Attempt 1: In the Pot Swirl

July 26, 2011

I wanted to try to “swirl” my soap.  I didn’t feel like making a 2lb batch of soap (for my “In the Pot” swirl recipe) and I was too lazy to go recalculate the recipe for a smaller batch.  So, I ended up using my shea butter recipe to make the swirl…

There’s a reason for using the specific in the pot swirl recipe: BECAUSE IT DOESN’T TRACE FAST.  Unlike the Shea Butter recipe.  OYE.  My soap started to get too thick too soon.  I poured it, but because it wasn’t very “liquidy” I’m not really sure the colors mixed in a nice swirl.  I’m sure the soap will still look great, even if it wasn’t what I was going for.  The top came out cute though.

More pictures to come of the cured soap and slice soap!  We’ll see what the inside really looks like!  Here’s to hoping something cool!


Bread Baskets are Great for Soap Displays

July 22, 2011

I went on the search a while back for bread baskets that would work as a soap holder and I found some I liked (remember back to my post on my display table).  They’re a little bit smaller than I wanted, only hold 4-5 soaps but they’re adorable and exactly what I wanted style wise!  I’m having covers made to line the inside of the baskets and I think once they’re all set up they’ll be perfect!

I can’t wait to get the covers back so I can pull everything out and do a mock set up to see how it all looks.  Traveling to craft fairs and farmers markets is going to be quite a trip now.  Between all the boxes of soap, cupcake soaps, display/set up items, two tables, wood shelves…I’ve got quite a production.  The nice thing about this though is I can alter the display to fit one or two tables.  There’s a lot of flexibility in my table layouts.  I’m excited.  August, September and October I have 5 Farmer’s Markets I’m attending.  Can’t wait to see how those go.  It’ll be a learning experience for sure! But I’m excited!


The “Unmolding”

July 18, 2011

I finally figured out HOW to get the soap out of my PVC mold!

Step 1: Cut out card board circles the diameter of the PVC.

Step 2: Combine the two pieces together and wrap in wax paper.

Step 3: Find a cup that would fit inside the mold and then cover it with wax paper.

Step 4: Insert cardboard in mold.

Step 5: Insert cup in mold.

Step 6: Push…and push…and push and make very little progress.

Step 7: Push some more and start making more progress.

Step 8: Catch soap as it’s coming out of mold.  All in one piece! Yay! Success!

Step 9: Slice soap and let it cure for 6 weeks!


Salt Bars you say?

July 15, 2011

The first time I heard someone say “salt bar” my first thought was you’re crazy!  How can you have soap and salt together?  They’re like opposites.  Salt KILLS lather in a soap.   Off to reserach I went.  I had a lot of questions I wanted answers to.

Why would you want salt in your soap?

Salt is moisturizing, healing and overall great for your skin. It’s also a fabulous exfoliant.

How do you get a decent lather with soap in your bar?

As I’ve mentioned before coconut oil is a staple in almost every bar of soap.  A 100% coconut oil bar of soap could still lather even in salt water.  Pretty awesome!  There’s a downside though, coconut oil does dry out the skin.  Salt bars have a high percentage of coconut oil. This allows them to lather nicely with the salt in them.  The salt helps moisturize, but what really helps is adding some skin loving oils to the bar like castor oil or avocado oil.

Were there any other benefits to a salt bar?

I found a couple of interesting comments on this.  Apparently if you have troubled skin with acne breakouts or really oily skin, the salt helps clear it up in a matter of a week or two and helps keep it pretty and clear.

I’m interested to see if this is really true.  If it is that’s awesome!  One thing I’ve noticed throughout my reserach is everyone claims it’s a great moisturizing soap.  I’ve very excited to try this soap and hope it lives up to the endless praise I’ve found all over in my reserach!

I made a batch of bars with lemongrass essential oil.  Love the smell of lemongrass but it was way too strong for me.  So I made a second batch this time with Orange essential oil.  Much milder (orange eo isn’t a strong scent and it’s even hard to keep it strong in soaps.  Perfect for me who wanted a very mild soft scent).  I like both bars.  I think I’ve got strong from those that love strong and soft and mild for those looking for a gentler fragrance.

Lemongrass EO

Orange EO (I didn’t use any colorant.  The orange EO gave this a nice yellow color and I used pinked salt to give it a fun speckled look.)



Sugar Scrubs (Version 2)

July 13, 2011

Nothing will take the place of the sugar scrub cubes for me.  They are decadent, with sweet almond oil, cocoa butter, shea butter and vitamin E!  They’re also more expensive to make than a simple liquid “in the jar” sugar scrub.  So per a couple requests I did some research on the liquid sugar scrubs.

The first one I made just involved sugar, sweet almond oil, and Vitamin E.  I like it.  It gets the job done and left my skin still feeling nice and soft.

I wanted more than just sweet almond oil and vitamin E in my scrub though.  I wanted something more like my sea salt foot scrub and then it occurred to me: Why not use that recipe just replace sugar for salt and maybe a powder color rather than jojoba beads as I really didn’t want to have to deal with washing those off me (plus jojoba beads are an exfoliant too and as a body scrub I think the sugar was plenty) and the sugar really takes on a nice color with a miniscule amount of colorant added.  Now I’ve not only got sweet almond oil and vitamin E but I’ve added in jojoba oil.  Voilia! I had a nice skin pampering sugar scrub!

You can see there are more oils in this batch, but again I can add more sugar to make it less oily.

What I love about the scrub is the versatility I get with it.  I can use fine grain white sugar for a gentle scrub.  I can use brown sugar for a slightly more exfoliating scrub or large sugar grains for a rougher scrub.  I can also add more or less sugar depending on whether someone wants an oily scrub or not so oily!

Couple more pictures just because!


Semi-Failed Coconut-Vanilla Soap

July 11, 2011

I typically use a 50-50 ratio of coconut and vanilla FO when I make my Coco-Vanilla soap.  Because the coconut scent seems to fade a bit in the soap I decided to try a different coconut FO that was a little bit stronger.  The soap definitely had a more of a coconut fragrance but the new FO caused my soap to start to “curdle” basically parts of it was starting to solidify within the mixture.  I did some quick pouring into the molds and hoped the the gel phase would help “cook” the soap and bit and remelt the parts that had curdled.

This is what I had 24 hours after the pour:

My first reaction was disappointment.  It still looked like there were little worms throughout the soap.  Then I unmolded it and realized that some of it had remelted and all mixed together.

When I cut it you could see that the top looked a little more wormy than the bottom.

The soap feels just like any other soap I’ve made and it completely solidified and came out of the mold nicely. So I think this soap is still perfectly fine.  I’ll of course test it before I decide to do anything with it, but it looks (mostly) like a normal bar of soap.


My Little Rant :)

July 6, 2011

I usually avoid rants or going off on a spiel, but bear with me this one time!

I’ve decided it’s all intentionally planned by the soap industry.  What’s all planned?  The need for us to spend money on more than just soaps…to spend money on expensive lotions and more.  They take out the glycerin from soap so they can put it in their lotions and they know that taking it out will dry up everyone’s skin and then they’ll need lotion. (I know I’ve over generalized here–did so on purpose :))

Then they make “facial” products that treat acne but really only dry the skin out and then people need moisturizers for that and they say it’s a “special” facial moisturizer with all these “good” things in it for you, but soap (natural soap) already has everything in it that you need. (Note: Oils ARE good for your face.  Stripping them from your face isn’t good.)

Facts:

  • Since I’ve been using my shea butter soap on my face I’ve really not needed my face lotion (very rarely and I normally have super dry skin).
  • I haven’t used lotion on my legs in forever.
  • The only time I ever use lotion now is for my hands cause I use dish soap and pump bottle liquid store soap (at work).

The soap industry I’m convinced has created a need for items other than soap by making their soap “cause” those needs.  I know, I’m being a bit of a pessimist right now, but after a year of using my soap and keeping track of my skin I’ve realized that the only time my skin is dry is when I use commercial soaps.

*Rant Over* :)


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