Sunday, February 16, 2014

Natural Handmade Herbal Soap

My actual herbal experience dates back to 1996.  I got the bug with learning about Herbs and Aromatherapy.  I went on this binge for 13 years.  And still today.  I am self taught and have a vast library of books to reference from.  Now with the age of computers and technology I can have information quickly at a moments notice.  My philosophy is to never stop learning.  I think in life we are drawn to things we cannot explain.  Why do we tend to go in the direction that we do?  Who knows maybe we are ingrained at birth?

I forgot my roots so to speak.  I started back into my soap making in 2009, and jumped on the band wagon with using Fragrance Oils.  Which I will never say is a bad thing since I am all about scents.  I use incense (the hippy in me I suppose), and make wax tarts because I am so picky and I have to have them scented my own way and as strong as I like them.  I am pretty much a DYI person and make what suits me.  But it's hard to suit other people.  So I don't.  

My knowledge of herbs and Essential Oils haunts me all the time.  I hear this little voice that says "don't forget about us".  My earlier days of soap making I only used Essential Oils because I did not have a computer and I did not know of Fragrance Oils (at that time).  I am now leaning back to my earlier days and I have so many Essential Oils to now use freely and create some wonderful soap and products.  I let myself down and now I am going back to my earlier roots.

I am going to be making some various soap that is good for the body and helps to heal problems we are suffering from.  Herbs have been used for centuries and in our modern time with the FDA breathing down our necks, it's hard for the small business person to be free to create a really good product based on knowledge of our ancestors.  Naturally we have to be cautious and never jeopardize ones health.  

I feel anyone who decides to buy a soap lets say from a soap maker should do their research.  I am all about research and if I am going to buy from another then I will do the time to check out the ingredients and see if they are good for my personal self to use.  If you make a decision on what is presented to you then I say your not learning why you might be interested in that product.  I am in no way putting anyone down when it comes to their business, but you have to know we have inexperienced soap makers who have not tested their craft long enough to feel they are "now ready" to sell.  You cannot just go on the internet and look up a few herbs and say I am going to use these.  The scary part to me is copying other people's work.  Yes this happens because someone is not willing to take the time to research and learn. It takes years to understand the whole Herbal and Essential Oil use.  And I fear for those who are not experienced to do so.  

Using herbs is tricky you must be aware of things such as: what are the properties of the herb, how is it used, what will it do, how will this herb heal, is there any precautions, what is good for a particular age group, what combinations could be dangerous, this list can be lengthy so I let your imagination consider the "what if's".

When I make my herbal products so much time has been put into how I want this product to be.  I have to consider various base oils for my soap.  What is the best base oils to use to accomplish this product.  Not all base oils or soap recipes should be standard.  You have to know what oils will do the best to provide the best properties/product you are willing to sell.  For example I have never been one to suffer from Acne.  My sister was a victim of it and looking back I feel so bad for her and her struggles.  Just because I did not suffer does not mean I do not empathize with this person.  Yes I've had breakouts, but certainly not like most teenagers at of my time.  

So I recently made an acne soap bar.  It took me a few good weeks to sit down, decide what I will use in this soap bar.  How simple do I want to make this so that it is going to provide the properties I say it will.  I am sure there are other soap makers out there copying and I say this in fear because I know I could be the next.  Giving someone else an easy access to my product ingredients.  

I have never done this with other soap makers products.  For one I do not trust other people in their knowledge, sorry and this is how I feel.  I do not know the level of their knowledge.  I know my knowledge and how long it took me to learn, use, and by trial and error get it just right.  So again I am not judging others at all.  I am pretty much out spoken and will say exactly what I want to say.  So by doing so just know I am who I am and will give you my personal thoughts and be done.  I am not a Chemist nor do I possess so much knowledge to say I am better than another.  I will say if one does take the time to learn their craft only good can come of it.  Yes I am learning every single day.  I take into consideration what I am researching and if I do not agree I do not agree.

Recently I made several varieties of soap.  I had bought some wonderful herbs and decided to head back in the direction I first came from.  Not sure what took me so long to do so.  I think for one my grand daughter suffers from very dry skin.  So I did make a wonderful unscented Goats Milk and Carrot soap for children. So when she stays with us I give her a bath and use the soap for her skin.  Nothing too dramatic with this soap just simple plain and naturally good.  

I made a Burdock Soap:  Unscented, nothing fancy just a wholesome soap.  
Cut bars, not cleaned up before photo.

Burdock is an interesting choice and one I've used many times before.  I infused this herb in Sunflower Oil.
Sunflower Oil has a high amount of essential fatty acids and Vitamin E, making it it one of the more cost-effective fixed oils.  This particular oil produces a lather that is incredibly conditioning to the skin.  I could go on and tell so much more but again, you do the research and you find out why I love this oil. I could simply explain this in depth but the point I am making is you need to research for yourself and see if this agrees with you as well.

Burdock:  Burdock root is a very effective remedy when it comes to managing or treating chronic skin problems. For instance, its detoxifying effect, and increased blood circulation to the epidermal tissues helps to destroy fungus, and bacterial cultures present under your skin. This helps you to prevent or cure serious skin disorders such as boils, carbuncles, psoriasis, and even acne. It can also help you to manage ailments such as eczema is a safe and natural way.  Burdock root has been used also as a skin remedy for acne, and rosacea. Its oil has been used in years past in treatment of the scalp, promoting healthy growth of hair and also supplying healthful aid to the sebaceous glands.

This soap as I said is just plain and simple.  I must add this statement as it is required of me.

DISCLAIMER: The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. 

Also I've noticed that the natural color which is very light the herbs are taking on their own color way if you will.  In the photo you can see a little color change on the sides of the soap bar.  When making any type of soap just know the soap will do as it pleases even though I do not agree but this is the nature of the beast.

Moving onto the next soap I made:

This is a Comfrey Soap.  Again just plain, unscented, no colorants, all natural.
Cut bars, not cleaned up before photo.

Probably will differ from other soap makers look.  Not fancy well not pretty but it's stands on it's own.

Comfrey I simply love this herb.  Here is a brief description:

 Comfrey leaf contains allantoin, which is a super healing substance that promotes cell regeneration.

While many herbs is a power packed healer, in my opinion is no match for Comfrey.  There are claims for the healing properties of Comfrey leaf.  Comfrey proved effective at relieving both pain and swelling in patients.  Comfrey leaf treatments of varying types (ointments, salves, soaps, compresses and other topical applications), were very effective in treating eczema, dermatitis, inflammation, good for boils, psoriasis, wounds, viral skin infections and ulcers of the lower leg. Comfrey can also make a wonderfully mild astringent great for ulcers and sores.  Similar properties to Aloe Vera.

Another Soap I made:  Activated Charcoal Acne Soap with Pink Grapefruit & Litsea Cubeba.

Cut bars, not cleaned up before photo.

This bar is loaded with extra carefully thought out oils.  The little bubbles I feel happened when I had just poured the soap, took a break and came back for a look and this soap immediately started gelling.  OMG !!

I had plenty of time to work with the soap batch.  I am kind of leaning towards the Essential Oils doing this. And thinking of the combo of oils I used.  Does not affect the richness of this bar.  And with the addition of
Pink Grapefruit & Litsea Cubeba  ( also known as May Chang) it smells amazing.  

View various photos 

I am not going to go into what specifics on the oils I used here.  Now I let you down, so maybe due to me having limited time here.  I will have this listed soon in a few weeks to my artfire shop:

And all the ingredients will be listed there.  But let me say again this was well thought out and I feel that with this combination I cannot go wrong.   I did mention this smells amazing right?  It most certainly does!!

Below is the extra I had to put into a mold for smaller sample size to send out in orders.  I may list a few just in case someone would like to sample this soap, and in case they would like to purchase a larger bar.  I am one of those soap makers who is passionate about soap.  I have no qualms with sending extra samples to my customers.  I feel that I love to pay it forward and this is my way to do so.  I always support other soap makers when I can.  What comes around goes around.  And there are so many experienced great soap makers out there. Everyone is the soap making community has something special to offer.  It's what makes us unique and special to our craft.   

Sending extra samples out which I tend to go a little over board.  But when I am making soap I do make at least an extra 6 ounces to the batch to make sure I have available samples.  And also when I am involved in a craft show I do like to give out to my customers.  It just makes good business sense.  

I think I can wrap up this blog and I am pretty happy that I am staying on top of this blog.  

I always encourage anyone who feels they need to ask a question or make a comment to do so.

I can only get better when I understand the questions of my fellow peeps.  

So time is slipping by so much to do today.  I hope I have made some type of point to these recent soap.

And again when I list these soap bars all of the mysteries will be there to read about and learn from.

I hope everyone is doing well.  I hope for Spring to get here soon, I hope for now, no more snow to come.
Always filled with hope.  

Thanks so much for stopping by!!
God Bless to all