the most common perservative is liquid germall.

2 cups canola oil
1/4 cup dried comfrey leaves
1/4 cup dried arnica flowers
2 teaspoons liquid lecithin
4 ounces aloe vera gel
a few drops of your choice of essential oils

5 8-ounce large-mouthed, glass jars with air-tight lids
1/8 cup measure teaspoon
small brown paper bags
fine-meshed strainer
medium-sized bowl
plastic flip-top dispenser bottle

Step 1 - Infuse the Oil
Start by infusing one cup of canola oil with 1/8 cup of comfrey leaves and 1/8 cup of arnica flowers in each of two of your jars that have been very well-cleaned. Canning jars work well. Use dry herbs from the health-food store or herbs you have grown thoroughly dried yourself.

Measure the herbs into your containers. Pour in the oil to about one-half inch from the top of the jars. Cover tightly and place the jars in brown paper bags in a warm spot, such as a sunny shelf (be sure the jars are covered, because light destroys vitamins and enzymes). The herbs will settle to the bottom, so gently shake the jars to suspend the herbs once or twice a day to improve extraction.

After three weeks or as long as eight weeks you can strain out your herbs (the longer you leave them, the stronger the infusion). I like to use a fine-meshed nylon reusable coffee filter (that has never been used for coffee). Strain your oil into a medium-sized bowl, then pour it into two clean jars. Wash and dry the used jars to prepare for the next step. This herbal infused oil can be used for massage as is; however, we are going to use one jar of it as a base for our lotion.

Step 2 - Make the Canola Oil/Lecithin Blend
Add two teaspoons of liquid lecithin to a jar of your herbal-infused oil. Stir very slowly until the lecithin is evenly blended with the oil, which could take between 30seconds and three minutes, depending on the air temperature and the humidity. This blend is a little too heavy to use for massage by itself. However, it is great for softening calluses and scars. Label the jar "Canola Oil/Lecithin Blend" and store it tightly covered in a warm, dry place. Stir thoroughly before each use.

Step 3 - Mix the Lotion
Measure 1/2 cup aloe vera gel into an empty canning jar. Add two teaspoons of your canola oil/lecithin blend to the aloe vera gel. Cover tightly and shake vigorously for about one minute. You should make the lotion hit the top of the jar and then the bottom. The lotion will look creamy and have a light consistency when done. You may notice a slight graininess, which should disappear within a few days.

Rub a few drops of the lotion onto your arm. At this point it will have a very light texture and a nice cooling effect. Depending on the type of massage you do, it will probably not be slippery enough, except for use on your most oily-skinned clients.

To increase the slip value, add a teaspoon or two of your herbal infused oil, the one without the lecithin stirred in. You can add as much as a half cup of the infused oil to your lotion; however the more you use the less cooling effect the lotion will have. I used to keep extra oil in a squeeze bottle in the massage room, so Î could add it as needed while I worked.

Step 4 - Add Scent
Three or four drops of a good quality essential oil are really all you need to give the lotion a nice light scent. For summer, I like frankincense, all the citrus oils, mint and wintergreen. Two drops frankincense, one drop of citrus, and one drop of wintergreen or peppermint is a pleasing blend. It takes about three days for the scents to fully develop.

It is nice to have a few choices of scented lotion on hand as well as some unscented lotion, just in case your clients don't like a particular fragrance or are unusually sensitive.

Step 5 - Decant the Lotion
Using a funnel, decant your finished lotion into your favorite dispenser.

Step 6 - Refrigeration
If you are not going to use all your lotion within a few weeks, it can be refrigerated in between use. You'll need to simply warm it in the microwave or in a container of hot water prior to use. Lotion made with aloe vera gel that does not contain preservatives must be refrigerated between use; however, most aloe vera gel on the market contains preservatives.

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, May 15, 2008

Making your own herbal hair shampoo

In 1990 I decided not to use the commercially made shampoos after reading Aubrey Hampton’s book, “Natural Organic Hair and Skin Care.” In this book Aubrey tells you how to read the label on any product that you put on your skin or hair.

Manufacturers are constantly using toxic chemicals in their skin and hair products and disregard their toxic effects on your body. This is easily seen in the list of chemicals that they use. Here are a few of these chemicals found in many product labels:

1. propylene glycol or glycol– a petrochemical used because it is cheap

2. cetearyl alcohol – emulsifier that can be synthetic or natural

3. methylparaben or propylparaben – typical synthetic preservatives

4. distearate – this is polyethylene glycol or polypropylene glycol which are petrochemicals

5. isopropyl alcohol – used as a cheap solvent to carry synthetic oils.

Here is a natural shampoo that you can make. This formulation is something that I
have been using for many years. First collect the following items:

4 oz of castile soap with any scent is that available – plain, peppermint, eucalyptus.

½ oz of rosemary - stimulates the hair follicles and helps to prevent premature baldness

½ oz of sage – has antioxidants and keeps things from spoiling and is antibacterial

½ oz of nettles – acts as a blood purifier, blood stimulator, contains a large source of nutrients for hair growth

½ of lavender – controls the production of sebaceous gland oil and reduces itchy and flaky scalp conditions

2000 mg of MSM – provides organic sulfur to your scalp, which improves the health and strength of your hair. It also helps to drive herbal nutrient into the skin and follicles where they can do the most good.

one empty 8 oz plastic bottle, or any other empty shampoo or soap bottle.

Mix the herbs in a mason jar, which has a lid. Boil 2 cups of distilled water. Add 3 heaping tablespoons of the mixed herbs into the boiling water. Pull the boiling water and herbs off the stove. Let the herb mixture sit for 30 – 40 minutes. Put the 2000mg of MSM into theherb mixture after 30 minutes of cooling. After 40 minutes and the MSM is melted, strain the herbal mixture into a bowl.

Pour 2 to 2 1/2 oz of strained herbal tea into the 8 oz plastic bottle. Now, pour the 4 oz of castile soap into the 8 oz plastic bottle. Cap the bottle and shake to mix the ingredients.

The shampoo is now finished and ready for use. Use this as a base for all of the shampoos you make. You can add different herbs as you learn what these herbs do and how they help your hair. You can vary the ingredients according to your taste. But now you have a shampoo that has no additives that can harm you.

About the Author

Rudy Silva has a Physics degree from the University of San Jose California and is a Natural Nutritionist. He writes a newsletter called “” and he has written an ebook called “How to Relieve Your Constipation with 77 Natural Remedies.” You canget more information more on hair health at this site.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Melt and Pour Soap Making Supplies

To all the students who have taken my Melt and Pour Soap Making class over the past 4 years, I wanted to let you know that Opalz Zoaps in Palo Alto has a small selection of fragrances, gel colorants and soap bases for you to purchase.

Opalz Zoaps is located in Midtown Palo Alto at 719 Colorado Avenue, Palo Alto. Phone @ 322-6500. Hours are Wednesday thru Sunday 10 am to 4 pm. Monday and Tuesday by appointment. For more information you can check out the shop's website at

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Using Emulisifying Wax

Emulsifying Wax: What is it and how does it work?

Emulsifying wax is one of the essential ingredients in making lotions and creams. Think of it as the “glue” that will hold your recipe together. We’ve all seen how oily salad dressings separate after sitting for a while. You then shake the bottle until it appears to be mixed, but if you look at it closely, you will see little balls of the oil suspended in the liquid. Left to sit, the dressing will again separate into its different properties.

Lotions and creams are created from a mixture of water and oils. Without the addition of emulsifying wax, they too would separate back into water and oils.

Adding emulsifying wax to your recipe will keep the oil and water from separating by creating an emulsion between the oil and water. An emulsion is a system consisting of a liquid dispersed in an immiscible liquid. Immiscible means not compatible: not able to mix together to make a solution. Oil and water are a great example of two immiscible liquids. Emulsifying wax will also thicken your creation. If it were not included in your recipe, you would end up with a mixture that is similar to the consistency of salad dressing! Everyone knows that oil and water don’t mix, so how does the wax accomplish this seemingly impossible task?

Emulsifiers actually work on a molecular level, by attracting both water and oil to different sites at the same time. Water is a polar material. Things that like water are also called polar materials. Polar materials are also called hydrophilic. Hydrophilic materials are water-loving materials. Non-polar materials like olive oil are hydrophobic. Hydrophobic means water hating. An emulsifier has a hydrophilic portion and a hydrophobic portion. This essentially means that it can effective bind both water and oils. It means that some structures of the emulsifier attract oil, while others soak up water like a sponge. Each part traps the liquid keeping it from breaking free to separate. As an added bonus, because the oil remains mixed with the water, the wax actually helps the oil penetrate the skin, thereby replacing lost moisture.

No, you don’t have to be a chemist to enjoy making your own lotions and creams! But you now know why emulsifying waxes are so important to your end product and how they work. Not only is the information useful in making soaps and lotions, but also your friends will be impressed with how smart you are!

Choosing an emulsifier can be rather confusing, but learning a bit about those that are available will help you make a decision. The most common emulsifiers used by hobbyists include: Emulsifying Wax NF, Cetearyl Alcohol/Ceteareth 20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Polysorbate 20, Ceteareth 20. Let's see what the differences are:

Emulsifying Wax NF: Use this waxy material to emulsify your water and oils together. Usage varies based on the combination of thickeners but normal usage rates are between 3 and 6% of the total weight of your recipe. This is one of the easiest emulsifiers to use and is used by most home crafters of lotions and creams.

Cetearyl Alcohol/Ceteareth 20 - Used as an emulsifying wax in lotions, this is a waxy pastille that is used in concentrations of 2 and 6% of the lotion recipe and can be used in combination with emulsifying wax. This product creates a thicker, waxier end product, and is excellent for foot and elbow creams which traditionally require a thicker, waxier cream.

Cetearyl Alcohol - Fatty alcohol derived from natural oils and fats (cetyl and stearyl alcohol) that can be used to thicken and stabilize formulations. Cetearyl Alcohol imparts an emollient feel to the skin. Recommended usage level: 1-25%.

Glyceryl Stearate - Emulsifier and emulsion stabilizer. Typically used with another emulsifier, such as polysorbate 20 or ceteareth 20. Typical Usage Rate: .1-3%

Polysorbate 20 - Excellent oil in water emulsifier/solubilizer. For use in body mist, room spray, skin cleansers. Recommended use is 1/1 or 1/2 ratio of fragrance oil or essential oil to polysorbate 20.

Ceteareth 20 - Used in oil-in-water emulsions. Provides exceptionally stable emulsions when used in combination with another emulsifier such as glyceryl stearate.

The waxes listed here do not reflect a complete list of the emulsifiers that are available, but they are some of the more popular ones used by the soap and lotion enthusiast. There are many recipes for making lotions and soaps, which will most likely indicate the type of emulsifier used and how much should be added to attain the desired effect. Knowing more about emulsifiers are used will help to take the mystery out of how and why they are used. You may even want to experiment with your own concoction to create a product that is uniquely yours.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mica Stenciled Star Soap

If you like making your soap by the melt and pour method, I found this clip on how to make a stenciled star soap. Give it a try and let us all know how to turns out. If you have the opportunity to share your pictures of your creations, that would be great!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Fizzy Bath Kisses Recipe from Aroma Thyme


Cocoa Butter--2 oz
Baking Soda--2 oz
Citric Acid--2 oz
Oatmeal, powdered--3 Tbsp
Food Color--10 drops (optional)
Bergamot--10 drops
Rose--5 drops
Ylang-Ylang--10 drops


Melt cocoa butter (microwave is fine). Add food color and essential oils. Mix well. Add baking soda, citric acid and powdered oatmeal. Stir thoroughly. Pour into molds. Put into freezer to set. (This takes about 10-20 mins.) Remove from molds when set.

Note: Use 1-2 per bath or 3-4 for extra moisturizing.

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, May 8, 2008

Bubble Gum Lip Gloss Recipe


6 tsp jojoba oil
1 tsp aloe vera oil
3 tsp white beeswax
10 drops Bubble gum Flavor Oil
1/4 tsp red gold two tone mica


In a glass measuring cup melt beeswax in the microwave, add the oils (you may need to put in back in the microwave for a few seconds more). Stir in the bubble gum flavored oil and mica. Let it cool for about 5 mins. Give it more more quick stir and pour into lip gloss pots.

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, May 7, 2008

How to Make Your Own Flavored Massage Butters and Oils

Peachy Keen Massage Butter

6 Tablespoons Shea Butter
1 Tablespoon Grapeseed Oil
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
2 Tablespoons Apricot Kernel Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Soap Crafters Very Peach Flavoring


Melt all ingredients on stove in a small pot. Take off the heat when the oils have almost completely melted, but not quite. They will continue to melt off of the stove. Add the flavoring and mix well.Pour into the 4 ounce Soap Crafters Salve Jar. In a few hours at room temperature, it will be ready for someone to give you a wonderful massage!


Icy Massage Oil

8 ounces of Grapeseed Oil
1 teaspoon of Soap Crafters Glacier Mint Flavoring


Just add the grapeseed oil to the Soap Crafters 8 ounce lotion bottle, add the flavoring and shake to mix. Grapeseed oil is the preferred massage oil base for professional massage therapists. The Glacier Mint Flavoring gives a coolness on the skin that is wonderful for a hot summer day massage.

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.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Lye Calculator Sources


What is a lye calculator?

A lye calculator allows you to develop and test your own recipes by telling you how much lye to use with the oils you have selected. You can also use a lye calculator to doublecheck a recipe you have selected from a book or the web before using it.

Why is it necessary?

Different oils have different amounts of fatty acids and unsaponifiable material. That means that different amounts of lye are required to produce saponification. The lye calculator will allow you to determine the correct amount of lye for your recipe.

How do I use the lye calculator?

Write out a list of oils you intend to use in your soap and the amounts (in ounces) you intend to use (Step 1 in the example below). Now multiply the number of ounces being used by the sap value of the oil (see Step 2). Total your list of figures to get the total amount of lye necessary to saponify your soap (Step 3). However, most soapmakers prefer to automatically superfat their soap by 5%. This is done by reducing the lye by 5% - also called discounting the lye (Step 4). Now calculate the amount of water needed for the recipe by dividing the total ounces of oils used by 3 (Step 5).


Here is an example of the lye calculator in action with my super duper moisturizing bar for very dry skin. Feel free to use this recipe, for personal use.

Step I
Castor Oil 2 oz
Cocoa Butter 2 oz
Coconut Oil 4 oz
Olive Oil 6 oz
Palm Oil 6 oz
Avocado Oil 3 oz
Apricot Kernel Oil 2 oz

Step 2
Castor Oil 2 x .1286 = .2572
Cocoa Butter 2 x .137 = .274
Coconut Oil 4 x .190 = .76
Olive Oil 6 x .134 = .804
Palm Oil 6 x .141 = 0.846
Avocado Oil 3 x .133 = .399 Apricot Kernel Oil 2 x .135 = .27

Step 3
3.6 ounces lye necessary to saponify the soap.

Step 4
3.6 x .95 = 3.4 ounces lye Step 5 25 ounces oil divided by 3 = 8.3 ounces water. Things to remember: * Double, even triple check your calculations. * Lye calculators which automatically calculate lye and water for you can be found on the web.

If you have troubles with math, then here are some links that can help you.

1.) SoapCalc

Description: This site offers a wide range of possibilities, the user is able to enter ingredients as a weight or percent as well as adjust properties of the soap such as super fat/discount %. This site has loads of useful information, one link I found particularly useful when i was first starting out was the "what will I need" link, which gives the inexperienced soaper a concise list of supplies needed to start soaping with.

2.) 'Majestic Mountain Sage' lye calculator

Description: In this calculator, users are able to input the amount of oils in percent of total oils, there are also clickable links leading to oil properties as well as suggested amounts of use in recipe's. This site also includes a table after the recipe is calculated that lets the user choose a super-fat percent to be used in the recipe.

3.) SoapMaker

Description: Note: this is a free trial, users must purchase the full program after trial period expires. "Create your own recipes, selecting from more than 50 types of base oils. Include your additives too. SoapMaker calculates lye and water, as well as the cost per bar using your ingredient costs. Experiment with recipes and see how they'll turn out before you make the soap... SoapMaker's unique recipe qualities graph shows you the predicted hardness, lather and moisturizing qualities. Compare different recipes and see the results of changes instantly using the dynamic graph feature .Store all your recipes and organize them by category, type, date and cost With SoapMaker Professional, manage your stock of ingredients and products made... your inventory adjusts automatically whenever you "make a batch" (quoted from soapmaker website" )

4.) Snowdrift Farms

Description: The lye calculator from this site has many useful tools, users can choose what type of soap to make (either liquid or solid) as well as whether or not to make the recipe a cream soap. Users can also select their measurement preferences for the calculation. This site offers instructions as well (through the links on the bottom left of the page) for making either liquid soaps, solid bar soaps or cream soaps! A valuable tool for any soaper!

5.) Maple Springs (added by Paul)

Description: "To use the Maple Springs Farm soap lye calculator... simply enter in number of ounces per oil and the amount of lye, water, fragrance, and pigments will be automatically calculated for you...The Calculator is for Sodium Hydroxide = NAOH " This site is quite useful, it gives feedback regarding the size of the recipe as well as how many ounces of essential oils, and oxide/pigments are recommended for the given recipe size. This is quite a valuable tool to if you input recipes that have already been formulated to determine the right coloring amounts and essential oils, or formulate your own!

6.) J.Soule Web Design

Description: This calculator is also a valuable resource, users can enter a recipe name, choose base oils, super-fatting oils, and whether NaOH or KOH is to be used in the recipe. It also allows users to input the liquid of choice, and calculate the recipe in oz, lb, or grams. The user has a choice of up to 8 base oils and 3 super-fatting oils. This will also give you the amount of water left in the soap after cure! a valuable fact for any soaper to know about the soaps they produce! There is also a helpful list of oil properties that is alphabetized and comments on Hard Bar, Lather ,Conditioning, and Iodine values.


Monday, May 5, 2008

Made in the USA Claim

by Debbie May, President of Wholesale Supplies Plus (

(Homemade Bath Products Blogger Note: If you are making your own bath and body products or soaps and selling them, this is good information that Debbie has provided.)

Given the recent downturn in the US Economy and the lowering value of the US dollar, I have started to really think about the claim "Made in the USA".As it turns out, the claim "Made in the USA" is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).The FTC puts great significance on public perception and states that the following will be evaluated by the commission for the enforcement of the Made in the USA claim:

1. Site of Final Assembly or Processing.
The consumer perception evidence available to the Commission indicates that the country in which a product is put together or completed is highly significant to consumers in evaluating where the product is "made." Thus, regardless of the extent of a product's other U.S. parts or processing, in order to be considered all or virtually all made in the United States, it is a prerequisite that the product have been last "substantially transformed" in the United States.

2. Proportioning of Manufacturing Costs
Assuming the product is put together or otherwise completed in the United States, the Commission will also examine the percentage of the total cost of manufacturing the product that is attributable to U.S. costs (i.e., U.S. parts and processing) and to foreign costs. Where the percentage of foreign content is very low, it is more likely that the Commission will consider the product all or virtually all made in the United States.

There is not a fixed point for all products at which they suddenly become "all or virtually all" made in the United States. Rather, the Commission will conduct this inquiry on a case-by-case basis, balancing the proportion of U.S. manufacturing costs along with the other factors discussed herein, and taking into account the nature of the product and consumers' expectations in determining whether an enforcement action is warranted.

3. Remoteness of Foreign Content
In evaluating whether any foreign content is significant enough to prevent a product from being considered all or virtually all made in the United States, the Commission will look not only to the percentage of the cost of the product that the foreign content represents, but will also consider how far removed from the finished product the foreign content is.

For example, in the context of a complex product, such as a computer, it is likely to be insignificant that imported steel is used in making one part of a single component (e.g., the frame of the floppy drive). This is because the steel in such a case is likely to constitute a very small portion of the total cost of the computer, and because consumers purchasing a computer are likely, if they are concerned about the origin of the product, to be concerned with the origin of the more immediate inputs (floppy drive, hard drive, CPU, keyboard, etc.) and perhaps the parts that, in turn, make up those inputs.

The full FTC's Enforcement Policy is quite long and I highly encourage you to read it before making your own claim of Made in the USA.

As many of you are aware, we are getting ready to launch our new (Wholesales Supplies Plus) website. Given these guidelines, we will be adding the Country of Origin to all of our products. This will allow you to more accurately label your own products.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

How to make Soap Logs and Ribbon Shape Embeds

If you are interested in taking your melt and pour soapmaking to the next level, here is a clip that I found on You Tube on how to make soap logs and ribbon shape embeds. Have fun! If you try this technique out, please let me know how your soaps turned out.

Here is how to make the ribbon embed:

And here is how to to do the complete mold:

If you would like the step by step instructions, I found the instructions on Go Planet:

Soap Loaf (

Making Soap Curls (

Friday, May 2, 2008

How to Create the Ideal Spa Gift Basket for Her in 5 Easy Steps

Did you know that retreat spas are the preferred vacation choice for many contemporary women? However, many do not have the immediate time nor the resources to indulge in a five-day, getaway in the mountains; therefore, what better way to unwind and enjoy being pampered, than to create a relaxing spa environment in your own home? You can create a wonderful spa basket for yourself or to give to a special woman in your life. The key thing to remember is the relaxing gift basket is to make her feel at ease, beautiful, and well-rested.

If you would like to create the ideal spa gift basket for that special occassion, then check out this article on  by How to Create the Ideal Spa Gift Basket for Her in 5 Easy Steps by Dr. Grace Cornish Livingstone.  She tells you in five easy steps on how to do so.  So if you are looking for a gift to give tfor that contemporary woman in your life then this will be perfect for her.