What would you do?
Wednesday, November 8, 2023
Tuesday, October 31, 2023
I've never been afraid of the computer and anything related so, when ChatGPT arrived, I was more than happy to dip my toes into the AI pool. I've watched You Tube videos about the app and I've learned a lot. I'm also a Canva Pro user and, using the two together has completely changed my use of both.
Using the two together, I've created a couple of series of posts, 10 posts each. The first series is a "Did You Know?" series about things you might not know about soapmaking and soapmakers.
The second series features Ingredient Spotlights of ten ingredients commonly used in the skin care industry.
Thursday, October 5, 2023
I was perusing the internet a while back and came across numerous mentions of Marula Oil in skin and hair care. I was intrigued and decided to buy a bottle. I get it! This oil is really, really nice on the skin. My skin feels incredibly smooth and silky after applying just a few drops. A couple of drops massaged into my hair made it shine and tamed some of the flyaways. So, what's so special about this oil?
Marula oil is a nutrient-rich oil derived from the marula tree, which is native to Southern Africa. It has been used for centuries by the local people for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Marula oil is a popular ingredient in many skincare and haircare products due to its numerous benefits.
Firstly, Marula oil is rich in antioxidants, which help to protect the skin from free radical damage caused by environmental factors such as pollution and UV radiation. This makes it an excellent anti-aging ingredient as it can help prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
Secondly, Marula oil is also highly moisturizing, making it perfect for dry or dehydrated skin. It contains high levels of fatty acids, including oleic acid and linoleic acid, which help to seal in moisture and keep the skin hydrated.
Thirdly, Marula oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce redness and inflammation in the skin. This makes it ideal for people with sensitive or acne-prone skin as it can help to soothe and calm the skin.
In addition to its skincare benefits, Marula oil is also great for hair. Its moisturizing properties can help to hydrate and nourish the hair, leaving it soft, shiny, and more manageable.
Overall, Marula oil is a versatile and beneficial ingredient that can provide numerous benefits for both the skin and hair.
Ok, so I looked into where it's available (apart from my supplier) and was apalled to discover it at Sephora for $92 for 30 ml. $92??? For 2 tablespoons???
I decided, right then and there, that I'd bottle up what I have and offer it to my customers... at a substantially reduced price. It truly is luxury in a bottle but now I can offer truly affordable luxury. No one should have to pay $92 for 30 ml. of an amazing oil... no one!
Tuesday, October 3, 2023
This is one product I'm really excited about! Our newest product is Rosehip Seed Gel Eye Cream and it is truly special.
This silky gel cream is the perfect blend of gel and cream; it goes on like silk and soaks in quickly. It's made with Rosehip Seed Oil, often regarded as the "oil of youth". Rosehip Seed oil is classified as a "dry oil" due to its thin consistency, which allows it to be easily absorbed without leaving an oily residue on the skin's surface.
It also includes Hyaluronic Acid, a naturally occurring substance in the body that is responsible for maintaining skin hydration and plumpness. When used in skin care products, it can help to boost moisture levels in the skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improve overall skin texture and radiance. Hyaluronic acid is also gentle enough to use on all skin types, making it a versatile ingredient in any skincare routine. By incorporating hyaluronic acid into your daily regimen, you can achieve a more youthful, hydrated, and glowing complexion.
It's also made with the addition of Caffeine extract, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), and Allantoin, all carefully blended to create a decadent gel eye cream that soaks in quickly and does what it's meant to do.
This truly is a luxrious product and, as always, at an affordable price.
Wednesday, June 14, 2023
I've got it down now! And I'm very happy with how this lip gloss has turned out. It's taken a bit of experimentation but now? Wow!
I've never really been a lip gloss fan but I'm finding that, with the right ingredients, it can be more than just glossy; it can be moisturizing, too. We've added ingredients like Jojoba oil, Castor oil, and even Hyaluronic Acid.
So, what's the deal with Hyaluronic Acid, you might be wondering? For one thing, it is a naturally occuring substance in our bodies, generally in eyes and joints. It can penetrate the skin's surface and increase hyration for longer and at a deeper level, promoting a smoother, plumper, and more radiant appearance.
Hyaluronic acid's ability to attract a trememdous amount of water (up to 1000 times its weight!) makes it the skin's powerful natural inner moisturizer. Cosmetically, this translates into soft, hydrated skin that looks firm, plump, glowy, and youthful.
And, we've put it into our lip gloss!
Tuesday, April 18, 2023
Lip Gloss. It's one of those things that I have a love/hate relationship with. I can remember a little girl, sitting in front of me in church one Sunday morning and, literally, every five minutes or so, she'd apply another layer of Grape lip gloss to her lips. With every application, she scent of the Galactic Grape flavouring oil penetrated my head and I ended up having to leave with a raging migraine.
That said, the look and feel of a good lip gloss never fails to intrigue me. I've dipped my toe into making lip gloss a little and wasn't very happy with the results. I mean, it looked amazing the day I made it but by the following day, some of them had separated and the oils seeped out of the tubes. Not pretty!
I've been doing as much reading as I can about a very popular lip gloss base but everything I'm finding isn't really answering my questions. Well, over the Easter break, with four days off, I decided to look into it again. I finally found a little more information and I think I've got it figured out. It's still a sticky and messy procedure but at least it isn't separating anymore.
And, oh my, it feels so nice on the lips. With the addition of some skin-soothing oils like castor, jojoba, and coconut oils, it won't dry out your lips and the gloss! This is what lip gloss should be!
Now, I'm just waiting for a new shipment of some classy tubes.
Tuesday, April 11, 2023
Thursday, April 6, 2023
Monday, April 3, 2023
I'm having so much fun making liquid soaps! I've lost count of how many variations I've tried so far. Some haven't worked out as planned and were made to disappear but most have been very successful. I've got the process down now and each batch takes about three quarters of an hour, from start to finish.
Once made, it needs to cool overnight; we let it sit for about a week just to mellow out a bit. That gives me plenty of time to plan fragrances and additions.
Here are a few that came with us to our last market, this past Sunday.
All are available in either a pump bottle or a regular bottle that you can use to fill your own pump dispenser or foamer bottle. There's a fragrance for everyone, from fruity (Apple Mango Tango) to hippy (Champaka Hemp) to medicinal (Tea Tree & Lavender Charcoal) to fresh (Cactus & Sea Salt).
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Sunday, March 5, 2023
One thing I've often been told since I was a child is that I'm pretty stubborn. I certainly can be, especially when it comes to getting things to my own expectations. That can certainly be said for the transparent soap. I couldn't just make it once and let it go if it wasn't perfect.
So, I tried it again.
And, this time, it worked perfectly! The thrill of walking into my soap room to see if I could unmold the soap and finding it clear made me a little giddy.
Saturday, February 25, 2023
A couple of years ago, a local winery/cidery approached me to ask if soap could be made with wine or cider and, if so, would I be interested in working with them to create a line of soaps for them. I was all in!
I've been creating four different soaps for them since that time. This weekend and the next will be spent making another batch of each for them. The first one up is the red wine soap. This one is scented with Merlot fragrance oil. Unfortunately, this time it riced slightly, as you can see in this picture, probably due to a touch of over blending and perhaps the fragrance oil. I did get it into the mold before it became worse and I know it will end up fine; it's happened before and doesn't affect the final soap.
The three other soaps (white wine, rose, and a spiced cider) will be made over the next days.
Monday, February 20, 2023
I've been making bar soap for quite a while, 10 years or so now. I've tried making liquid soap before but was never happy with the results and didn't like the process. It can take up to a week the way I used to make it.... when I made it. In addition, there was something about the scent of the raw soap that I just didn't like.
When I found the Ultimate Guide to Liquid Soapmaking, it became a game changer! I'm not trying to advertise the book, I'm just so impressed with the book and the resulting soap.
And then, there's this one. Talk about dramatic!! This is Charcoal Tea Tree & Lavender liquid soap. It smells amazing and lathers beautifully.
One thing I will need to remind customers is that hand crafted liquid soaps are quite concentrated. As little as 2-3 drops is enough to wash your hands. To get an idea of how liquid soaps can be used, check out this web page from Dr. Bronners liquid soap.
Tuesday, February 14, 2023
I've often looked at soapmakers who make transparent soap as nearly godlike. I mean, it's soap that's transparent! They speak of solvents and heat and it would leave me scratching my head, thinking there's no way I could ever do that.
Then, I came across a recipe on a Facebook group I'd joined (Ultimate Guide to Soapmaking) and a 10-minute Transparent soap recipe. I figured if it could be done in 10 minutes, it really couldn't be THAT difficult, could it? So I downloaded the recipe, realized I had all the ingredients and started reading.
It turns out, I was missing one ingredient but it had an easy substitution (sugar) and I was a little short of another ingredient. I jumped in anyway and probably rushed things a little more than I needed to. However, look at what I made!
It may not be perfectly transparent but it is soap and it's translucent. I can use it as a melt & pour soap with opens up all kinds of opportunities. Will I make it on a regular basis? I doubt it. But I will say that it's a nice recipe to have in my back pocket when I want to make something that incorporates melt & pour soap.
Will I try it again? You betcha! I really want to make a fully transparent soap. Stay tuned!
Sunday, February 5, 2023
Maybe I should call this post Part 2, 3, 4, 5.... I think you get the idea, right? Yep, I've been experimenting with liquid soap. Just today, I made this one:
It's so beautifully clear that I had to take a picture in the bit of sunshine we had today. It's made with a combination of beef tallow, olive, and canola oils and is a single lye (KOH) soap. I'm so thrilled with this one. The only thing that concerns me now is how will a fragrance oil affect it? Will it stay as clear as it is now, or will it go cloudy?
Then there's this one. It's a very nice soap but look at how cloudy it is. This one frustrates me but I have a feeling I know what it might be, leftover saponifiables. I made this one a few days ago; earlier today, I made a 25% KOH solution and added a few tablespoons of that solution. It seems to be helping with clarifying it. It's a Honey & Almond soap. The lather is beautiful but it looks rather disgusting as is. I hope I can get it cleared up because it really is a nice soap.
Right now, I have six batches of soap almost ready for bottling, or sampling. I have enough liquid soap to last me a lifetime! I need more friends willing to be testers.
Monday, January 30, 2023
I've made liquid soap in the past and, I have to say, I was underwhelmed. It was a time-consuming process. First, you make the base paste. That can take a few hours. Then you need to hydrate (dilute) the paste in water; that can take days.
I'm not that patient.
Recently, I joined a couple of Facebook groups that specialize in liquid soap making and someone suggested a liquid soapmaking course book. I thought about it for about two minutes and made the decision to invest in the book and have been working my way through it over the past few days.
Basically, there are three different methods for making liquid soap; first is the Cold Process Liquid Soap. In this method, you create your paste and let it sit, with no external heat, until the paste is formed. Then, the dilution water is added and it is allowed to hydrate over time. It can take a couple of days to a couple of weeks. It's a lot of hands off time and, if you're patient, it's a great method. I, however, am not that patient.
The second method is the Low Temperature Liquid Soap; in this method, a crockpot at a low temperature is used. It's a good method but the dilution can still take time. And, again, I'm not that patient.
You know where this is going, right?
The third method is the High Temperature Liquid Soap; with this method, a batch of liquid soap can be finished, from start to final dilution, in about half an hour. Sign me up!
I decided, in the interest of education, to make my way through all three processes. I made a batch of CPLS Castile Soap. It's in a bucket, resting until my order of pump bottles arrives. It was pretty easy to make but the entire process took a couple of days to complete. The second batch I made is the LTLS, Palm Olive liquid soap. I probably did something wrong in the process because, after about 3 days, it's still diluting. I've been adding extra water and waiting for it to absorb. Once fully diluted, it will be a very nice soap if the initial testing is any indication. It's just taking way too long.
Then, yesterday, I decided to try the 30-minute High Temperature recipe. Wow! I am hooked!
Following a recipe in the book, I made a Tea Tree & Lavender Charcoal liquid soap. This soap is intriguing. It's pitch black! The lather is amazing and the scent of Tea Tree and Lavender smells somewhat medicinal but also kind of comforting. I never thought I'd like a black liquid soap, to be honest, but I'm really liking it. And the best part? Within 24 hours, it's ready for the market. Yes, it will benefit from some sequestering (equivalent to the curing of bar soap); my first market isn't for another couple of weeks.
Now I just need to figure out a name for it.