Archive for the ‘cold process soap’ Category

Lavender Essential Oil

Monday, February 24th, 2014

lavender essential oil Lavender Essential Oils

When it comes to using essential oils in products, lavender is one of the most popular ones selected.  Used throughout history, lavender has made its mark in the cosmetics, medicinal, and perfumery industries.

This is true for two reasons; first lavender is one of the most recognized scents worldwide.  And second, with such an array of skin and health benefits from lavender, it is easily a front runner for induction in to products.  There is only one problem though.  As with any essential oil, it is very difficult to get an identical essential oil each time.

Any essential oil can fluctuate greatly in scent for many different reasons.  These differences can be due to lots, varying seasons of harvest, the environment in which the plant was grown, soil conditions of the area, cross pollination of the plant, and even the distillation process of the essential oil itself.  Any one of these factors can change the essential oil.

There are different lavender essential oils available in the market.  Natures Garden currently carries two various forms of lavender essential oil.  These essential oils are Lavender Essential Oil 40/42 and Lavandin Grosso Pure Essential Oil.

What is Lavender Essential Oil 40/42
This Lavender Essential Oil carries the botanical name Lavendula angustifolia, which is also known as “true lavender”.  This name is also synonymous with English Lavender.   When it comes to scent, this type of essential oil is produced to have what is traditionally (and commercially) accepted as the lavender aroma.  More specifically, lavender 40/42 is the sweet flower smell of lavender.

The number 40/42 at the end of the essential oil name signifies the amount of linalool and linalyl acetate in the essential oil.  Linalool is a natural occurring organic compound (terpene alcohol) which is responsible for the floral scent of a plant.  Linalyl acetate is also a naturally occurring chemical compound found in many “flowering” plants.

When it comes to the creation of Lavender Essential Oil 40/42, it is commonly achieved by the combination of varying distilled lavender oils.  These lavender oils are not only selected by their species but also by their economical cost.  The natural lavender oils are then integrated together to yield an essential oil that contains 40% linalool and 42% linalyl acetate.  These percentages allow the two biggest components of the traditional lavender scent, and also make for an essential oil that is cost effective and can be replicated time and time again with very little scent difference.

Both Linalool and Linalyl acetate are important factors for this essential oil because it helps to ensure a dependable aroma.  Because essential oils can vary from batch to batch throughout the year, these amounts of linalool and linalyl acetate can help to produce a more consistent essential oil.  For this oil precisely, a lavender essential oil with its very distinctive and well known flowery aroma.

What is
Lavandin Grosso Pure Essential Oil
This essential oil which carries the botanical name Lavendula hybrid is a cross breeding of two different lavender plants; the angustifolia (English) and latifolia (spike).  The resulting oil has comparable attributes to angustifolia, however, due to its distinctive and differing chemical content the essential oil has separate features.  This essential oil is a refreshing more camphor like scent that does not focus on the floral aspect of lavender like Lavender 40/42 essential oil.  As one of the 39 species of lavender, lavandin grosso has camphorous notes that are more evident in the essential oil as opposed to its counterpart 40/42.  This is because lavandin essential oils contain a higher percentage of terpenes (particularly camphor) in it.  This scent is long lasting and sharp, especially in soaps and lotions; unlike Lavender 40/42 which is considered a more sweet and subtle aroma.

The actual essential oil itself is produced by the distillation of the flowering tops of the plant lavender grosso.  These plants blossom later than the Lavender angustifolia.   Another advantage of these plants is that they yield a larger volume of essential oil; up to 3 times the amount of Lavender angustifolia; making it cost effective too.

Although there are some differences in these two lavender essential oils, they both maintain a plethora of wonderful skin and health benefits.  If you are interested in reading about all of the wonderful benefits that lavender (herb or essential oil) provides to your products, please click on this link.

Natures Garden sells our essential oils for external applications only.  In the above post, we discussed the differences between Lavender 40/42 Essential Oil and Lavandin Grosso Pure Essential Oil.  Nothing in this article is to be construed as medical advice.  Please consult your doctor before using any of this information for treatment purposes. We provide this data for educational purposes only.

Lavender

Friday, February 21st, 2014

lavender in bath productsLavender Flowers

This amazing herb does wonderful things when introduced as a skin care ingredient.  Whether it is used in flower form, powder form, or in the form of an essential oil, lavender can be a go to ingredient for aromatherapy needs, antiseptic benefits, or even relief from pain and discomfort due to skin irritations.  This beautiful herb is also cherished for its decorative nature in both the body care industry as well as food and beverage industries, especially when it comes to the realm of teas and desserts.

The name lavender comes from its scientific name lavandula which is actually derived from the Latin word lavare which means to wash.  In fact, lavender was often heavily used by the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans for its antiseptic benefits for the skin, healing powers, and as an aromatic perfume.

There are several ways to use the wonderful benefits of lavender in your homemade skin care and body wellness products.  The very aromatic herb lavender is available for purchase in several different mediums at Natures Garden.

Lavender Flower Whole Select-  In this shape, it can be used directly in items like bath teas and soaps.  This form of herb can be steeped to make an oil infusion which then can be used in a plethora of bath and body products like: skin toners, lotions, body creams, perfumes, shampoos, etc.

Lavender Flower Powder-  In powder form, lavender can be used directly in your formulations and this even includes body powders.  The only precaution to remember when using this herb is that as with any powder, it is prone to clumping if not made into a paste first.

As an essential oil, lavender is available as Lavender Essential Oil 40/42 or Lavandin Grosso Pure Essential Oil.  Either of these essential oils can be used to scent your products for aromatherapy needs or to take advantage of all of the skin care benefits lavender provides.

The scent of lavender is one of the most well known aromas worldwide.  No matter where you live, chances are you have smelled this distinctive scent.  Often used in aromatherapy and in body care products as a natural antidepressant; lavender will ease stress and tension by promoting relaxation.  Lavender works as a nervine; calming the nerves and reducing irritability of the mind and body.

As an analgesic, this herb can actually help to reduce pain from skin issues and aliments like acne, boils, eczema, and psoriasis.  This herb is even beneficial for treating burns, sunburns, insect bites and stings.

As a natural air freshener, lavender also works to fight against air borne viruses.  You can achieve this by simply steeping lavender buds in water and letting the aroma fill the air.

Lavender has an array of uses; to read the full class on all of the benefits of lavender, please click on this link.

To view some wonderful bath and body recipes that contain the amazing herb of lavender in flower form or in powder form, please check out the links below:

Lemon Lavender Bath Melts Recipe
Lavender Sage Bath Bomb Recipe
Fizzy Milk Bath Recipe
Sensual Massage Oil Recipe
Lavender Luxury Cold Process Soap Recipe
Relaxing Eye Pillow Recipe
Lavender Apple Sugar Scrub Recipe
Lavender Vanilla Body Powder Recipe

Natures Garden sells our lavender flowers herbs and essential oils for external applications only.  In the above written blog post, we briefly discussed the wonderful benefits of lavender and the some of its uses across various industries.  Nothing in this article is to be construed as medical advice.  Please consult your doctor before using any of this information for treatment purposes.  We provide this data for educational purposes only.

Sexy for Men Scent

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

extremely sexy for men fragrance oilExtremely Sexy for Men Fragrance Oil- Fragrance Oil Spotlight

Described as a scent that you just can’t stop sniffing, Extremely Sexy for Men Fragrance oil is an excellent seller.  When put in a product, this scent is adored by men young and old!  A masculine and alluring scent, many women even purchase this soap for their men!  A great dupe of a popular brand, this fragrance is classy, sensuous, and sexy to say the least.  This fragrance oil is considered a keeper by many of our clientele.

What does Extremely Sexy for Men Smell Like?

This fragrance oil by Natures Garden is a spicy citrus blend.  This scent contains top notes of pink lime, bergamot leaves, and tangerine. Middle notes of cinnamon bark, limewood, and sage. Vetiver and orange flower comprise the dry down. Very Sexy…yes he is!

How Do Our Customers Use Extremely Sexy for Men Fragrance Oil?

For candle crafters and home scenters this scent is a huge hit.  Our customers use this fragrance oil in their soy tarts, tea lights, Palm wax, WOW wax, gel wax, Joy wax, and soy.  This clean and wonderful scent has a great throw too.  As for other home scenting ideas; this fragrance oil has been used in oil diffusers, electric burners, and aroma beads.

On the bath and body end of products, the usage percent for this fragrance oil is 5%, and is used to make:  melt and pour soaps, bath bombs, shampoo, shower gel, body sprays, lotions, and body sprays with a nice long lasting scent.  And, for those of you that are cold process soapers, this fragrance is a great seller for cp soap.  Here are the official results:  No acceleration, no ricing, and no discoloration. Soaped beautifully. Nice strong scent.

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

Menthol Crystals

Monday, January 27th, 2014

menthol crystalsThe menthol crystals that Natures Garden carries are actually crystallized peppermint essential oil.  These crystals are 100% natural and have a variety of uses when introduced into your products.

Although menthol crystals can be made synthetically, when derived naturally they come from mint oils such as cornmint or peppermint.  Once the extraction occurs, the oil is immediately frozen (cold extraction) which forms the menthol crystals.  These crystals, which look similar to smaller oblong rock crystals, are solid at room temperature but have a melting point of around 107 degrees Fahrenheit.  These menthol crystals which are a white or clear crystalline substance are soluble in alcohol and propylene glycol and they are miscible in oils.

Menthol crystals have many uses.  They can be found in many industries such as oral hygiene, candies, pharmaceuticals, personal care, perfumery, and tobacco.  They naturally have a strong minty odor to them.  And, their usage percentage in a product can vary anywhere from .2% to 10% depending on the end product that is being formulated.

Menthol contains local anesthetic, antipruritic, analgesic, antispasmodic and anti irritant qualities.  The use of menthol in bath and body products can actually engage the cold sensitive receptors in our skin and provide a cooling sensation.  This same sensation can also occur from inhaling menthol as well as ingesting it.

menthol crystals in oral hygiene
Oral Hygiene:

In the realm of oral hygiene this ingredient is used not only for its refreshing flavor, but also to combat bad breath and can be used in mouthwash and toothpaste.

 

menthol crystals in gumFlavoring and Candies:
Menthol crystals are used to flavor many of our favorite go to minty pleasures.  It is used with the addition of anise to produce the tried and true flavor of licorice.  The crystals are used in peppermint and spearmint chewing gum for their refreshing and cooling feeling when chewed.  And, it is also even used in the production of many hard candies.

menthol crystal usesPharmaceuticals:
For slight throat irritations, menthol crystals can be used in items like cough medicines, cough drops, and throat lozenges.  The addition of this ingredient will cause a soothing and cooling sensation in the inflamed area.

Menthol crystals can be used to alleviate nausea, especially when the nausea is due to motion sickness.  This is because peppermint (which is used in making menthol crystals) is a natural carminative herb, meaning it can settle the digestive system.

Because menthol crystals have antipruritic and anti irritant qualities, they are great for anti itch creams and balms.

When it comes to chest congestion and upper respiratory issues; menthol can work as a decongestant.  The uses in this category for menthol crystals include: rubs, balms, or salves.  Inhaling the minty aroma of these crystals will also help to alleviate the blockages.

For an excellent fever reducer, menthol crystals can be made into wraps to be applied to the head or feet.  These wraps can also be made into balms or cooling gels.

menthol crystals in bath productsBath and Body: (Once made into a liquid form)

Menthol crystals are a great addition to lip balms.

Menthol crystals are a remarkable additive to lotions and creams for their analgesic property.  This provides temporary relief of minor aches and pains, as well as sprains in muscles.  Because menthol is antispasmodic, they can also help to reduce muscle cramping and muscle spasms.

Due of their amazing cooling, analgesic, and anesthetic properties, menthol crystals are extremely helpful in the treating of sunburns and razor burns.  The cooling sensation in gels and shaving balms simulates the feeling of ice providing some instant relief from the pain.  But, menthol can also penetrate deeply to numb the pain area temporarily.

Menthol crystals can even be used in deodorants, hair shampoos, and hair conditioners for their refreshing and cooling sensations.

Adding menthol crystals to soap recipes can enhance your soap for any of menthol’s benefits.  Just make sure the crystals are completely dissolved in the soaping oils and stirred well to reduce skin irritations. 

menthol crystals in perfumes

Perfumery:
Menthol is even used in the perfumery industry.  When dealing with notes of floral, especially that of rose, perfumists will use menthol to produce menthyl esters.  These esters actually accentuate these delicate notes.


Tobacco:

Menthol crystals are used to flavor various tobacco items such as cigarette tobacco, pipe tobacco, and chewing tobacco. 

The shelf life for these crystals is 2 years when stored accordingly.  However, areas with high humidity may experience the hardening and mass joining of these crystals into a solid lump.  This lump may be broken up by lightly hitting it with a mallet.  Also, areas with high levels of heat may melt the crystals.  Menthol crystals are best stored in a tight fitted glass, aluminum, or double lined container.  The crystals should be kept in a cool and dry area away from heat and direct sunlight.

Care should be taken when using menthol crystals in skincare products, as using too much may irritate the skin.

Natures Garden sells our menthol crystals for external applications only.  In the preceding post, we discussed how these wonderful crystals have many different uses in vast industries.  Nothing in this article is to be construed as medical advice.  Please consult your doctor before using any of this information for treatment purposes. We provide this data for educational purposes only.

Strong Clean Scent

Monday, January 27th, 2014

strong clean scentFresh Linen Fragrance Oil- Fragrance Oil Spotlight

This delightfully fresh smelling scent is a winner across the board.  Perfect for everyone, this clean, crisp, and super brisk scent is a top seller; according to our customers.  Ideal for any crafting medium because of its strong clean scent throw, this outstanding fragrance is a superb addition to any spring cleaning/ fresh cleaned house line.  In fact, many of our customers joke that just having this scent in your home saves you tons of time not cleaning- but your home will smell like you did.

What does Fresh Linen Smell Like?

This fresh fragrance oil by Natures Garden is a clean accord with soft subtle back notes of powder and musk. Very similar to downy fabric softener. Notes include: jasmine, lilac, peony, Egyptian musk and French vanilla.   A Best Seller!

How Do Our Customers Use Fresh Linen Fragrance Oil?

For candle crafters and home scenters; get ready to be amazed.  Fresh Linen has an astonishing strong clean scent with amazing throw.  Our customers use this fragrance oil in their soy waxes (like 464), Joy wax, and WOW wax.  This fragrance oil even works very well in tart form.  As for other home scenting ideas; this fragrance oil is a keeper and has been used to make smelly jellies, room deodorizers, car fresheners, reed diffusers, linen sprays, oil diffusers, potpourri, wax dipped stuffed animals, and sachet beads.

On the bath and body end of products, the usage percent for this fragrance oil is 5%.  This fabulous fragrance is used to create:  melt and pour soaps, bath salts, body creams, laundry soaps, and handmade lotions. And, for those of you that are cold process soapers, this fragrance is great.  Here are the official results:  Some acceleration.  No ricing, no separation.  Scent is really good and strong with incredible retention in bars!  No discoloration.

Shea Butter Recipes

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Shea butter cold process soap Great Shea Butter Recipes

Shea Butter has amazing benefits for your skin.  The addition of this ingredient in your products will give your merchandise often sought out advantages.  Rich in vitamins a and e, Shea butter is great for reviving and moisturizing skin, hair, and nails.  Plus, Shea butter is readily absorbed into the skin without leaving a greasy feel behind.  Shea butter also does not clog pores, and is gentle enough to use for skin irritations on babies.

Key Points of Shea Butter

Shea butter can help in the removal of age spots, scars, and stretch marks.  It also helps to invigorate collagen production from our bodies, keeping our skin looking healthy, radiant, and supple; therefore reducing sagging skin.

Shea butter is anti inflammatory.  This makes it a perfect ingredient for body products that help to alleviate pain associated with arthritis, sore and achy muscles, and wind/sun/minor heat burns.

Shea butter is a natural moisturizing agent.  This is a great ingredient to use for people that suffer from skin irritations such as psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.  However, Shea butter is gentle enough to use on babies for diaper rashes.  Also, Shea butter is a superb additive to combat those rougher areas of your body; such as the heels, knees, and elbows.

For hair products, Shea butter is a winner.  Not only does Shea butter help thinning and damaged hair, but it will also promote growth of hair as well.  A perfect bonus to this butter is that it fights dandruff and can even be used as a natural hair conditioner.

Shea butter will also help cracked cuticles and promote healthy nail beds.

A great massage oil, Shea butter allows for penetrating, deep tissues massages and can be scented for aromatherapy reasons.

Here are some phenomenal Shea butter themed recipes for homemade bath and body products:

Rose Violet Bath MeltsBath Recipes
Berry Bewitching Bath Brew Recipe
Gourmet Chocolate Bath Melts Recipe
Lemon Lavender Bath Melts Recipe
Rose Petal Bath Melts Recipe
Rose Violet Bath Melts Recipe

black raspberry vanilla body butter recipeBody Balms/Butters
Black Raspberry Vanilla Body Butter Recipe
Hydrating Hand Sticks Recipe
Sugar Cookie Whipped Body Butter Recipe
Rejuvenating Foot Balm Recipe
Winter Body Butter Recipe

Massage
Massage Candle Recipe

shea lotion with herbal infusionLotions
Shea Lotion with Herbal Infusion Recipe
Solid Lotion Bar Recipe

Melt and Pour Soaps
7 Up Bundt Cake Soap Recipe
Zebra Print Soap Recipe

Blueberry Cheesecake Cold Process Soap Cold Process Soaps
Peppermint Cold Process Foot Soap Recipe
Apricotie Hottie Soap Recipe
Beer Cold Process Soap Recipe
Blueberry Cheesecake Cold Process Soap Recipe
Calendula Sunshine Cold Process Soap Recipe
Caramel Custard Cold Process Soap Recipe
Carrot Cold Process Soap Recipe
Cleopatra Heavy Cream Cold Process Soap Recipe
Cold Fashioned Lemonade Soap Recipe
Cold Process Shaving Soap Recipe
Gentle Avocado Cold Process Soap Recipe
Lavender Luxury Cold Process Soap Recipe
Mango Cold Process Soap Recipe
Pineapple Paprika Cold Process Soap Recipe
Royal Honey Bee Cold Process Soap Recipe
Shampoo Bar Cold Process Soap Recipe
Shea Butter Cold Process Soap Recipe
Hot Process Soap Recipe

Lip Balms/Glosses
Crazy for Coconuts Lip Balm Recipe
Natural Beet Root Lip Gloss Recipe
Strawberry Cheesecake Lip Balm Recipe

cotton candy emulsified sugar scrub Scrubs
Cotton Candy Emulsified Sugar Scrub Recipe
Emulsified Sugar Scrub Recipe
Fruity Rings Emulsified Sugar Scrub Recipe
Neapolitan Ice Cream Emulsified Sugar Scrub Recipe
Strawberry Milkshake Emulsified Sugar Scrub Recipe
Watermelon Emulsified Sugar Scrub Recipe

Shea Butter

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Shea ButterShea Butter

An essential element to Africans for thousands of years, the benefits of Shea Butter are quickly becoming center stage in many western parts of the world.  Shea butter is a substance that naturally contains vitamins a and e.  This butter is very beneficial to skin care and medicinal industries.  It can be added to various body products such as lotions or salves for anti-inflammatory (reduce inflammation), emollient (softening or soothing skin), and humectant (retaining or keeping moisture) properties.   But, more over, Shea butter also assists with the removal of scars and stretch marks.  Shea butter can even help with skin irritations such as diaper rashes.

Shea Butter comes from the wild growing Karite tree in Africa. The Karite tree can live up to 300 years of age.  The Karite tree starts to produce seeds at 10-15 years of age.  These seeds (or nuts) parallel that of a large plum. The fruit of the Karite tree has become a priceless item to the people of Africa.  Often considered “women’s gold”, these nuts not only provide food and medicine to the people of Africa, but they are also a main source of income for many of the women who are employed by the production of Shea butter.

Shea butter can be made in various different ways:

When a Karite tree produces nuts, they are collected.  Traditionally, the nuts are then opened and roasted.  This roasting is done to ensure a constant texture in the Shea butter.  When this consistency is achieved, the butter is then removed from the nuts, kneaded, and finally is analyzed for quality.  Once it is approved, the Shea butter, which has a ivory or cream like color, is then exported out of Africa.

Another way to get Shea butter is the crushing and boiling of the nuts.  Since the Shea butter is really a fatty substance, it will float to the top of the water.  The Shea butter is then skimmed out of the water and then it naturally solidifies.  Once it is in a solid form, it is checked for quality and exported.

Shea butter can also be extracted by the cold pressing method.   

Shea butter can also be filtered.  This form of Shea butter involves a process of clay filtering which allows for a smoother texture.  This clay filtering method allows for the removal of any shell particles that may still be in the Shea Butter.

Physically speaking Shea butter is a great substance to apply raw (right on the skin).  Its butter like consistency readily melts (from the heat of our bodies), and is absorbed into the skin.  Shea butter is invaluable to both the medicinal and cosmetic industries. 

Medical Uses:

Some of the key components as to why Shea butter is beneficial to the medical industry are that Shea butter is:  antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti inflammatory.

Shea Butter works as a natural sun block.  This is because it is able to absorb some ultraviolet rays, due to the fact that Shea butter contains the component cinnamic acid.  The addition of Shea butter to a lotion or cream will allow the product to provide some sun blocking properties against harmful UV rays.

Shea butter is also used as a base in many medicinal ointments because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

This amazing product can even help to alleviate discomfort from bruises and even burns (heat/wind/sun burns).  Medicinally speaking, using raw Shea butter on sore and achy muscles will actually drain the toxins from the area, helping to reduce the soreness.

This is a go to ingredient for massaging people who suffer from arthritis and pains in their joints.  This is because Shea butter contains stigmasterol, an agent for preventing stiffness.

And, within the realm of massaging, Shea butter is a perfect massaging agent.  Because this ingredient melts when it is in contact with the skin, it creates an ideal situation for deep tissue massages.

Cosmetic Uses:

Shea butter is one of the best all natural skin care products available hence it growing popularity in this booming market.

Due to its moisturizing benefits, Shea butter prevents chapping and extremely dry skin.  It is a great go to ingredient for dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema.  As an exemplary moisturizer, Shea butter contains many fatty acids.  These fatty acids are necessary to help keep skin looking supple and youthful.  Shea butter also assists our skin in keeping its elasticity.  This is because Shea butter can actually encourage collagen production from our bodies.

Shea butter can be used as a natural hair conditioner.  But, the healthy hair benefits do not stop there.  Shea Butter can actually prevent hair from breaking and thinning and actually stimulates hair growth!  Shea butter can even be used as hair pomade.

For hand creams and body lotions, not only does the addition of Shea butter help to keep skin moisturized, but it also helps with cracked cuticles and even fortifies nail beds.  This ingredient is ideal for the super dry areas of your skin such as elbows, knees, and heels.

In shaving creams Shea butter can help to prevent irritations.  It even promotes the skin to have a radiant and healthy glow.

Shea Butter is ideal for soap making.  Because many of the components of Shea butter are non-saponifiable, therefore, many of the nutrients and skin loving elements are still existent in the finished bar of soap.  To view a great cold process soap making recipe that contains Shea butter and all its healthy benefits, please click here. 

To help firm and rejuvenate sagged, wrinkled, or aged skin, use Shea butter in the formulation of your bath and body products.  Promoting cell renewal and increasing circulation, this is an overall great ingredient for your whole body product line.

A great makeup remover that does not clog pores, Shea butter can be used to remove facial makeup in a cinch.

As you can see, Shea butter has many versatile uses.  A great addition to any bath and body recipe, Shea butter is easy to work with and will provide your products will numerous healthy benefits.  To purchase Shea butter from a trusted supplier in the soap and cosmetic industry, please click on this link.

Handmade Soap

Monday, January 13th, 2014

handmade soap My name is Amy Garrett, and I own Alberta Handmade Soap Co. It’s a tiny “just me with the support of my family” company located in rural Alberta so it’s been a lot of work getting seen, but I love my work and products, and my customers really make it worthwhile for me!

I am an American from Oregon who married a Canadian from Alberta, which is what started my soap making adventure (and living in Alberta) – I wanted to make handmade soap wedding favours, and it turned into a major part of my life! There was no way I could do it as a hobby, there is too many soaps to make in a week and my house couldn’t contain them all, so once we finished the immigration process into Canada and got moved up here, *and* learned all the Canadian legalities, I formed Alberta Handmade Soap Co. and it just keeps growing. It wasn’t long after bar soap that I started expanding what I make – it makes me very happy to make bath and body products that my customers love.

My specialty is cold process handmade soap, but I also make lotions and body butters, lip balms, bath bombs, and more, with more products on the horizon. I’m a new customer to Nature’s Garden, and the fragrance oils have been so well received in all my products – I am so happy with the quality! I use a few suppliers but can easily say that Nature’s Garden has replaced a large portion of my regular scents, and I’m adding so many new ones, they are all so nice; Pink Sugar and Pumpkin Apple Butter sold huge this season, what I thought would last me til spring is just about out of stock from just a month of holiday sales!

Soaping with Cream Cheese

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

blueberry-cheesecake-soap-pic1We were in the cold process soaping kind of mood, and we were inspired by the scent Blueberry Cheesecake Fragrance Oil.  We wanted to do something different and add a little extra element to the recipe really challenging our soap making capabilities.  Obviously, since the scent was a cheesecake type fragrance oil, the go to ingredient in our minds was Cream Cheese; a vital piece to any cheesecake recipe.

The first step we took was to set the cream cheese out for a few hours so that it would be room temperature when we added it to the soaping oils (before the addition of lye water).  We figured this was a logical step since you do the same thing when you make real cheesecake.  In the first recipe that we tried, the cream cheese portion was 25% of our water amount; we figured we would go for the gusto.

We had already made our concentrated lye solution; it was cooling down.  Our soaping butters and oils were also in a melted state.  So, while we played the waiting game; we placed the cream cheese into the melted oils to allow the heat to soften up the cream cheese even further.   And, it did just that.  Using a spatula we were further able to break up the cream cheese.  This was the first real visible hitch that we had.  Once the cream cheese was broken up in our soaping oils the appearance was a little different than what we had anticipated.  The cream cheese basically looked like it was ricing in our bowl.

We still proceeded as normal, and once the temperatures were correct to add the lye solution into the soaping oils, we did just that.  Once the stick blender was introduced into the equation, the riced look was no longer a problem.  The cream cheese was completely emulsified as was the rest of the soaping batter.  We were golden.

As for any other special elements for this recipe; due to the fact that Blueberry Cheesecake Fragrance Oil discolors, we also added vanilla white color stabilizer to help reduce discoloration in our finished soap.  This was added at a 1 to 1 ratio.  We also desired to make this soap look identical to real blueberry cheesecake.  So, besides the colorants used to make the deep bluish hue, we also used titanium dioxide to whiten the “cheesecake” portion of the soap.

There were no other hiccups as we proceeded with the rest of the soaping recipe.  Once the batter was pot swirled and poured into the molds, we allowed it to sit undisturbed; playing the waiting game once again.

Flash Forward:  After the soap sat in the mold for 24 hours, we unmolded it.  The soap showed promise with beautiful outside coloration.  We were very excited to cut the loaf and see how the pot swirl had turned out.  After slicing a few of the bars, we were in awe of the delightful thick swirls running throughout each bar we sliced.  That was when we noticed the foul smell coming from the freshly sliced soap.  The blueberry cheesecake scent was very evident, but the soap also had a strange aroma to it.  Our first thought was the cream cheese.  Was it possible that the cream cheese had some kind of reaction during the soaping process?  We were not sure.  So, we reviewed the recipe, ran it through soap calc again, and came to the realization that 25% was too high of a percentage of cream cheese.  So, we were going to try the recipe again.

The next day we reworked our numbers.  This time we only added 20% cream cheese, and we corrected our water portion amount.  Everything else was exactly the same.  After the soaping process and mold time, once again we were in the same boat.  The new cut soap also had that strange foul odor to it.  Another great learning experience for us; but it was still a failure when it came to mastering the cream cheese recipe.

Not wanting to throw the proverbial towel in yet; we tried the cream cheese soap recipe one last time.  For this we held the cream cheese at 20%  but this time we soaped at the lowest temperature possible.  Knowing the the third time is a charm, and hyped that we may have just salvaged the soap recipe, we anxiously sliced the first piece… and with the bar came that smell.

Finally, we decided that soaping with cream cheese is a lot like soaping with butter; finicky butyric acid!

Taking a step back, we still really liked the quality of the bars, even with the smell.  We noticed that the bars from our first recipe still had the odor, but it was not as strong.  It seemed to dissipate as the bars cured; saving us from complete disaster.  However, not wanting to settle, the Blueberry Cheesecake Fragrance deserved a much better recipe to truly highlight its mouth-watering aroma.

We ended up making the Blueberry Cheesecake Cold Process Soap Recipe again.  However, this time we used 2% milk instead of cream cheese.  Since we had soaped with dairy before with the Cleopatra Cold Process Soap Recipe (heavy whipping cream) and the Caramel Custard Cold Process Soap Recipe (evaporated milk), we went with a 50% water and 50% frozen milk portion.

In true soaping with dairy fashion, we froze the weighed out milk portion and added it straight to the melted butters and oils.  We then proceeded with adding the lye water and so on.  There were no issues with this recipe.   We were very happy with the in pot swirl and final colors in our soap bars.  With all of the coloring practice we had with this recipe; it was spot on!  The performance of the finished bars themselves were great; full of lather, lightly exfoliated, and moisturized the skin.  Overall, even with the few hiccups we had with the cream cheese, it was all worth it in the end.

To view the full Blueberry Cheesecake Cold Process Soap Recipe, you can simply click on the link.  This recipe or any of the recipes mentioned in this blog post are also listed under the Free Recipes and Classes Section of Natures Garden’swebsite categorized under Cold Process Soap Recipes.