Thursday, July 28, 2011

VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD


Thank you Ambra, writer of NaKIN soap blog, for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award!

The rules of the Versatile Blogger Award are:
1 – Make a post and link it back to the person who gave you the award
(and include their website address)
2 – Share 7 random things about yourself
3 – Award 7 recently discovered bloggers with this award and
contact them to let them know they have won.

The seven random things of myself:

1. I have two sons and a daughter. 

2. I love gooseberries and homemade gooseberry jam.

3. I am training for my first Triathlon (sprint distance).

4. I suffer from difficult asthma. FOs give me an attack, EOs don't!

5. My favorite plant in my garden is the adorable Rosa 'Karen Blixen'

6. I love quilting almost as much as I love soaping.

7. I met my husband at high school. 

Ok, now the nominations. Some of these are my recent discoveries and some are my favorites that I have been reading for some time. 

El arte del jabón

Impara l'Arte


Monday, July 25, 2011

THINGS HAPPEN, COLORS CHANGE...

I absolutely love Sesame seed oil in soap. It gives wonderful lather but still feels moisturizing and conditioning. It's no wonder it has been used for healing skin conditions for thousands of years. Yet, I have been thinking of giving up on sesame seed oil in my soaps. I am suspecting that it contributes to the color change of the soap. I have two examples. What do you think about these?

Soap 1: Before
 Soap 1: After
Soap 2: Before
Soap 2: After

Here are some things I have considered:

Rancidity of the oils: The sesame seed oils of these soaps are from a different batch and both from the reputable supplier that has always delivered top quality oils. Therefore I think that the oil quality is not the cause for this.

Rancidity of the soap: Both soaps have been properly stored in a cool, dark and dry place. There is no scent of rancidness in either one of them. The change of color happened quite soon, about 10-12 weeks after the soap was made. Also, the color change does not look like soap gone bad.

Discoloring EO: The essential oils in Soap nr. 1 are palmarosa, rosewood and lemongrass. Soap nr. 2 is scented with bergamot, mandarin, coriander, sage, lemon, grapefruit and marjoram EO. The only thing common in these two EO blends is a high content of linalool.

Right now I'm pondering two options. Does the sesame seed oil itself make the soap change color? Or does linalool somehow react with the sesame oil causing this... Any suggestions?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

WHIPPED ANTI-WRINKLE CREAM


I whipped up my first batch of facial & body cream today! A few weeks earlier I was having dinner with some of my friends and they were talking about all the special facial creams they had. I have no experience in those kinds of products because of my allergies so I've always had to use just the basic unscented creams from the pharmacy. I decided that it was time for me to have one of those lovely scented miracle creams that turns you 20 years younger over one night :-)


I did several tests and the final recipe still needs some tweaking, but below are the ingredients I used:

Castor Oil: stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, softens and hydrates skin, rejuvenates, natural treatment for wrinkles, gives skin a youthful appearance.

Coconut Oil: anti-oxidant, slows down aging, smoothens irregularities and moisturises efficiently.

Horse Chestnut Oil: anti-inflammatory, prevents capillary fragility, balances circulation, promotes clear skin and even complexion.

Mango Butter: emollient, moisturizing, anti-oxidant, regenerative.

Rose Hip Oil: reduces wrinkles and fine lines, repares damaged skin cells, rehydrates dry skin, rich source of Vitamin A, omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids.

Wheatgerm Oil: rich source of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and protein, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, regenerative, improves circulation, reduces scarring.

Lemongrass essential oil: revitalizes body and mind, reduces cellulite.

Palmarosa essential oil: helps with scar tissue and wrinkles.

Rosewood essentail oil: cell stimulant, rejuvenates skin, reduces wrinkles.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

CHLOROPHYLLIN & SEA SALT


Just to have a little fun, we asked the Facebook fans of Saponina to describe what their dreamsoap would be like and promised to create excatly those soaps. One of the wishes was a Eucalyptus scented soap. When I think of eucalyptus it brings to mind something green and fresh. As we all probably know, fresh and vibrant colours are not easy to produce using only natural colorants.

This time I used few drops of chlorophyllin and then added some fine sea salt into the batch. I think it gives really nice, fresh green texture. It seems that I cut it too late since the soap is a bit crumbly.

Monday, February 21, 2011

WINTER TORPOR


These are pictures taken by my 9 year old son on our way to my soaping room today. It's actually at my father's house so I usually take the kids along. It's a great arrangement because the kids get to spend time with their grandfather and I get a few quiet hours for soaping. Soaping is also a great excuse to check on my father who has not completely recovered from the cerebral aneyrysm rupture he had a couple of years ago.


The temperature here has been below -20 celsius degrees for weeks now. It has been too cold to make soap as I usually mix the lye solution outside. Today it was a couple of degrees warmer so I decided to finally make some batches for the upcoming market.


I think the cold had made me slow and dormant. I didn't remember where certain oils and additives were, filled in wrong oils in the lye calculator and struggled with simple percentage calculations. It took me almost two hours before the first batch was in the mold! But after that I started to wake up from the winter torpor and made three more batches: Coffee soap, Rhassoul clay soap and refreshing Eucalyptus soap. Let the spring (markets) begin, I am stocked up!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

REBATCHING SOAP: TUTTI FRUTTI!!

I must admit that until recently when I started to make larger quantities of soap I used to just toss all the odds and ends away. Now that the quantity of the leftovers is increasing it just does not feel good to throw away such a large amount of soap. So I cut the soap in pieces, some larger, some smaller.


Then I put them all into a pot together, add some water and put the pot into an oven heated to approximately 90 C. When about half of the soap cuttings have melted I stuff it into a mould. 
 
And here is the result: My exclusive "Limited Edition" Tutti Frutti soap :-D

Saturday, January 8, 2011

IT'S IN THE RECIPE: THE CASE OF A SWEATING SALT SOAP


Wow, it's first time that it has happened to me! The salt soap is sweating! I have made salts soaps in summer and winter, humid and dry weather but never had sweat on salt soap. I believe that the only explanation is the recipe since this one is totally different from what I have done before.

In my salt soap recipes there is usually a very large percentage of coconut oil and then some butter. The lowest that I have gone is in the Summer Spa where I used 50% coconut.


This recipe has 30% coconut oil and 70% rapeseed oil with 5% superfat. It is a test batch I made with my sister Suvi to experiment how different percentages of sea salt affect the soap qualities (I'll let you know about the results once we have thorougly tested the soaps). Patience is not one of my virtues, so we used oven hot process to be able to test the soap sooner. After the soap came out from oven, we divided it in four parts and added different amounts of sea salt in each. The one with no sea salt did not sweat but even the smallest amount of salt resulted in sweating!


All this makes me conclude that the recipe or certain oils in the recipe might cause sweating. What do you think?