DIY: Soothing bath bombs for dry skin

Winter skin is not only a REAL thing, its painful. My skin is somewhere between tree bark, elephant skin, and the dessert. I woke up in the middle of the night with pain on my back from dry skin, where it hurt to just lie in the bed, that was really not pleasant. In addition to all my body butters, which have made things better, I wanted something more (more, more, more!!!). Baths are really not my forte’, they are a good sign that Im dying of flu and sickness. However, desperate times call for desperate measures. Ive come up with these bath bombs that are meant to soothe and nourish dry and unhappy skin.

The below information tells you what makes these bath bombs so good for your skin:

  • Baking Soda: antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Citric Acid: can brighten skin, shrink pores, treat mild acne, and correct dark spots and fine lines.
  • Ground oats (colloidal oatmeal): moisturising, restores the skin barrier, reduces itching, and regulates inflammation.
  • Himalayan Pink Salt: full of minerals that makes the overall body happy, detoxifies the skin,  balances your skin pH, and soothes aches and pains.
  • Cornstarch: soothes irritations of the skin, including sunburn and skin allergies.
  • Castor oil: fights skin disorders and infections, reduces itching and swelling on the skin, and moisturises skin.
  • Tea tree essenital oil: relieves many types of skin inflammation, aids healing and protects from infection.
  • Sweet orange essential oil: anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antispasmodic, antiseptic, and aphrodisiac (wink).

I wont lie, bath bombs are a labour of love and effort, its not like mixing everything, banging them together and calling it done. Its a series of steps and trial and error until you get the recipe and bath bomb that you are happy with.

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DIY Soothing Bath Bombs for Dry Skin

Makes: 4.5 large bathbombs  Prep time: HOURS  Making time: 20 mins Setting time:8-12 hours (best over night)  Total time: A LOT

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 1/2 cup ground pink Himalayan salt (if you dont grind it down, you’ll find yourself sitting on lumps of salt until they dissolve)
  • 1/2 cup ground oats (do not use quick oats, put them in a coffee grinder to make a fine skin friendly powder)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons castor oil
  • 1/4 c rubbing alcohol
  • 10 vitamin e capsules (that I cut in half and then squeezed into the mixture)
  • 15 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 15 drops sweet orange essential oil

For the embeds I used 1/4 c baking soda and 1/4c citric acid (you use a 1:1 mix) and combined with rubbing alcohol, it made 10 medium sized embeds. Experienced bath bombers swear by them, insisting that they help the bomb move around your bath and give extra fizz. You dont HAVE to use them but Im kind of bored with mine sinking like the Titanic and thought Id give it a try and see, not like I didn’t have the ingredients. Many people use mica/coloring in their embeds but I prefer my bath bombs to be more natural (and not dye my bath tube or me), so I dont use colourings in my embeds or bath bombs.

Now to make these skin happy bath bombs (dont forget to use gloves and a face mask when making these).

1. Sift your baking soda and citric acid into a bowl. Break any lumps that remain at the bottom of the sifter and throw away any that wont be crushed. Next add in your ground oats, pink Himalayan salt, and cornstarch.

2. Add in your oils, essential oils, and vitamin e. Mix thoroughly with your hands, dispersing the oils throughout the mixture.

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3. Add in your rubbing alcohol, mixing thoroughly. The mixture should now form clumps in your hand when you squeeze it.

4. Now to form your balls. The best bath bombs are those that aren’t over packed, they should be light. Fill each half of the mould, packing the mixture in slightly until it’s overflowing. Fill both sides of your bath bombs, making a hole in the middle of one, insert your embed into the hole and then smoosh them together. Lightly tap the mould and gently pull it apart to remove the bath bomb.

5. I take the tops off my moulds (as above) and allow them to sit over night, which allows them to harden and the alcohol to evaporate. When you are ready to remove your bath bombs from the moulds, tap the mould against a spoon/table to loosen the bath bomb and then slide out.

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Your bath bombs are now finished and ready to be used. I allow mine to sit out a few days to ensure that all the alcohol has evaporated.

 

Notes: Why I dont use water in my bath bombs? I always use alcohol because it doesn’t cause of the ingredients to react. Water is reactive with the citric acid and it will automatically start to ‘blossom’ and too much water will ruin your entire batch. I can be a bit heavy handed to, so using alcohol stops this. As the bath bomb is being dissolved in gallons upon gallons of water, it dilutes any remaining alcohol making it safe to use. Alcohol also gives your bath bombs a hard texture, making them less delicate than those made with water. Because alcohol evaporates more quickly than water, you can use these bath bombs quicker than those made with water.

Colours: You can buy something called Polysorbate 80 which ensures that the colours dont stick to you or your bath tub, awesome. However, Im weird about these things and my own personal luck means that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. I personally, dont like the idea of bathing in colour. The idea of a bath is to get clean, not cover myself in glitter or colour (very ungirly of me I know), but this is why I dont use colours or glitter in my bath bombs. I want them to be true treat for your skin.

Moulds: I remembered that years ago I bought some empty Christmas baubles and went through all my Christmas stuff and found them, HORAY! I have found these easier to use than standard metal moulds. If you are removing the bath bomb entirely from the mould to dry, you MUST pad the area, professionals tend to use egg crate foam, as they will dent otherwise, as per the pictures below with my last batch that I made with metal moulds.

Ground Oats: I use a coffee grinder that I use purely for my crafting but as long as you clear is thoroughly, its not a problem. Chuck your oats in the grinder and grind away until you have a very fine powder. Never use ready/instant/quick oats for bath soaks or bath bombs.

Ground pink Himalayan salt: Using your grinder, grind down the salt. This is help it to dissolve more quickly in the water. I found out when I didnt grind down the salt, I was sitting on bits of salt, whilst thinking ‘What is that?!’.

You WILL need to rinse down your bath and yourself after your bath bomb experience. You will find little bits of oat on yourself and all over your bathtub.

Baths should be relaxing and a bit of a personal spa, with these bath bombs, you’re giving your skin a treat, whilst providing a great dose of aromatherapy whilst indulging in ‘me time’!

Create your own spa and share with friends! 🙂

DIY Galaxy Melt and Pour Soap

Ive been on the search for a good galaxy tutorial using melt and pour soap and haven’t really come across anything, so thought Id make my own. I also learnt a few lessons along the way, ie not to make more than 4 at a time, or even 3.

Soap making requirements:

  • 1/2 Kilo of Melt And Pour Soap Base Clear SLS FREE
  • 20 drops essential oil of your choice – I actually used coconut fragrance oil
  • 2 tablespoons Castor oil – gives a better bubble and lather
  • 5 dark mica colours, I used purple, blue, green, raspberry and black
  • Cosmetic grade glitter (optional)
  • Plastic jug (to melt your soap in)
  • Plastic cups (to mix your colours in)
  • Wood spoon (to mix your soap)
  • Plastic cups (to mix your micas in)
  • Moulds (any shape will work)
  • Rubbing alcohol

 

Galaxy

Now to make this out of this world soap:

To melt the soap, chop it up soap into smallish bits, the small the better, as it melts quicker.  Put it a microwaveable safe bowl and cover with clingfilm (this is VERY important). Melt it in 30 second intervals and stir between bursts. You dont want it to melt all the way down to boiling point. Ideally you want to have a few ‘chunks’ left and then stir until it is all fully dissolved. Once the soap is melted, castor oil and essential oil (or fragrance oil).

Whilst your soap is melting, put the different micas in their own individual cup and add a few drops of rubbing alcohol to make it a pasty liquid, you honestly do not need to add much rubbing alcohol at all. I also added in some cosmetic grade glitter to 3 of the colors. Once your soap is melted, divide it between your cups and colors. Left side picture is the mica with rubbing alcohol. Right side picture is the soap base added in with the mica.

Now is the fun part where you also have to work very quickly. This is also where I learnt that its easier to make 3 soaps rather than 6 or 8, as I ran out of melted soap and it was a bit of a disaster. Focus on making 1 to 3 really great soaps and then fo from there. The idea is that you pour in a little bit of every color as you go and because you’re doing it quickly, it doesn’t set and you get the galaxy effect. Just add in colors, pick what you like and add in different amounts, it doesn’t need to be perfect. I also realised that I had a lot of black left, so poured it on the bottom of 3 of the soaps, this didn’t give the effect that I wanted but rather just a black bottom. You dont have to use black, you can use just bright colours but I think the darkness gives it more of a realistic look.

This was my second batch, when I mixed all the colours properly and had a galaxy effect with all the colors that run all the way through, rather than just a black bottom. You can also see the specs of the glitter and the difference it makes having it. The flash didn’t catch very well and the soaps weren’t that dark. 20171120_120230

These were the finished products, Im wondering if adding in small amounts of white melt and pour will give the white specs you’d see in the galaxy? Something to consider for next time.

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The top left picture I had a black, blue and clear back and just used those colors and it still came out quite nice, different from the other bright colors but still good.

What I also realised? My plastic cups are so cheap that they melt in the microwave. I had a little bit of soap that went hard, so I wanted to melt it down and when I went to check on it 20 seconds later, it was pretty well melted completely flat. Be warned should your soap go hard and you’re using plastic cups.

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Just a side note, I do honestly prefer essential oils and they seem to be more body friendly with less possible reactions to them. I just happen to have two fragrance oils, coconut being one of them. If you do know someone who has sensitive skin, I would also avoid FO and use essential oils only.

I package my soap in cellophane and attach a small label that explains what the soap is, it adds that something special.  These are great for yourself or as gifts for friends.

Remember to share with friends! 🙂

 

DIY Whipped Body Butter For Men

Man products (as I like to call them) are totally underrated. I get that lotions, potions, balms, and scrubs are a girls paradise BUT men have needs too! Ok, we’re not talking about those kinds of needs… We’re talking soap, skin and lotions. I’ve been making what I call ‘Man Soap’ for a few years, it’s a basic soap with sandalwood essential oil with a bay leaf in the middle, giving it the essence of man and nature. I like to think men smell it and they automatically flex their muscles and beat their chests, ok ok ok, I know I’d be boring without my imagination! Seriously though, when you think products, you think girly stuff galore but you don’t really think dude wash, man lotion, or man maintenance products!

Cedarwood essential oil is GREAT for the skin and is known to treat eczema and other skin conditions. My aunt has had great success (within a using it a few times) with treating her psoriasis with this whipped body butter, where other ointments haven’t previously worked.

My dad has super sensitive skin, something that I inherited. As a result he is incredibly limited in what he can use, as am I. My dad is also what you’d call a ‘mans man’, not the type that smashes beer cans on their chest but more the type that spends 80% of his life outdoors and wears a LOT of camouflage and not just when he’s outside. He’s also not the type to go to the store and spend more than 30 seconds in an aisle looking for lotion or comparing what the best or more natural product would be for him.

I wanted to make a super moisturising non greasy lotion that he could use in the winter or generally for dry skin that had a ‘manly’ scent, allowing him to avoid the beauty isle entirely.  I came across this recipe that I realised I was able to alter and make it my own!

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DIY Whipped Body Butter For Men

Makes: 210g(ish) Prep time: 5 mins Cooling time: 3+ hours Overall time: 4 hours minimum

  • 1/2 cup (110g) Shea butter
  • 1/4 cup (55g) Coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup (55g) Mango butter
  • 1/8 cup (30ml) Sweet almond oil
  • 1/8 cup (30ml) Castor oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
  • 20 drops cedarwood essential oil – I added a few more to get a more intense scent
  • Clean pots to put your product into or when all else fails, tupperwear!

How to make these manly products:

1. Over a double boiler combine the shea butter, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, castor oil, and mango butter. Once its all completely melted, combined and no lumps at all, remove from the heat. 20171113_110835

2. Allow your mixture to cool for 15-20 minutes. Once it has cooled down, add in your essential oil and vitamin e oil. If you add the essential oil whilst its melting or still very hot, they can be damaged by temperatures in excess of 100F (38C). This can result in reducing their therapeutic value and may cause skin irritation.

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3. Now the waiting game starts, you need to wait for it all to cool down and start to solidify before you can start whipping it. For me, this literally took HOURS. I tried beating it a few times in hope that it was ready and it just really wasn’t! So I’d leave it another hour and then go back. The picture on the left was an hour before it was ready. Once it is good to go, use your hand mixer and whip it good! I whipped mine for easily 5 minutes but probably closer to 10, you want medium peaks but not soft floppy peaks.

4. You need to put it in pots. This for me filled 1 large pot and 2.5 medium pots.

I also created labels for the pots, so that there wasn’t a mystery as to what is in them. I ensured that the logo was consistent with my soap and TADA my dad has his own range of man maintenance products!

The great thing about this whipped body butter is that you dont need much at all, a little really does go a long way. Start with the amount that is the size of a pea and work from there.

A female scented version of this recipe can be found here.

This is a great example of how truly easy it is to make your own products or to save your dad the hassle of the beauty isle!

*Notes: When making body butters, potions, lotions, soaps or any body product, always make sure that the equipment, spoons, bowls etc you use will NEVER be used for edible purposes again and are only used to make body products with.

*When using any essential oils directly or indirectly on skin, ensure that you stay out of sunlight or UV rays for up to 12 hours after application. This might sound quirky but as per this article, the combination of sun and essential oils can cause the skin to severely burn and blister.

**Before I forget (again), you can also make this for your boyfriend or husband, however, as you can tell Ive now been single for such a long time (after 5 years, you stop telling people the real amount of time) that I dont even think of these things and when I think of love, I have visions of my cat and only my cat. Yes, she is also the screensaver on my phone…

Remember to share with friends or your Dad! 🙂

*Edits: Ive been told that this whipped butter treats psoriasis exceptionally well and other dry skin conditions as quickly as within a few times of using the body butter. Cedarwood essential oil is well documented in treating eczema and other skin conditions, which I believe is the element that makes this so good for psoriasis. I used it specifically for its woody masculine scent but it is also great for the skin!

DIY Dump soap

I’ve never really understood the fascination with YouTube, apart from Simons Cat and the occasional make up video (yes in my 30s I still have no real idea about make-up and get hints and tips from teens, OH the shame), I’ve never spent hours just watching random videos. I’d rather spend the hours on Pinterest, however, in my search for soap inspiration, Id thought Id give YouTube a go and WOW, just WOW. I quickly realised that anything really over eight minutes is well beyond my attention span and that honestly after the five minute mark I’m starting to lose interest and looking for glitter and shiny things to keep me interested. I came across a video that made a unique fun soap, allowed me to use the existing soap I already had and made me think it was easy – I should have learnt my life lesson by now, if it looks easy, it really isn’t! However, after a few days and LOTS of melt and pour base, Im pretty pleased with the results! What I love about the soap is that I was able to use off cuts of colours that I already had, so really I was just ‘dumping’ what I had to create a new soap, happy soap recycling! 🙂

Its that time of year where I need to stock up for the holidays, dear friends and family, please look surprised when you get these!

DIY Dump Soap

  • 2Lbs (1 Kg) white melt and pour soap base
  • Mica to match the colours you want to achieve, you really want a minimum of 3 but up to 5 colours
  • Essential Oils/Fragrance oils for your desired scent, I used cherry, vanilla and peppermint for this to keep in line with my Christmas theme
  • 4 tablespoons Castor oil (optional)

This soap isnt straight forward and requires quite a lot of prep.

I screen shot a picture of the soap that I was using for inspiration and then tried to mimic the needed shapes from there.  What you need to create in your prep stage is:

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You need ‘shreds’ which are the feathery looking shapes to the right of the soap. I used unscented pieces of left over soap from my shape/embed cut outs and just cut them to quite smallish sizes. You need curls, I created these using mica powder and scents (vanilla&cherry-red and peppermint-green). Pour a thin and thicker layers into your pans, allow to set, remove and then roll into curls, as per the second picture where there is a red curls. I also created little hearts which are quite wide, as I was bored and looking for other shapes to, I wanted something different than the curls. Honestly you can use any shapes but you need them to be lengthy so that when you cut the bars you see the shapes.

Whilst you’re creating your curls, create your first layer of the bar. I used red and scented it cherry and vanilla, I added in a small bit of castor oil for a better bubble on the soap. You do not want this layer to be very thick but maybe 3cms/1in.  Allow it to set whilst you’re creating your other bits which will all stack on top of the base layer.

Once you’ve created all your curls, shreds, and hearts, now onto creating the bar! Super important note, cover EVERYTHING in alcohol as you go, every time to you go to touch something to add to the soap, spray it with alcohol! It makes such a massive difference and ensures good adhesion between the layers and pieces.

Taking your base layer, on one side, DUMP in the shreds to one side, remember to spray them all with alcohol as you go. On the opposite side to it, place some of your curls, ensuring that the majority of the length of the mould is filled.  Put in you curls in different directions so that the ‘seems’ are in different directions to each other. Remember to cover everything liberally in alcohol!

Now you are going to want to melt the rest of your white base, for me my mould was massive and it took about 3lbs/1.5 Kgs to fill!!!! I scented this with peppermint and added in 2 tablespoons of castor oil. You want the base to cool down once its melted, so that it doesn’t melt the items you’re pour it onto. Unfortunately I let mine cool just a bit too much it it was ok. I filled it roughly 2/3 full at this point, so that I could add in the last of my embeds/cut outs.

You can see the white base was setting with the pour but this was ok as I knew I was adding more over it after I out in the next layer of embeds/shapes. BE SURE to give your mould a gentle shake so that the soap gets in all the little holes and crevices and there are no air bubbles. I now added in all my little hearts I wanted to ensure there were enough so that no matter what I cut the bars there would be heart shapes, so dump them in! Once you’ve set all your embeds/shapes cover it with the last of your white soap base, remember to spray everything with alcohol, even the finished layer of white base.  Allow to set for 24 hours. This was the most difficult part for me, as I REALLY wanted to know how it had come out. However, I also realised that I needed a knife to cut the soap, so I needed to go shopping before I could. Fast forward 24 hours with a new knife in hand!

This is how the outside looked, It was obvious that I had a new air bubbled which bummed me out but I thought I needed to cut it first to see if it would just crumble into a mess or hold up. I measured it out to 1 inch bars, to be honest, they probably could have been slimmer given they are really quite wide. I used a bread load pan rather than a actual soap loaf pan, which would have given a better finish and everything would have been more compact but given I was just using what I had, Im pleased.

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Im really quite pleased with the outcome, yeah I have more white space than the original but for me, it works. It smells great and its held together, so win win. I think its a good outcome for a soap where you basically just dump stuff in!

I hope you’ve found this tutorial helpful and enjoy your adventures in soap making!

Remember to share with friends! 🙂

Making Layered Soap

Im still quite the soap novice and Pinterest seems to feed my curiosity like catnip to a one of my cats! I think the nice thing with soap is that you can literally be as imaginative as you want to be, you can go simplistic or over the top and you get great soaps either way.

Last year I made some really cute layered Christmas soaps, they were just too cute. Unfortunately, I didn’t think fo taking pictures of creating a tutorial.  Over the weekend I hopped back on the soap bus and decided to play around and see what I got.  Im pretty pleased with the results and am looking forward to making more!

These soaps are time consuming and require a large number of steps but are worth it.  These soaps are great for yourself but also make fantastic gifts!

Making Melt and Pour Layered Soaps

I know I normally put the how much, how long, how many section here BUT this isnt quite that straight forward 🙂

What you’ll need to make these super cute soaps

  • 1/2 Kg  minimum of White & Clear soap melt and pour soap based (you could technically just use clear but I dont advise it and see you’ll see why)
  • Mica Mineral Powders – several colors
  • Fondant Sugarcraft Icing Plunger Cutters in different shapes and sizes
  • Cutting/chopping board
  • Square or Silicone Cake Mold
  • essential oils
  • Oil, I used castor

These soaps take a lot of prep! I did it a few nights in advance 15-20 mins at a time or basically until I got bored.

The first step is to create your colors. I took a 2LB/1 KG block and cut it into 7 sections. I then cut up and microwaved each of the sections (remember to cover with cling film) and then added in the mica powder to get my desired color, you honestly dont need much, maybe 1 gram or so. You can also add in essential oils if you want your colors to smell (nice) but because they make LOADS of cut outs that you can use across loads of soaps, use a oil that will not effect other scents. Below are 6 colors that I made and how I create them.  Once you’ve made your color, pour it into a silicone pan (this makes it easier to get out!) As you can see here, one part was thicker and the other part was SUPER thin and unusable, so I just melted it back down and repoured. You want it to be more thin than thick, if that makes sense but not so thin that you cant work with it. Allow to harden for a minimum of a hour. 20171020_113323

Now take your plungers/cutters and start cutting our your shapes. As you can see, I get a lot of shapes out! I also NEVER throw away the excess, I put it in a plastic baggie for later and then melt it back down and make more.

I know the picture below is awful, I didnt think to take pictures of what I was doing, augh! I wanted to make cute flowers. I used 4 different sizes of flower cut outs across the different colours. Once these were all cut out, I got a VERY small amount of CLEAR base and melted it in a tiny jar for about 10 seconds (be careful here and watch it, I did manage to actually burn the soap!) until it was melted. I then worked quickly with a toothpick and stuck a small amount of the clear soap base between my layers of flowers. I found it looked best with 3 layers of flower.

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So now the prep work is done, HORRAY!

Take your clear base (I used 1lb/.5 Kg) and melt it down (remember to use cling film if using the microwave!). As its a large amount put it in for 90 secs first and then 30 sec bursts after that until its completely melted. Add in your essenital oils now (10 drops of each) and castor oil, I used roughly a tablespoon worth, I went for Lavender and Lemon to go with my flower theme and my final layer. Be careful of using a color that will mature over time, like vanilla or orange, they go darker over time. Pour into your mold roughly 3/4 to the top. Spray with alcohol, honestly this was my first time using alcohol but I am BEYOND sold now that Ive done it. It clears away the bubbles AND the will help your layers adhere. As you can see this filled 5 of my molds. I then started to toy with patterns and how I wanted it to look in the soap.  The reason you dont pour in the clear base and then shove in your cut pieces of soap is the base is hot from being melted and will actually melt your cut outs (Im speaking from experience here!). So leave it a few mins. Get out your toothpick, which is my trusty soap making tool and touch the top occasionally to see if a film has started to form. Its roughly at this point that you want to start putting in your cut out pieces. REMEMBER you want to put them in upside down.

You do have to be quick at this stage as your soap is not starting to form a film and harden, if you wait too long, you will be able to see the film in and around the cut outs that you put in. Sometimes you can hide this with the final layer but not always. Once you’ve put your cut outs in, give it another quick mist of alcohol, for good luck. Allow to sit and harden for at least another hour if not two. Remember that you’re putting on another layer of HOT soap base and it will melt the soap youre pouring it onto slightly, so the longer you leave it, the better.

How for your WHITE melt and pour base. Why am I using white? Because it highlights the bits you’ve just done. I melted the white base as I did the clear base, added in lemon and lavender essential oils (15 of lavender and 10 of lemon), castor oil, I used roughly a tablespoon worth and then added in some dried lavender and dried lemon zest for added effect. Sometimes people need a visual to remind them of what they are getting. The first pouring always get the most goodies (right middle corner). Remember to mist with alcohol! 20171021_172046

Looking at them from the side you can see LAYERS, hooray, its a success!!! You can also see the dried lavender and lemon through the top layer. You can also see if you’ve done things wonky (a bit late now) or your mistakes.  Allow your soaps to dry over night and give them AT LEAST 24 hours before you use them.  You can unmould them after a few hours. When making blocks of soap like this where you want the different elements to be clear and visible I find the clear hard plastic moulds work best. I found that silicone moulds can make the clear base cloudy and the results just simply aren’t as good.20171021_172114

The finished products! I have to say that I was pleased with some of the results, I had one where I thought, ‘Ill use that one for myself rather than gift it’ but overall I think they are cute and smell great.

Notes: Going forward I might/might not put castor oil in the clear soap base. The reason I use castor oil is it gives a better bubble/lather on the soap when used. However, it did make the clear slightly cloudy, clearly so not cloudy that you cant see through the soap (not going to lie, I did initially panic when I added it!) but its kinds of annoyed me. Now Im on the fence as to if Id do it again or not…

Also with Melt and Pour you never want the base to be rapidly boiling away, so the idea is when melting it in the microwave to do short sharp bursts of heat, then stir to melt the larger pieces. If you allow it to boil rapidly until its fully melted, it can lead to the soap sweating after its been moulded. Sweaty soap is just not nice!

Handcrafted soaps always last longer when they are kept dry when not in use.

Please let me know if you have any questions or queries if if I can offer any further advice on making these cute soaps. I will also be making Christmas soaps soon (it is THAT time of year) and will be doing a similar tutorial on making them.

I package my soap in cellophane and attach a small label that explains what the soap is, it adds that something special.  These are great for yourself or as gifts for friends.

Remember to share with friends! 🙂

DIY Exfoliating Coffee Sugar Soap

I truly love the smell of coffee, there are very few things that even compare to the smell of freshly brewed coffee.  Having said that, I am a weirdo (well, duh!) and only drink my coffee cold, occasionally lukewarm but NEVER hot, EUGH! Now lets mix two things that I love, showers and coffee, giddy up!

Im currently on a soap making kick, I had forgotten how nice (and fragrant) is it to make soaps. Great for a gift to others or yourself (win!). I also cheat and use melt and pour bases, why? If it weren’t for bad luck, Id honestly have no luck and there is something about using Lye to make soap that just gives me visions of horror. Its also impossible to get clear lye based soap for obvious reasons (ingredients used) and I like the effect you can get with a clear base, based on what you’re doing.

What makes this soap so good? It exfoliants whilst smelling awesome and doing great things for your skin = win win!

Coffee: Coffee grounds are soft, allowing them to naturally exfoliate dead skin, leaving skin silky smooth without irritation. Coffee is a diuretic, creams it can temporarily minimize the visibility of cellulite by drawing fluid away from fat cells. Coffee’s acidity helps to boost the skin’s protective barrier too, which keeps your skin healthier and happier.

Sugar: Its fine texture gently exfoliates the skin without leaving harmful residue that can clog the pores. It has moisturizing properties that prevents the skin from drying. It is safe to use even on children’s sensitive skin and to soothe chapped lips.  Sugar is tough on cleansing the skin while retaining its natural moisture.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon helps remove dead skin cells and helps restore shine and suppleness to the skin. It has antifungal and antibacterial properties, helping enhance the complexion. Cinnamon improves blood flow and brings the oxygen and blood to the outer surface of the skin. (which backs up my claim that ‘Life is better with cinnamon’!)

Sweet orange essential oil: Sweet orange essential oil is full of antioxidants and has known benefits that spam a wide spectrum, including but not limited to increasing circulation, decreasing wrinkles, improving complexion, and decreasing hypertension.

Castor oil: Castor oil has many amazing benefits but must be used sparingly when making soap, as it can turn it sticky quickly. Castor oil heals skin inflammation that can be caused by sunburns, acne, and dry skin. It can also treat acne, fade blemishes and scars, and can provide relief from the joint and tissue pain.

Word to the wise: This soap is a messy soap, which forms part of the exfoliating experience. Exfoliating is a fun messy experience, sugar scrubs get everywhere, this is no different. Those who use this soap will notice a dirty shower/bath afterwards of coffee grounds, THIS IS A GOOD THING, it makes its has worked! Just make sure you wash down your shower/bath after you get out. AND avoid getting your bar wet between uses, this extends its longevity.

DIY Exfoliating Coffee Sugar Soap

Makes: 10 smallish soaps  Making time: 15 minutes  Dry time: 24 hours minimum Overall time: 25 hours

  • 1lb/.5 Kg of Melt and pour base
  • 1/2C (100g) sugar
  • 1/2C (100g) coffee grounds (Ive found that flavoured worked great!)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon essential sweet orange oil
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin e oil
  • 1 teaspoons castor oil (or any other oil, oilve, almond, coconut etc)
  • 1 teaspoon essential vanilla oil (optional but smells great!)

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Now to make this amazing smelling GOOD FOR YOU exfoliating soap.

1. Have your moulds ready! This soap sets quickly and you dont want to have it mixed and ready to go and then be faffing with getting yours moulds.

2. Cut your base into chunks and then melt it. I microwave mine at 30 sec intervals, when I start out. If using a large amount,  I start at 90 secs and then go with 30 secs after that. If you are microwaving your base, ALWAYS cover your own with cling film. You can also use a double boiler/ban marie method to melt your base.

 

3. Once your base is fully melted, now the fun starts, making all the smells and having a fantastic sensory sensation! Add in your coffee, sugar, oils, and cinnamon. I always throw in a little extra coffee for good luck. Stir and mix to fully combine, giving a thick even mixture.

4. Now to pour into your moulds. You can spray with alcohol at this stage if you have a lot of bubbles, which this recipe, Ive never really had this problem but wild if you like.

5. Leave to set for a minimum of 24 hours.  You can take them out of the moulds after a few hours but its never advised to use the soaps before 24 hours have passed.  20171021_184828

A very cute finished produce that smells amazing and does great things for your skin.

I package my soap in cellophane and attach a small label that explains what the soap it, it adds that something special.  These are great for yourself or as gifts for friends and family or heck, turn your hobby into cash and sell them (for a good cause).

Remember to share with friends! 🙂

 

 

DIY Lavender and Rosemary soap

DIY Lavender and Rosemary soap steps

What I enjoy most about making soap, apart from the cheating element (using a soap base),  and the great gift factor, is the aromas that filter through the kitchen and the house!

I decided that my life isn’t hectic enough recently and that making soap was something that I absolutely needed to do, forgetting that I still haven’t gifted/given away all the soaps I made in the run up to Christmas.

Ive been harvesting lavender for ages, if I see a bush I give it a good whack and then dry it out for a few days and then its ready for crafting.  Lavender is also getting very trendy at the moment and can be used in various things, even baking, thinking lavender shortbread cookies!

I took inspiration from Sisoo HOW TO: MAKE LAVENDER HONEY LEMON SOAP in making this soap.

Soap making requirements:

  • 1/2 Kilo of Stephenson’s Soap Melt and Pour Soap Base Shea Butter 1kg (you can use any soap base for this but a white base gives the best aesthetic)
  • 2-3 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 2-3 tablespoons dried lavender
  • coffee grinder (optional but gives a finer texture)
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Lemon essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil or any fine oil will work (optional)
  • Plastic jug (to melt your soap in)
  • Wood spoon (to mix your soap)
  • Moulds (any shape will work)

Instructions for making awesome soap:

I decided I wanted delicate yet chunky soap, it seemed like a clever idea at the time! So I got my coffee grinder out and managed to successfully melt/destroy it on the first grind.  18 hours later and a new coffee grinder was delivered thanks to Prime! (Oh Prime, how I am going to miss you!)  I ground up most of the rosemary, some bits refused to grind (top bag you see).  I decided I wanted the color and the aroma of the rosemary, so I ground half of the lavender (the bottom bag).  Lavender and rosemary

Now to melt the soap, chop it up soap into smallish bits, the small the better, as it melts quicker.  Put it a microwaveable safe bowl and cover with clingfilm (this is VERY important). Officially you are meant to melt it in 30 second intervals or you can be lazy like me and whack it in for 1-2 mins at a time depending on how much soap you are melting at time (I tend to make large amounts of soap).  Stephenson's Soap Melt and Pour Soap Base

Now to bring your soap together, once the base has completed melted, chuck in the lavender and rosemary, olive oil, and essential oils.  Mixed until just combined, trying not to over mix, as this adds in air bubbles.  20170627_175310

Pour the soap into your moulds.  I use two different types of moulds. I prefer the clear plastic one, as it actually gives a better and more shiny appearance to the  finished soaps. Now for the most difficult part, waiting 24 hours for your soap to set. It is a minimum suggestion of 24 hours for your soap to set before you use it.

Making soap

The finished product, wrapped in cellophane.  I also made coffee sugar scrub soaps at the same time, hence the dark soaps.  The lavender and rosemary initially looked very light/white in color but they longer they set for, the darker they became. Think of it as maturing if you will. Please note that most of the lavender and rosemary does settle on the bottom of the soap or top where you are pouring.  homemade coffee and lavender and rosemary soap

I then made small labels to go on each soap! This small detail makes a large amount of difference.

Here are some awesome tips and hints for awesome soap making, enjoy and good luck!

Remember to share with friends and enjoy!