Monday, April 30, 2012

Healthy Choices

This weekend I participated in a small craft show in a coffee shop in my wee little town.  I didn't sell allot of soaps, the weather was rainy with spotty freezing rain, and there wasn't many people venturing out of their cozy homes.  But, I did make allot of very nice connections, saw some good friends, got to see my mom. :)  I also publicly launched my newest addition in my line of products.  The Shampoo Bar.

For years I have tried many handmade shampoo bars that others have made.  I always became disappointed on how greasy my hair felt afterwards.  It felt funky and I couldn't leave my house unless I jumped right back into the shower and used the chemical-laden SLS commercial shampoo to strip all of the natural oils and gunk left behind from a basically great for me shampoo bar.  I do believe now that they had too much superfatting in them.  You see, handmade soapers leave in a bit of extra fat in their soaps to make them moisturizing.  This level can be any where from about 4-10%.  I usually leave mine at about 5-8% in my bars, my goats milk have way more, that's why they are SO moisturizing.  Shampoo bars, on the other hand have to be at a much lower %, like around 1-3%.  This way, the excess fat doesn't make the hair oily.  Who wants oily hair?  Not me. 

So, doing a LOT of research, I am a freak about researching, I developed a recipe for a new shampoo bar that had all of the unique qualities that I needed for my type of bar.  It had to be lightly moisturizing, lots of lather and make my hair SHINE. The oils that were needed were sunflower, coconut, olive and castor.  These wonderful oils turned out to be just the thing for a bar that is top notch not just for my hair type, but for many types including dry, normal and frizzy.  I have tested it out on friends, relatives and some complete strangers that have raved about how soft their hair is, and how shiny and non-frizzy it is. 

I am over the moon happy about this bar.  I am so glad I can produce a product so natural and healthy for my hair, and yours too!  I will be trying out other additives to expand my line of healthy shampoo bars like using beer and eggs for conditioning, and different essential oils for their unique qualities. 

**PLEASE do your own research on how bad SLS, parabens and the like are for our bodies.  Parabens (chemical preservatives) are used in lotions, shampoos, conditioners and many other cosmetics are linked to cancer.  SLS is a chemical that is used to make things like shampoo, soaps, toothpaste, motor degreasers and car wash detergents lather.  It also drys your skin (making lotion with those nasty parabens necessary) and is shown to be cancer causing.

Our skin is our largest organ, and absorbs almost everything we put on it.  Makes me want to nourish my skin, not poison it.  Maybe if we are more informed about what chemicals we use on our bodies, we can live healthier, longer lives.  Just a thought.... :)



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Great Big Logs! Oh My!

Well, now, here I am, almost a month after I cut these lovely soaps and still haven't shown the pictures.  How bad is that?  OK, OK, I do have those pictures for you today.   They are terrible pictures, the weather and sun has been horrible in Wisconsin this month, not too many beautiful sunny days lately, but that will soon change and the most wonderful weather will soon be here.

These are the soap logs just removed from the molds.  I trim the edges  of the soaps, so that when used, they will be smooth and not sharp.  As you can see the soap gelled in the mold.  I like it when it gels, but it does leave a weird look to the top of the soap. 

Like I said, the lighting is horrible in my kitchen when the sun's not out.  Here you can get an idea on how long the soap logs are when they come out of the mold.  They are 21" x 3 1/4" x 2 3/4".  That makes about 20 full size bars and a couple of sample bars.  The sample bars are nice because you can try before committing to a whole bar of soap.  Although, I haven't made a bar of soap that has ever gone to waste because I didn't like it!  I really do love all the soap that I make!  In the picture there is the Sandalwood Vanilla and the Rosemary Mint. 

Here is the Spa Bar soap that I made 2 days ago, and need to cut.  It is a green clay soap that draws out the excess oils that can lead to breakouts, and is great for detoxifying skin. 

Love it.  I always get a great feeling of rightness with the world when I know I have this soap in quantity.  I don't think I can ever live without it, and feel a need to have at least 10 bars of it or I kinda get nervous.  My friend said I can't ever die because she needs me to keep making this soap.  I guess I need to teach her how to soap so she can always have it.  ;)

Here's the cutting contraption that I use to cut my soaps.  It allows the soaps to be cut at any thickness that I need from 3/4 inches to 1 1/2 inches.  Those are the final cut Rosemary Mint bars that have been cut and smoothed again around the edges.  Nobody likes a sharp bar of soap!   

And if you are wondering what I have been doing when not soaping or dreaming about new recipes for soaps, working a full time job, raising 2 teenagers and whatever else life throws at me, we took a hike through the woods on Monday night and found these...13 ounces of nicely sized morels... YUM!
I do believe that these will go into a morel mushroom rissotto and also a handmade pizza this weekend.  Any other suggestions with what to do with them?  I would love to hear from you!