November 7, 2013
I make soap approximately three times a year. I think if I didn't sell half the batch to my mom I could easily get away with twice a year, spring and a late fall batch for Christmas gifts and personal use.
This year's spring batch was made in the company of two friends who I was teaching how to make soap. We made two batches (go big or go home).
Unfortunately, one of the batches didn't cure well, it was too caustic. At some point in the process we made a mistake and because I was teaching I felt a bit embarrassed about that. I was also disappointed, all those beautiful oils and essential oils "wasted" to make a soap that wasn't good for our skin.
That soap became laundry soap, because "bad" soap is never really wasted, it can always been used for something.
I've been invited to another soapmaking party. This time with friends who have experience making soap. Soapmaking is an excuse to hang out together and make something beautiful while doing so.
I suggested we make my Holiday Spice soap recipe. I've made that three (or four?) years in row now and I'm actually kind of tired of it, but I know that recipe works and is quite popular. Even SouleMama made it one year for Christmas (smile).
Maybe I should try Peppermint Patty again this year instead?
I lack the enthusiasm I once had for creating new recipes. I'm more of a "what have we got in the cupboard?" soapmaker.
This only works though when the cupboard is stocked, and right now I'm getting low on supplies and ordering always seems like such an ordeal of comparing prices of oils and shipping costs, etc. I really don't like shopping and soapmaking was easier when I could just pick up the oils (for a good price even!) at my local health food store.
I also miss the days of palm oil. Before I knew how destructive harvesting palm oil is I could use it with impunity. Many of my older recipes at FIMBY feature palm oil. Ignorance is bliss.
I don't use palm oil anymore and none of my substitutions have produced the same quality of soap as palm oil does. I have found it more complicated to mix and match oils that will produce a hard bar that also lathers well and is super moisturizing to the skin. I'm not saying it can't be done. I just pine for the good ol' days of palm oil in my soap.
I'm trying something new these days though to create a harder, and therefore longer lasting soap bar that doesn't dissolve into goopy mush after one week in the shower. I've been adding sodium lactate. You can google it.
Damien has sensitive skin and it was his health and wellbeing that got me interested in natural skin and body care products many years ago.
I've shared my favorite and most tried and true recipes on the blog and all of those can be accessed from this page.
When I was just learning how to make these products it was harder to find recipes and I used "old-fashioned" library books for my research.
Nowadays there are ebooks aplenty, like those in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle, to get you started. You don't even have to go anywhere, or do any searching, it's all been done for you.
And when you own a library of ebooks you can refer back to them often (vs. library loans), and print the recipes easily.
As luck would have it just as I ran out of my last batch of lotion the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle arrived. Yesterday I made Wellness Mama's Smooth Lotion Recipe (pg. 6 from the Natural Beauty Recipes), sans water, thereby eliminating the need for borax or any preservative.
It was our health and wellbeing that took me down the "green clean" route also.
Greening your basic cleaning routines is really very easy and I'm not going to write about it a whole lot here, most people know the drill - vinegar, baking soda, castille soap.
But the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle has you covered for all sorts of recipes - dishwasher detergents, stain removers, even natural bleach.
I've wimped out in recent years and started purchasing bio-friendly dish soap, dishwasher, and laundry soap (when I'm not making it from ruined batches of soap). I don't have a problem with this, it's actually been nice to take a break from experimenting.
I've had nagging concerns though about how "green and natural" these cleaners really are. Have I been green-washed? What makes my dish soap yellow, exactly?
Reading over the books in this bundle has me thinking I should give it a go again. Especially since all the recipes are right here, no googling required.
There's a whole bookshelf of natural skincare books in the bundle:
And greening your home resources:
I will be focusing on the herbal and essential oil resources in another post, but I'm going to share the bookshelf now because herbs and essential oils are used in the preparation of skin care products.
The Holidays are coming and handmade skin care products make fabulous gifts. If you are thinking of making gifts for family and friends the recipes from the Natural Skin Care shelf of books are perfect for this.
One more thing: when you click through to purchase the bundle you have the chance to purchase two more bundles, for the price of one.
You probably are familiar enough with bundles to know that the sites you purchase through (ie: my blog or someone else's) get a cut of that sale. Which means I would be super pleased if you are considering purchasing this bundle that you do so through the links on my blog.
Any link from my site counts, not just the buy button below.
Click here to get the low-down on the complete bundle.
Renee Tougas participates in affiliate marketing, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Whenever you buy something on Amazon from a link you clicked here, I get a (very) small percentage of that sale. See disclosure for further explanation.
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