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Now Selling Lard and Tallow Based Soaps

24 Sep

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-24,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

I am creating bacon grease and lard soaps with fantastic results. They lather up more than Castile soaps and feel more moisturizing to me too. I like to explain it this way: if Castile soaps feel milky, then my bacon grease and lard soaps feel creamy. Both are equally gentle on my skin. I will certainly be expanding Mama in the Kitchen soaps based on animal fats. For now, I have three new soaps with bacon grease and lard.

Bacon Grease Soap

Pure Bacon Fat Soap

Saponified Bacon Grease. No hormones, no antibiotics.

$7.00 per approx. 4.5 oz.

SOLD OUT in LESS THAN 24 hours! This is the most popular soap ever. If you think pure olive oil soap feels milky, bacon fat soap is oh-so-creamy and gentle. It is my favourite soap and my customer’s too!

Please reserve your bar by pre-ordering here or clicking the BUY NOW tab below for the next batch.

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Amber Crystal

NOW MIXED WITH LARD!

The amber scent is my favourite scent of all my soaps. An amber crystal has been added as part of the design of the soap. Although the crystal is hard when you first use the soap, the crystal will soften and melt afterwards as soon as it touches water.

A customer says: “My soaps arrived and last night the shower was fragrant with amber.  Love the amber fragrance  of the soap.  So exotic yet clean and fresh.  Love that soap and it feels so good on my skin.  Cut it in half so I can use half, use half of another time!”

Saponified olive oil, lard, and coconut oil, phthalate-free fragrance oil, mica, amber crystal.

If you want small ones, there are still some Castile versions available.

$10.25 per approx. 5 oz.

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Honeysuckle THIS 2

Honeysuckle Bacon and Tallow Soap

Saponified Bacon Grease and Tallow, fragrance oil, spices and mica for colouring.

$8.00 per 5 oz.


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Ice Pop Bars

Saponified Bacon Grease and Tallow, mica, fragrance oil.

$4.50 per 2.5 oz.

ONLY 3 BARS LEFT!

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Lavender Lard Salt Bars

Lavender Lard Salt Bars

Saponified lard, Himalayan Salt, activated charcoal, lavender essential oil.

$4.00 per approx. 2 oz.

Only 1 left.

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Lavender Fields

Now with Hungarian Lavender!

Saponified olive oil, tallow, and coconut oil, mint tea, lavender essential oil, dried lavender buds, and mica.

$5.50 per 2.5 oz bars

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$12 per 5.5 oz bars


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this one

 Lemon and Charcoal

NOW a Bastile mixture with lard to make a harder more moisturizing soap! This is my second favourite soap these days.

Masculine in aesthetics. The scent is mild and fresh. If you have acne or bumps, this soap is for you. I made this initially for my brother who complained of acne on his back and arms. It disappeared after using this soap.
Another customer says: “Okay I have been using this soap since Thursday and it is incredible. I wish I had taken a before picture so that y’all can see the difference but I have always had red bumps on my chest and under my arms really bad and it is completely clear for the first time in my life I do not have red bumps under my arms and on my chest. I’m a Believer.”

Saponified olive oil, coconut oil, and lard, activated charcoal, lemon peel, essential oil.

$9.90 per approx. 5 oz.

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Lemon Coconut

Cleansing with wonderful lather (and without the activated charcoal like the bars above).

Saponified bacon grease and coconut oil, lemon peel, and lemon essential oil.

$9.25 per approx. 5.25 oz.

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Patchouli 1

Patchouli

Perfect to lift your mood with this holiday leaf design.

Saponified organic tallow fat, coconut and olive oils, patchouli essential oil, mica.

$12.50 per approx. 5.5 oz.


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Waste Not: Serum and Soap

16 Mar

I try not to waste what I purchase. I don’t throw excess grease away. I use the lard and tallow for my Mama in the Kitchen business.

Bacon Grease Soap

I make animal fat soap bars and these are actually my favourite of all the soaps I make. In fact, they are also my number one selling soaps these days. They sell out even before they finish curing. If pure castile soaps are milky, these are oh-so-creamy!

Mama in the Kitchen Serum 5

I also recently added my special Mama in the Kitchen serum from animal fats and have discovered that my skin just loves them. Animal fats are more compatible to our skin than vegetable fats. They nourish our outer layers and keep the moisture in without a greasy feel. I am now making balm, serum, and cream.

 

H20 at Home Review

30 May

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Aside from my own soaps, we use vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and other “green” cleaning products in our home. Admittedly, some of them do not clean as well as conventional ones so I was excited to try H20 at Home‘s products in return for a review.

Here is what came in the mail: Netepur Soap, Cleaning Clay, Dish Soap, Double Sided Microfiber Sponge and an Essential Multi-Surface Chiffonnette. While I will not review their bar soap as it would be a conflict of interest, I can review their other products.

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CLEANING CLAY with Double Sided Microfiber Sponge and Essential Multi-Surface Chiffonnette

The one thing I do have in my cleaning closet is Windex because nothing cleans shower doors and mirrors like it does. However, I read that H20’s Cleaning Clay can be used on ceramic, pots, pans, granite, sinks, ovens, mildew, glass, shower doors, silverware, stainless steel, jewellery and grout. I decided to try its powers on my son’s shower doors, which have not been cleaned purposely (yeah right) in weeks.

This is what it looked like before using the Cleaning Clay on it: pretty cloudy and dirty.

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This is what it looked after I applied the Cleaning Clay over it: almost spotless except for the bottom bit that I missed. And I didn’t try that hard.

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Cleaning it was very simple, quick and didn’t require tireless scrubbing.

  1. Soak the small white sponge inside the container with water.
  2. Place on the white clay and slide it to create a foam.
  3. Apply this foamy substance all over the dirty glass door with the white sponge.
  4. Use the scrub side of the Double Sided Microfiber Sponge to lightly mix in and spread the Clay all over the glass door properly.
  5. Clean off the Clay by rinsing the Double Sided Microfiber Sponge and wipe the door clean with the soft side of the sponge.
  6. Wipe off excess water with the Essential Multi-Surface Chiffonnette.

Notes on the Cleaning Clay: the results were much better than I was expecting. And it only took a few minutes. I really like this Cleaning Clay.

Notes on the Double Sided Microfiber Sponge: it worked well in bathroom cleaning but I wouldn’t use it to scrub pots and pans. The scrub side is a little too soft for kitchen purposes.

Notes on the Essential Multi-Surface Chiffonnette: I used it recently on my dirty computer screen and not a dust remained on the screen, although I saw some in the air as I cleaned. So, I’m not sure it works quite well in trapping all the dust.

DISH SOAP

I have both Seventh Generation and Dawn under my kitchen counter. I also use my own handmade coconut soap for pots, pans and dishes. I don’t make my own liquid dish detergent, so I feel this is not a conflict of interest to review their product.

Thoughts?

  1. The bottle is not the easiest to use. I use gloves when cleaning and when I squirt the bottle, half of the detergent goes on my gloves and not where I want it to go.
  2. That said, two small squirts are indeed enough to clean a whole pot.
  3. There isn’t a lot of lather, but it cleans well enough.
  4. Glass cleans and dries off amazingly clear without streaks and water marks. Same with stainless steel.
  5. The smell does not bother me like commercial products.
  6. I have not tried it with my gloves off to test for skin sensitivity issues.

Notes on the Dish Soap: the detergent works better than the bottle.

OVERALL RATING

I’d definitely buy the Cleaning Clay and the Double-Sided Microfiber Sponge!

Hand Eczema Under Control

16 May

Hands

Got hand eczema? Me too.

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This is what my hands have looked like everyday since I was a child: extremely dry and rough. I tried many moisturizers, lotions and products without improvement. My Chinese grandmother always shook her head as I held her hand. She would tell me that my dry hands told a future of a very hard life.

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In my recent years, this is what my hands looked like on bad days (though not the worst). Open wounds would appear especially when I used products in someone else’s house or in public places. Even if I looked at the ingredients on packaging, it was difficult to determine how exactly my skin would react. Fissures, like the one on my left pinky (above), are terribly painful. Just one use of a commercial hand soap and my rough skin would flare up and fissures would appear within hours. Unfortunately, it could take weeks to reverse the reaction.

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My son took this photo of my hands today. I don’t remember my hands ever being this smooth and soft before. What have I done differently? In the past few months, I have discovered how to create my own soaps. More importantly, I learned to make the mildest and gentlest soaps. No more rough and dry skin for me. No more fissures. I wish my grandmother could feel my hands as they are today. She would tell me that my soft hands tell a future of an easy life.

Artistic Handmade Soaps for Women

16 Jan

Amber

Amber Crystal

The amber scent is my favourite scent of all my soaps. An amber crystal has been added as part of the design of the soap. Although hard when you first use the soap, the crystal will soften and melt afterwards.

Saponified olive oil, fragrance, turmeric.

$5.50 per approx. 2 1/2 oz.

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Amber Rose

The amber-rose scent is very mild on this soap.

Saponified olive oil, phthalate-free fragrance oil, activated charcoal.

$4.50 per approx. 2 1/4 oz.

 

Indian Salandwood this

Indian Marble

Mild, marbled soap with a touch of sandalwood. This is my personal favourite: luxurious and rich.

Saponified olive oil, phthalate-free fragrance oil, clay, activated charcoal.

$6.75 per approx. 3 1/4 oz.

 

Lavender

Lavender

Lavender Fields

This soap relaxes and calms. One of the most requested soaps!

Saponified olive oil, lavender buds, essential oils.

$5 per approx. 2 1/2 oz.

 

$9.50 per approx. 5 oz.

 

this one

Salt and Charcoal Facial Soap

This facial bar helps exfoliate, as well as cleanse and soothe the skin. Use 1 to 3 times a week depending on your skin.

Saponified olive oil, saponified coconut oil, salt, bentonite, activated charcoal.

$6 approx 2 1/2 oz.

Ylang Ylang Castile Soap

Tropical Flower

If you want a gentle soap with a scent of the tropics, this is for you.

Saponified olive oil, phthalate-fragrance oil.

$5 per approx. 2 1/2 oz.

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Vanilla Honey & Oats

 Honey moisturizes and oat exfoliates. The vanilla honey scent is light and mild on the small bars. This is another popular one.

Saponified olive oil, phthalate-free fragrance oils, oats, honey.

$5 per approx. 2 1/2 oz.

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Handmade Soaps for Foodies

16 Jan

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Apple Pie

Saponified olive oil, phthalate-free fragrance oil.

$5.10 for approx 2 1/2 oz rectangle

$5.60 for approx 2 3/4 oz oval

Beer

Beer

Beer soothes the skin. It also creates a much better lather. You won’t smell like beer at all.

Saponified extra virgin olive oil, beer.

$7.80 per approx. 5 1/4 oz.

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Cinnamon Toast

 This gentle soap smells like the real thing! My son and I love the scent and feel of this soap.

Saponified olive oil, phthalate-free fragrance oil.

$4.30 per approx. 2 1/4 oz.

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Corn Bread Anyone?

With calendula and plantain infused extra virgin olive oil, this soap is extra soothing to the skin and promotes healing.

Saponified extra virgin olive oil, calendula and plantain herbs.

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Hot Chocolate

A gentle soap for any kid at heart. Kids cannot wait to use these.

Saponified olive oil, goat’s milk, cocoa powder, fragrance oil.

$4 per approx. 2 oz.

St Patty's 1

St. Patty’s Day Beer

Beer creates a better lather and soothes the skin. The scent is mild.

Saponified extra virgin olive oil, beer.

$6.50 per approx. 3 1/8 oz.

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Honey Oat Vanilla

Vanilla Honey & Oats

 Honey moisturizes and oat exfoliates. The vanilla honey scent is light and mild for the small bars, but heavier and stronger for the big bars. This is another popular one.

Saponified olive oil, phthalate-free fragrance oils, oats, honey.

$5 per approx. 2 1/2 oz.

$9.75 per approx. 5 oz.
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Handmade Soaps for Men

16 Jan

Thinking of buying soaps for the men in your life?  Try these!

Beer

Beer

Beer soothes the skin. It also creates a much better lather and cleanses well. Your guy won’t smell like beer at all.

Saponified extra virgin olive oil, beer.

$7.80 per approx. 5 1/4 oz.

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 Greek

This is gentle on the skin. Olive leaf powder is added for its healing properties. This is my husband’s favorite this soap.

Saponified olive oil, olive leaf powder.

$6 per approx. 4 3/4 oz.


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this one

Lemon Charcoal $9

Lemon and Charcoal

NOW A 100% Olive Oil CASTILE SOAP!
Masculine in aesthetics. The scent is mild and fresh.

Saponified olive oil, activated charcoal, lemon peel, essential oil.

$9 per approx. 5 1/2 oz.

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this one

Salt and Charcoal Facial Soap

This facial bar helps exfoliate, as well as cleanse and soothe the skin. Use 1 to 3 times a week depending on your skin.

Saponified olive oil, saponified coconut oil, salt, bentonite, activated charcoal.

 

$6 for approx 2 1/2 oz

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Honey Oat Vanilla

Vanilla Honey & Oats

 Honey moisturizes and oat exfoliates. The vanilla honey scent is heavy, strong and masculine on the big bars. This is another popular one.

Saponified olive oil, phthalate-free fragrance oils, oats, honey.

$9.75 per approx. 5 oz.
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And for the Star Wars Fans?

Check this out.

Star Wars 100% Olive Oil Castile Soaps

14 Jan

Individual Figures: saponified olive oil, activated charcoal and/or indigo.

The Millennium Falcon (6 x 8.5 cm), Big R2-D2 (6.5 x 9 cm), and Big Han Solo in Carbonite (4 x 9.5 cm) are each around 2 oz.

5 Darth Vader or 4 Storm Trooper heads together are around 2 oz.

Please specify your choice.

These are very popular so if your choice is not available, I can make them to order.

$4 per approx. 2 oz.

$6.30 per approx  2 1/2 oz bars.

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Mama in the Kitchen Soap Shop Open for Business!

8 Jan

PicMonkey Collage

Now licensed to sell soap!

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As a sufferer of hand eczema, I started making my own soap in search of a solution to my skin condition. On my soap making journey, I have discovered that pure 100% olive oil Castile Soaps are the mildest and gentlest soaps. In fact, it is the only soap I can use without dreading fissures on my skin. Today, Mama in the Kitchen Soap Shop focuses on creating 100% olive oil Castile Soaps for you.

100% olive oil Castile soaps moisturize and hydrate the skin. Their gentle and mild properties benefit all skin conditions from dry to oily.

 

HANDCRAFTED IN SMALL BATCHES

My soaps are handmade in small batches to ensure quality. They are cured for a couple of months to ensure gentleness.

My soaps are also attractive and luxurious. They are not over-the-top creations, but remain understated in their beauty and simplicity.

NATURAL and CLEAN

Simplicity and purity are key: the less ingredients, the better. No: Preservatives, Parabens, SLS, SLES, Unnatural Colours, Palm Oil. Non-toxic and gentle on the environment.

MILD SCENTS

If any of my soaps are scented, the smell is mild and not overpowering. I choose to use quality essential oils over fragrance oils when economical. When I do use fragrance oils, they are without parabens. Unlike strong perfume, my soaps do not give me a headache when I smell them.

VEGAN and VEGETARIAN SOAPS

No animal fats used.

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Gentle, Unscented Star Wars Bastille Soaps for Kids

21 Oct

Everything Star Wars here. Why not soap too? Here’s a gentle, unscented recipe for kids of all ages.

IMG_8162005Star Wars Soap Cupcakes

Recipe:

  • 5% castor oil
  • 15% coconut oil
  • 80% olive oil
  • water
  • lye (NaOH)
  • run it through my fave soap calculator to get the amount you want

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At trace, divide up your batch:

  • leave some plain
  • add activated charcoal for Darth Vadar’s helmet
  • add indigo for R2D2 (I still have to find the best way to do this without using synthetic materials)
  • add just a little of activated charcoal for Han Solo in carbonite

Pour into Star Wars molds. You can also add the figures to a fresh batch of bar soaps (photo above and below).

  • cover with a towel and allow to gel for 24 hours
  • remove towel after 24 hours
  • unmold and cut
  • cure for 4 – 6 weeks

IMG_8165006  IMG_8164004   R2D2, Xwing, Carbonite Soap

Now, who’s got tickets to the new Star Wars film coming out this December?

Sensous Sandalwood Soap

7 Oct

I wanted to create a Sandalwood Soap with the look and feel of wood, as well as the sensual fragrance of sandalwood. Here it is!

Sandalwood 2

Recipe:

  • 10% avocado oil (for a more moisturizing soap)
  • 25% coconut oil
  • 65% olive oil
  • water
  • lye (NaOH)
  • run it through my fave soap calculator to get the amount you want

At trace, add 1 1/3 T Sandalwood fragrance oil/pound and 0.5% of ingredients of grapefruit oil as a preservative. Divide the batch into 3 and to:

  • 1/3, add 1 T activated charcoal/pound
  • 1/3, add 1 tsp red clay/pound
  • 1/3, add nothing.

Sandalwood Soap

I used a cardboard box as my mold and lined the inside with a plastic bag:

  • pour the red clay batch in first
  • top it with the plain and charcoal batches in lines down the mold
  • use a thin tool to make circular patterns on the top of the soap for the design
  • cover with a towel and allow to gel for 24 hours
  • remove towel after 24 hours
  • unmold and cut after 48 hours
  • cure for 4 – 6 weeks

Amber Crystal Soap

21 Sep

I was really excited about the potentiality of this Amber Crystal Soap project because I love amber crystals and their scent. I prefer to stick to natural products and don’t add unnatural colourants to my soap, so I was uncertain how the soaps would look. Here they are!

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Recipe:

  • 30% coconut oil
  • 30% vegetable shortening for vegans and vegetarians/ lard or tallow for the omnivores out there
  • 40% olive oil
  • water
  • lye (NaOH)
  • run it through my fave soap calculator to get the amount you want

At trace, add 1 1/2 T Amber fragrance oil/pound and 0.5% of ingredients of grapefruit oil as a preservative.

I used a cleaned soymilk carton as my mold:

  • pour batch into your mold
  • insert old pieces of soap to add texture and colour to the soap
  • cover with a towel and allow to gel for 24 hours
  • remove towel after 24 hours
  • unmold and cut after 48 hours
  • cure for 4 – 6 weeks

With my extra pieces of cut soap, I balled them up and rolled them in some turmeric to make Amber Rock Soaps.

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The amber fragrance fills my kitchen as I write and it smells heavenly.

Rose Bastille Soap

17 Sep

I wanted to create Gothic English Rose Soaps, but didn’t think the older ladies in my family would understand it.

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So I have some all white bars and some with a layer of activated charcoal.

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They look beautiful.

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I snuck in some all black Gothic-looking mini rose soaps too.
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Recipe:

  • 20% coconut oil
  • 80% olive oil
  • water
  • lye (NaOH)
  • run it through my fave soap calculator to get the amount you want

At trace, add 1 1/2 T English Rose fragrance oil/pound. Add activated charcoal to some, if you wish.

My family presented me with a mold recently and I couldn’t wait to use it:

  • pour batch into your mold
  • top with rose petals
  • cover with a towel and allow to gel for 24 hours
  • remove towel after 24 hours
  • freeze for a couple of hours (very important as the soap may still be soft and may be ruined during this next process)
  • unmold
  • cure for 4 – 6 weeks

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Castile Soap with Olive Leaf Powder

14 Sep

I read that the quality of olive oil one uses in soaps drastically changes the final product of soap. There is a lot to read about Castile Soaps on the internet, but I wanted to experiment on my own to verify what I read.

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Extra Virgin Olive Oil Castile Soap with Olive Leaf Powder.

Well, it is true: plain olive oil produces a creamier texture, while extra virgin olive oil produces a more brittle soap. I noticed that plain olive oil also creates a silkier finish and is easier to handle. Now, I have 4 to 6 months of curing left before I can actually use them to assess how they differ as soaps.

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Plain Olive Oil Castile Soap (top) and Extra Virgin Olive Oil Castile Soap (bottom)

Recipe:

  • 100% olive oil
  • water
  • lye (NaOH)
  • run it through my fave soap calculator to get the amount you want

At trace, add 1 tsp olive leaf powder/pound of oils. Olive leaf is said to be anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory. It is also full of antioxidants and helps heal wounds faster.

I used an old soymilk carton as my mold (my fave as there is no washing up and I can still recycle it):

  • pour batch into your mold
  • spray top with alcohol to prevent formation of soda ash
  • cover with a towel and allow to gel for 24 hours
  • remove towel after 24 hours
  • unmold after 48 hours and slice
  • cure for 4 – 6 months

Lemon and Charcoal Bastille Soap: Oriental and Masculine

14 Sep

I asked my brother what kind of soap he wanted me to make him. He chose Lemon and Charcoal Bastille Soap.

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Now, my brother is a very masculine man. He has a strong personality with Oriental preferences and a Zen-like attitude.

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I wanted to create Lemon and Charcoal soaps that reminded me of him, that somehow captured his sensibility.

IMG_7829007Well, here they are!

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Handmade. Just for my little brother.

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Recipe:

  • 30% coconut oil
  • 70% olive oil
  • water
  • lye (NaOH)
  • run it through my fave soap calculator to get the amount you want

At trace, divide the batch into 2:

  1. to 2/3 of the batch – add 1 tsp lemon peel powder and 1 oz lemon essential oil/pound
  2. to 1/3 of the batch – add 1 T charcoal/pound

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I used an old soymilk carton as my mold:

  • pour most of the charcoal batch into the mold
  • carefully pour all the lemon batch on top of the charcoal layer
  • use a spoon to slightly mix the two layers together
  • spoon the rest of the charcoal mixture on the top
  • decorate as you wish
  • spray with alcohol to prevent formation of soda ash
  • cover with a towel and allow to gel for 24 hours
  • unmold after 24 hours and slice
  • cure for 4 – 6 months

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Cinnamon Toast Soap

6 Sep

Totally inedible, except for the cinnamon.

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100% olive oil soap.

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Gentle for all skin types.

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Recipe:

  • 100% olive oil
  • water
  • lye (NaOH)
  • run it through my fave soap calculator to get the amount you want

At trace, add:

  • 6g per pound of oils cinnamon sugar fragrance, optional

Use an old cardboard box lined with a plastic bag as a mold:

  • make sure you only pour a thin layer for the “toast”
  • sprinkle ground cinnamon on top for decoration, but not too much as cinnamon can be a skin irritant
  • sprinkle with pieces of grated white soap or baking soda for the powdered sugar effect
  • unmold after 24 – 48 hours
  • cure for 4 – 6 months
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IMG_7794006 Mama, can I have one?

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Why, of course, who did I make these for?

BYOS: Bring Your Own Soap

1 Sep

After years of traveling with eczema on my hands, I think I’ve finally found my solution: BYOS or Bring Your Own Soap. Not only are my homemade soaps biodegradable, but I know the exact ingredients that I used for each bar.

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I simply chop little pieces of soap before they get too hard, put them in a small container in my handbag, and I don’t have to worry about washing my hands with unknown chemicals that aggravate my eczema when I am out and about.

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These are the little jewels in my purse.

Pure Olive Oil Soap Gentle Enough for Baby

31 Aug

I was sure different types of olive oils would create variations of pale to dark green hues, but who knew that Pure Olive Oil Soap could be so WHITE?

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I used regular olive oil mixed only with water and lye. The result is a beautiful milky and creamy bar gentle enough for baby.

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I have also read a few bloggers grate this Castile soap, mix it with rose water and coconut milk to make a very silky shampoo. Recipe here.

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I can’t wait to give this to my baby niece!

Recipe:

  • 100% olive oil
  • lye (NaOH)
  • run it through my fave soap calculator to get the amount you want
  • unmold after it is hard enough to slice
  • cure for 4 – 6 months

Champagne and Orange: Mimosa Soaps

29 Aug

Are you ready for Brunch? These Mimosa soap treats are a perfect blend of Champagne and Orange.

IMG_7682007IMG_7676005Recipe:

  • 100% olive oil
  • Champagne, flat (boil off the alcohol first, otherwise your batch may rice or seize) and frozen
  • lye (NaOH)

At trace, add

Pour into molds. Unmold after 24 – 48 hours. Cure for 4 – 6 months. Wrap them up so they look like mini Champagne bottles.

Ylang Ylang Castille Soap

29 Aug

Ylang Ylang Castile Soap

Recipe:

  • 100% olive oil
  • water
  • lye (NaOH)

At trace, add

Pour into molds. Unmold after 24 – 48 hours. Cure for 4 – 6 months.

Artisanal Espresso Soap Cups

24 Aug

I don’t drink coffee, but I love the smell. These little cups are inspired by my Dad, who is the biggest espresso drinker I know.

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I was going to name these soaps “Cappuccino Cups”, but my Dad suggested “Artisanal Espresso Soap Cups”. I couldn’t agree more.

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Vegan/Vegetarian. All natural ingredients. No added fragrances. Simply coconut and olive oils, lye, water, coffee, cocoa powder, and cinnamon.

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Imagine waking up and washing your hands with your own brew of Artisanal Espresso Soap first thing in the morning! How delightful!

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Espresso Soap Cups Recipe:

  • 25% coconut oil
  • 75% olive oil
  • water (less 1.5 oz because you will be adding coffee later)
  • lye (NaOH)

At trace, add to 3/4 of the batch (if making 1# of soap):

  • 1.5 oz extra strength coffee
  • 1/2T cocoa powder
  • 1/2 T raw honey (optional for Vegans)

Fill molds with coffee mixture, top with the remaining soap mixture.

For decoration:

Cure for 4 – 6 weeks. You can either keep them in the mold or unmold them. Your choice. They look deliciously drinkable in these cups though.

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I can’t wait to give these as gifts!

Creamy Coconut Milk Lemongrass Shampoo Bar

23 Aug

Last week, I made a list of the types of SOAP BARS I wanted to create:

  1. Castile Soap (100% olive oil)
  2. Bastille Soap (at least 70% olive oil)
  3. Low-Cost Basic Soap (at least 50% of the butters or oils at only $0.10/oz)
  4. Moisturizing Shampoo Soap (that didn’t dry out my hair)
  5. Grease-Cutting Kitchen Soap (so I wouldn’t have to buy dishwashing detergent again)

A few days ago, I blogged about #1, 2, and 3.

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Creamy Coconut Milk Lemongrass Shampoo Bars

Today, I unmolded these luscious soaps: my own Creamy Coconut Milk Lemongrass Shampoo Bars. They smell great and feel velvety too.

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My criteria for my soap:

  1. I wanted coconut to be the main ingredient in my bar. Growing up in the Philippines, fresh coconut milk was often applied to my hair as a “hot oil” treatment to moisturize my scalp and hair, and encourage my fine hair to grow thicker. When it was washed off, my hair would shine and smell of the tropics. Naturally, I chose coconut milk and coconut oil for my shampoo soap.
  2. I wanted an extra moisturizing and conditioning bar.
    1. That meant keeping coconut oil to a minimum because saponified coconut oil can be drying over 30%. I limited this to 25%.
    2. I added castor oil, which provides a fluffy lather while conditioning and moisturizing.
    3. I added hemp seed oil for extra conditioning.
    4. I added jojoba oil, an oil similar to our skin sebum, at trace as an extra moisturizer for my scalp.
    5. I added raw honey at trace for extra conditioning.
    6. My other soaps are superfatted at 8%, but this one is at 11%. Superfatting allows some oils LEFTOVER on the soap bar AFTER saponification takes place.
  3. I wanted a softer bar for ease of use on the hair. I don’t mind lathering up a hard soap for my body, but I want a softer soap for a shampoo bar.
    1. Castor oil creates a softer soap.
    2. Hemp seed oil creates a silky bar.
  4. Fragrance and more:
    1. Raw honey not only conditions hair, as stated above, but also smells heavenly.
    2. Optional: add your choice of essential oils or fragrances as the coconut milk smell will disappear.

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I ran my soap recipe through the SoapCalc and was happy with the results:

  • hardness 29 (range is 29-54)
  • cleansing 17 (range 12-22)
  • conditioning 68 (range 44-69)
  • bubbly 35 (range 14-46)
  • creamy 30 (range 16-48)

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Creamy Coconut Milk Lemongrass Shampoo Bar Recipe

  • 5% hemp seed oil
  • 20% castor oil
  • 25% coconut oil
  • 50% olive oil
  • coconut milk, fresh or canned, frozen before you start
  • lye
  • superfat 11%

Use the Room Temperature Method. At trace, add lemongrass essential oils. Refrigerate in mold overnight. Then, take out and place under towels. Unmold after 24-48 hours. Slice and cure for 4 – 6 weeks.

*Shampoo bar results to come in 2 months!

UPDATE: I think this works great as a soap… I’m not gung-ho on its benefits as a shampoo though.

Too-Good-To-Be-True Soap Treats for Kids (Warning: these look edible!)

21 Aug

I have been obsessed about making my own gentle soaps. I don’t know if I can wait 4 to 6 weeks for them to cure! Take a look at my mouth-watering dessert soaps!

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“Hot Chocolate topped with Whipped Cream and a Piece of Chocolate” Castile Soap

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“Vanilla and Chocolate Fudge” Castile Soap, “Chocolate Mint Brownie” Basic Soap, “Oatmeal and Honey Cookie” Bastille Soap

 Tricks I have learned about making soap:

  1. It’s SO easy. Don’t bother with the Cold Processed Method where you have to heat several bowls and take the temperature of both the lye and the oils. Room Temperature Method is THE WAY to make soaps for busy Mamas. No temperature issues. Less clean up. And it takes about 1 hour or less to make a whole batch, including prepping the molds to cleaning up. This process works for soaps with lye, oil, and butters only. Check out these links:
    1. The Room Temperature Method by Soap Making Essentials
    2. Room Temperature Soap Making by Skin + Soul
  2. Use a soap calculator to check your recipes. My favorite is SoapCalc because you can simply input the percentages, weight, and oils that you want and it calculates everything for you. Plus, they give you very useful information about your soap’s properties: cleansing, hardness, conditioning, lathering, creaminess, and so on.
  3. Prepare your molds before you start making soap. Grease your molds for ease of removing.
  4. Prepare the ingredients you will be adding at trace.
  5. Castile soaps (100% olive oil) take a LONG time to trace. Bastille soaps (bastard Castile, i.e. at least 70% olive oil) trace much quicker.
  6. If you are using liquids with sugars, freeze them first so that when you add lye to them the solution does not get too hot.
  7. Once the soap traces, work quickly to put them in the molds. Or leave them out a few minutes longer if you want to create decorations with them.  

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    Freshly piped whipped cream soap

  8. Fragrances can darken your soaps, so I add these to the darker (chocolate) parts of my soap.
  9. If you are using any milks instead of water in your recipes, refrigerate them overnight. Take a look at my “whipped cream”. After a few hours in the refrigerator, the cream is whiter.
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I just placed them in the fridge

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After a few hours, the soap is a creamier white.

10. Waiting to remove your soaps from the molds requires patience. You can usually do this in 24 -48 hours. My impatience has cost me pox marks on my soap. Plus, see #3, which I failed to do.

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The wait time to remove the soaps from the molds requires patience!

11. But waiting for the soaps to cure requires even more patience. Bastille soaps require 4 – 6 weeks, while Castile soaps require at least 4 – 6 months or even longer (they say 1 – 2 years at least to get a fuller lather).

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I made some Castille Oatmeal and Honey Soaps from the leftover “cream” soap batch by adding ground oats and raw honey.

12. Cleaning up is a breeze. Keep aside everything you used during soap production where little hands cannot reach and hurt themselves. 2 days later, wash them up with soap that has dried on and in them. I usually have enough to wash other things in my kitchen sink too. No waste!

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My son and I CANNOT wait to try these.

My husband says I have enough soap now for my son’s wedding in a couple of decades.

Don’t tell him but I cannot wait to make MORE!

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Recipe Notes:

“Hot Chocolate topped with Whipped Cream and a Piece of Chocolate” Castile Soap: your choice of milk, cocoa powder mixed with olive oil, and vanilla fragrance for 2/3 the batch.

“Vanilla and Chocolate Fudge” Castile Soap: cocoa powder mixed with olive oil and vanilla fragrance for 1/2 the batch.

“Chocolate Mint Brownie” Basic Soap: I used mint from my garden, cocoa powder mixed with olive oil, and peppermint essential oil.

“Oatmeal and Honey Cookie” Bastille Soap: ground oats and raw honey.

For every 2# soap, at trace I added:

  • 3T cocoa powder mixed with some olive oil for my chocolate soaps
  • 6T ground oats, 2 T honey
  • 2 tsp essential oils or 1 1/2T fragrance for mild scents. Note: these can darken the soap colours, so I added these in in the chocolate bars only.

Liquids:

  • lots of options here
    • plain water
    • tea
    • your choice of milk. If you use any kind of milk, freeze first.

Recipe for my Castile Soap:

  • 100% olive oil
  • lye (NaOH)
  • your choice of liquid
  • 8% superfat
  • cure at least 4 – 6 months

Recipe for my very gentle Bastille Soap:

  • 15% coconut oil
  • 85% olive oil
  • lye (NaOH)
  • your choice of liquid
  • 8% superfat
  • cure at least 4 – 6 weeks

Recipe for my very gentle Basic Soap:

  • 20% coconut oil
  • 30% olive oil
  • 50% tallow/lard/palm oil (If you use palm oil, look for a sustainable option. Otherwise, look into tallow/lard. Any questions about sustainability? Check out why vegetarian Humblebee & Me uses animal fats in her soaps.)
  • lye (NaOH)
  • your choice of liquid
  • 8% superfat
  • cure 4 – 6 weeks

Finally, special thanks to the amazing Liz over at The Paragon House for teaching me how to make soap! She made it look so easy.

Review: Girvins Vegan Soaps

12 Mar

Girvins Vegan Soap

They can custom make any of their soaps for the Vegan market.

A family friend, Stephanie Rohrer, owns and runs Fox Hollow Farm in Maryland with her family.  I almost visited once – but have never been.  I understand they have a farm market where you can buy vegetables and fruits  (along side their animal products) on their farm everyday, except for Mondays in the Winter.  Stephanie also happens to be a weaver of soaps and candles for her personal company, Girvins.  She uses ingredients from her farm to create candles, soaps and body creams.  My family was lucky enough to test her Moon Soap fragrance free and Vegan.  Stephanie makes it herself with distilled herbal water, coconut oil, palm oil , olive oil, vitamin E and lye. 

My family and I loved that her Moon Soap has no fragrance.  My son loved the fact that it did a great job washing away my young son’s smelly feet!  Where smell is concerned, it does a much better job than our everyday soap, Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Bar. The soap lathers lightly with small bubbles, but lathers up well nonetheless.  Stephanie said she sells a lot of her soaps to families with kids who have skin issues.  I wasn’t surprised then that her soap cleans very well without drying or stripping the skin.  Most importantly for busy Mamas, it doesn’t leave a greasy film on the bathroom (which olive oil soap does).

Did Girvin’s Moon Soap pass my cosmetics criteria?

1. smell – no fragrance!  Loved that there was no fragrance.  My son thought it smelled like cheese, but that was probably the lye.

2. sensitivities – none.  This is very mild.

3. taste – not applicable.

4. moisturize – cleans very well without drying the skin or stripping skin of its natural oils.

5. everyday comfort –  yes.  My son’s feet especially smelled wonderfully neutral after using this soap!  And it doesn’t leave a greasy film on the bathroom floor!

6. lasting effect – yes!

7. eco-friendly – All of Girvin Soaps can be customized for Vegans.