21 July 2011

How Our Dead Sea Mud Soap Came About

Sometimes I come up with new product ideas and soap recipes and sometimes my best ideas come from others. My Dead Sea Mud Soap is an example of a fantastic product that wasn't my concept. I made it for my friend, Deborah and below is her account of why the Dead Sea Mud Soap came about.
During my early twenties I travelled with a dancing and acting company. We wore heavy stage make-up, and we slept either on a bus or in different homes. Due to the stressful lifestyle and constant re-application of heavy make-up, my complexion got very bad. My neck was full of large, painful pimples (almost like cysts). My face had constant white heads and pimples as well. I was embarrassed and felt ugly.

 After I stopped touring, my face got a little bit better -- but not much. A friend told me about a great face product. I purchased the whole, expensive system and finally had great results. Over time my entire face cleared up. I still have faint scars on my neck, but that's it. For the past 10 years I decided to save money and just purchase the facial soap. This $40.00 bar of soap worked great for me.

I met Jill Keck with Calise Soapworks & Such and found out she was making all natural soaps. I told her about my about my expensive facial soap, and how great it works. She immediately went to work and formulated a soap that I believe works even better than the expensive brand name bar that I have been using for years. Jill's soap cleans better, and even takes care of whiteheads. I am very picky about what I put on my face. I was sure that Jill couldn't make a soap as good as the one I was using, but thankfully she has proven me wrong. Jill's face soap gives amazing results at a price affordable for anyone.


* To properly use the soap: use very warm water to open up your pores. Wash your face thoroughly with the soap. Splash water on face 20-30 times to thoroughly rinse and also put more water into your skin. Continue with the rest of your facial routine.

Thanks, Deborah! If you have a great idea for a product, let me know. Happy day!

14 July 2011

Making Hot Process Soap with Alkanet

I have wanted to use Alkanet Root to color soap for some time now and a recent wholesale inquiry spurred me into motion.

Alkanet is a plant in the borage family and the dried, ground root is used to color soap, fabric, lipstick and lotions. Typically the color ranges from reds to blues to purples depending on the item being colored and the amount of alkanet being used.

I quickly needed a lavender soap colored purple and I wanted to use botanicals that could grow in the Pacific Northwest. Alkanet orginated in Europe, but it does grow here in Oregon. The neat and scary thing about alkanet is that it changes color in different phs, so the final soap color can be surprising.

Here is the first color right after I mixed my alkanet infused oils and lye solution together:

The infused oil was a deep plum, but it changed to gunmetal grey when mixed with the lye-water solution. This is because the soapy solution is at a low ph, but it was still a bit heart dropping as a grey lavender soap would not go over so well.

After a few minutes, another color change occured. Cornflower Blue still wasn't the color I had in mind. 

When it was time to add the lavender essential oil and plop the soap into the mold, I had an unsightly, dark gelatinous soap to work with.

                                               My heart was slowly sinking, but I still had hope that I would get the beautiful purple I was looking for once the soap cooled.
Luckily, after cooling I ended up with a color somewhere in the realm I had initially intended.

Making soap is like a box of chocolates because you never know what you're gonna' get!