Tag Archives: vegetable glycerin


Natural Soap Colorants: Katie Makes Soap Part 2

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Natural Soap ColorantsHi, there! It’s me, Katie, again. I’ve already told you about my first attempt at soapmaking. and guess what? I made more soap! Or at least tried to. This time I decided to experiment with natural soap colorants in melt and pour soap. (Different soap processes can affect natural colorants differently, but you’re generally OK with melt and pour- read the pages on the colorants for more information.) I wanted to make a color gradient with natural soap colorants, and I had the following powders: Red Moroccan Clay Powder, Orange Peel Powder, Carrot Powder, Rose Clay Powder, and Lemon Peel Powder. I used red clay, orange peel, and carrot in my first soap, and I got rose clay and lemon peel for a pink lemonade soap idea that I had (didn’t work out, going to try again- that blog will be coming soon!).

So, when you want to disperse a powder evenly in soap for coloring purposes, you want to ‘wet’ it with vegetable glycerin. Soap loves glycerin. I got a two pound slab of Shea Butter Melt and Pour, and first cut it in half because I was using a 1lb loaf mold. Then- lucky me- that slab was divided evenly into 20 squares- five rows of four- and I had five powders- so I separated my melt and pour base into five cups of four squares each. Then I measured out 0.1 oz of each powder into separate lil glass bowls. (One tenth of an ounce is the smallest amount [in ounces] that my scale would register.) I added 0.1 oz of veggie glycerin to each of my fruit and veggie powders, but the lemon peel powder was not mixing well- so I added more! I used 0.2 oz veggie glycerin for my fruit and veggie powders. I had to beat out the lumps of the carrot powder but with the extra veggie glycerin, it ended up being a very thin liquid. The others were more like pastes. I added 0.1 oz of veggie glycerin to my clay powders and that was enough to turn them into a workable texture. Woohoo! Here are my powders lined up:Powders

Out of habit, I had originally thought the lemon peel mixture would be the lightest- yellow, right? But it was actually a light brown. Hmm. Well. My eyes didn’t lie. So I lined the powders up this way since it seemed to be the most aesthetically pleasing- looked like a gradient and that’s what I was going for.

This time, I used the microwave for my melting and wow, that was so much faster and easier than trying to use the stove. I still wasn’t 100% sure on my carrot, orange, and lemon powders being in the correct order for a proper gradient (lemon = yellow, right, brain?) so I put my four squares each of melt and pour (cut up, of course, for easier melting) into three glass containers with spouts and thoroughly stirred in my powder-glycerin mixtures.

Natural Soap Colorants

Lemon was clearly the darkest of the three. It was a close call between carrot and orange, but orange was definitely closer to the color of the lemon powder soap. Well, alright. I had to melt them again because melt and pour isn’t really designed for stopping and taking photos and then I began pouring them into the mold one layer at a time. I poured my carrot layer first and sprayed the top with rubbing alcohol to get rid of air bubbles. I let that sit for.. I’m not sure exactly- about half an hour? It was only 1/5 of a pound so it didn’t take too terribly long to set up. Then I sprayed the top of that layer with rubbing alcohol (it evaporates out- so no worries there) and poured the next layer, sprayed it with rubbing alcohol, and let it set up. I repeated these steps for all five layers.

Natural Soap ColorantsI let the soap sit for a while before I popped it out of the mold to admire it, and then waited even longer before I cut it. I ended up with five ~1″ thick bars. I just cut it on a cutting board with a big knife- nothing fancy, so it’s not exact. And behold these beauties: the dark spots in the middle layers are likely spots where my powder clumped up but the carrot powder also seemed to settle into little specks on the bottom. I like it. It’s super cute. The lemon layer is also the most malleable, the other layers are quite hard and the lemon layer has a small bit of give. This bar smells slightly citrus-y near the lemon and orange layers, but overall, no overwhelming scent – I was more focused on the appearance anyway. It lathers like a dream, though. <3

Natural Soap ColorantsWhat did I learn? Well, the concentration of your powder is very important in determining coloring. That failed soap I mentioned above? I used the same amount of rose clay powder (and veggie glycerin to color an entire pound of it and you can really tell the difference 5x colorant concentration makes. The red clay layer actually looks closer to the solid-colored soap. Interesting. I think if I made another gradient soap, I would pick one colorant and do the different layers in different concentrations. No guess work when it comes to the proper order that way. It’s also been brought to my attention that certain non-clay powders may have the tendency to oxidize and eventually turn brown. I think they worked well in this soap not to mention the added benefits, but I may stick with clay for colorants in the future.

Here’s my first soap side-by-side with my second soap. So cute! Different combinations and different concentrations make different colors. I can’t wait to experiment with this further!



Tea Tree Soap

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tea tree soapTea Tree Soap

Hey all you crafty people out there, we’re bringing you a brand new unique free soap recipe, and it is actually made with amazing tea tree essential oil! Tea Tree Soap! This wonderful soap is made with actual tea tree essential oil, and is sure to delight you and all of your friends and family!  Deborah makes this soap for her family to help dry skin during the winter months.  So she wanted me to share this recipe with all of you!  This soap has a beautiful teal and white swirl to it, which is actually achieved very easily! The swirl is brought on by using cosmetic clay. The clay actually works as a barrier between the different soap mixtures, allowing them to swirl around each other!



Hemp Oil Melt and Pour Soap

Kaolin Clay Powder

Tea Tree Australian Essential Oil

Teal FUN Soap Colorant

Basic Oval Mold Market Mold

Vegetable Glycerin

Rubbing Alcohol

Glass Mixing Bowls

Mixing Spoons



Total Weights for White Layer:

288 grams of Hemp Oil Melt and Pour Soap

7 grams of Tea Tree Australian Essential Oil

7 grams of Kaolin Clay Powder

15 grams of Vegetable Glycerin


Total Weights for Teal Layer:

288 grams of Hemp Oil Melt and Pour Soap

7 grams of Tea Tree Australian Essential Oil

10 drops of Teal FUN Soap Colorant




Start by weighing out the amounts of soap for each layer in two separate bowls. (Using glass bowls is better for insulation, it helps the soap to stay melted longer once it has been melted down.) Then go ahead and measure out the amount of Kaolin Clay Powder in a bowl. Once you have measured out your clay, add 15 grams of vegetable glycerin and mix them together thoroughly until they become a paste.

tea tree soap

Next, go ahead and begin to melt down your soap. When the soap is partially melted, pour the clay and vegetable glycerin paste into one bowl of soap. Then add 10 drops of Teal FUN Soap Colorant into the second bowl of soap. Mix each bowl and then continue to melt them. You want to do these steps when the soaps are only partially melted because once it is fully melted, it sets up very fast. The only thing you should have to do when they are completely melted is adding the tea tree oil.

tea tree soap

Once your soaps are completely melted down, add 7 grams of Tea Tree Australian Essential to one bowl and 7 grams to the second bowl. Mix thoroughly. You’ll want to work quickly at this point as the soap tends to set up very fast.

tea tree soap

Using your Basic Oval Mold Market Mold, quickly but carefully pour each bowl into the mold at the same time so as to achieve your swirl effect. You will have some soap left over after you have filled the mold. This is so that you will have enough time to fill the molds because the soap sets up very fast.

tea tree soap

Let your soaps sit until they have completely set up and hardened and then your Tea Tree Soap is ready to use! This is definitely one recipe you just can’t pass up, check out our free Tea Tree Class for all of the wonderful benefits tea tree oil can bring to your skin! Make sure to check out all the rest of our free recipes and classes as well! Enjoy this fantastic soap and keep watching for more Enlightened by Layla!

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Goat’s Milk Soap

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, goats milk soap, melt and pour soap, Natures Garden, soap, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

goats milk soapGoat’s Milk Soap

Hi everybody! Hope you’re all having an awesome day! For all you melt and pour soapers out there, what is your favorite kind to use? Maybe it’s Shea Butter or Diamond Clear? Have you ever tried our Goat’s Milk Soap? This is one amazing melt and pour soap, and one that you should definitely be using for any upcoming projects and creations you may be working towards! Goat’s Milk is a wonderful kind of melt and pour soap, and one that we just happen to have many free recipes for! Make sure to try all of these out as soon as possible!

Are you curious as to all of the ingredients in Goat’s Milk soap? Allow me to explain! Goat’s Milk melt and pour soap includes the following: coconut oil, palm oil, titanium dioxide, sunflower oil, purified water, sodium cocoate, sodium myristate, sodium stearate, vegetable glycerin, Germall Plus, and of course goat’s milk. Each of these ingredients brings its own special purpose to the soap!

Coconut Oil: Coconut oil actually helps to soften and smooth your skin.

Palm Oil: Palm oil helps to bring a great lather to the soap as well as working to help harden the soap. It also helps to remove oils and dirt from your skin.

Titanium Dioxide: Titanium dioxide works to whiten the soap and can sometimes be used as a wonderful sunscreen, helping to protect the skin from any harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Sunflower Oil: Sunflower oil is great for treating many skin conditions like eczema and acne. It also works to help the skin retain moisture.

Purified Water: Purified water is another great treatment for skin conditions, helping to treat psoriasis, eczema, and acne. It also helps to hydrate and soften your skin.

Sodium Cocoate: (derives from coconut oil) Sodium cocoate works as a surfactant, helping to cleanse the skin and making it easier to remove oils and dirt.

Sodium Myristate: (the sodium salt derived from myristic acid) Sodium Myristate removes dirt and cleanses the skin, working as an emulsifying agent.

Sodium Stearate: (the sodium salt that comes from stearic acid) Sodium stearate works as another surfactant to make it easier to remove dirt and grime.

Vegetable Glycerin: Vegetable glycerin keeps the skin moisturized and cool, and also pulls in oxygen.

Germall Plus: Germall Plus works as a natural preservative for your soap.

Goat’s Milk: Goat’s Milk helps with treating many skin conditions like acne, reduces inflammation, and soothes damaged and dry skin. It also softens the skin as well as working as a natural moisturizer.


Are you just dying to try out our Goat’s Milk soap now? Check out some of our awesome recipes made with our Goat’s Milk soap! When you go to our Goat’s Milk Melt and Pour Soap page, click on the little “Recipe” tab above the picture. This will show you all of our free recipes made with goat’s milk soap, like our Floating Noah’s Ark Soap, our Solid Sugar Scrub, our Raspberry Zinger Bath Fizzies, and many many more! Make sure to check out all the rest of our free classes and recipes as well! Please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Nature’s Garden if you have any thoughts, questions, or concerns, and keep watching for more Enlightened by Layla!

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Shea Butter Soap

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, melt and pour soap, Natures Garden, shea butter, soap, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

shea butter soapShea Butter Soap

Hello all of you amazing people! I hope this finds you all having a fantastic day! For all you soap makers out there, what is your absolute favorite kind of soap to make? Maybe you’re more into cold process soap making, or melt and pour soaping, or maybe your favorite is even to make your own hot process soap recipes? No matter what your favorite kind is, each kind is unique and wonderful! Let’s talk about melt and pour soap right now, specifically Shea Butter Soap! This is one wonderful kind of soap that you’re sure to want to use as soon as possible!

Are you wondering about the ingredients in our Shea Butter Soap? Well, let me tell you all about them! Shea Butter melt and pour soap contains the following: vegetable glycerin, titanium dioxide, coconut oil, sodium stearate, sodium myristate, palm oil, sodium cocoate, purified water, sunflower oil, and shea butter. Each of these ingredients bring their own special benefits to your skin when used in soaps.

Vegetable Glycerin: This helps to cool the skin, pulls in oxygen, and retains moisture in the skin.

Titanium Dioxide: This is will whiten soap.  Also, it is sometimes used to help protect the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays, working as a great sunscreen.

Coconut Oil: Coconut oil helps to smooth and soften skin.

Sodium Stearate: This ingredient is the sodium salt that comes from stearic acid.  It works as a surfactant, and emilsifying agent, and helps to thicken the soap.

Sodium Myristate: This ingredient is the sodium salt derived from myristic acid.This works as an emulsifying agent, also helping to cleanse the skin and remove dirt.

Palm Oil: Palm Oil helps to remove oils and dirt from the skin, as well as working to restore natural oils within the skin.

Sodium Cocoate: Sodium Cocoate derived from coconut oil, it helps to cleanse the skin and works as a surfactant, helping to make it easier to remove dirt and grime from your skin.

Sunflower Oil: Helps to retain moisture in the skin, as well as helping to treat conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

Purified Water: Purified water helps to soften and hydrate the skin, as well as working to treat eczema, dry skin, psoriasis, and many other skin conditions.

Shea Butter: Shea butter works to hydrate the skin, as well as working as a sunscreen, helping to heal cuts and burns, and helps to treat wrinkles and fine lines.


Here at Nature’s Garden, we offer many free recipes and classes. Are you looking for some cool new projects to try using Shea Butter Melt and Pour Soap? Well, when you’re on our Shea Butter page, make sure to check out all of our awesome recipes under the Recipe tab on top of the picture! I recommend our Zebra Print Soap…but what can I say? I’m a sucker for animal prints! We have many others as well, like our Fish Kiss Soap, our Clamshell Kiwi Sugar Cubes, and be sure to try out our delicious looking 7 Up Bundt Cake Soap! These projects and creations will definitely be ones that all of your friends, family, and even your customers will love and adore! These are definitely ones that you can’t pass up! Enjoy this wonderfully amazing soap and keep watching for more Enlightened by Layla!

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Herbal Infusion

This entry was posted in all natural, bath and body, bath products, essential oils, fragrance oil, herb, herbal oil infusion, herbal tea, herbs, Natures Garden and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

Herbal InfusionHerbal Infusion

Many times the herbs that we seek out to use in a bath or body recipe may be a little too coarse for our skin.  This is the point where typically a conundrum lies.  The battle that is at hand is the great skin loving nutrients and benefits that herbs are able to provide versus the rigidity and awkwardness of the herbs physical form.  This is especially true for herbs that are cut and sifted.

There is however great news to share.  An herbal infusion is the problem solver in this situation.

What is an Herbal Infusion:  The true definition of the action of infusion is a procedure of withdrawing various nutritive compounds of an herb into a solvent, and allowing them to linger in the solvent for a period of time.  Basically, an herbal infusion is the method of extracting the medicinal benefits of herbs and steeping them to allow the transfer of herbal benefits into another medium.

There are different kinds of herbal infusions that can be made.  They all vary according to what medium is used.  The different solvents or mediums that can be used for an herbal infusion are water, oil (such as olive oil, apricot kernel oil, or sweet almond oil), vegetable glycerin, vinegar, propylene glycol, or alcohol.  Typically, herbal infusions made with alcohol or vegetable glycerin are referred to as tinctures or extracts.  The difference between extracts and tinctures is the amount of herb infused in the alcohol or glycerin.  An extract is considered 1 part herb to 1 part alcohol or glycerin.  A tincture is considered 1 part herbs to 3 parts alcohol or glycerin.

Infusions are necessary with some herbs due to their delicate nature.  Typically the fragile parts of the plant are used for infusions; this would be the parts that are above ground.  These parts would include:  leaves, flowers, stems, or aromatic pieces.   It is important to know your herbs and understand their nature before deciding the best infusion route to take.

Hot infusions:
Hot infusions will bring out vitamins, and enzymes.  This type of infusion will also allow the aromatic notes of the herbs out, which are also known as essential oils.  This method works best for the herbs that are a little more reluctant to forgo their medicinal characteristics.  This is generally the herbs in the form of barks and roots; although all portions of the plant can be used.  Herbal tea is the most popular example of a hot herbal infusion.

Cold infusions:
Cold infusions are best for herbs that have a heat sensitive nature.  Using the hot method with these types of herbs may eliminate some of the remedial properties.  This process is best for these types of herbs because through steeping (allowing a plant material to set in a medium undisturbed), they will release their medicinal attributes without being forced to do so with heat.

It is believed that the best types of herbs to use for an infusion are dried ones.  This is because nourishing minerals and phytochemicals that are naturally in herbs are best accessed by the drying out of the herb.  However, fresh herbs may also be used.

Depending on the method of your herbal infusion, it will vary the strength of the infusion itself.  Another deciding factor with infusion is the time that your herbal infusion will take as well as the deadline of your need for the infusion.  There are several different ways varying in strength and steep time that you can infuse herbs.

solar herbal infusionSolar Infusion:  This method involves the placement of your herbs and your solvent into a covered glass jar.  Make sure the cover is on tightly.  Then you allow your jar to set undisturbed in a warm/sunny area of your home-under a skylight or in a window sill. Allow this mixture to set for at least two weeks.  For more potent infusions, allow to set for 4-6 weeks.  After the time has passed, you may strain the herbs out with cheesecloth and use.  To make an even stronger infusion with this method, after straining, add another round of herbs to the same oil and allow it to set and steep again for two additional weeks.  Solar infusions typically use oils as the medium.  NOTE:  While sun tea can be made this way, it is important to understand that water can grow mold and bacteria within days.  Therefore, refrain from allowing sun tea to set in the sun more than a day before using or before refrigerating.

Oven Extraction:  The best method to use if you have selected a heat sensitive oil as your solvent and you are in a time crunch.  This method involves placing your herbs and solvent in a glass jar.  You will also want to make sure that you have it covered with a tight fitting lid.  Once sealed, select a deep cake pan and fill it with water.  The water level should rise to cover about half of your jar.  Then, simply place your deep cake pan into the oven and allow it to heat for several hours.  You want to make sure your oven temperature is on its lowest setting.  Once the time has passed, strain the herb out and allow the infusion to reach room temperature before using.

Hot water herbal infusionHot Water Steep:  This herbal infusion can be done if water is your selected solvent.  To do this method, place your herbs in a glass container.  Then, boil water.  Once your water is at a boil, turn off the stove top and carefully pour the boiling water over the herbs and into the jar.  Once the hot water has been added, quickly lid the jar tightly.  Allow the herbs to steep for 4-10 hours before opening the container to strain the herbs out.  Allow the infusion to reach room temperature before using.  A recipe for this hot water tea infusion:  Place 1 cup of dried herbs into a quart jar.  Pour hot water over the herbs.  Lid.  Set for 4-6 hours.  Strain.

Double Boiler:  This method is done by placing the herbs and oil in a lidded pot with the tightest lid possible.  Herbal Oil Infusion Recipe:  45 grams white sage leaves  + 392 grams of apricot kernel oil.  Next, take a second bigger pot and place water into it. Then, place the bigger pot on the stove top and set it on a lower temperature setting.  Next, place the smaller lidded pot containing your herbs and oil into the bigger one.   Allow this to simmer slowly for 30 minutes to an hour.  Throughout the time, continuously check your oil to make sure it is not overheating, and stir.  After the time has elapsed, strain the herbs out using a cheesecloth.   Allow the infusion to reach room temperature before using.

Tips for Infusions:
You can add extra scent to your infusion by adding fragrance oils or essential oils.

You can place the herbs that you will be infusing into a teabag or cheesecloth to help make the straining process easier.

No matter which method of infusion you are doing, a tight fitting lid is essential to the process.

You can combine herbs to make creative herbal infusions.

Uses for Infusions:
Water infusions can be used as a hair rinse.  This rinse can be left on the hair until the next time you shampoo.

Water infusions can be ingested as a tea (hot or cold) as long as the herb is safe for consumption.  Some herbs cannot be ingested at all, and can be deadly if consumed.   Check with your doctor before ingesting any herbs.  Honey can be added to make the taste of the tea more favorable.  If you have remaining infusion, refrigerate to slow spoilage rate.

Herbal infusions can be applied directly to the skin.  Oil infusions can be used for oil based bath and body products like massaging oils.

Herbal infusions can be inhaled for aromatherapy purposes.

Oil infusions can be bases for salves and balms.

You can use an oil infusion for emulsion products like sugar scrubs, lotions, and soaps.

For all natural herbs that you can use to make your own herbal infusions, shop Natures Garden’s Herbs.

Natures Garden sells our herbs for external applications only.  We are providing this information for herbal infusions for educational purposes only.  Nothing we mention should be construed as medical advice or for medical treatment purposes.   Please consult your doctor before using any herbs for treatment or other medicinal purposes.