Sunday, 25 October 2015

Lip Balm

After having made soap, I saw recipes for home made lip balm.  This attracted my attention because I resented paying over $1 a gram for lip balm.  Think of it, for 100gm you are paying about $120.  Reading the ingredients, I saw that alcohol was put into lip balm.  Alcohol is drying - why put a drying substance into a moisturiser besides causing you to use it more frequently, then having to buy more?

You can make a balm base that can be used for a number of different products.  Be mindful that some oils don't taste so nice and if its going to end up on your lips you  might regret your choice.  Also while using wax will give the balm a stickability it may be too sticky for your liking in higher quantities.  Its good in lip balm but it depends for insect repellent.

Here in the subtropics the "stick" is good because of increased sweating, or if you are swimming it would be beneficial for sunscreen.

Home made lip balm is safe, effective and only costs cents to make.

Balm Base
Equal parts of:
Coconut oil
Bees Wax
Olive Oil.

Melt the Bees Wax and add the other oils mixing them in.
Dealing with wax is not so convenient and I have an old pot that is dedicated to wax melting.

From here on its very individual.  Some people like a thin lip balm, some prefer it more caked.  What I found is that I have to change it for summer or winter as it gets too hot here in summer and I don't want it to turn liquid.  Another variable is if you want to make a stick or have it in a little pot.

You may want to increase your soft oils to make it softer.

I have added a little honey and lemongrass essential oil. Citrus EO's are not suitable for use in the sun.  Using Manuka honey, though more costly makes an excellent healing balm.  I have seen very good results with this on painful, broken lips.

I have also added a little Zinc Oxide powder (not nano) for SPF (sun protection factor).  This can whiten it a little if over 20%.

These oils not only moisturise but help with healing which can only be a good thing.

See my post on Sunscreen discussing Essential Oils and SPF.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Tallow Balm

8 parts Beef Tallow
1 part Olive Oil

This makes a very nice balm/rub that has been used for many different things.  It was recommended for eczema and it works well. 

I also add Tea Tree or Lemon Myrtle oil for a foot rub (my husband suffers pain in one foot from a head injury and the EO reduces frequency of fungal infections)

Add honey and Tea Tree oil for rashes in unfortunate places. 

Add an a touch of honey and acceptable tasting EO for Lip balm remembering that citrus has issues with sunshine(try Lemongrass or Lemon Myrtle). Carrot Seed oil and Red Raspberry Seed oil have very high SPF levels for sun protection.

Turmeric and Rose Geranium oil for a skin moisturiser (I gave it to a friend to try without telling her the ingredients, then had others asking for this amazing yellow “cream”).  I first gave this for a little girl who suffered eczema and got terrible rashes on her bottom.  The results were impressive.  We call this Yellow Tallow at home.

For muscle pain rub magnesium oil then Beef Balm

It seemed a bit strange using "cow fat" but I got over it quickly enough.  I haven't found it "clogs" pours.  I think that the resistance to this is just a matter of the anti animal product push that we have been exposed to for decades now.

It only takes a generation for information to be lost. Advertising puts beautiful women who have had special effects to improve their skin further to promote chemical products that we can't make at home.  After 2 or 3 generations of dependence on shops we not only have forgotten but also built up a resistance to simple things at home that do work and remain dependant.

This is so simple and works very well.  I take it with me and a few of tiny bottles of EO when I travel.  Depending what I need I can mix in the appropriate EO. Moisturiser, balm, insect repellent, lip balm, muscle rub. And I love the feel of it.

Natural Homemade Deodorant

Yes it does work, its cheaper and its healthy.
Advertising moulded my mind into the slot of thinking the large companies had some sort of magic to make something to stop us smelling, that we couldn't make in our own kitchens.  Well they do.  A whole lot of toxic chemical. But the rest of the story is, you don't need their black magic.

Cancer councils say the chemicals used in deodorants have no negative effect on the body. Evidence from independent labs who don't profit from industry and offer lucrative job opportunities show they do.

The stupendous Councils claim there are no links between cancer and:
Cell phones and power lines,     Cosmetics,                     Hair dyes
Deodorant                                   Radiation treatment,      Chemotherapy
Household cleansers,                  Processed foods,           Artificial sweeteners
Soy products,                              Stress
Enough said.

Most recipes you will read online use coconut oil and corn flour or some mix like that.  They are fine and work quite well but I have a problem with one armpit getting rash (maybe from the limited movement because of a prosthetic shoulder joint).

After trying a few different things this is the most simple, effective and versatile.

Deodorant Recipe #1
Magnesium oil with your favourite essential oil for smell.
Equal parts of Magnesium Chloride and distilled water mixed and dissolved with a little bit of essential oil.  Lavender is a non sensitising and gentle EO.

Use in a small spray bottle.

If you think that you are particularly smelly, you may be magnesium deficient.  Most of the population is deficient in Mg.  This will also cause more headaches, cramps and other problems.  To correct this you can can take a supplement or make Magnesium Oil (equal parts of Magnesium Chloride and filtered water) and apply it topically (on the skin).  It absorbs very well.

Most people are magnesium deficient and Magnesium Chloride absorbs well through the skin so incorporating it into deodorant or any other body lotion is excellent for your health.

Deodorant Recipe #2
Corn flour/ Tapioca flour
Baking Soda
Coconut oil/Shea Butter
Essential Oil

Mix up to 50%  Baking Soda with the Corn flour/Tapioca flour. Make sure its not GMO.
Use enough oil to make the mix pasty.  Add Essential Oils of your choice.  Massage in.

Some people react to the Baking Soda so you can reduce it or leave it out should that be the case.  It makes a better deodorant if it can be tolerated.
Essential Oils high in antibacterial action would be advantageous.

For men Cedarwood, Frankincense, or herbaceous oils such as Rosemary might be preferred.
Cedarwood with a very small percentage of Clove oil.
Cedarwood with 25% Frankincense
Cedarwood with 25% Rosemary

For women there are many floral smelling oils but a few blends are:
Lavender blended with 25%  Rosemary, or Lemongrass/ Lemon Myrtle..
Rosemary, Lavender and Ylang Ylang.

My preference is to use Shea Butter, melt it and add Tapioca flour.  Wait for it to cool so you can tell how moist it is, then add Essential oils.  I also add a little Castor oil, which also has antibacterial properties and is very good for lymph function.

When you change from using commercially sold deodorants to natural deodorants, you will have a rebound effect. Because the sweat glands have been messed with most of your life they will over work for several weeks.  It does settle down.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Soap Art

I haven't done a lot of soap art, just a few basic swirls.  Because I use natural products and try to keep my costs down it is a bit limiting.  Unless I have reason to do something a bit more involved, I will just use turmeric for a basic swirl or colouring as it has so many skin/health benefits.

There are lessons on You Tube with some really impressive results.  I have seen colours that are incredible but have to admit wondering if they make you glow in the dark and Geiger counters tick.

This is very, very basic but will show you what a non professional can do with no practise.

I didn't realize just how orange the paprika would make the soap.

The black soap is coloured with Aussie Black Clay and is Man Soap for shaving.

Palm Kernel Oil made the round soap at the right very white.

The bar at the back is Goat Milk with turmeric.

The green swirl in the centre milk soap wasn't natural colour.

The side bars are from a batch of 50% Beef Tallow (creamy coloured) soap with swirls of Turmeric and Spirulina.  This was cut length ways in 4 then placed down the sides of two moulds.  An entire batch was made with spirulina to give it the light green colour rather than the swirls of dark green.  I put this in between the slabs of solid swirled soap.

This soap can't be stored for extended periods as the colours fade (the spirulina quicker than the turmeric).

This was done hot process.  I separated two cups of hot soap and mixed in the colours (mixed in a bit of water) I layered the coloured soap in amongst the uncoloured.  When the mould was filled I used a tablespoon to stir in a circular motion from the top to the bottom moving along the mould.  I repeated this twice and was very happy with the results.

I incorporated a soap that was too soft for my liking into a batch I made that was harder than normal.  The softer soap was a hot processed milk soap(hence the brown colour) and the harder soap had a higher level of Palm Kernel (the whiteness).  I hot processed the PK soap, remelted 3 bars of the softer soap and mixed it at the end of the hot process, not stirring it in completely.  My mould was a PVC drain pipe.

My daughter wanted me to make shaving soap for her boyfriend (he owned 180 of the real ones) and gave me 2 moulds used for cookies.  I had intended to put more black clay in but these chicks came out grey.  When I unmoulded them I built up the wings and contours with some excess soap I had while it was still a bit soft.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Natural Soap Making Instructions

You would do well to read all of my “soap” posts before getting started as there are many variables depending on your ingredients such as milk and honey.

Check September's post for Natural Soap -Tips for Beginners; Natural Soap and Oils; Natural Soap and Essential Oils; Bar Soap Recipes and tips: Fixing Failed Soap.

Safety Precautions: Wear rubber/plastic gloves and safety glasses.  I have had caustic splashes to the face and on my glasses. You may not feel any pain initially but wipe it anyway as it will become painful, raised and red in a short time.
Keep Vinegar handy to neutralise any splashes on your skin if you are not covered.  Wipe off large splashes with a paper towel first as vinegar does heat as it neutralises the caustic batter.  Some people say to wash under running water.  I have found that it resists water at this stage and would rather use the paper towel and vinegar.
Do not use Aluminium equipment. Wood will be eaten away quickly.  Plastic or Stainless steel is ideal.

Cold Process
Prepare your equipment and ingredients first having everything ready so nothing is forgotten.
Pot                         Blender                                Scales                    Gloves                  Glasses                 Mould                   Oils
Containers             Essential Oil or other ingredients.                      Vinegar                Spatula
Paper towels          Don’t have little children or pets 'under your feet' – it’s not safe.

Check your recipe.
Goat Milk ice slurry dissolving as lye is mixed in.
Measure out your ingredients putting oils /fats into a slow cooker or stainless steel pot and keeping the lye and water separate at this stage.  Mix the lye slowly into the water stirring till dissolved.  The lye will heat the water as it dissolves.

If you are making a milk soap, you must keep the temperature down or it will burn and stink.  Some people use a 50/50 water milk mix.  I like 100% so freeze the milk to an ice slurry or in cubes.  I have a bowl of ice water available to double bowl it if the mixture begins to go orange.  This is ok to a point and will fade.  If you had to melt your oils (eg bees wax) let them cool prior to this.

Once all your oils/fats are liquid (eg Tallow and Palm oil need heating mostly, Coconut sometimes), pour lye water into the oils and begin blending with a stick blender.
You could use a hand beater or whisk if you are patient and have good stamina.  A hand held cake mixer would also work.  Some people are confident that they can wash them properly but some wouldn’t use them for any other purpose – your call.

Your aim now is to bring the soap batter to trace.  This is when it thickens enough to leave slightly
Milk Castile soap with Turmeric (it fades as it cures)
raised marks on the surface as you stir or dribble batter over the surface. You will probably have to turn the blender off regularly and to let the motor cool especially as the batter thickens.

Solid oils thicken a lot quicker, especially Palm and Coconut.  Olive oil takes a very long time.

Once the batter has come to trace, add your essential oils/fragrances or other ingredients like oats and honey etc.

When all ingredients are stirred in properly pour into moulds.

Cardboard boxes lined with plastic rubbish bags are fine.  Just make sure the volume is enough to contain the soap and that the walls of the mould are sturdy enough not to sag or buckle.
1 litre of oil will make 12 bars of soap a little over 100gm when dried, but has had about 350gm of water and 200gm of caustic soda added so make sure your mould can contain over 1.5L.

Partial gel of very white coconut soap.
The soap will heat up as the chemical reaction turns oil and caustic soda to a glycerine based soap. Gel stage.  This will give a darker, more translucent soap.  Added colours will be more vibrant.  OR you can keep it cool and prevent the gelling resulting in a lighter coloured soap.  Sit the mould on ice packs or refrigerate.  A partial gelled soap will have the lighter colour around the edges where it was cooler and a ring of darker colour soap in the centre of the bar.  Purely cosmetic.
You can cover it to keep the heat in and encourage the gel so the whole soap is gelled.

Any soap with sugars in it (honey or milk) must be kept cool or they run the risk of erupting.  The bigger the mould the harder it will be to keep the centre cool and you will probably end up with a partial gel even with it sitting on ice packs or in the fridge.  Shallow or individual bar moulds make it a lot easier to prevent gel.

Cover with plastic wrap to prevent soda ash forming. It's not a problem if it does form.

Turn out of mould when solid (12-24 hours).  Shorter if you have had it in the freezer it or longer if you let it heat and gel.

Make a little soap slurry with water after about 24 hours and test the pH, to make sure you don’t have too much lye

Hot Process Soap
You can use a double boiler, but a slow cooker is very convenient.  I brought mine for $10 second hand.
Don’t discount your water (reduce water to speed up trace and drying time) as there will be evaporation and this will cause your soap to harden up quicker while trying to get it into the moulds.

Once the soap has come to trace, turn the slow cooker on.  I do not add my essential oils at this stage
Cooking soap raising up the sides (coconut is very white)
as a lot will evaporate in the heat.  Cook for about an hour.  The soap will raise up the sides of the cooker as it heats and fold in on itself.  Check that it doesn’t overflow and stir it back down a few times.  It will become more translucent.  Test with a pH strip to make sure it is between 8-9pH.  Turn the heat off, stir in your essential oils well and scoop out the mix with a large spoon into your moulds.

It will not be caustic now, though the heat can burn you if you drop some on your skin.

Shake your moulds and give them a bang on the bench to settle the mix into the corners etc.    

This will give you a rustic bar (rough top) but can be used as soon as it cools and hardens.  It will harden further if left to dry more and give you a longer lasting bar of soap.

Things can go wrong and I have had to fix a few batches of soap but never wasted any ingredients.