Archive for the ‘beeswax’ Category

Realistic Gel Candle

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

honeycomb candleGel wax is a great candle wax for embedding items in candles.  This translucent wax also provides the opportunity to make realistic gel candles.  Sea or ocean themed gel candles are perfect examples of this, right down to the air bubbles.

We at Natures Garden however, wanted to take the realistic gel candle concept and kick it up a notch.  Using the fragrance oil Honey, which is gel safe; we arrived at a notion of somehow adding the look of an embedded honeycomb.  Trying to stick with items we already had in house, we creatively used bubble wrap and beeswax (because of it’s high melting point); to make our very own spin on embeds.  Through several trails and errors, we found the perfect look, scent, and color for this Honeycomb Candle Recipe.

Here is a List of the Items You Will Need:
Gel Wax- to emulate the look of delicious honey
Beeswax
White Pastilles- to make the embed of a honeycomb
Honey Fragrance Oil- a gel safe scent to match the realistic gel candle theme
Zinc Core Wicking- to make your candle more than just a decoration (4)  51-32-18z wicks  (2 in each candle)
Spectrum Candle Dye- Yellow- the color of the honeycomb
Spectrum Candle Dye- Orange- this color lightly added to the yellow makes the perfect golden honey hue
Thermometer- to monitor the temperature of the gel wax

Other Items and Supplies Needed: 
Stirring Spoon- to fully incorporate the color and scent to the wax
Stove- for the double boiler method
Scale- to be dead on for your measurements
Knife- to cut the beeswax
Toothpick- to add a touch of orange to the gel wax
9 x 13 cake pan- to make the honeycomb
bubble wrap- to make the honeycomb shape
(2) Pots- for double boiler method
Apothecary Jars- this recipe below will make a total of (2) 16oz jars.  Any shape or size jar will work, you will just need to adjust the measurements accordingly

And finally, here are the steps with pictures included:

Step 1:  Using the double boiler method, set the temperature of your stove top between medium and low heat.  Next, weigh out and melt 230 grams of beeswax.  You will want to stir this occasionally as it melts.

Step 2:   When the beeswax is in a liquid state, place 2 drops of Spectrum Yellow Candle Dye in it and stir. After the color is incorporated, place the pot back into the heat source.

coloring beeswax
Step 3:
  Next, lay your cake pan on a flat surface, this will ensure that your honeycomb has an even thickness.  Measure out 7 inches of length in your pan.  Mark this length by placing your knife across the pan.  If your knife is not long enough, you can use any kitchen utensil that will lay across the pan.  Next, with the bubble side up, place the bubble wrap over your knife and cake pan.

how to get honeycomb look

Step 4: Now, weigh out 23 grams of Honey Fragrance Oil.  Remove your beeswax from the heat source, add the fragrance.  Stir.

Step 5:  Slowly pour the beeswax over the bubble wrap.  Allow this to fully set up. Please Note:  Do not rush the set up of beeswax or it may crack.

making beeswax look like honeycomb

Step 6:  When the beeswax has cooled, gently remove it from the cake pan. Now, taking your time, carefully peel away the bubble wrap.

honeycomb beeswax

Step 7:  Next, weigh out 1000 grams of gel wax.  Place this into the double boiler and allow it to melt, stirring occasionally.  This will resemble to a thick syrup.

Step 8:  Now, lay your beeswax on a flat surface.  Place one of your candle jars on its side.  Using your knife, mark the width of the jar (before it changes shape).  Next, subtract 1/2″ from your marking.  Finally, make a line and cut it with your knife.

honeycomb candle

Step 9:  Gently roll your beeswax into a loose circle.  Place one roll in each of your jars.  Make sure the beeswax roll is at least 1/2 inch away from the walls of the jar.  Then, set aside.

how to make a honeycomb candle

Step 10:  Now, secure your wicks to the bottom of your candle jars.  Make sure they are centered.

Step 11:  Once the gel wax is melted, place 4 drops of Spectrum Yellow Candle Dye into the gel wax.  Next, add 1 toothpick tip of Spectrum Orange Dye.  Stir.  Finally, add 100 grams of Honey Fragrance Oil.  Stir again.

how to make a honey color

Step 12:  Place your thermometer into the gel wax.  Then, begin to slowly stir the gel wax.  Do not stir to quickly or you will have an excess of air bubbles.  Keep stirring and scrapping the sides until the gel wax temperature hits 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 13:  Now, slowly pour the gel wax into the containers until your honeycomb is covered.  Then, straighten your wicks.  Finally, allow the candles to fully set up.

pouring honeycomb candle

Your honeycomb candles are now ready.  Simply trim your wick, light, and enjoy!

With this realistic gel candle, there are two crucial steps that come into play.  The first is the thickness of the beeswax.  You want your beeswax to be nice and thick so it can withstand the temperature of the melted gel wax.  However, making the beeswax too thick may make it more difficult to curl, therefore complicating the honeycomb shape that can be achieved.  Lastly, the temperature of the melted gel wax is everything for this recipe.  Pouring over the 165 degree Fahrenheit point, will melt and warp your honeycomb.

Happy Crafting!

Beeswax Candles

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

beeswax candles
Air Purifying Candles

Many people burn candles as a way of relaxing with a soft light, or too add subtle scenting to the air, or as a means of setting the mood.  But, burning a beeswax candle may actually do more than this.

Let’s get a little scientific
The air that surrounds us is positively charged.  In fact, many of the items in our own homes emit a plethora of additional positively charged ions; jam packing our already filled surroundings with more and more positively charged ions.  But, all of these positively charged ions are not good for us. Recalling any lightning storm you have experienced, you will better understand this explanation.  Generally, after one of these storms, people feel stimulated, rejuvenated, and replenished.  The reason for this is that electrical storms produce a superabundance of negative ions that actually balance out the positive ions that dominate our surroundings.  This is why some of the most relaxing and renewed places for our bodies are be by waterfalls, beaches, forests, and mountain scenes.  These types of landscapes provide extra negative ions in the air that restore a natural balance of the charged ions.  Not only can you smell the difference in the air, but you can also feel it in your body too.

Positive Ions in our Homes
Many of the pollutants floating in the air of our homes like pollen, dirt, and dust all have a positive charge.  They get this charge from the static electricity that occurs in our home from daily routines.  Introducing negative ions into the air; combats these allergens. It has actually been scientifically proven to reduce many allergic issues like hay fever and asthma.  Negative ions can even help you sleep better too. Harmonizing the ions in your surrounding can help make you feel healthier and actually distress you.  Releasing additional negative ions can help with depression (SAD), headaches, and can even help you stay focused. Negatively charged ions work to make you healthier too.  Negative ions can help to boost your body’s immunity as well as help to build a resistance to many illnesses. Your body’s metabolism also benefits from negative ions making it more efficient.

Introduction of Negative Ions to our Homes
Beeswax can be considered an air purifier.  Beeswax candles are the only candles that emit negative ions into the air when lit.  Since opposites attract; these negative ions attach themselves to the positive ones.  This therefore balances the charge. Once the ions are bound together, the charge is now neutralized, and the molecule is complete.  The heavier mass causes these ions to fall to the ground, and they are no longer suspended in the air as contaminants.  This process of stabilizing, removes the ions, and cleans the air we breathe. The negative ions emitted by beeswax candles can even clean the air to eliminate smells like second hand smoke and many common household odors. Beeswax candles can be scented and colored just like other candle waxes.  Beeswax candles produce very little soot and burn very slowly.  These candles will provide your home with hours of purer, crisper, and fresher quality air.

Attention:  Natures Garden provides this information for educational purposes only.  We do not intend for this information to be misconstrued as medical advice or for treatment of any ailments.  If selling beeswax candles, refrain from making medical claims on your labels and/or advertising.   Promoting this way could make your candles considered a “drug” by the FDA.

Beeswax Uses

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

beeswaxBeeswax Uses

Beeswax is a natural wax made from honeybees.  The honeybees use beeswax in their hives to house their young and store honey and pollen.  When the honeycombs are removed from the hive, the beeswax is placed in hot water and skimmed out.  Many times the beeswax must be rendered to remove impurities before use.

There are three different types of beeswax.  Yellow beeswax is raw beeswax.  White beeswax is yellow beeswax that has been bleached.  Beeswax absolute is yellow beeswax that has been treated with alcohol.

Beeswax is a fabulous wax to use for candle making.  Candles made from this wax work as air purifiers.  The long lasting and clean burn of a beeswax candle produces little to no smoke when lit.

Beeswax is also an excellent ingredient to add to any of your bath and body formulations.  Providing wonderful benefits like skin softening and moisturizing, this wax can seal the deal when it comes to ending cracked and dry skin.

Because beeswax contains Vitamin A, beeswax can work with your damaged skin to promote cell repair.  Its humectant like property provides a barrier for your skin; not only locking the moisture in but concurrently allowing your skin to breathe.  As an emollient, beeswax helps to soothe irritated skin and advocates a soft and supple feel.  Beeswax can also be used in formulations to help thicken consistencies for products like body creams and lotions.

For dry and cracked lips when the cold weather hits, beeswax it a go to ingredient for lip balms and other lip care products.  Not only will beeswax help to heal your lips, it also aids in the prevention of dry and cracked lips.  The natural thin layer that beeswax creates keeps your lip protected from the elements, and keeps them moisturized too.

Within the realm of hair care products, beeswax can be used to create wonderful pomades and waxes.  The end result of its use will leave hair shiny and sleek.

For soap making purposes, beeswax adds elements of anti irritant, anti bacterial, and anti viral benefits.  It is an incredible ingredient to add extra moisturizing elements to your bars, which will leave your skin with a silky soft feel.  Plus, the effects are long lasting.

To read the full class on beeswax including some interesting beeswax facts, how beeswax is made, and additional uses, please click on this link.

To try your hand at some wonderful beeswax recipes please check out these links:

beeswax in body productsBody Products:
Solid Lotion Bar Recipe
Girly Girl Salve Recipe
Soothing Baby Non Petroleum Recipe
Hydrating Hand Stick Recipe
Rejuvenating Foot Balm Recipe
Natural Deodorant Recipe

beeswax in soapsSoaps, Scrubs, and Melts:
Royal Honey Bee Cold Process Soap Recipe
Cold Fashioned Lemonade Soap Recipe
Gourmet Chocolate Bath Melts Recipe
Lemon Lavender Bath Melts Recipe
Cotton Candy Emulsified Sugar Scrub Recipe
Emulsified Beet Sugar Scrub Recipe

beeswax in lip productsLip Products:
Lip Stick from Scratch Recipe
Natural Beet Root Lip Gloss Recipe
Silky Lip Butter Recipe
Strawberry Cheesecake Lip Balm Recipe
White Chocolate Lavender Lip Balm Recipe
Crazy for Coconuts Lip Balm Recipe

Adding Beeswax to a Soaping Recipe

Thursday, October 17th, 2013
beeswax

Adding beeswax to your cold process recipes provides a harder, long lasting bar of soap.

So, we had a brilliant idea, and we ran with it.  But, as we learned having a brilliant idea does not always equate to a brilliant end result.  Instead, our brilliant idea was a learning experience!

The Scenario

It all started out with the scent Nectarine and Honey, which by the way happens to be a fabulous scent.  In true Natures Garden form, we wanted to take this fragrance oil and kick it up a notch.  So, to the brainstorming mobile we went- hello think tank!  Back and forth the creative ideas started flowing- anything that was related to nectarine and/or honey was noted.  What resulted was a cold process soap recipe focused around the scent Nectarine and Honey that would incorporate bee products; Honey, Beeswax, and Bee Pollen Powder.  Once we knew how luxurious this soap was going to be, the clever name Royal Honey Bee Soap seemed to be the perfect match.

The Special Bee Ingredients

Honey was an easy choice.  We know that honey contains awesome skin loving benefits.  It is a detoxifier, loaded with antioxidants, and it’s very moisturizing.  After using body products with honey your skin feels extremely soft and supple.  Through our research we found that even Cleopatra herself bathed in honey and milk to supplement her natural loveliness and beautiful, soft skin.

Bee Pollen Powder was also chosen for the benefits it provides to the skin.  Bee pollen is rich in vitamins, amino acids, and minerals.  Products with bee pollen powder leave your skin feeling naturally soft and smooth.

Beeswax was selected as our warrior.  Although this ingredient is commonly used to help harden soaps, (making them last longer) we wanted it for a different reason. It also brought another element to the table- it locks in moisture for your skin.  Besides helping to keep your skin moisturized, after using products that include beeswax- a thin protective layer is left- a shield for your skin against the harsh outside elements of your environment.

We were set.  Super excited about how magnificent this recipe was going to be, we happily plugged our ingredients into Soap Calc, double checked our values, and moved on to the testing stage.

The Creation

Everything was set.  The lye solution was cooling.  The beeswax, butters, and oils were melted.  We were just waiting on the green light (temperatures).  The excitement was thick in the air.

Finally, the time had arrived.  The soaping procedure was normal.  Really, the only changes were: honey was added at light trace, and the bee pollen at trace.  This was easy!

The soap batter was beautiful- thick, creamy and smelled divine.  There was no denying it; you could just envision how great these bars were going to turn out after cure.  Seeing this gorgeous masterpiece coming together was intoxicating.  The anticipation of molding this batter was building, and we couldn’t wait to get started.

Since Nectarine and Honey fragrance oil naturally discolors to a creamy peach and the addition of bee pollen powder will add somewhat of a yellow hue, we thought this final color would be perfect.  So, really the only thing we wanted to accomplish was a heaped loaf with peaks.  Easy, right?

Yes, it was… so easy!  The batter was poured and heaped through the center of the mold.  We felt like Pablo Picasso working on a yet to be viral masterpiece.  Everything was going as planned.  Once we started peaking with a spatula, it was perfection in its finest hour.  Each peak held to the spatula and gracefully formed the most breath-taking, stunning crests.  The playful batter was alluring, begging for more peaks, and we did just that.  We peaked and played until it was perfect.  The soap batter was not only enchanting, but also captivating visually.  It was quite possible that we may have just stumbled upon a divine soap recipe- one to go down through the ages. 

After waiting the 24 hours to remove the soap from the mold, it was almost too much to handle.  We couldn’t wait to get these beauties out and cut; let alone the rest of the cure time.  But, we did- that’s soaping 101; it comes with the territory.

Finally- the Cure is Over

The first day that the soap was finished, we couldn’t wait to give it a try.  The bars were angelic.  The color was flawless, the bars were nice and hard, the scent retention was amazing!  We just had to try them out.  To the sink we went, and this is where our demise met us.

We soaped, and we were heartbroken.  Although everything seemed to be perfect throughout this whole process, our soap bars were crumbly.  Too crumbly!  We were defeated, and it was the beeswax that was the culprit.  The same ingredient that memorized us with its playful nature in the soap batter was now our arch enemy in the final product.  We felt as though we were victims to the sirens of the soaping world.  Back to the drawing board.

Analysis

After reviewing our notes and recipe, we found that the percentage of beeswax we used in the original recipe was too high (10%).  Investigating further, we found that the normal usage rate for this ingredient was a mere 1-2%.  Yikes!

honey soap

This is a finished and cured bar of Royal Honey Bee Soap by Natures Garden.

We did recalculate and remake the Royal Honey Bee Soap Recipe.  However, this time we decided to leave out the beeswax.  The bars were still gorgeous, soothing, and the scent retention was phenomenal.  After using it our skin did feel soft, supple, and nourished.  The honey added an extravagant element of luscious royalty.  The soap bars were still a win even without the beeswax.

In hind sight- we will try again to create a soap recipe that includes beeswax just not at 10%.  Sometimes, the most memorable lessons in life are the ones that you have to see for yourself- even if they result in less than desirable outcomes.