Friday, December 31, 2010

How to Make Your Mojito Soap

Love to drink Mojitos? Then why not make this bar of soap! Even if you do not drink mojitos, you will love the scent of lime and mint together. This easy melt and pour project from The Soap Queen appears on her blog Soap and the Finer Things.

This is the first melt and pour Mojito Soap Project I have seen. Most of the recipes have been for cold process soap. If you need any of the supplies can be purchased through Brambleberry.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Rose & Mimosa Solid Perfume

Are you looking for a new perfume to wear? I found this Rose & Mimosa Solid Perfume recipe from The Natural Beauty Workshop.

This all natural, vegan, perfume is made from only three ingredients: Mimosa Floral Wax, Clear Jojoba, and Organic Rose Damnascena CO2 Extract. This is a pretty luxurious recipe, as it is made with mostly precious ingredients. You can create a more economic version of this recipe by swapping the CO2 out for something less expensive.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hologram Ice Soaps

Here is a really "cool" winter soap to create for the Christmas and/or the winter season. This melt and pour Hologram Ice Soaps project from The Soap Barn is really easy to make and would keep the kids busy during winter break from school.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Vanilla Scrub Recipe

When teaching my classes, I find that vanilla is one of the most favorite scents of my students next to lavendar. If is your favorite fragrance and you would like to incorporate it into your scrub recipe, here is a Vanilla Scrub recipe from Craftbits that you may want to try. But if you do not prefer to scent your body scrubs with vanilla, I am sure that it would be no problem to select some other fragrance to make your product more pleasing.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Secret Message Soap Tutorial

You have heard of fortune cookies, right? Why not take that concept and create these secret message soaps? You can create these soaps to give a secret message to your secret admirer for Valentine's Day or any special occassion. Wouldn't it be cute to give these out as favors if you are making Chinese food?

To make your own secret message soaps you will need the following supplies: Clear Melt and Pour soap base, Soap Mold, Microwave safe container, Saran Wrap [plastic cling wrap], Spritzer bottle filled w/ rubbing alcohol, Colorant, Fragrance oil, and Lip Butter Pot. Are you wondering what the lip butter pot is for? It is to put your message or money in.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Cheery Holiday (Advanced) CP Soap

Here is a really cool advanced cold process soap recipe from Anne-Marie. The name of this bar of soap is Cranberry Inclusion and it is a really cheery holiday soap to make and give as gifts for the holidays.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Learn to Make Felted Soap

I never tried making felted soap before but I remember seeing it demonstrated before on one of the craft shows. I think it is rather an unique idea because it actually could be used as an exfoliator while you are showering. Has anyone ever used a felted bar a soap before? I would like to know what it feels like.

If you are interested in learning how to make felted soap, here are instructions which appears on the blog The Little Traveler's.

If you do not have any yarn to spare, you may want to ask any of your friends who do knit if they have any unwanted yarn for you to use.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Body Butter Recipes

Love to make your own body butters and looking for a new recipe? Well you may want to check out this article on Body Butter Recipes ,which appears on the blog Skincare Naturals. There are 4 different recipes for you to try. And the names of the recipes are quite unique: Bronze Goddess Body Butter, Splendor in the Grass Body Butter, Golden Goddess Body Butter, and Pure Goddess Body Butter. Also included in this article is information on Body Butter Recipe Ingredients and a link to an article on ehow on why you should make your own body butters. So if you are really interested in learning more about body butters and more recipes, then I would highly recommend checking out the information out. Have fun!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Button Lip Balm from the Katie Brown Workshop

I recently caught Episode 2 of Season 5 of the Katie Brown Workshop on KCSM (Channel 17 on Comcast and Channel 60 regular broadcast) where she is demonstrated how to make this Button Lip Balm Project. I think is would be a really cute idea to give out as favors for a bridal or baby shower or for any other get together you may be having. This may also be a cute idea for teenager's slumber party. The possibilities are endless.

I thought it was very create how she decorated the top of the lip balm pot with the buttons. Now I have a good reason to use put some buttons I purchased at Michaels long ago.

Although in her recipe she suggests using 2 drops of essential oils. In her demonstration on her show she used Jasmine. Now I love the smell of Jasmine, but I am not sure I would want to have it in my lip balm. I thought she would use a more "edible" flavor of essential oil such as vanilla, or use a candy flavoring to "flavor" her lip balm. I really did not see the essential oil bottles up closely but from afar I do not think they may have been a true essential oil. The bottles were about 1-2 oz and from what I know Jasmine is a very expensive essential oil. I suspect that she is using is not.

Also, I noticed with her instructions that step #1 says melt the beeswax using hot water. This could be miss leading if someone never made lip balm before. You want to use a bain marie or double boiler and melt the beeswax over boilding water, not melt the beeswax in the boiling water. I will have to email them to let them know that they should correct this.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Night Sky Beeswax Tarts

The winter season is upon us. Why not bring the scent of the winter snow inside and leave the cold out. Here is a recipe from "Design It Yourself" Skincare to create Night Sky Beeswax Tarts. If do not want to use the fragrance that Alison recommends then select your favorite fragrance to add to this recipe. Make sure that the fragrance you choose is candle friendly.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Peppermint Cocoa Candle

Doesn't this candle look good enough to drink on a cold winter day? This Peppermint Cocoa Candle was created by Dee & Debbie L. from the Customer Service Staff at Wholesale Supplies Plus. Thank you Dee and Debbie for sharing this great candle project with us.

Make sure to check out Wholesale Supplies Plus' Blog and Website for more creative soap and candle making ideas.

The Ingredients you need for this project are 1 lb. IGI 4633,
1 oz Peppermint Cocoa FO ,/4 #23 Mohogany Candle Color Block, 8 oz Smooth Jelly Jar, 1 Low Smoke Zinc Wick #23, Candy Sprinkles and Lollipop Candy Sticks. All ingredients can be purchased through Wholesale Supplies Website.

To complete this project you will also need the following utensils: Wax Melting Pot, Wax Mixing Bowl, Spoon, Candy Thermometer, Measuring Cup, Hand Mixer, Hot Glue Gun, Drinking Straw
and 70 mm Wick Holder.

For full directions on how to make this project, visit Peppermint Cocoa Candle link through Wholesale Supplies Plus Blog.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Aromatherapy for the 21st century

Are interested in Aromatherapy? Here is an article by Annalisa Zisman which appears on Article Trader:

"Aromatherapy has become a very popular form of relaxation for many people. People find themselves under more and more stress in the 21st century than ever before. Many try to juggle a career, family, and still need to find time for themselves. Aromatherapy is a great method with which to relieve the stress of everyday life.

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils which occur in nature and have the effect of altering our state of mind. It is believed that certain scents may not only affect just our mood, but also our health as well. While man may have used scents to cure themselves over the years, aromatherapy is a relatively new science in that presses out or distills out the volatile scent bearing parts of plants. The word aromatherapy was actually firstused by French chemist Rene Maurice Gattefosse in the 1920s. He was working in a perfume lab when he accidentally burned himself. He put his burned hand into the closest liquid – lavender oil. He noticed that it seemed to help the pain and the burn healed very quickly. And so the art of aromatherapy was born.

The oils can be poured into bathwater, inhaled (when combined with water to make steam or in a diffuser), in a cold compress (especially to treat muscle injuries), or as a salve, cream or gel. You can use aromatherapy oils in a humidifier,but remember that only a few drops are needed. Most oils you can buy will last between six months to two years.

There are different materials that can be used to create different aromas. Many people like touse essential oils. These are obtained from plants through distillation or expression. Something like eucalyptus oil would be distilled while oil such as grapefruit would be expressed. Other types of oils thatmay be used are absolutes, infusions, and carrier oils.

There are different scents used for different things. For example, if you want to sharpen your concentration, you may want to use an oil that contains basil. It has a sweet and mildly spicy smell. Using oil that has basil may also help lift depression as well as relieve headaches. If you suffer from headaches, you may want to consider using peppermint. It is said to help relieve headaches and help indigestion.

Another popular type of oil used in is bergamot. Bergamot oil comes from the small, pear shaped citrus fruit. It is believed that bergamot can help your digestive and urinary tract. It can help relieve skin conditions caused by stress. Aromatherapists believe that lemon and citrus can also help heal wounds and infections. Another oil that heals wounds and infections is Chamomile. It will also relieve muscle aches and help with anxiety.

One of the most popular oils is eucalyptus. It can help with coughs, colds, and asthma. It is also believed that eucalyptus aromatherapy will help boost your immune system. Rosemary will also boost your immune system and help mental stimulation. Lavender not only has a great smell, but is also very relaxing and good for treating wounds and burns.

While aromatherapy can help many of your ailments, you should never ingest any type of essential oils. They should always be used only as directed by a qualified aromatherapist. The therapist can blend according to age, condition and skin sensitivity, which is important.

What better way to relieve your stress, help with various conditions and leave you smelling wonderful."

About the Author

Annalisa Zisman, a proficient author and tutor, she is a leading practitioner for many massage courses. Annalisa specializes in Indian Head Massage, Thai Foot and Thai Herbal Compress Massage techniques.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

What are the Different Types of Incense?

Insense is used in may different ways. And you are wondering what is the significance of insense and what it is purpose? Well, according to

"For centuries, people have been using incense for religious or spiritual, aesthetic and therapeutic reasons. Today, incense is still used for these purposes, as well as for creating a pleasant atmosphere and scent to enhance the ambiance of a home. Because of its long history, incense has evolved into many different types and forms, from its scent, to its shape, to the way it burns.

Stick incense is probably the most common form of incense. The gum or resin from which the incense is made coats a long thin stick that burns slowly, releasing the particular fragrance that it contains. Stick incense can also be solid so there is no stick center or core, only a solid chunk of incense material.

Spiral incense is similar to the stick incense, but it is shaped in a coil. Spiral incense burns very slowly, lasting for hours or days depending on its composition. This type offers an interesting form in addition to its fragrant properties.

Cone incense is a chunk of the same gum or resin used in the types described above, but it stands alone in the form of a cone. It is lit at the tip and burns down, releasing more smoke and fragrance as it nears the base. Cone incense, because of its mass, does not burn uniformly as stick incense does. Cone incense is lit and extinguished, leaving a burning ember which continuously releases smoke and fragrance.

Powdered incense is usually reserved for religious ceremonies. The amount of preparation required to burn it is often inconvenient for someone who only wishes to enhance their surroundings. Powdered incense is burned in a censer, a container for burning incense. This type of incense, along with others that are made purely of resins, require a separate heat source. Traditionally, these are often burned directly on hot ash, coal or specially made heated plates.

Incense comes in a variety of different colors and fragrances. Fragrances are created from different organic plant materials, animal derivations such as musk and essential oils that are extracts of either or both. The fragrance can be a single scent found naturally or a combination of two or more ingredients. The combinations of incense scents are endless, as is the variety of burners and paraphernalia that hold them."


Saturday, December 18, 2010

New Pharmacy Opens in Menlo Park.

In 2008, Elephant Pharm (my favorite pharmacy) in Los Altos closed. So for two years nothing could fill my void of essential oils and herbs that I could use in my classes. Recently, a new integrated pharmacy in Menlo Park opened by the name of Pharmaca.

I finally got to visit this new pharmacy today and want to tell you about it. Besides refilling your prescriptions you can purchased alot of other products. But the one thing I wanted to report to students who have taken classes from me that they carry some of the Aura Cacia essential oil and carrier oils that I have used in class. The prices are comparable to Whole Foods Market but if you are looking for more of a variety then to Whole Foods. Pharmaca would be good in a pinch.Pharmaca also sells some of their own brand name essential oils. I do not know the brand personally but would aske the staff more on it. They also offer limited workshops. For example, they had a discussion of aromatherapy and colds.

Pharmaca is located at 871 Santa Cruz Avenue, Menlo Park, Ca. Phone number is 650/818-6300. Hours are Monday-Friday 9 am to 9 pm; Saturday 9 am to 9 pm and Sunday 9 am to 7 pm. Pharmaca's website is

For those who cannot make to the Menlo Park location, there is a location in Los Gatos.

Pharmaca does not compare to Elephant Pharm but I would say that it comes in a close second. I will still shop there if I need to run in for a last minute for a certain essential oil.

Beeswax Pine Cone Firestarters

It is that time of year when you are having more fires in your fireplace. You probably start your fires with newspaper or kindling? Instead why not recycle the newspaper and make these Beeswax Pinecone Firestarters? If you do not have a fireplace but know some that do, then why not create these firestarters and give them as gift this holiday season? If you are trying to be creative this holiday season this would be a great give to make and give. Thank you Alison for posting these instructions on your blog Bath Body Supply.

Friday, December 17, 2010

What is Frankincense?

It is that time of year when we hear so much about Frankincense. But you do not know much about it? Well, here is a basic explanation from

"Frankincense gets much of its fame from the Biblical story in which the newborn baby Jesus receives gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Although many people are able to retell the story, surprisingly few are able to state what exactly frankincense is. Frankincense, like myrrh, is a dried tree sap, or resin, primarily used to make incense.

Frankincense comes from the deciduous tree Boswellia Thurifera. Somalia, Oman, and Yemen are all known for having trees that produce this high-quality resin. In order to collect the sap, the tree bark is cut, allowing the sap to ooze out of the bark in the places it was cut. The sap dries on the tree and is then collected. This procedure is repeated two or three times a year, and the resulting frankincense is opaque if it is of superior quality. The young trees produce higher-quality resin than the older trees.

In some parts of the world, frankincense is known as olibanum, which comes from the Arabic word for "the milk," al-lubán. This is most likely referring to the milky color of the sap which hardens to make frankincense. In Exodus 30:34 in the Bible, it is referred to as levonah, which can mean "Lebanese" or "white" in Hebrew. In the Western world, the name "frankincense" is a more common term. This name is likely to have been derived from "the incense of the Franks" since it came to Europe via Frankish crusaders.

In the ancient world, frankincense was generally used to make incense. It was used to perfume the homes of the ancient Greeks and Romans. The ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, and Babylonians used frankincense in their religious rituals. It later became a part of Jewish rites, and even later, in the rites of the Catholic Church.

Frankincense has also been used throughout history for medicinal purposes. It was used in the first century as an antidote to hemlock poisoning. In Iran in the tenth century, it was thought to cure vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and tumors. In China it is still used today to treat leprosy, gonorrhea, and other ailments.

Frankincense is mixed with spices, seeds, etc. to create the desired scent, and is still used in incense in the Western world. The frankincense essential oil is used in aromatherapy, as some extol its stress-reducing powers. Perfumes may contain the oil, which evaporates slowly, maintaining its scent. The raw chunks of resin may also be directly set on a heat source, such as hot coals, to have the same incense experience as ancient peoples."


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Baby it's Cold Outside Snowflake Soap Tutorial

What to create an unique bar of soap for the Winter season? Then why not create these beautiful snowflake soaps? The instructions for these Baby it's Cold Outside Snowflake Soap Tutorial are from Erin Pikor of Naiad Soap Arts.

These would be beautiful to hang from your Christmas tree if you celebrate the holiday. What a great idea to hang them from the tree in your office and give them as gifts to your co-workers in the office.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Super Sweet Bath Fizzies Recipe

Everyone has heard of bath fizzies. Now here is unique take on bath fizzies - Sugar Cubes. Just like an ordinary bath fizzy you will use baking soda and citric acid to make it fizz but with one twist of confectioner's sugar which will make your bath extra sweet.

Thank you Alison Kontor of Bath Body Supply by providing this recipe on your blog "Design it Yourself" Skincare. Make sure to check out Alison's blog for more fantastic bath and body recipes.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Recipe for Homemade Deodorant

Are you looking for a recipe to make your own homemade deodorant? Well here is one which appeared on a crafting forum called This Homemade Deordorant Recipe was authored by Girl on Bike from Berkeley CA, who originally posted this recipe on her blog by the same name - Girl on Bike back in January 2010. I look foward to seeing more interesting recipes from her.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Making Christmas Container Candles

Are you in the crafty mode this holiday season and want to save money by making your gifts? Then why not make Christmas Container Candles? David Fisher from About compiled these instruction on how to make these simple candles. If you find that you have other decorative mugs, you can make this container candle anytime of the year.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snowflake Soap Tutorial From All Things Hold Together

Is Winter your favorite season? Then why not recreate these Snowflake Soaps to bring in the season? I found another Snowflake Soap Tutorial which is from All Things Hold Together. It is similiar to the earlier tutorial from Annie-Marie but it slightly differently. It is just as simple as Annie Marie's project and it is perfect to give out as gifts whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah.

The materials for this project are a six cavity silicone muffin pan, Goat Milk Soap Base, Cornflower Blue Mica, Peppermint Essential Oil (second distillation), Small Metal Snowflake Cookie Cutter, Alcohol in a Spray Bottle, Measuring Cup, Spoons, Etc.

Although this recipe asks for goats milk soap base, some of you may be hesitant to use that particular soap base for certain reasons, you could subsitute any white opaque glycerin soap base to your liking. I have seen soap base with coconut and others out on the market. So it will be easy to find.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Melt & Pour Candy Swirl Pinwheel Soaps

How cute are these soaps? Learn how to make Melt & Pour Candy Swirl Pinwheel Soaps from Aussie Soap Supplies. These soaps remind me of peppermint candies that you often find around Christmas. Why not make some and put them in your kid's stockings or if you do not have any kids, you can give them to friends to put in their powder rooms. If I received one of these soaps as a gift, it would definately put me in the holiday spirit.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Advantages of French Milled Soap

Have you heard of French Milled Soap? Or have you tried French Milled Soap and are wondering what the advantages of using this type of soap? Here is an article, titled The Advantages of French Milled Soap by Tricia Ballad, eHow Contributor explains what the advantages of using this type of soap and why it is beneficial to make soap by this technique. I have never made soap by this technique before but I am sure there are some benefits in making soap this way and would like to some day give it a try.

Since I have not received a soap made by this technique before I cannot say if I like it or not. But according to the author, a bar of soap made by this process last longer than a regular glycerin melt and pour soap. I am sure that would be true. If I ever find a bar of soap made by this process in the store, I would like to purchase one just to give it a try.

Has anyone tried to make a bar of French Milled Soap or have purchased one? Let me know what you think.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Peppermint Swirl Soaps

If you like those individually wrapped peppermint candies (I think they are called Sparkles) that come in a large bag, then this melt and pour soap making project is just for you! This would be a great to make as a gift or stocking stuffer this holiday season! So check out the Peppermint Swirl Soap video from Ehow. This project looks really fun in addition to being easy.

If you want step by step instructions, there are plenty of links out there that can tell you how:

(1) Peppermint Candy Soap from Free Bath Recipes

(2) Candy Swirl Soap from Soap and the Finer Things

(3) Peppermint-Candy Soap from All You

If you know of any other instructions on how to make these type of soaps, please feel free to share your recipe and where you found it.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Forest Floating Candles

Here is a really cute candle idea to make for celebrating Christimas from Wholesale Supplies Plus. So why not add alittle sparkle to the holidays by making these Christmas Forest Floating Candles . These easy step by step instructions appear on Wholesale Supplies Plus blog/website. And all supplies can be purchased through Wholesale Supplies Plus. So no need to worry about having to search all over for supplies.

Thanks Debbie for a cute and creative idea for a festive Christmas gift idea/decor. Make sure to check out Wholesale Supplies Plus' Blog and Website for more creative soap and candle making ideas.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Which Clays, Salts and Natural Additives are Right For Me?

According to, here is a list of different clays, salts and natural additives that are used in bath and body recipes. Here is some helpful information to assist you in choosing clays and additives for your bath and body products.

Choose a clay that suits your skin requirements you can always substitute you clay ingredients for one that is more suitable, more affordable or simply to one that you may already have.

Different types of clay

Dead Sea Mineral - and nutrient enriched for detoxification.

Green Clay - Detoxifies, oily skin, stimulates circulation.

Moroccan Red - Exfoliates, stimulates circulation.

Fullers Earth - Oily skin, exfoliates and stimulates circulation.

Red Clay
- Stimulated circulation, removes dry skin cells.

Rose Clay - Exfoliates, stimulates circulation.

Which Salt is right for me ?

Epsom Salts - Relaxes the nervous system eases pain and removes toxins.

Sea Salt - Draws toxins from the body.

Dead Sea Salt - Skin tonic, detoxifying, nutrient enriched.

Natural Additives-

Aloe Vera Gel - moisturizer.

Rice Bran Powder Fine - Prevents wrinkles, exfoliates skin, absorbs excess oil and dirt.

Honey Powder - Skin cleaners, softener, absorbs dry skin.

Coconut Milk Powder- Skin softener, full of nutrients.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Peppermint Bark Soaps

It is that time of year when peppermint bark comes out for the holidays. IF you love peppermint bark as much as I do then you may want to check out The Soap Queen's first holiday tutorial for 2010. This Peppermint Bark Soap Tutorial appears on the Soap Queen's blog Soap and the Finer Things in Life and I must admit that the soap looks good enough to eat. If you know someone on a diet, why not give a box of these soaps instead? I know I would like a box of this soap candy. It is all the guilt without the calories. You may want to put a warning label on the box of these adorable soap. Thanks Anne-Marie for another cute soap idea! Looking forward to more cute soap ideas from the Soap Queen.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

How to Make Baking Soda and Sea Salt Scrub

I have been making salt scrubs for many years and recently took a class on how to make sugar scrubs. Now I found this article on ehow titled, How to Make Baking Soda and Sea Salt Scrub .
This is an unique recipe that incorporates sea salt, baking soda, episom salts, borax, glycerin, fragrance and coloring to exfoliating your aching and tired feet. This recipe is great because it is economical from the highly perfumed and expensive products you would find in the retail stores. Plus it is really easy to make. So if you know someone who is on their feet all day you may want to make a batch of this recipe and give it to them for the upcoming holidays.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Debbie's "Best Ever" Gingerbread Scrub

It is getting close to that time of year when the aroma of gingerbread wafts from room to room. What a great way to celebrate one of the most celebrate scents of the season by making Debbie's "Best Ever" Gingerbread Scrub? Debbie has shared her recipe for this scrub on her website Wholesale Supplies Plus and blog.

This definately would be a great product to make and give as gifts. So start planning and purchase your supplies before it is too late.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Lump of Coal Gift Box

When you were a kid. did a parent ever say that if you were not good that Santa would leave a lump of coal in your stocking? Well, I found these instructions to make a Lump of Coal Gift Box on Martha Stewart's website.

If you want to give some jewelry or small gift for Christmas this would be a really creative way to give a gift when someone you love could been alittle naughty during the year but you want to give them something anyway.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Old Fashion Candy Candy Salt Tubes

Here is a really festive stocking stuffer that you can easily make for the Christmas season. Even if you do not celebrate Christmas, this bath salt recipe is fantastic for all winter long. Allison B. Kontur of Bath Body Supply has kindly posted the instruction of this Old Fashion Candy Candy Salt Tubes on her blog Design it Yourself Skincare.

What I like about this recipe is the layered and fragrance about it. But besides that I think the packaging is really unique. I suggest giving this recipe a try and give it too all of the ladies on your gift list that could use a really relaxing soak!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Snowflake Soap Tutorial

Here is one snowflake soap tutorial from the Soap Queen herself, Anne -Marie. This would be a nice gift during the Christmas holiday or anytime during the Winter Season! What a great way to get the kids involved to make presents for their grandparents, teachers or whomever.

The supplies needed for this project are Clear M&P soap base, White M&P soap base, Iridescent glitter, Brilliant Blue Lab color, Snowflake soap mold and fragrance (we used Fresh Snow). All of these supplies can be purchased through Brambleberry.

The tools you need to make these cool soaps are microwave safe containers for melting soap, spoon for stirring, spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and M&P tool kits (optional - but they sure make it easier!)

Monday, November 29, 2010

There are just two ways to make soap for the Christmas season. One is to make the bar itself Holiday Soap Making: Fun with the Season

There are just two ways to make soap for the Christmas season. One is to make the bar itself suggestive of the yuletide, and the other is to encase any handmade soap you have produced in holiday-themed packaging.

Holiday soap making need not be complicated. Your options are made less bewildering by the limits to which soap mixes lend themselves to shape and color manipulation, and by the cultural bounds for decorative elements associated with the season. In other words, you just have so many traditional Christmas symbols to choose from.

Snow, snowmen, pine trees, stars, angels, gifts, wreaths and boughs, Santa, glittery hues of green, red and gold—these and others form the relatively fixed array of advent representation.

Holiday Soap Making: Christmas-shaped Soaps

What are some of the Christmas shapes into which we can mold soap bars? Pine trees, bells, stars, angels, snowmen and stockings are ones that come into the mind easily. You can buy plastic, stainless steel, wooden molds and stamps from a crafts store, but why not try making your own casting forms this time?

Use gypsum plaster (not plaster of paris) as your molding medium, latex molding rubber as the barrier, and an object, say a Christmas tree figure, as your model. This last item has to be made of non-porous material like plastic, glass, ceramic or sealed wood. After making your mold, peel off the rubber from the object. The shapes you can come up with for your holiday soap making are as many as the non-porous models you have!

Holiday Soap Making: Christmas Scents and Colors

Pine and peppermint are the fragrances you will want to add to your soap to make them “smell like Christmas.”

As for colors, green, red, white and gold are your logical choices. If you want to stick to natural coloring, you’ll probably get less vivid hues, but it may not matter to you if you are happy with a toned down effect. If such is the case, you can use turmeric for gold, Moroccan red clay for red, and alfalfa for green.

But if you want to get closer to the vivid, glowing hues of Christmas, use micas combined with liquid colorants. You can use Ruby Mica for your reds, Emerald Mica for your greens, and Polar Ice Mica for your white. One other option for red is thoroughly mixed Ultramarine Red.

Now here’s one cool holiday soap making idea that plays with the colors green and red against white. The Melt and Mold technique of crafting soap is used:

Make both red and green translucent bars of soap, then cut into chunks. Arrange the chunks inside your molds whichever way you like. Get your opaque white soap base ready for pouring into the molds. Let this base cool off a bit and then pour over the chunks inside the mold. Allow to cool and harden, and then unmold.

Holiday Soap Making: Packaging Tricks

You may be one of those whose idea of holiday soap making is simply to package soap with the trimmings of Christmas or as gift items. Outlined below are just a few of the ways of doing this:

Pack your soaps in:

Fabric gift bags made of muslin, calico or mesh
Handy-sized pine wood crates
Gift baskets that are bundled up with glittery organza or cellophane paper
Christmas stocking-shaped nets
Corrugated carton sheets tied up with hay-like or ornamental string

For trimmings, use strips of Christmas paper (which look like colored aluminum foil), raffia ribbons, red and green checked cloth, shiny Twistee wires, and Christmas ribbons. These items come in handy as you engage in your holiday soap making activity.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Snowglobe Soap Project from Alpha Mom

Need an idea to put you in the holiday spirit? Here is a really cute melt and pour soapmaking project for the winter or holiday season from It is a Snowglobe Soap. This would be the perfect bar of soap to put in the powder room or to make as gifts. If I received this as a gift, it would definately put me in the Christmas spirit.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tinted Lip Balm Recipe from BOrganic

Ladies, has your favorite color of lip stick is at its last or worse the color has been discontinued. Well, if you want to extend the life of your favorite lipstick, why not take what is remaining and make it into a tinted lip balm? Does this make you jump up and say, "yes"? Then check out this project from Season 1 of BOrganic, which was demonstrated by Caitlin from OlivU.

Tinted lip balms are easy to create and an excellent way to use up those lipsticks or the lipsticks that "weren't just the right shade", So go through your make-up drawer and collect the lipsticks that you would like to use for this project. Then you will need to purchase the rest of the ingredients from your local health food store (or store that would carry body product supplies) or online source (Brambleberry, Wholesale Supplies Plus, etc.). I want to mention to you that in the listed under supplies there is fragrance. Do not purchase fragrance oils that you would use for melt and pour soaps. You want to purchase appropriate items like candy flavorings, flavored Stevias (available at places like Whole Foods but are quite expensive) or pure essential oils. Remember that citrus essential oils (lemon. lime, orange, tangerine, etc.) are photosensitive you may want to stay away from those particular oils.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tempering Shea Butter

When I made recipes with Shea Butter, particularly lotion sticks, I found that the Shea Butter would often make the recipe gritty. Then I learned from Melanie Wessner that one should temper it before using it. I really never thought of doing that. According to Melanie, shea butter should be melted and heated to about 175 degrees and kept for 20 minutes.

While searching online, I found how to temper your shea butter from a forum on BeeSource. According to Luscious Honey, who posted this response says that this is how to temper your shea butter.

"Heat butter to 170-185F and HOLD that temp. for 10 minutes. Steady heat obliterates the fat crystals and won't hurt the beneficial qualities of the butter. To prevent the crystals from reforming, stick the butter in the fridge until solid. If you find that crystals have reformed, you can try it again, paying close attention to time and temps."

Lucious Honey suggests adjusting your butter-to-oil ratio also helps. The weather, evidently plays a part too as really hot weather tends to melt untempered butter causing the grit -- so this may be something you need to do only in summer, if you're winters are cold."

I am not sure which method is better. I will have to try both to see which works better. Has anyone else tried to temper their shea butter before. If you have, could you please share your experience? It would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

How to Make Lava Lip Gloss

Ever since I took Melanie Wessner's Lip Balm, Exfoliator and Gloss class, I could not help to show the Lave Lip Gloss we made in class. Everyone that I showed it too was completely wowed with this unique product.

If you grew up in the 60's and 70's this would be a cool product to make. This would be a great item to make at a tween or teen girl's birthday party. If you make this project at a birthday party it will be a hit and they will be talking about it to all of their friends.

The recipes that I have found all are pretty similiar with the ingredients. If you have a Whole Foods Market in your area you can purchase a variety of carrier oils, vegetable glycerin, stevia flavorings and food coloring. You can purchase some candy flavorings at Michaels. The only thing that you would have to order online would be the roll on lip gloss containers. Or if you prefer you can do one stop shopping and purchase all of the supplies from Wholesale Supplies Plus, Snowdrift Farms and others. So go for it and have some fun!

Bittercreek Lava Lamp Lip Gloss Recipe

Soap Teacher Lava Lamp Lip Gloss Recipe which was donated by Julie Florida.

Snowdrift Farms Lava Lamp Lip Gloss Recipe

Wholesale Supplies Plus Colored Lava Lamp Lip Gloss Recipe

If I find any other lava lamp lip gloss recipes, I will make sure to pass them along.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How to Make Christmas Luminaries With Mason Jars

For Halloween I posted on how you can make luminaries for that holiday, now here are step by step instructions on How to Make Christmas Luminaries With Mason Jars on by Nannette Richford. They are pretty much the same so all you really need is make some minor changes. Even though luminaries are a popular tradition in the south, it can pretty much be done anywhere, but are really impossible to sue in area that go through extreme weather conditions during that time of the year. Just remember to keep it safe!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ornament Soap Project

If you would like to create something extra special to decorate your Christmas tree or give as a Christmas gift to someone, then may I suggest this melt and pour ornament project from Soap Queen (aka Anna Marie). What a great gift to make! Who would not want to receive this clever project as a gift? So check out the instructions for the Ornament Soap Project and start making those holiday gifits. Everyone will ooh and ahh and these beauties.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Peppermint Cocoa Lip Balm

Lip balm is truly one of the easiest and most inexpensive products to create. Once that you have created your own homemade lip balm, you will never want to purchase commercially made lip balm again!

This recipe will fill 8-9 lip balm tubes:


1 Tablespoon Cocoa Butter
2 Tablespoons Sweet Almond Oil
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon & 1 teaspoon Beeswax
5-10 drops Peppermint essential oil


Coarsely chop or grate beeswax (vegans may use Carnauba or Candelilla Wax as an alternative). Place wax, butter, and oil in a double boiler, and melt gently over low-medium heat. Once that the beeswax/oil mixture has melted, remove from burner, and add essential oils. Immediately pour the mixture into lip balm containers. Allow to cool completely before placing the caps onto your lip balm containers.

Click Here to find out other benefits of Peppermint Oil.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

What is Bath Oil?

Have you recently received a bath oil as a gift and you have no idea what one is? Well according to

"Bath oil is a body care product which is designed to be added to a bathtub. It is readily available in body care and bath stores, and you can also formulate your own relatively easily for a specific blend of oils or scents. Using bath oil regularly will help to soften and nourish the skin, eliminating dry and rough patches, because the warm water of the bath opens up your pores to help you absorb the oil. Follow a bath with a toner or cold water rinse and then moisturize thoroughly to keep your skin healthy.

The base of a bath oil can be made from coconut, olive, sesame, nut, jojoba, or vitamin E oil. The cost of the bath oil will vary depending on the base; vitamin E based oils, for example, tend to be quite expensive. Nut oils such as sweet almond are very common, so if you have nut allergies, read bath oil ingredients carefully. A plain, unscented bath oil will often contain a blend of oils formulated to improve the condition of your skin.

Most bath oils are scented with the addition of essential oils. In addition to smelling good, a scented bath oil can also be used for aromatherapy. Aromatherapy bath oils can be used to relax after a long day, energize for a night out, or support immune system health. Common aromatherapy ingredients include lavender, ylang ylang, rose, citrus, lemon verbena, bergamot, and yarrow. Most aromatherapy oils do not use potentially irritating essential oils like clove and black pepper, although these ingredients are safe to use in small, measured amounts.

In some cases, a bath oil will also contain dried botanical elements like rose petals and lavender. These additions add to the bath experience, but they can be difficult to clean out of a bathtub, as they tend to cling to the sides. If you do use a bath oil with dried flowers, make sure to use a hair trap when it drains so that the bath does not become clogged with petals, and try rinsing down the sides of the tub with a detachable shower head to remove the stubborn flowers.

Making your own bath oil is also very easy. Base oils are available from bath supplies and in some department stores; make sure to store the oil in a cool, dry, dark place when it is not in use to prevent it from going rancid. In a clean container, mix the carrier oil, or several carrier oils, and then add several drops of the essential oil or oils of your choice. Use approximately one fluid ounce (30 milliliters) in each bath."

Now that you received this lovely gift now you can make use of of it by taking sometime to pamper yourself.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

ThanksSoapGiving Soap Tutorial

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Here is a really cute Thanksgiving or ThankSoapGiving Soap from Anne-Marie aka The Soap Queen. This festive soap is easy to create and would be adorable to create. So get the ThankSoapGiving festivities started and check out the ThankSoapGiving Soap instructions/tutorial . Anne-Marie always posts really cute tutorials on her blog Soap and the Finer Things in Life so check out her blog often for more creative and festive soap ideas.

A Brief Description of Cosmetic Clays

Have you heard of the term Cosmetic Clays but you do not know what they are? Well, Alison Kontur of Bath Body Supply has written an article on Cosmetics Clays on her blog "Design It Yourself" Skincare. This article is very informative in describing the different cosmetics clays that are available out on the market. So if any of your recipes include a cosmetic clay as ingredient this article will certainly help you out.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bath Melt T's Recipe

Do you love bath melts? Why not try this recipe from Ponte Verda Soaps. I have encountered other recipes that include such ingredients such as cocoa butter and shea butter. But this recipe is interesting ingredient is coconut oil. Wouldn't that make an interesting smelling bath melt if you incorporated unrefined cocoa butter?

For this recipe you will need to purchase the following ingredients: cocoa butter, vitamin E oil, coconut oil, favorite essential oil, 2 oz Bars Mold. Powder pigment or liquid pigment color. Ponte Verda Soaps states that food coloring will work, but it is hard to incorporate. The reasoning that food coloring is hard to incorporate is that is probably water base.

Melt the cocoa butter over very low heat and add the coconut oil. Remove and add the remaining ingredients. Stir well and add to your mold. Let harden and remove from mold. Place in the freezer to quicken the hardening. Keep in a cool place or the refrigerator. Snap off sections and pop them in your tub for a soothing smoothing luxury bath.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Soap Puffed Marshmallows Soap

Doesn't this soap look like a delicious piece of fudge? It definately looks good enough to eat. This Soap Puffed Marshmallow Soap appears on blog Soap and the Finer Things in Life. Anne-Marie used and advanced cold process soap technique called "In the Pot Swirl" which means that she split the batch into two different colors and poured one color into the other. The soap batter naturally swirls the two colors together.

If you would like to see the "In the Pot Swirl" Soap technique is demonstrated, then check out the premium Soap TV Queen Episode.

Annie Marie shares her secret on how to make her secret mallows. They were inspired by Soapylove's Soap Frosting Recipe. I would say that is the price of admission.

It just dawned on me that these soaps remind me of a delicious cup of hot cocoa. So I would say that these would make perfect gifts during those cold winter months.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How To Make Candy Cane Candles

Christmas is just around the corner and you are looking to add abit of candle light to your home. Why not create this Candy Cane Pillar Candle from One Stop Candle?

Candy canes always remind me of the Christmas season and making these candles would enhance your holiday decor. Even if you do not celebrate Christmas somehow peppermint conjours up a snowy winter day for me.  How about you?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sugar Scrub Cubes

Here is a Sugar Scrub Cubes recipe from Wholesale Supplies Plus.

This recipe is interesting because it contains a persevative of Phenonip. When looking at the INCI Ingredient that Wholesale Supplies Plus provides there are listing of a couple of paraben ingredients: Methylparaben (and) Ethylparaben (and) Butylparaben (and) Propylparaben (and) Isobutylparaben which are contained in the perservative Phenonip. If you are concerned with parabens and their effects then you may consider a preservative that does not contain parabens. Now when I took the sugar scrubs class at The Nova Studio in September 2010, the recipe does not call for a preservative. So I guess it is up to you whether or not to add one or not. But, I am not planning to add one to the recipe that was given to us.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Simple Pumpkin Sugar Scrub Video Tutorial

From Allison B. Kontur from Bath Body Supply has this great instructional video on You Tube on how to create your own Simple Pumpkin Sugar Scrub.

What a great gift to make someone who loves pumpkin pie.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Shea Butter Body Whip - From Scratch

Here is another great recipe from Wholesale Supplies Plus and it sohappens to be one of Debbie May's favorites - Shea butter Body Whip - From Scratch. The estimate time to make this product is an half an hour and yields 7 jars.

The ingredients you need are 16 Ounce(s) Crafter's Choice Shea Butter - Refined, 1 Ounce(s) Crafter's Choice Vitamin E ,10 ml(s) Crafter's Choice Bliss - Certified EO Blend, 2 Tablespoon(s) Crafter's Choice Modified Corn Starch , 7 Natural PP Low Profile Jar - 5 oz , 7 Jar Lids - 91 mm and.7 Jar Disc Liners - 91 mm. All ingredients can be purchased through Wholesale Supplies Plus. If you are planning to sell this product, you have to properly label all of the ingredients. If you are using the extact ingredients like the recipe calls for, then you would label the ingredients as follows and according to INCI name.

The equipment you need will be a Dropper, Electric Hand Mixer, Mixing Bowl - 64 oz, Spatula and a Spoon.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Spicy Plum Soap-A Homemade Gift Soap.

Spicy plum soap is a wonderful and extravagant experience for the face, hands and body. This homemade gift soap feels silky-smooth and smells terrific.

Supplies Need:

8 oz. Unscented white soap, grated
4 oz. Milk
2 tsp. Plum fragrance oil
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon fragrance oil
1 tsp. Ground nutmeg
Brown food coloring
Gold mica dust

To Make This Homemade Gift Soap:

In the top of a double boiler, heat milk, along with the fragrance oil. Grind soap as fine as possible in a food processor (not absolutely necessary, but makes it easier). Put the ground soap in a bowl and add the nutmeg, food coloring, gold mica dust. Stir to distribute the color evenly. When milk and oils are hot, add soap and, stirring occasionally, allow the soap to soften to a creamy mass (then water in the bottom of the double boiler should be hot, but not boiling). It may take as much as 1/2 hour. After the soap is fully melted, press into a small bunt pan (or two, depending on the size). Present your homemade gift soap on a plate, sliced.

This homemade gift soap also makes a perfect gift. Your friends and family will appreciate a homemade gift soap that is a relaxing and unique bath and body product. That this gift came from the heart and your hands makes them even more special. Packaging and presentation play a predominant role in the gift-giving of your handmade gift soaps, salts and lotions. Below are several packaging ideas, but don’t let this brief list limit your creativity!

Sticky labels, round labels and heavyweight card stock can be used for labeling your plum soap.

Boxes and baskets are nice containers for homemade gift soaps, especially when you fill the boxes with other materials. You can fill the box or basket halfway with herbs, dried flowers or potpourri that matches the scent of your homemade gift soap. Gift basket fillings, other toiletries, washcloths or sponges also make great fillers in the basket with your spicy plum soap. Once you have added the filler and soap, wrap the box or basket in cellophane.

Coffee mugs also great "baskets." Add a filler to the cup and place your spicy plum soap in the center and wrap with cellophane or tulle. Small brown paper bags, cello type bags, wood crates and soap dishes are other containers you can use to package your soaps and salts.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

What is the Difference Between Shower Gel and Body Wash?

Looking down the beauty aisle at Walmart there are so many bath products to wash yourself with. It made me wonder, what is the difference between shower gel and body wash? I found the answer on

"Shower gel and body wash are both forms of liquid soap that are appropriate for cleansing the body. The primary difference between the two is texture. Shower gel has a firmer, gel-like consistency while body wash is more like liquid soap or dish soap in consistency. Another difference between the two, though slight, is their concentration. Much like the difference between perfume and eau de toilette, shower gel frequently has a higher concentration of fragrance and tends to go farther than body wash.

Shower gel and body wash are both popular alternatives to bar soap for cleansing, especially amongst women. Their preference could be attributed to their convenience of use and storage, but is most likely attributed to the wide variety of scents available. Shower gel and body wash may also be more appealing than bar soap because they frequently include moisturizers.
The application of shower gel or body wash is best achieved with a bath sponge or mitt. A washcloth can be effective, but sponges and mitts tend to produce more lather. There are differences in the quality of shower gels and body washes as well. Less expensive drug store brands cleanse as effectively as the more expensive bath store products, but tend to produce less lather with the same amount. There are exceptions, but bath store products definitely have a wider variety of fragrances.

Shower gel or body wash is available for women, men, and even children and infants. Infant body wash is very mild and can be used on skin and hair. There are a wide variety of fragrances available in all varieties, including designer fragrances and fragrances for men.

The best way to find the shower gel or bath product that you prefer is to experiment with different varieties and fragrances. If you need something for sensitive skin or something with extra moisturizers, simply read the labels and ingredients before buying. Avoid using shower gel or body wash on babies and young children unless it is specified for that use as adult cleansers can sometimes be too harsh for young skin."


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pumpkin Face Mask

Ashley English recently did a guest blog post on Whipup on how to make your own Pumpkin Face Mask. If pumpkin pie is your favorite desert, then this face mask recipe is up your alley. You will need two simple ingredients of pumpkin pie puree (not pumpkin pie mix) and plain whole milk yogurt to make this perfect autumn treat for your face.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Marie Gale's book Soap & Cosmetic Labeling

Are you having a difficult time finding Marie Gale's book Soap & Cosmetic Labeling? Well, you do not have to look very far to purchase one. Wholesale Supplies Plus is now a place where you can purchase your very own copy for $24.95.

The 2nd edition of this informative book has been updated to include an extra chapter devoted just to soap labels, additional diagrams and drawings of different types of labels and additional explanations about some of the more complicated (and controversial) aspects of product labeling.

This is an excellent reference source for figuring out how to follow the labeling rules and regulations for soaps, cosmetics and other consumer products, with plenty of examples.

This book explains, in plain English, how to follow product labeling rules and regulations from:

- Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act
- Fair Product and Labeling Act
- Uniform Weights & Measures Law
- Uniform Packaging and Labeling
- Regulations
- State Laws

In addition, the appendixes include cosmetic color additives and their approved uses, INCI names for common ingredients, restricted and prohibited ingredients and metric conversion charts.

If you would like to order this book, visit Wholesale Supplies Plus website or go directly to the following link Soap & Cosemetic Labeling book.

Pomegranate Exfoliating Scrub

Tis' the season for this sensory scrub. Here is a festive pomegranate salt scrub from PV Soap that is feast for the nose as well as the eyes. If you know someone who is a big fan of pomegranates then this would be a great gift for them. The ingredients for this recipe makes 20 oz of scrub.

To make this exfoliating scrub, you will need the following supplies:

18 ozs Dead Sea Salt
1/4 cup of either Sweet Almond, Macadamia Nut, or Apricot Kernel Oil (or a combination of all)
1/8 cup of Virgin Coconut Oil
1/8 cup Vegetable Glycerin Liquid
1 tablespoon Aloe Vera Gel (available at drugstore)
1 teaspoon Tocopherals (Vitamin E Oil)
1 tablespoon Pomegranate fragrance
dash/or less Red Iron Oxide (optional for color)
sprinkling of poppy seeds (optional exfoliant)

Just another in our series of wonderful body scrubs. This time we used dead sea salt from Israel. Dead Sea Salt contains ten times more minerals than regular sea salt. These minerals assist in cleansing, detoxifying and restoring a healthy body, especially the skin and muscles. The carrier oils including the virgin coconut oil all absorb well into the skin without leaving a heavy feel. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Add the fragrance (more or less as desired). When adding the colorant, start with a very tiny amount (less than a pinch) of red iron oxide until the correct shade is achieved. Spoon into decorative jars or our wonderful plastic Bail & Wire jars. As with any scrub recipe, let it sit overnight and the oils will rise to the top. Stir when ready to use. Add more oils if necessary or if your scrub becomes dry after several months. With proper storage - shelf life 1 year. Caution: tub or shower may get slippery from the oils.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Soap Recipe

Love pumpkin pie? Then you may just love creating this melt and pour soap for the holidays. This is a very simply recipe that I found on the website and I hope you will enjoy it for years to come.

"This pumpkin pie soap recipe from Mom’s Budget is a great way to start celebrating the start of autumn. Make now and use Halloween molds, or use Thanksgiving soap molds later in the year!

4 Oz glycerin soap (clear unscented)
1/4 tsp pumpkin fragrance oil
5 drops clove essential oil
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Orange food coloring (Ed. Or soap dye, available at craft stores.)

In a small saucepan over low heat (or in a glass measuring cup in the microwave) melt glycerin soap. Add clove essential oil, pumpkin fragrance oil, ground cloves and food coloring, stirring well. Pour into molds (you can find Thanksgiving or Halloween themed molds, such as pumpkins or turkeys). Allow molds to set. Remove from mold then wrap pumpkin pie soap in cellophane or plastic wrap."


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Snow Globe Soaps

Are looking for something different to give as gifts this year for Christmas? Then why not create these adorable snow globe soaps from Even if you do not celebrate Christmas, these would be adorable gifts to give out during the winter season.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pumpkin Puree Cold Process Soap Recipe

In an October 2, 2010 blog entry, Anne-Marie (aka The Soap Queen) listed a variety of fall projects for the 2010 seasons on her blog Soap and the Finer Things in Life. One was this recipe for Pumpkin Puree Cold Process Soap.  This fun fall swirl cold process soap is moisturizing and delicious smelling soap with real pumpkin puree. Pumpkin is full of antioxidants and vitamins A and C which can help keep your skin youthful and refreshed! If you love pumpkin pie or know someone who does this would make an excellent gift!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thanksgiving Soap Project

Here is a really cute Thanksgiving project that the whole family can participant in making Thanksgiving soaps. I have not seen too many Thankgiving soap projects out there and I am glad that I found it. What makes this project for all ages is that is made through the melt and pour process which means that kids of all ages can participate!

Thanks to Anne-Marie (aka The Soap Queen) for posting this festive holiday project on her blog Soap and the Finer Things in Life. Anne-Marie always brings alot of great melt and pour soap projects for everyone to make. I cannot wait to see what next she shares with us.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What is Bergamot?

I offer students in my classes Bergamont essential oil to scent their bath and body products. I was wondering more about this popular essential oil. The only thing I knew that it was from the citrus family. But according to

"Bergamot is an aromatic oil found in the peels of the fruit of the bergamot orange, a citrus tree which flourishes in Italy. The oil is used in essential oil preparations, skin care products, and as a food flavoring, most notably in Earl Gray tea. The flavor of bergamot is floral and rich, with a faintly bitter or astringent flavor. The oil smells of fresh citrus, and is pale gold in color. Caution should be used with oil of bergamot on the skin, because it tends to increase photosensitivity, and the skin may be damaged if it is exposed to excessive light.

The bergamot orange, also known as Citrus bergamia, is native to Southern Asia, but was introduced to Italy, where it flourished. Attempts to cultivate it in other regions have not been nearly so successful, with Italian bergamot oranges producing the bulk of commercially used bergamot. The peels of the oranges were dried and added to early flavored teas, and essence of bergamot was also extensively used in perfumes. The mild citrus scent and flavor are quite appealing to some consumers, leading to enduring demand for bergamot.

Southern France also hosts bergamot trees, which are small and unable to cope with extremely cold weather and frosts. The fruit of the bergamot orange itself is intensely sour, and it is often used in jams, preserves, and other sweet dishes to counterbalance the sugar. The true value lies in the peel, which has rich deposits of oil. Dried, the peels are used in some cosmetics and foods to add flavor, and the peels are also pressed when fresh to extract the essential oil, which is usually sold in concentrated form. Bergamot orange peel is also sometimes sold in a candied form, along with other citrus peels.

As an essential oil, bergamot is believed to be uplifting and energizing. It is often included in essential oil mixtures which are designed to reduce stress, energize, and treat depression. Bergamot can be included in incense, used in an essential oil diffuser, or added to baths, in moderation. The oil is also included in skin care products, and like other citrus oils, it is faintly astringent and toning. Pure oil can be harsh on the skin, and bergamot oil should always be diluted before being applied.

Pure bergamot oil is readily available from many natural food stores and distributors of essential oils in both cold pressed and steam distilled varieties. The dried peel can be found in food specialty stores, along with candied and jellied variants. For consumers who are concerned about sustainable farming practices, many bergamot growers offer organic alternatives to conventionally farmed bergamot."

Hope this gives you insight to Bergamont like it has me. I will have to try to use this essential more often. Of all of the essential oils besides rose, the citrus family like sweet orange and tangerine are my favorite.