Archive for the ‘cosmetic recipe’ Category

Easy Lip Balm

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

easy lip balm Easy Lip Balm

Making your own lip balm is one of the easiest things to do.  By using Natures Gardens all natural lip balm base, you can quickly create your own lip balm.  With a few other supplies such as lip balm containers, flavoring, lip tints, and sweetener; you can take your lip balm to the next level.

To make your very own flavored lip balm using the all natural base, here is what you have to have:
All Natural Lip Balm Base
Lip Flavorings- now this list contains 24 different flavorings to choose from.  But, if you are wondering which flavorings are the most popular right now, they are: Juicy Watermelon, Strawberry Sorbet, Tropical Paradise, and Frozen Margarita.
Powdered Stevia (optional) but here is what you want to sweeten your lip balm or you can sweeten your lipbalm using chocolate wafers or white chocolate wafers.
Lip Tints (optional) but here if you want to tint your lips
Microwavable Bowl
Stirring Utensil
Pipettes (optional) but a great way to transfer the liquid lip balm to its container before it hardens
Containers-  this link will show a variety of lip balm containers from sticks to tins

Now, when it comes to actually making the lip balm, here are the steps:

1.  Scoop out some of the all natural lip balm base.  Place this into your microwaveable bowl.  Place the bowl into the microwave.  Heat in 30 second increments until melted.  If you are going to sweeten your lipbalm using chocolate wafers, you will want to melt the chocolate along with your lip balm base.

2.  Once the lip balm is melted, carefully remove it from the microwave.  If you are tinting your lip balm, add some colorant now and stir.  Obviously, the more colorant you add, the darker your lip balm will be.

3.  If you are adding stevia, you will want to crush it down even finer.  Because the stevia will not dissolve but only suspend in the lip balm the finer you can get it the better.  Once added, stir.

4.   Next, add a few drops of flavoring, and then stir again.

5.  Finally transfer your lip balm into its packaging.  Allow the lip balm to fully set up (which will not take too long).  Once your lip balm is firm, it is ready to use.

Making your own flavored lip balm is just that simple.  A great project to do with kids at birthday parties, sleepovers, or on a rainy day; this craft is simple, takes very little time, and is super easy to clean up.

Now, if you are interested in making your own lip balm from scratch, there are also other free recipes available on the Natures Garden website.  To view these recipes, you can simply click on this link.  Offering quite the variety, some of Natures Gardens more popular recipes are: Chocolate Avocado Lip Balm RecipeVegan Lip Butter, and the Natural Beet Root Lip Gloss Recipe, but there are many more to choose from.

Lotion Recipe

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

Homemade Tropical Lotion RecipeThis amazing Tropical Lotion Recipe is filled with skin loving and moisturizing elements.  But, not only does this lotion sink right into your skin, it smells like a tropical paradise.  Just the perfect thing to snap you out of the winter blues, and get you ready for summer!

To make this lotion, there are some supplies you will need.  To heat and melt the oils/butters, you will be using a double boiler method on your stovetop.  You will also need a larger mixing bowl to combine the water and butters/oils, as well as a stick blender to encourage the emulsification process.  Other than that, the rest of the supplies are pretty standard:  a scale, a mixing spoon, a spatula, and a funnel (optional).

As for the rest of the ingredients in this lotion recipe, they can all be found at Natures Garden.  You will also be able to find the bottles and lids to package your lotion in by clicking on this link.

Here is the lotion recipe to make (2) 8 oz. bottles:
Water Phase:
425 grams Distilled Water
8 grams Sodium Lactate
Oil Phase:
24 grams BTMS 25
10 grams Mango Butter
28 grams Rice Bran Oil
30 grams Fractionated Coconut Oil
6 grams Vitamin E Oil 
To Scent and Preserve:
10 grams Optiphen Preservative 
12 grams Papaya Dragon Fruit Fragrance Oil 
To get the same color pictured, you will need:
5 drops Da Bomb Soap Dye Yellow
7 drops Da Bomb Soap Dye Blue

It is suggested before starting this recipe to prep your area with all of the supplies that you will need.  Also, clean and sanitize your work area as well as your packaging materials.

And now, the steps:

The Water Phase:
Step 1:  Using your scale, weigh out at least 525 grams of distilled water.  Even though you will only be using 425 grams for this lotion recipe, you want to account for evaporation while heating.  Place your water in a pot.  Place the pot on the stove top.  Heat the water to 180 degrees Fahrenheit.  Once the water hits that temperature, hold it there for 20 minutes.  This step will eliminate any bacteria that may be in the water.

heat your distilled water

Step 2:  When the time has elapsed, remove the water for the stove top/heat. Weigh out 425 grams of the water.  Then, add the sodium lactate.  Stir and set aside.

adding sodium lactate to lotion recipe
The Oil Phase:
Step 1:  Grab a larger pot.  Place a few inches of tap water into this pot.  Put this pot on to the stove top on medium heat.  Now, weigh out and combine the following:  Mango Butter, BTMS, Fractionated Coconut Oil, Rice Bran Oil, and the Vitamin E.  Place all of the ingredients into a smaller pot.  Then, place this smaller pot in to the larger one.  This is the double boiler method.  As the ingredients melt, stir occasionally.  Heat the ingredients in the smaller pot to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

double boiler method for the lotion ingredients

The Mixing Phase: Get ready to move!
Step 1: Double check that your water and your oils are both around 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  Then, in a large mixing bowl combine the oil mixture and the water.

adding the oil phase to the water phase
Step 2:  Using your stick blender, begin to emulsify.  This will become apparent when your mixture turns white in color.

emulsifying lotion recipe

The Cooling Phase:
Step 1:  Now, allow your mixture to cool.  The temperature that you are looking for is 120 degrees Fahrenheit.  Once your lotion is this temperature, add the Optiphen preservative, colorant, and fragrance oil.  Once again, using your stick blender, mix.

preserving your lotion
Step 2:  Finally, let your lotion cool to room temperature and then place it into your bottles.

packaging your lotion

You have now turned your Tropical Lotion Recipe into Homemade Tropical Lotion.  You will just love how truly amazing this lotion is!  Enjoy the tropical fruits of your labor!

Natures Garden is not responsible for the performance of any of the recipes provided on our website. Testing is your responsibility. If you plan to resell any recipes we provide, it is your responsibility to adhere to all FDA regulations. If there are ingredients listed in a recipe that Natures Garden does not sell, we cannot offer any advice on where to purchase those ingredients.

Firming Facial Mask

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

make your own facial maskFirming Facial Mask

Whether you are looking to spend some quality time with the girls, or just wanting to treat yourself; using a homemade facial mask is the route to go.

Not only is making a facial mask super easy, it is also a great way to tone, firm, and even revitalize your face.  There are a variety of herbs and clays that you can use to make your very own facial masks.  Each herb or clay has its very own distinctive skin loving benefits that you can introduce into your facial masks.  The herb and clay that you select is dependent upon what you want the end results of your mask to have.

For this firming facial mask recipe, the herb that was focused on was Hibiscus.  This includes both hibiscus flowers and hibiscus flower powder.

Hibiscus is quite the amazing flower and has even been affectionately named “the botox plant”.  Used in skin and hair care for thousands of years, this amazing herb is a natural source of alpha hydroxy acids (Vitamin C).  These acids can gently exfoliate your skin while encouraging the replacement of dead and dull cells with new ones.  This herb also has anti aging properties with the capability of soothing, smoothing, and firming the skin.

As for the main ingredient for the firming facial mask, Red Moroccan clay was selected.  This clay is one of the purest forms of cosmetic clays available.  With the ability to draw out toxins and impurities, Red Moroccan clay also acts as a moisturizing agent for your skin.

To help to keep the skin moisturized vegetable glycerin is also used in this recipe.  Vegetable Glycerin  is a humectant.  What this means is that this ingredient will help to draw moisture to your skin and keep it there.

If you want to make this recipe, all ingredients can be found at Natures Garden.

Now, on to the firming facial mask recipe:
This easy homemade recipe will make 2 facial masks.  The total time the masks take to make is about 45 minutes.  Game on wrinkles!

Step 1:  In a pot, weigh out 120 grams of distilled water.  Then, place the water on the stove top and heat it until it reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit.  Once you hit this temperature, allow the water to hold for an additional 20 minutes.

Step 2:  Weigh out 2 grams of Hibiscus flowers.  Place the dried flowers into an empty tea bag and tie it shut.  Place the tea bag into a coffee cup.

Step 3:  When the 20 minutes have elapsed, remove the water from the heat source.  Now, carefully pour the hot water into the coffee over.  Using a spoon, hold the tea bag down into the water until it is completely saturated.  Then allow the tea bag to steep for about 10 minutes or so.  Occassionally while the tea bag is steeping, use a spoon to press the tea bag.  This will ensure you have a nice and strong Hibiscus Tea.

Step 4:  In a small bowl, weigh out 23 grams of Red Moroccan clay and 3 grams of Hibiscus flower powder.  Break up any clumps you may have.  Then, gently stir these two ingredients together.

Step 5:  When your hibiscus tea is finished steeping, in a separate bowl, weigh out 18 grams of the tea.  To this add 6 grams of vegetable glycerin.  Stir.

Step 6:  Now, carefully scoop the clay/flower mixture into the tea/glycerin bowl.  With each scoop that is added, stir well to fully incorporate.  Keep adding the clay/flower mixture until it is all in the tea/glycerin.    Keep stirring this until there is no visible powder left.

Note:  If you plan on selling this mixed facial mask, you will need to add 1% optiphen preservative to the mask at a temperature that is not higher than 140F.  This will help prevent bacterial growth.  If you are making this recipe for self use, but do not plan to use all of it at one time, place the remainder in the refrigerator up to 1 week.  Throw away after 1 week if the mixture is not properly preserved.

Now, to use your firming facial mask:

Once the mixture has cooled, start applying it generously to your face.  Once the mask is completely applied, allow it to fully dry.  This drying process will take about 20 minutes to complete.  As the mask dries, you will notice a color change in the mask itself.  Your face will also begin to feel tighter.

When the mask has dried, wash it off with warm water.  Then, pat your face dry with a towel.

Please Note:  Hibiscus WILL stain your clothes/towels.  It is advisable to wear clothes and use towels that can be stained.  Also, there will be a slight stain left on your face once the mask is removed.  This stain will disappear after an additional wash or two.

Natures Garden is not responsible for the performance of any of the recipes provided on our website. Testing is your responsibility. If you plan to resell any recipes we provide, it is your responsibility to adhere to all FDA regulations. If there are ingredients listed in a recipe that Natures Garden does not sell, we cannot offer any advice on where to purchase those ingredients.

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

Hippie Hair Conditioner

Friday, January 17th, 2014

happy hippie hair conditionerThe hippies may have stumbled upon something with their love of patchouli.  This natural herb does wonders for your body.  Not only is it amazing for your skin, promoting a lustrous glow, but it also has many antiseptic properties.  Besides the skin benefits, patchouli can also help in the hair department.  Patchouli can actually be used in the fighting of dandruff.

In order to best harness the anti-dandruff powers of patchouli, we decided that a patchouli oil infusion was in order.  This would then allow all of the medicinal anti fungal benefits of patchouli to be transferred through infusion into an oil.  Now, this oil, as opposed to the herb, was something that we could easily work with for a hair conditioner recipe.  Sometimes, as awesome as an herb is, the form that it is widely available in does not always suite it in the means of bath and body products.  For these types of situations; where an herb is needed, but not physcially desired in its form, the solution is an herbal oil infusion.

There are various ways to make an herbal infusion.  To see these different ways, please click here.

Please Note:  For this Hippie Hair Conditioner Recipe, you will need to make your patchouli oil infusion 4 weeks prior to making the hair conditioner.  Allowing the patchouli to steep for 4 weeks will permit the strongest oil infusion possible.  With oil infusions, the longer the herb is allowed to steep, the stronger the oil infusion will become.

To view all of the steps to make your very own homemade patchouli oil infusion, please click here.

Now, once you have your patchouli infused oil, you are now ready to make your very own Hippie Hair Conditioner.

Here are the ingredients you will need:
20 grams of your Patchouli Infused Oil
25 grams of  VEGETABLE GLYCERIN
25 grams of BTMS 25 Emulsifier
5 grams of OPTIPHEN – Preservative
5 grams of VITAMIN E OIL (Tocopherol T-50) Natural

For this recipe, temperature will be very important.  This is especially true for the step that includes adding the optiphen.  To best monitor this, we suggest using a THERMOMETER.

For an amazing natural scent, we will be using both Patchouli Essential Oil, and Lavandin Grosso Pure Essential Oil.  You will need 5 grams of Patchouli Essential Oil and 10 grams of Lavandin Grosso Pure Essential Oil for this recipe.

For packaging once the hippie hair conditioner is made, we suggest:  8 oz. Clear Boston Round Bottles with Black Lotion Pumps 24/410 for easy use of your product.  This recipe will make a total of (2) 8oz. bottles of hippie hair conditioner.

Other equipment that you will need for this recipe:
425 grams of Distilled Water
Scale- to weigh out your ingredients
Stove- for heating purposes
(2) Small Pots
Large Pot- for double boiler method
Large Mixing Bowl
Stick Blender- highly recommended for best emulsion.
Spatula

And now, the steps:

As when making any formulation for bath and body products, it is very important to have a clean and sanitized work area.  You also want to have all of your equipment out and ready for when you need it.

The first step in making this recipe is the water phase.  Get your distilled water and weigh it out.  Once you have the correct amount, transfer the water into one of your small pots.  Place the pot onto one of your stove top burners and begin to heat.  You want your water to reach 180 degrees Fahrenheit.  Use your thermometer to monitor this.  Once you reach this temperature, you will want to continue to heat your water for an additional 20 minutes.  This ensures that your distilled water is bacteria free.  When the 20 minutes has expired, turn off the burner, and carefully remove the pot from the heat source.  Set aside.

The next step is what is considered the oil phase.  For this phase, we will be using the double boiler method to heat our ingredients.  Now, get your large pot and place at least 3-4 inches of tap water into it.  Set this pot onto one of your stove top burners.  Turn the heat temperature on a lower setting.  While the tap water is heating up, it is time to weigh out your ingredients.  In the other small pot, weigh out the BTMS, vegetable glycerin, vitamin E oil, and finally the patchouli oil infusion.  Once all of these ingredients are in the small pot, carefully place the small pot into the larger one.  Once all of the ingredients are in a liquid state, once again get your thermometer.  You want the temperature of the ingredients to reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  Once you have reached this degree, check the distilled water temperature.  You want your distilled water temperature to be around 140 degrees as well.  The two temperatures must be close to one another for the next step to occur.

The next step in this recipe is the Mixing Phase.  Once the degrees of both the ingredients and the water are close to one another, it is safe to mix.  Please note:  You will want to move quickly for this phase.  In your large mixing bowl, place both the ingredients and the water together.  Get your stick blender and start to mix it.  You will want to periodically use your spatula to clean the sides of the bowl.  Continue to stick blend until you notice your mixture is starting to turn white.  This means that the conditioner is starting to emulsify.  It is now time to check the temperature again.

For the final step or cool down phase you are looking for the magical degree of 120F.  This is the safest temperature to add the optiphen.  Once you hit this degree, weigh out and add your optiphen preservative.  Next, add your essential oils.  Mix well with your stick blender, and do not forget to scrap the sides of your bowl with the spatula.  Once the conditioner has been thoroughly blended, allow it to cool at room temperature.

Once the hhippy hair conditionerair conditioner has cooled, it is safe to bottle and lid.

Your Hippie Hair Conditioner is now ready to use.  Enjoy!

Natures Garden is not responsible for the performance of any of the recipes provided on our website. Testing is your responsibility. If you plan to resell any recipes we provide, it is your responsibility to adhere to all FDA regulations. If there are ingredients listed in a recipe that Natures Garden does not sell, we cannot offer any advice on where to purchase those ingredients.

Herbal Infusion Recipe

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

herbal oilHerbal Infusion Recipe

This is the basic recipe for making patchouli infused oil to be used in the creation of various bath and body products.  For this recipe we are going to be using the double boiler method.  There are various methods to choose from when making an herbal oil infusion.  To view other processes of infusing herbs for bath and body products please click on this linkPlease note:  Depending on the herb/herbs that you are selecting to infuse, will determine whether you go with a hot method or a cold method route of infusion.  Some herbs are very heat sensitive.  Therefore, if heat is introduced for the infusion, some of the medicinal benefits may be lost.

With oil infusion, a key to remember is the longer that the herbs are allowed to set in the oil, the stronger the herbal infusion will be.  Our herbal infusion sat undisturbed for 4 weeks (after the double boiler method) before we strained the herbs out and introduced the infusion to a recipe.

We selected sweet almond oil because it readily absorbs into the skin and has a non-greasy feel to it.  There are however other oils you can choose from.  For the selection of your solvent (liquid you are infusing the herbs into), you will want to pick an oil that has a low rancidity rate.  Some other great solvents that can be used are: vegetable glycerin, apricot kernel oil, and olive oil.  Each oil has various skin loving attributes to them, so it is very easy to cater the oil infusion you want to make to the specific need you are looking for.

Although there are other herbs you can select for oil infusion; for this recipe, we wanted to make an oil infusion that was great for dry skin and promoted a healthy and radiant glow.  Besides being an astringent, patchouli is also known for its antimicrobial, anti inflammatory and antiseptic properties.  Plus, since Valentine’s Day is coming, and patchouli is known for its possible APHRODISIAC properties, we found patchouli to be a good herb of choice.

For this infusion, you will need:

patchouli oil infusionPatchouli c/s
Sweet Almond Oil
a pint sized canning jar with lid
2 pots (one smaller with lid, and one larger)
Water
Stove top
Scale

Here are the steps for making patchouli infused oil (double boiler method):

Using a scale, weigh out 45 grams of patchouli c/s.  Place the herb into the smaller pot.  Next, weigh out 392 grams of Sweet Almond Oil.  Pour this over the herbs in the smaller pot, set aside.  Next, place some water into the larger pot.  You want to have at least 3-4 inches of water.  Next, place the large pot onto the stove top on the lowest setting of heat possible.

making patchouli oil infusion

Then, place the lid on the smaller pot and then place the smaller pot into the larger one.  Although it is essential to keep the small pot lidded the entire time it is heated, you will want to monitor the oil infusion and stir it occasionally.  You will want to let the oil infusion simmer slowly for 30 minutes to an hour.  Do not allow water to get into your infusion.

double boiler herbal oil infusion

Once this time period has passed, remove the smaller pot from the larger one.  Allow the oil infusion to reach room temperature and then place the oil infusion into a pint sized canning jar and lid.

herb in oil

Although technically, once the herbs have simmered, you may strain them out and use the oil infusion once it reaches room temperature.  We however wanted a very strong patchouli oil infusion so we let the oil infusion set and steep for an additional 4 weeks after double boiling.  While the herbs were steeping, we took advantage of the sun and placed the jar in the window sill during the daytime.

Once four weeks had passed, the patchouli herb was strained out of the oil using cheesecloth.  Please note:  When you are ready to strain out the herbs, do not forget to apply pressure to the drenched herbs to get out as much oil as you can.  Finally, after tons of anticipation our oil infusion was ready to be put to use.

In the End
The patchouli oil infusion smelled amazing!  Not only was this recipe super easy to make, but it was fun too.  The addition of the oil infusion to our formulation allowed our end product that extra boost in the moisturizing category, and our skin was soft and supple after use too.

Happy Homemade!

Top 50 Soap Making Blogs

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

soap making blogs

Soap making has grown from a hobby, to a seriously competitive trade that attracts new talent all the time. The trick is finding the right soap making blogs to get the best recipes, ingredient list, tutorials, and expert advice to learn the pro’s tips on soap making. What I have created is the ultimate online resource that compiles the best of the best soap making blogs into one post.

I wanted to create a quality resource for people seeking information about soap making so I’ve collected what I believe to be some of the top soap making blogs out there. I endorse them so much that I’ve created a badge for them to display and be endorsed as one of the top soap making blogs on the Internet. The order below is not in any particular order. They are all #1 in my eyes.

Best Soap Making Blogs

1. Evik – The Curious Soapmaker – Evik has been making soap since she accidentally discovered a natural soap making book while browsing her favorite book store. Suddenly, she became more interested in a natural lifestyle and became a vegetarian and started learning more about the products and ingredients she was using in her every day life. Learn from her passion for soapmaking, the importance of selecting the proper ingredients, and basic recipes tutorials and principles.

2. Jennifer Young – Jennifer has a successful business of soaps, lip balms, salves and more. What makes her, and her blog, stand out are the four principles she runs her business by: she enjoys what she does, only uses natural ingredients in her products, supports the local community and economy, and treats the environment well. Kuddos to you Jennifer!

3. Amanda Griffin – Amanda shares her passion for soap making, and her gratitude for being a part of the “soaping” community. She loves all things soap, including talking, sharing, and teaching soap making. Follow her site for handmade soap, bath and body products, reviews, interviews, how-to’s and more.

4. Ruth Esteves – Ruth was trained as a laboratory assistant, and found herself craving more creativity in her life. She fused her passion for soapmaking with a career, and has successfully combined her talents for a business that “feeds her soul,” since 2006. Now she sells, teaches, and speaks about soapmaking and has even recently published her first eBook.

5. Rebecca Dillon – Soap Delicatessen is a one woman operation that has been running since 2001. She started out making soap as an alternative to commercial brands that often irritated her very sensitive skin. Over a decade later, now she creates her own unique recipes for various skin and bath products and sells them on her site.

6. Rene Whitlock – Rene started with aromatherapy and essential oils before she discovered her love for soap making. Now she passionately shares her discovery for better ingredients, natural products, and converting commercial product consumers to products more beneficial for their skin and the planet.

7. TheSoapBar.com – The Soap Bar is a fun spot for the soap makers out there. This site is loaded with contests, challenges, creative new tips and ideas, and wonderful tutorials to keep your soap making fresh and inspired. Follow along for wonderful recipes and a fun community of soap makers.

8. TheSoapMagician - Sharon has done her homework and has plenty of certificates to prove it. She has been making soap for well over a decade, and has no plans on stopping. Share her fountain of knowledge from aromatherapy to holistic uses of herbs, and how she incorporates all that into soap making.

9. TheSoapSister.com – This country gal loves her handmade soap and she can’t deny it! Her soap, Heirloom, is featured in local shops and on etsy. She shares the joys of soapmaking, making a messing, learning the tricks, and more on her oh-so-passionate blog.

10. TierraVerdeSoaps.com – A true self-proclaimed soap nerd, this mom has an entrepenurial spirit and a true talent at that. Follow her exploration of soap making where art meets science. Beautiful pictures are always the end result that you’ll find yourself wishing you could smell through your computer screen.

11. Stacie – Another successful business created as the result of a suffering tale of overly sensitive skin. Stacie’s first line of products resulted in her true love for sharing her results with others and the benefits she discovered in natural soaps. Share her recipes and learn about her new products, and cute crafts, on this charming site.

12. Angela – Angela, and her husband Brian, are the savvy creators of this blog that will educate and inspire you to spend more time together creating healthier, more natural products for you and your family. Browse their recipes and tutorials; it’s a great place to get started at making your own soaps.

13. SoaphisticatedLady.com – Beginner soap makers rejoice; here is the perfect spot for you to try your talent at soap making. Learn the basic process of melt-and-pour (MAP) soap making, and new tips and tricks “not available anywhere else.” A wonderful place to learn recipes, colors, and fragrance tips for your first, or twentieth batch of soaps.

14. Gavin Webber – Gavin’s site is delightfully personal, refreshingly real, and absolutely inspiring. He deems himself an ordinary man that had a sudden epiphony while watching a documentary and seriously overhauled his life. Follow his progressively shrinking carbon footprint, and marvel at his conversion to a green life.

15. TheNerdyFarmWife.com – A true self-proclaimed soap nerd, this mom has an entrepenurial spirit and a true talent at that. Follow her exploration of soap making where art meets science. Beautiful pictures are always the end result that you’ll find yourself wishing you could smell.

16. Tiggy – Future Primitive Soap Co.’ is Tiggy’s blog to share, and sell, her fine bath goods and aromatic oils. With names as catchy as the ingredients list, you will likely be as intrigued as you are curious. Inspire the soapmaker in you, or buy from the creator of soaps like, “Mama Didn’t Listen So I Told The Bees soap.”

17. Annie – Follow Annie’s adventures through soap making and “other things.” Shop her homemade lip balms, custom cupcake soaps, and body butters. She posts her creations on her blog, often swaying reading over to her “shop,” section linking to her good-enough-to-eat etsy store where she sells all of her fabulous creations.

18. Jenny – From melt-and-pour soap making to cold process soap, Jenny shares her hobbyist adventures in all things soapy. Follow her recipes through candle making, soaps of all colors and styles, and even men’s shaving cream.

19. BurntMill.com – This busy crafter may slack on the updates, but certainly not on the content. Follow some amazing recipes for colorful soaps. Learn how to make soap for a baby or bridal shower from start to finish, or give soap to friends and family and save some money this holiday.

20. SoapAndRestless.com – Did you know pictures of soap could literally make your mouth water? If you don’t believe me, check out ‘Soap and Restless,’ and just scroll through the photos. Those soaps are so beautifully made they honestly look good enough to eat. What’s not to love that the recipes, and plenty of tips and tricks, are shared for readers to delightfully attempt to recreate.

21. Erin Nute – Erin has learned the in’s and out’s of soap making and is happy to share her successes, and failures, so that you can create your own natural products. She’ll teach you layering techniques, color tips, and even how to make a long-lasting bar of soap. If you like what you read, you can pick up her new book, “Soap Making Made Easy.”

22. Patrice – Even those that don’t make soaps will fall in love with Patrice’s blog. She shares her passion for soap making, candle making, bath goods, and oil, but her personality is what keeps you coming back for more. Patrice has been at it for years, so share what she’s learned and have fun!

23. Bianca – This Brooklyn-based beauty is a full-time designer and hobbyist soap maker. Her blog is a meeting place for the best of both of her talents; where soap making meets design. Eye candy for the masses here, but definitely visual inspiration for the soap makers and designer readers.

24. Claudia Mold – Follow a busy mom of six through crafting projects, soap making, cooking, of raising her kids. Learn the recipe behind her “happy,” rainbow soap, or her mouth-watering handmade cheeseburger.

25. Erica Pence – Erica’s blog is more inspiration than the secrets of soap making, and if I were you, I’d listen. This business woman is savvy, successful, and passionate about what she does. She shares all of her interests from bath and body, to candles and business advice. Need more? Check out her tutorials and contests.

26. HorseOPeaceRanch.com – What a fun story behind this successful soap making business. After deciding to use some leftover goat’s milk to make some soap, an event 10 days later led to the first selling and teaching of soap making. Business officially began just months later, and has been a success ever since.

27. Magdoline – Addicted to Soap,’ started out of a mom’s need to help her eczema diagnosed children heal their sensitive skin. An encouraging husband pushed her to start selling her beautiful creations, and alas, a business was born. Browse the site, take a class, discover the joy of soap making.

28. LionAndRoseSoap.com – Handmade soap is an art, a hobby, but most importantly a passion. ‘Lion and Rose Handmade Soap,’ has them all. Share in the day-to-day family life behind this soap-making mom, and enjoy her honest opinion, recipes, and delightful creations on her site.

29. Aunt Nancy – Aunt Nancy’s blog is chock-full of homemade soap recipes. From pumpkin soap, to oatmeal & honey goat milk soap, you’ll have enough recipes here to keep you busy for an entire year (and more!)

30. Amy Warden – Amy’s soap is a work of art. If you have a few minutes and want some inspiration, I highly recommend going to her website and reviewing the amazing concoctions she has created. Absolutely stunning!

31. Tatania – Tatania’s soap is so beautiful it looks more like artisan fudge. I’d caution you against making her banofee pie soap as you really might confuse it for fudge!

32. Cee – Cee’s soap recipes are so unique! Pumpkin maple soap… Doesn’t get any better than that for fall, does it? How about a gift for mom of cocoa butter soap with lavender and lemon infused oil? My goodness! A must bookmark blog.

33. Jennifer – Add Jennifer to your list of soap blogs you must follow. From peppermint bark soap to polka dot themed apple, peach & cinammon, her soap recipes will inspire you for hours.

34. HomeMadeBathProducts.com – HomeMadeBathProducts is a site I know you will love! The writers feature great recipes and products from around the web.

35. Angela – Jamaican vanilla café, Hummingbird, Hula Hula… Angela’s soap names are as unique as the soap itself. Great photos and great blog… Just wish she provided more of her recipes.

36. Sabons Carmeta – This Spanish soap blog features beautiful soap recipes… From lavender and shea to Marigold… You won’t be disapointed by Sabons Carmeta.

37. Celine – Celine’s soap looks like it could be decoration in a pop movie. Full of sparkles, ridges & beauty, you’ll be hard-pressed to find more bubbilicious soap photos than hers.

38. Sue – Although the content has rarely been updated over the last few years, this blog features beautiful soap that you just must look into.

39. T.A. Helton – I Just love what T.A. Helton does with her blog. Occasionally you’ll see her featuring ‘soap porn’ so you can admire the greatest soaps she makes on her site, from apples & oak to bay rum spice… we love it all!

40. Elizabeth – Elizabeth shares her soap making adventures on this blog and we love it! She even shares how she uses her Vitamix for soap making (And for smoothies!).

41. Julia – Julia’s Spanish soap making blog is amazing. Beautiful designs, photos, packaging… You get the entire package here.

42. Milla – Milla not only shares photos of her end results, but even creates videos of how she prepares her soap. Definitely worth a read!

43. Super Soapers – Super Soapers is amazing: They feature soap artists every month to help inspire and educate you. This is one you must bookmark.

44. Ana Maria – Ana Maria shares her soap making adventures in this Spanish soap making blog. Just wish there were more recipes to accompany her beautiful photos

Our Favorite Soap Recipes

45. Nina Nelson – Nina shares her recipe for a homemade herbal bar soap here. She uses marshmallow root and calendula petals to make this bar soap very soothing and healing.

46. Allyson – Allyson shares 3 homemade dish soap recipes. They are all natural and quick and easy to make. She leaves out essential oils, but you can easily toss some lavender, cinnamon, peppermint or anything your heart desires in and it will work perfectly.

47. Stephanie – Pink grapefruit soap! Love it! Stephanie shares this unique soap recipe idea here. We definitely encourage you to try it.

48. Liz Marie – Liz has been using a DIY laundry soap recipe for over a year. After a year of refining her recipe, she finally has made it perfect and shares her secrets with you.

49. Clare – Another goat milk recipe! This time with orange and calendula. Thanks, Clare, for the great inspiration!

50. Brandy – Brandy shares her homemade poppy seed soap recipe here… I can’t wait to give this a go. Her photos are beautiful and the end result is even more gorgeous.

Where Can I Buy Cosmetic Supplies

Monday, July 15th, 2013
Cosmetic Kit

Natures Garden offers several different cosmetic kits ranging from body butters, to conditioners, to lip balms. Each kit provides all of the ingredients and items you need to make you own cosmetics!

Where Can I Buy Cosmetic Supplies

As the natural market continues to grow, there are also more and more people out there who are opting to “make their own” household products and natural cosmetics.  While natural cosmetic companies continue to promote the idea of “natural” to their customers, some companies have finally picked up on the fact that most of these handcrafted, natural cosmetics actually benefit the skin much better than their store bought counterparts.  In fact, I am willing to place a bet that our natural hair conditioner recipe, and emulsified sugar scrub recipes will out perform any similar store bought versions.  My point is:  If you are not making your own cosmetics, or buying handcrafted cosmetics, you skin is really missing out on the fabulous benefits of these products.

When we use the term Cosmetics Supplies, we are referring to all of the ingredients needed to create cosmetics as defined according to the FDA (Federal Food & Drug Administration).  The FDA defines cosmetics according to the cosmetics intended use.  The term cosmetics refers to items that can be put on the body in various applications to promote attractiveness (example lotions), clean or cleanse (examples bath gel, shampoos, conditioners), and alter appearance (example make-up, ).  So, as you can see, contrary to common belief, cosmetic items contain quite an array of products.

Natures Garden Candle and Soap Supply carries a nice variety of ingredients to get you started in making your own homemade cosmetics.  We have cosmetic supplies including fragrance oils, emulsifying waxes, natural butters, cosmetic clays, herbs and spices, cosmetic colorants, and even preservatives to ensure your cosmetics will stay bacteria free.  Natures Garden even has unscented bases where you can use the base as is or scent and color it to you liking, adding your own personal touch.

Providing cosmetic making supplies to everyone; we have a vast array of customers including hobbyists and small business owners.  But, if you are still undecided and looking for a place to start, check out Natures Garden Cosmetic Kits.  These kits provide everything that you will need to create the cosmetic, and they make perfect gifts too.  However, if you already are into cosmetic making, Natures Garden has free cosmetic recipes and classes.  There you will find recipes to make cosmetics and great information in the classes.  One of our favorites recipes involves using herbs to color your cosmetics naturally.

If you are in the market for high quality cosmetic making supplies, Natures Garden is your go to wholesale priced supplier.

What is a Surfactant?

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Have you ever tried to wash dirty dishes equipped only with a sponge and water?  This can be quite a feat.  You will notice that it takes a lot more time and elbow grease to get the job done.  Wondering why this is?  The answer as you will notice right away is that the dish soap is missing.

Did you know that the most eminent surfactant in existence is soap?

Surfactants seem to always get the bad rap.  Many people associate surfactants as bad ingredients to have in your recipes, but truth be told, this statement is not true!  Yes, SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) is a surfactant, and it can be more irritating to your skin than other surfactants, but is it as bad as what you read in the media lately?  It is an urban myth that Sodium Lauryl Sulfate causes cancer.  Read the truth for yourself.   In fact, many of the surfactants that will be listed in this class are derived from a natural source and they work to improve the integrity and performance of your cosmetic formulations.

Surfactants work with various liquids and substances; including oil and water.  Much like that of the role of the emulsifiers, surfactants have a hydrophilic (water-loving) head, and a lipophilic (oil-loving) tail.  In fact, emulsifiers are surfactants, and surfactants are vital to the industry of bath and body products too.  They comprise the largest category of cosmetic chemicals, and seem to have an endless list of cleansing capabilities.  So, needless to say, there is quite a variety to select from when seeking the perfect surfactant for your recipes.

The main qualifier in deciding which surfactant to use is all based upon the benefit that each surfactant provides.  Just like cold process soaping or any homemade bath and body products, the components that you choose to use in your recipes have a direct beneficial affect on the skin when the recipe is transformed into a finished product.  Therefore, when selecting which surfactant to use; it is just as equally important as to what you are looking to achieve in your finished product.  Each surfactant has key functions in which it will excel and equivocally each will also have other functions where it will be lacking.

The term surfactant is actually a combination of its meaning:  surface acting agent.  Let’s look at it again: surfactant = SURFace ACTing AgeNT.  But the term surfactant is not always the one that everyone sticks with.  It seems that surfactants have several names that all become applicable depending of the role of the surfactant in a specific recipe.  For example, in recipes where foam is the finished product, the surfactant used maybe referred to as foaming agents.  Surfactants used in body recipes, can even be termed as detergents or soaps.  Or, in the example of shaving creams, surfactants are considered lubricants because they protect the skin from irritation and the razor’s sharp edge while still allowing the removal of all of the unwanted hairs.

Everything that a surfactant does occurs at the surface levels of the liquids.  The biggest role that a surfactant has is the capability to lower the surface tension of a liquid.  The reaction which then occurs is the conversing of the liquid (with the lower surface tension) and the additional substance.  To break this down in simpler terms; a surfactant has the power to change the properties of a substance.  This process is known as adsorption.  The term adsorption means:  the gathering of gas or liquid in a condensed layer on the surface.  This condensed layer creates a film which is why the surface tension is lowered.  There are four different categories of classification for surfactants based on their interfaces and charges.  They are: Anionic, Nonionic, Cationic, and Amphoteric.

Education is always a powerful thing, and it is not necessary to completely know the ins and outs of everything surfactants.  But, you will want to have a general idea of each group of surfactants and how they play a role in your finished product.  This is especially true if you are looking to accomplish a “made from scratch” recipe.  It is also beneficial to know a few other things about surfactants too.  This would include information like why the surfactants are grouped or classified together or how/if surfactants work with additional groups of surfactants in a collaborate manner.  Spoiler alert:  Not all surfactants play nice with one another!

Anionic surfactants are considered to be the go to surfactant for many formulations.  This group of surfactants is also the most commonly used among foaming product productions, like shampoos or body washes.  The reasoning for this is because the anionic surfactant’s primary functions are creating high foam, high cleansing, and high washing capabilities in a finished product.

Anionic surfactants have a negatively charged water-loving head.  Anionic surfactants work very well in recipes which have a reaction between a chemical (like lye) and fatty acids or alcohols (like animal lard or vegetable based oils).  Hand processed soap, whether it is CP, CPOP, or HP, are all examples of anionic surfactants.  Other examples of anionic surfactants are Sodium sulfates, Ammonium sulfates, sulfosuccinates, sarcosines, sarcosinates, isethionates, and taurates.

One of the drawbacks of using an anionic surfactant relates to skin sensitivity.  Due the high foaming, cleansing, and washing capabilities, skin irritations can occur.  It is for this reason that if you are looking to create a handmade recipe it is best to choose another category of surfactants, or balance the anionic surfactants with amphoteric surfactants.

Amphoteric surfactants are the go with the flow surfactants.  They have the possibility to either have a positive or negative charge.  Their charge is all based on the pH or alkalinity of your finished product.  Hence the amphi prefix.

When an amphoteric surfactant is used in a recipe where the end result of a finished product has a lower pH, the amphoteric surfactant takes on a more conditioning and nourishing role.  On the other hand, when an amphoteric surfactant is used in a recipe where there is a higher pH in the end product, it resembles more of an anionic surfactant with high foaming and cleansing capabilities.  Neither option is necessarily bad; they are just on two different planes of the beneficial skin aspects.

Amphoteric surfactants are the most docile of the surfactants.  They are also the second most used surfactants in the industry.  This is because when used alone, they are able to provide a gentle aspect to the nature of your end product.  Adversely, when an amphoteric surfactant is coupled with an anionic surfactant, the amphoteric surfactant mellows the harshness of the anionic surfactants.  In fact, amphoteric surfactants can be used solo and in conjunction with any other of the surfactant groups.  There adaptability is just one of the reasons why they are so widely used.

Some examples of well know amphoteric surfactants are Coco Bentaine, Lauryl Bentaine, and Hydroxysultaines.

Cationic surfactants are the opposite of anionic surfactants.  They have a positively charged water-loving head.  It is because of this positive charge that cationic surfactants can offer many skin loving, nourishing benefits to the skin and body.  These surfactants are best used in recipes where foaming is not necessarily mandatory such as hair conditioners.  Cationic surfactants alone do not allow for ample foaming capabilities.

Cationic surfactants work well with 2 of the 3 remaining surfactant groups.  Both amphoteric and nonionic surfactants will be compatible with cationic surfactants with no problems.  However, because of the opposing charge cationic (positive) and anionic (negative) surfactants will not combine.

Some common cationic surfactants used in bath and body recipes are your chlorides (Benzalkonium, Stearalkonium, and Centrimonium), Trimethyl Ammoniums, and Methyl Sulfates.

Nonionic surfactants have no foaming capabilities which is why this group of surfactants are rarely used as a recipe’s main surfactant.  Evident by the prefix non, these surfactants do not have a charge in their water-loving heads.  The end result of using a nonionic surfactant will allow for a finished product that has a very gentle cleansing ability.   But, just because it doesn’t foam, it doesn’t mean it does cleanse.

Psychologically speaking, there is a direct mental correlation between foaming and cleansing.  We as a race have somehow inherently made this connection.  Whether it is a physical view of suds equating to cleanliness, or simply urban myths that have taken on a life of their own, the reality is; it could not be further from the truth.

Nonionic surfactants, or at least some of them, are ethoxylated.  What this means is that the nonionic surfactants have had some reaction to the addition of ethylene oxide.  With this reaction comes an even more water-loving head, almost as if it has been supercharged.  This then makes nonionic surfactants (like Polysorbate 20) perfect solubilizers.

But, don’t just disregard this category of surfactants yet.  Nonionic surfactants can also be used in formulations to reduce irritants, due to their gentle cleansing ability.  They also have the capability to be used as an emollient, softening or soothing skin.  Not to mention, these surfactants can be used to stabilize foam in recipes.  Hold on to your seats though folks, because it gets a little better!  Due to its lack of a charge, nonionic surfactants love every other category of surfactants; you can consider them the peacemakers!

Some common nonionic surfactants used in bath and body recipes are your Polysorbates, Emulsifying Wax NF, E-wax, Glyceryl Oleate, Glyceryl Stearate, ingredients with the prefix PEG, Ceteareths, Oleths, Sorbitans, Lauryl Glucoside, and Polyglycose.

In summary, surfactants are amazing little compounds found in many items we use every day like adhesives, bath gels, creams, lotions, frozen foods, chewing gum, inks, and fabric softeners; just to name a few!  There are four main applications of surfactants particularly in just bath and body recipes.  They include: cleansing, solubility, emulsifying, and conditioning.

Some other additional aspects of surfactants to bath and body recipes include:  the potential to increase stability of a product; certain surfactants can be used as thickening agents; due to the composition of a surfactant, some maintain anti-microbial elements and therefore can be used as preservatives; there are even some that have the capability to reduce irritation allowing for a milder product on the skin.

Interested in adding some surfactants to your recipes?  Below is a list of some commonly added surfactants to bath and body recipes:

sodium lauryl sulfate (can be derived from coconuts)  Produces High Foam; easy to thicken. Strong Anionic Surfactant; can cause irritation
ammonium laureth sulfate (derived from coconuts) Produces High Foam; easy to thicken.  Strong Anionic Surfactant; can cause irritation
disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate (derived from coconuts)  Foaming agent, Mild Anionic Surfactant; gentle on the skin
Cocoamphocarboxyglycinate  (derived from coconuts)  Mild, Amphoteric Surfactant
decyl Polyglucoside (vegetable derived, used in baby shampoos for its gentleness)
cetearyl alcohol
stearyl alcohol
Cocamidopropyl Betaine (derived from coconut oil) Amphoteric Surfactant
Decyl Glucoside (derived from sugar)
Glyceryl Cocoate (derived from vegetables)
Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (derived from coconuts)
Almond Glycerides (derived from vegetables)
Sodium Lauryl Sulphoacetate (much milder surfactant than SLS)
Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate (derived from vegetables and is a natural substitution for SLS) 
sodium methyl cocoyl taurate
(derived from coconut)
Sucrose Cocoate (derived from sugar)
polysorbate 20 (vegetable derived)
polysorbate 80 (vegetable derived)

If you formulate your own cosmetics, please visit our customer suggestion page and let us know which surfactants you would like to see Natures Garden carry.  We will be increasing our line of natural cosmetic supplies.