Cathy’s Blog

Net Wt. approximately 4 oz
Soaps

All About Shampoo Bars

I get many questions at craft shows, about shampoo bars, mostly from people who have never used a soap bar as a shampoo.  Since we are conditioned to use liquid shampoo and conditioner on our hair, most people are not familiar with shampoo bars, and how they are used.  And, when trying a shampoo bar, many people use them incorrectly, resulting in dissatisfaction with the product.  This blog post will address many common questions about shampoo bars, and how to use them correctly.

What’s The Difference Between A Soap Bar And A Shampoo Bar?

While the process for making a shampoo bar is the same as making soap and the ingredients seem similar, a well-formulated shampoo bar is not your typical soap bar.  Shampoo bars contain carefully selected ingredients that promote a moisturized scalp and well-conditioned, shiny hair.  Most shampoo bars contain extra oils and butters to nourish your hair. You should lather up really well, or you may have areas that remain coated with the soap oils, which will make it look “gummy.”  Natural shampoo bars are developed to naturally clean and condition your scalp and leave hair soft, shiny, clean, and most of all healthy.

To use a shampoo bar, thoroughly wet hair. Rub shampoo bar directly on hair, from scalp to ends, covering each section of hair.  You can also rub the bar between hands to create a nice, foamy lather. Work shampoo into your hair, gently massaging the scalp and working through to ends.  I would recommend initially that you shampoo twice; the first wash is mixing with the dirt and excess oil in your hair and the second wash is cleaning your hair. So lather up, once, then twice at first. Be sure to rinse, rinse, rinse!!! Rinse at least 1 minute, to make sure to get all the soap out of your hair.

You can wash your hair with a natural shampoo bar everyday if you desire! It cleans thoroughly without drying or coating your hair or scalp. Dry and style your hair as normal.

Do I Still Need To Use Conditioner With A Shampoo Bar?

Some folks do, and some don’t!

Some commercial shampoos contain petroleum products which are actually drying to your hair and scalp, so conditioners are usually needed.

Natural shampoo bars will not strip the oils from your hair, so you will not need the typical moisturizing conditioners that people use to replace the natural oils stripped by detergent shampoos.  The shampoo bar we formulated at Barnyard Creations actually is shampoo and conditioner in one!  You should not need an additional conditioner when using our shampoo bar.

If you desire, Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinses are an excellent addition to any natural hair care routine and can help bring back body and shine to dull, lackluster hair.  Some people find they like a conditioner each time they wash; others use a conditioner every few times.  If you rinse your hair well after using a shampoo bar, and depending on the quality of the shampoo bar, you may find you do not need a regular conditioner.

Can I Use A Shampoo Bar With Color Treated Hair?

Most people find that shampoo bars are easier on color treated hair than commercial shampoos.  Many find their color lasts longer with a natural shampoo bar.  But since everyone’s hair and coloring products are different, you may want to try a strand test to judge for yourself. To do a strand test, shampoo a strand of hair in a non-conspicuous area and rinse. Notice if there are any changes.

Can I Use A Shampoo Bar With Permed Hair?

Because they are simply soap, shampoo bars will not strip natural protective oils from your hair. Some feel that their perms stay “fresher” longer when  using shampoo bars. Again, since everyone’s hair and perming products are different, it is suggested to do a strand test to judge for yourself.

Is There An Adjustment Period When I Begin Using A Shampoo Bar?

Many people have little problem with their hair adjusting to a new routine, but some do.  The transition period can range from a few days to a few weeks. It really depends on how damaged your hair is, how much residue and build-up is present and how well you rinse your hair after shampooing.

When you first begin, your hair or scalp may become oily, dry, or even switch between the two extremes. You may have increased tangles or frizz and the hair shafts may feel weird or waxy.  This is your hair, which has been addicted to chemical-laden shampoo, going through withdrawal, and learning to live a chemical-free life. It’s not easy!  It will go away! It may take some patience, but if you can persevere, your reward will be healthy, soft and silky hair.

Great Things About Shampoo Bars

  • Gentle: Gentle shampoo bars do not strip hair of natural oils. Your hair and scalp will get a break from harmful synthetic ingredients that rob the scalp of natural moisture.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Biodegradable. No plastic bottles. No toxic chemicals.
  • Cost Effective: Natural shampoo bars last a long time and for many, there is no need to buy separate conditioner.
  • Traveling: They won’t leak and can be packed in carry-on luggage while complying with TSA regulations.

Shop Barnyard Creation’s Shampoo Bars HERE!

Holidays

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mothers don’t often take the time to care for themselves, so pampering items and the time to use them are a wonderful gift for mom.  Purchase your items, and we will beautifully package them for mom!  Our special gift boxes includes a bar of soap, a bottle of bath salts, a small hand cream or body balm, and a lip balm.  You can choose scents of each item.

We also have some new glycerin soap offerings this spring.

Berry Swirl SoapThis beautiful new soap has a luscious berry scent and each bar has a unique swirl. It creates a nice lather and is very moisturizing.

Marbled Lemon SoapThe subtle citrus scent of this new soap is refreshing in the shower.  The soap’s color is from Yellow Brazilian clay and charcoal.  Both the clay and charcoal absorb oils without drying your skin.  The beautiful unique swirl looks different in each bar.  Activated Charcoal and Brazilizn Clay are known for their purifying and cleansing properties.

Sea Sponge Glycerin Soap

Sea Sponge Glycerin SoapThis new soap eliminates the need for a scrunchy or washcloth!  The lovely blue color and fresh scent are wonderful in the shower.  The sponge is embedded in the soap, so it creates a creamy lather.  Simply wet the soap and sponge, then gently rub the sponge over wet skin until a lather forms.

Rose Clay & Poppy Seed SoapThis soap has a shea butter base.  The beautiful pink color comes from rose clay.   Rose Clay is known for purifying and cleansing properties.  It has an “average” amount of absorption, making it suitable for a wide variety of skin types.  It also has gentle oil absorption properties.  The Shea Butter in the soap base gives off a creamy lather, promoting moisture and softening.  Poppy seeds provide mild exfoliation.

Lavender Chamomile Sponge SoapThe clean and calming scent of this soap comes from a lavender and chamomile blend.  This soap is made with beef tallow instead of palm oil, and creates a hard and long lasting bar of soap.  The lavender and yellow swirled soap is embedded with a sea sponge, to create a creamy lather.  The soap, creates a lather without use of a scrunchy or washcloth.  Simply wet the soap and sponge, then gently rub the sponge over wet skin until a lather forms.

If mom loves gardening, this specialty soap may be perfect for her

Gardener’s Soap – mildly scrubby with layers of herbs, rose clay to absorb oils and grime, and moisturizing properties to keep frequently washed hands soft

And, if she loves extra pampering and exfoliation, the salt bar is decadent

Salt Spa Bar all natural soap bar loaded with Dead Sea and pink Himalayan salt.  A very hard bar that is low sudsing due to the high salt content but that is moderately scrubby and leaves skin soft and smooth

Also, consider some other items to pamper mom:

Email or call to order.  We will lovingly package the perfect gift for your special mom!

Click HERE to shop all items on this Mother’s Day Gift Guide!

Lotions, Soaps

Testing “Positive” About Covid 19

I prefer to think of the glass as “half full” rather than “half empty”.  During this time of fear and anxiety in our country, in this blog post I would like to offer some positive thoughts.

I remember the ice storm of December 2004.  I had a college student and high school student who were home for the holidays and expecting to spend some time with friends.  Then the ice storm hit.  My heart was warmed as a mother, because my children were “stuck” at home.  We spent the entire week in our living room in front of the fireplace, because we had no heat or power.  We camped on the floor in sleeping bags, wrapped in blankets during the day, and cooked our Christmas French Toast breakfast on the Coleman camp stove.  We played games, read books, and spent the entire week together, something we would not have done if there had been no storm.

The current pandemic has us again “stuck” at home.  People are losing work, and finances are a concern.  These are legitimate reasons to be in fear, but since many of these things are  currently out of our control, it may help to focus on the things we do have some measure of control over.  To think of the glass as “half full”, families again have the opportunity to alter the way they interact and relate to one another.  It is my hope that this current situation will result in the following for families:

  • More dinners spent at home as a family, without cell phones and distractions
  • Family game and movie nights together
  • Improved emphasis on saving any amount of money, even if it means giving up some guilty pleasures
  • Less running our children all over to scheduled activities, and more emphasis on creative play at home

Now, I want to briefly touch on the COVID-19 virus.  In case you are not aware, COVID-19 is called a “jacketed” virus.  This means it has a protective fat covering allowing it to attach to your skin, making it more likely you will get sick.  The “jacket” is broken down and the virus killed by using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol (CDC guidelines), or by using soap.  Soap is made by a chemical reaction between oils and sodium hydroxide, or lye.  The oils in soap break down the “jacket” on the virus, so you can remove it from your skin.  Also, soap makes your skin slippery, which allows you to rinse and wipe the germs off your skin more easily.  But, using so much soap and hand sanitizer can really dry your skin.  Now, more than ever, using handmade soap will benefit your skin.  Most store soaps are made from less expensive oils and have added detergents to improve lather and decrease the cost of making the soap.  They also do not leave as many oils on your skin, making them less “slippery”, and more dry.  Handmade soaps use more skin nurturing oils and have no detergents or artificial ingredients.  They make your skin more “slippery” so you can remove the germs, and they leave more moisture in your skin after washing.  When you are washing your hands many more times per day, your hands will thank you for using handmade soap.

One more note – if you have extra dry skin, or have to use industrial grade soaps at work, your skin may still be dry.  Water based lotions will work temporarily, but oil based skin balms or lotion bars will more effectively restore moisture to your skin.  Use them on your hands at bedtime, and you will find your skin feels much better in the morning.

So, stay home, read a book, exercise, and get enough rest.  And, wash your hands frequently with handmade soap.  All of these things will nurture your mind, body, and your skin!  And, hopefully, you will keep some of these healthy habits after the quarantine is over!

Holidays

Happy Easter – Happy Spring!

Easter and spring!  After this wet winter, spring fever is coming early at our house.  For Easter We have some always popular and some exciting new items to highlight this month.  Children love Easter treats.  Barnyard Creations “treats” are fun, smell wonderful, and don’t add calories or destroy your children’s’ teeth!

As an alternative to candy, some fun items for your children’s Easter baskets are:

  • Mermaid soaps – sparkly layered soap in aqua, pink or purple.
  • Animal and car shaped soaps in a variety of colors and scents (6 different animals and 3 different vehicles).
  • Harry Potter soaps – different shapes related to the Harry Potter books – 4 small soaps to a bag.
  • Bunny bath bombs – 3 to a bag, mixed scents and colors.
  • Sweetie tarts bath bombs – look like candy!
  • Fizzie bubble powders for the bathtub – sprinkle under running water for foam, bubbles and fizz.
  • Flavored lip balms – many fun flavors.

And, for the adults who still like Easter goodies:

  • We have created several new soaps this year.
    Busy Beeswax Soap
    • Busy beeswax soap – created for the Lithopolis Honeyfest, which we attend each year. Beeswax in the soap helps keep moisture in the skin, and the scent, a combination of honey and black cherry is heavenly.
    • Hippie soap – this soap was created especially for the Hippiefest, a new festival for us this year. there are 2 options – one that is swirled like tie-dye, and the other is layered fun “hippie” colors.  Both are scented with essential oil blends.
    • Lavender chamomile soap – a relaxing scent blend, with a yellow swirl.
    • Flower power soap – this beautiful soap was also created for Hippiefest. This soap has cocoa and shea butters for extra moisturizing.  The scent is a fragrant blend of rosehip and jasmine.
  • Sugar scrubs – a decadent shower experience! Turns your shower into a spa and leaves your skin feeling silky smooth and clean.  A wonderful and pampering gift!
  • Bath salts – Himalayan Sea Salt and Epsom Salt blend with sparkly mica coloring and relaxing scents, in a glass bottle with a cute wooden scoop!
  • Lotions and body balms for additional skin pampering…and MORE!

See our gift bag or gift basket section of the site.  We have lovely wrapped gift bags for $6, gift baskets for $10, and cigar boxes for $15.  We do the packaging for you!  Or, we can do custom baskets with items of your choice.

Please call to order, or use our website store, and we will ship to you.  Free delivery in Licking County.

For many of the products in this post, click HERE.

Gifts, Seasonal

Custom Orders

Yes, We Do Custom Orders!

I am often asked at craft shows whether I can make custom items.  The answer is, yes!  Custom body products are a unique and thoughtful alternative to more traditional options for your special events.  Some ideas:

  • Wedding favors
  • Shower gifts
  • Birthday party favors
  • Teacher gifts
  • Employee appreciation
  • Holiday gifts
  • Prizes

I will happily work with you to create the perfect gift for your event.  Pricing varies by item, complexity, and volume needed.  I am able to create custom colors or scents, however some scents may not behave well in handmade soap.  Please ask and we can help you with ideas and options to meet your needs.  Some things to remember in your planning:

  • Soap orders should be placed at least 6 weeks in advance. This allows us time to make and package the soap, including the 4 weeks needed for soap to cure fully.  If a custom scent must be ordered, we may need 8 weeks for soap
  • Most other custom items require a minimum of 4 weeks advance order. We appreciate as much lead time as possible, but this is the minimum we ask.

Some unique ideas for your event:

  • Organza gift bags – include 1 bar of soap of your choice, and one lip balm of your choice
  • Gift baskets – all sizes – priced by the items you want to include
  • Sugar scrubs – scrubs include gentle soap, so are a luxurious way to wash and exfoliate at the same time
  • Bath salts – include Epsom salts, Himalayan salt, and Dead Sea salts for a muscle and body loving, relaxing experience
  • Bath bombs – a fizzy and skin loving experience
  • Scented lotions with all natural ingredients
  • Handmade, all natural ingredient soaps
  • Children’s soaps – in animal or vehicle shapes, or with a Harry Potter theme

Now is the time to plan your custom orders for the holidays!  We believe you will be delighted with the options and presentation for your custom gifts.  Please contact Barnyard Creations now to place your order!

Seasonal

Spring 2019

HAPPY SPRING!

Happy spring!  For Spring and upcoming Mother’s Day we have some always popular and some exciting new items to highlight.  Mothers don’t often take the time to care for themselves, so pampering items and the time to use them are a wonderful gift for mom.  Purchase your items, and we will lovingly package them for mom in a berry box and gift bag!

Our new spring offerings:

  • First, we are very excited about our spring soap offering. In our Spring Blossom soap we embedded flower soap into our bar loaf, so each bar includes a cute little flower.  It has a nice dogwood and ginger blossom scent
  • Wildflower soap with a beautiful dried flower mix on top, and no coloring so it is simple and gentle on your skin, with a fresh subtle floral scent
  • Spring rain soap is back – with its lovely green swirl and fresh scent of Palmarosa and Chamomile oils
  • Unscented body lotion we will happily scent with any fragrance you request
  • We have several new soap offerings containing charcoal, for its amazing skin benefits; Charcoal facial soap, Sandalwood and charcoal, and Patchouli & vanilla

 

And, some of our regular soap offerings are great for spring:

  • Gardener soap – mildly scrubby with layers of herbs, rose clay to absorb oils and grime, and moisturizing properties to keep frequently washed hands soft
  • Garden mint soap – made with mint infused water and essential oils. Mint has many skin benefits, including strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits.  Also contains salicylic acid, which helps prevent acne, and Vitamin A, which controls oil secretion in the skin.  French green clay in the soap absorbs oils and gives a mild green/tan color
  • Salt Spa bar – all natural soap bar loaded with Dead Sea and pink Himalayan salt. A very hard bar that is low sudsing due to the high salt content but that is moderately scrubby and leaves skin soft and smooth
  • Relaxing Lavender Soap – always a favorite, with soft lavender scent, lovely purple color, and embedded with lavender buds for light exfoliation. Also includes liquid silk, which leaves skin feeling wonderful.

 

Also, consider some other items to pamper mom:

  • Ultra rich body lotion – skin loving oils and extracts to soften and soothe winter-dry skin
  • Bath bombs
  • Sugar scrubs in a lovely bail jar – various attractive scents and colors
  • Lip balms made with infused oils for healing skin properties for lips dry from winter air

 

 

Email or call to order.  We will lovingly package the perfect gifts for Easter.

Lotions

Why Spend Extra for Handmade Body Lotion?

What is in handmade lotion that makes it so different from mass produced lotion?  Every recipe is different, but today I want to explain why the lotion we make at Barnyard Creations is so great for your skin.  I personally have rosacea, and I have to be very careful about what products I put on my skin.  After using many different commercial lotions, I finally decided to experiment with making my own products, and I have been absolutely astounded by how much healthier my skin has been.  I no longer struggle with facial irritation after using something that flares my rosacea.  I have not had a flare since I began using my handmade lotion.  I also struggle with dry skin, especially in the winter.  Since using my handmade lotion, I have not had chapped skin, even during the harshest winter weather.  What is different about this product?  To answer this question I thought it best to describe the skin loving benefits of the products I chose to include in my “Ultra-rich Body Lotion”.

 

Dulce extract

Palmaria palmate is a plant that grows in the Atlantic Ocean as well as the northwest Pacific Ocean and is often dubbed the ‘red seaweed.’  Its scientific name is “Dulse” (pronounced dullis).  Dulse is used for its natural antioxidant properties and abundance of vitamins B6, B12, C, E, and A.  Palmaria palmata helps turn back the clock on your skin in many ways.  First, it helps to improve blood and lymph circulation to promote brighter skin.  Second, it provides antioxidant support to neutralize damaging free radicals (unstable molecules that can damage the cells in your body).  Third, palmaria palmata contains seawater which helps to detoxify and cleanse the skin.  Last but certainly not least, it contains amino acids and vitamins that can help promote collagen production.

 

Evening Primrose extract

Evening Primrose Extract has long been known as a natural anti-inflammatory.  Evening Primrose extract has traditionally been used in mature skin preparations, but is also wonderful to soothe skin dryness, itchiness, and redness.  It’s commonly found in mature skin preparations because of its moisturizing and nourishing properties.

 

 

Mallow extract

Mallow was cherished by the Ancient Romans for its soothing and protecting properties for dry and sensitive skin. It is commonly used in skincare preparations to reduce inflammation.  The roots of the marshmallow plant contain a thick, gummy substance called mucilage. The mucilage is extracted from the root and used for medicinal purposes. The root extract also contains a number of other ingredients that promote skin health, such as polysaccharides and flavonoids.  Mallow extract possesses antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory properties, and can improve the function of the immune system.

 

Babassu oil

This non-greasy oil can moisturize the skin and keep it hydrated, especially oily and dry skin types.  It is easily absorbed by the skin, making it soft and smooth. The oil, when applied on the skin, balances the natural oils of the skin.  If you suffer from psoriasis, eczema, rosacea or even acne, using moderate amounts of babassu oil is an excellent idea. Unlike coconut oil, babassu oil absorbs into the skin much more rapidly, and leaves behind less of an oily residue.  Babassu oil is filled with antioxidants, such as Vitamin E and phytosterols. These antioxidants are known to combat inflammation very effectively.

 

Grapeseed oil

Grapeseed oil comes from the pressed seeds of grapes. The oil is a by-product of the process of making wine. This oil is known for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-oxidant properties. These properties, along with the high amounts of omega chain fatty acids and vitamin E contained in grapeseed oil, have made it a popular topical treatment for skin.  The powerful antioxidants in grapeseed oil have another benefit; grapeseed oil may help to protect your skin from absorbing the full damage of UV rays.

 

Jojoba oil

Jojoba oil has anti-inflammatory properties which may help skin irritation, reduce redness caused by drying, ease the effects of eczema and rosacea, and keep skin calm.  The Vitamin E and B-complex vitamins in the Jojoba oil help in skin repair.  Jojoba Oil is referred to as “oil” but it is, in fact, a liquid wax.  The wax structure of jojoba oil is very similar to the natural oils of our skin, which means it not only moisturizes, but absorbs faster than other oils. Jojoba is full of nutrients and antioxidants, and is suitable for all skin types.

 

Meadowfoam oil

The composition of naturally occurring fatty acids in Meadowfoam oil gives it a unique, non-greasy feel that works as an excellent moisturizer.   Meadowfoam oil is thick enough that it is able to form a barrier across the skin to lock in moisture and provide UV protection properties.  Meadowfoam is a very earth-friendly product. The Meadowfoam plant is a sustainable and renewable resource.  Meadowfoam oil drastically increases the moisturizing effects of any lotion or cream. Its unmatched stability also makes it useful in extending the shelf life of other oils.  Meadowfoam oil is not only a super-moisturizer, but it is also high in antioxidants and a variety of other nutrients.

 

 

Rosehip seed oil

Rosehip oil is a pure plant oil, which is similar in design to our own natural skin oil (sebum).  This means it is a very light, dry oil that is readily absorbed by the skin while helping to promote normal, healthy cell function.  Rich in Vitamin A, which is known to help fight against age spots and wrinkles, rosehip oil is great for anti-aging.  It’s also packed with molecules that are small enough to penetrate deep layers of the skin, improving moisture and collagen levels, reducing wrinkles and fine lines.  Rosehip oil is rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants, which are essential for tissue and cell regeneration in the skin.

 

 

A note about Parabens…..

 

There is an overwhelming amount of information that refutes the war cry against Parabens, but once that bell was rung there is no silencing the ripple effect caused by the scare.  Many manufacturers removed Parabens from products in response to the fear caused by the early Paraben reports.  It is important to note that The American Cancer Society, The National Cancer Institute, and the FDA (the FDA has a page dedicated to Parabens) have all come out to say that there is no proof that Parabens cause cancer.  Unfortunately, many critics will say that the industry is tainted.  Most companies have moved away from Parabens but many refuse to because putting out a “Paraben-free” product means that they agree with the bad science.

 

I use a Paraben and formaldehyde free preservative in my oil based products, because there are effective products available that do not contain Parabens.  However, for water based products there are not equally effective products available.  Most natural products or Paraben free products have a very short shelf life, and the products must be destroyed after about 6 months.  Paraben based products provide a much longer shelf life and significantly reduce the risk of bacteria development.  I choose to use Gemaben II, which is a Paraben based product.  The amount of Paraben used is so small that you have a negligible amount of Paraben on the skin each time you use the product.  And, even with cumulative use the amounts of exposure are insignificant compared with the levels of Paraben studied.  I have had no rosacea exacerbations or skin irritation as a result of using these products.

 

You must choose what you feel is best for yourself and your family.  However, I would encourage you to review the available research before choosing a Paraben free product simply because of the scare messages and bad science.

Holidays

Easter 2019

Happy Easter!

Easter – The promise of spring coming!  For Easter We have some always popular and some exciting new items to highlight this month.  Children love Easter treats.  Barnyard Creations “treats” are fun, smell wonderful, and don’t add calories or destroy your childrens’ teeth!

 

As an alternative to candy, some suggestions for your children’s Easter baskets are:

 

 

And, for the adults who still like Easter goodies:

 

See our gift bag or gift basket section of the site.  We have lovely wrapped gift bags for $6, gift baskets for $10, and cigar boxes for $15.  We do the packaging for you!

Please call to order, or use our new website store, and we will ship to you.  Free delivery in Licking County.

Soaps

How Long Will My Handmade Soap Last?

A frequent question I am asked at craft shows is, “How long will this soap last compared to what I buy in the store”?  The answer is, “it depends”.  There are several factors that will affect the life of a bar of soap.  This blog post will discuss the things that affect the longevity of handmade soap.

First, it is important to note that most commercially produced soap has additives that make the soap harder and longer lasting.  The problem is that commercially produced soap is made with inexpensive oils, and much of the glycerin is removed because manufacturers make more profit by selling it separately.  Then, less expensive moisturizers are added to the soap, and other hardening agents are added to make a hard and long lasting bar of soap.  The soap will be long lasting and will most likely dry out your skin.

Enter handmade soap.  What makes it different is the lack of unnecessary additives or chemicals.  The independent soaper can add oils like Evening primrose, Rosehip, Jojoba, Shea, and other oils that that provide anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, antioxidant, and skin firming properties, but are not as cost effective.  They are, however, much better for your skin and will not remove moisture.  And, handmade soap has naturally occurring glycerin, which draws moisture into your skin.

But, I digress.  Most handmade recipes produce a hard bar of soap that should be long lasting, and compete with commercial soaps.  However, there are several things the soaper and you can do to make the soap last even longer.  Here is what you should know:

  • The more liquid oils the soap contains, the softer the bar. Most soaps contain a mixture of solid and liquid oils.  Solid oils and butters like Coconut oil, Palm oil, Animal fat, Cocoa butter or Kokum butter help to make a hard bar of soap.  A higher volume of liquid oils like Olive, Sunflower, or Canola typically make a softer bar of soap.  The exception to this rule is Castile soap, which is made almost entirely of Olive oil, and is a very hard bar of soap.  A hard bar of soap should contain slightly more solid oils than liquid oils.
  • Use of sodium lactate in soap making will produce a harder bar of soap that releases more quickly from the mold. Sodium lactate is a liquid salt that can be added to cooled lye water in order to speed up unmolding Using sodium lactate produces harder, longer-lasting bars of cold process soap. Derived from the natural fermentation of sugars found in corn and beets, sodium lactate is the sodium salt of lactic acid.  An added benefit of sodium lactate is that it moisturizes the skin by helping to draw moisture into the skin.
  • Use of a loofah or mesh scrubby sponge when showering will help the soap last longer. While some soaps, like salt soap or soaps that contain exfoliating additives, are most effective when used directly on the skin, most soap will last longer when used with a scrunchy.  You use less soap to get the same amount of lather.
  • Using a soap dish or rest that allows the soap to dry out between uses will help soap to last longer. Soap that stays wet or sits in moisture will break down, soften and have a shorter life.  Keeping the soap dry when not in use will improve its life.
  • And, of course, the more frequently the soap is used, the shorter life it will have. This is true of any soap – the more you use it, the more quickly it is gone.
  • Longer cure time improves soap life. Newly made soap should sit for 4-6 weeks to cure and dry.  This creates a harder bar of soap that has less water volume.  Even hot process soap, which technically can be used immediately without a long cure time benefits from drying for 1-2 weeks before use.  This allows it to harden ever further.

So, to get the most life from handmade soap, purchase soap that is hard and contains both solid and liquid oils (oils should be listed on the label), use a scrunchy when you shower, and keep the soap dry between uses.  Your handmade soap should then last at least as long, and possibly longer, than most commercial soaps, and your skin will be much happier!

Holidays

Valentines Day

FOR YOUR VALENTINE!

Looking for a thoughtful and indulgent gift for Your Valentine that is an alternative to the usual chocolate or roses?  Consider a gift basket filled with skin pampering items!  For the women in your life bath bombs, skin balms or lotions, natural lip balms, or soap loaded with natural glycerin and no chemicals make wonderful gifts.  For Valentine’s Day, we also have created several new bath items.

  • First, we are very excited about our “Floating Heart” Valentine soap offering. We embedded heart soap into our bar loaf, so each bar includes a cute little heart
  • A bag of 3 smaller, pink, heart-shaped bath bombs

     

  • Sweetie tarts bath bombs – a bag of 5 bath bombs, that look like a package of candies
  • Pampering bath bombs – a bag of 4 mint scented bath bombs loaded with sea salt and dried herbs and flowers
  • “Kiddie” size bath bombs with heart or flower shapes in a bag of 8 (Great for your little Valentines!)

                    

 

For the man your life, we also have some thoughtful gift ideas.  Men love our lip balms, and we offer many handmade soaps with scents pleasing to men.  Also, body balms are wonderfully soothing to skin after shaving (especially our chamomile and coconut balm), or to soothe skin dried by frequent hand washing.  Scrubby soaps like our Mechanic or Gardener soaps are great for gardeners, mechanics, hunters, or anyone who gets grimy hands.

  • Green gardeners soap has shredded loofah and walnut seeds to provide a very scrubby soap to clean especially grimy hands.  The scent is a pleasant sweetgrass scent
  • Gardeners cold process soap is a layered soap with lavender buds, calendula petals, coffee grounds, and a lavender scent leaves hands wonderfully soft and removes odors
  • Kitchen soap – This is a goats milk soap with coffee grounds to provide exfoliation and remove odors from the skin.  Works great in the kitchen but also works anywhere you need to remove grime and smells from your hands!  Pleasant coconut cream scent.
  • Mechanic soap – our most scrubby soap, with walnut shells and pumice to remove the most stubborn grime.  The oils are infused with calendula, for soothing irritated skin.  Scented with orange essential oil

 

We also have this soap without the scrubby texture. Specify when ordering which soap you prefer.     Net wt. 4 ozNet Wt. approximately 3.5 oz.     

Lastly, women and men love our sugar scrubs!  Sugar provides mild exfoliation, and quality oils provide emollient properties, leaving skin soft and smooth.  All scrubs have gentle soap in them, so you can clean and exfoliate at the same time.  You may even notice improvement in eczema and other drying conditions with repeated use, because of the healing oils used in the scrubs.  The scrubs come in multiple sizes, and also in decorative bail jars, which make beautiful gifts.
Try out our new web store!  We will lovingly package the perfect gift for your valentine!