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Soap Ingredients for Sensitive Skin

September 24th, 2018 No comments

Sensitive skin is, well, sensitive. And if you have it, you know that you really need to be careful of products you use to cleanse with. There are some things to look out for when making soap that’s very mild – mild enough to use on tender little baby skin. All natural ingredients are best.

You can make a very gentle soap with:

  • coconut oil – to enhances hardness and has a creamy lather but need more emollients added to prevent drying
  • castor oil – to enrich it and make it more emollient
  • palm oil – for mildness and long lasting lather
  • wheat germ oil – adds moisture and luxurious creaminess to the lather
  • olive oil – creates a mild, non-drying soap

A nice touch to this type of soap is some calendula-infused oil and sage essential oil. Calendula is in the marigold family and has long been used as an antiseptic to calm skin inflammations and diaper rash.

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How To Make Herb Infused Oils

September 24th, 2018 No comments

Herb infused oils are wonderful for a massage and also can be used in your soap making process. They contain the best qualities of the herbs into a form that’s easily absorbed. You need to start in advance with them because they do take a while to make. But trust me, the end result is well worth the effort.

Some good herb choices are:

  • Calendula flowers
  • Comfrey
  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Chickweed
  • Plantain

If you use two or more herbs, divide them into equal portions.

Here’s how to make the herb infused oil.

You’ll need 2 pints of extra-virgin olive oil and 6 oz of dried herbs.

  • Put the herbs into a stainless steel pot and pour in the olive oil.
  • Bring the mixture to 100 degrees over a medium heat.
  • Remove from heat source, cover and let steep.
  • Do this twice a day for 2 weeks –  morning and evening.
  • After 2 weeks, strain the oil through a fine mesh filter into a jar with a tight fitting lid.

The oil will keep indefinitely as long as you keep the jar sealed up tight.

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Homemade Soap for Dogs

September 24th, 2018 No comments

Our dogs are family members – yours probably are, too. We want them to have the same benefits of natural handmade soap as we get. So we experimented and came up with some ingredients for ‘Fido’ that leaves his coat shiny, healthy and repels fleas. Oh yeah, and it also makes him smell wonderful!

Essential Oils for Pet Shampoo

Eucalyptus – this is an essential oil that has tremendous medicinal qualities. It’s a natural flea repellent and soothes  irritated skin. It’s also got anti-fungal properties in it. Use 0.5 oz in your soap mixture in a batch that makes 40 oz. of soap.

Pennyroyal – another essential oil that repels fleas and smells good. Use 0.5 oz in your soap mixture in a batch that makes 40 oz. of soap.

Citronella – this essential oil is used in outdoor candles to keep mosquitoes away. Use 0.5 oz in your soap mixture in a batch that makes 40 oz. of soap.

Cedar – we all know about the properties of cedar chests and how it repels moths. It works for fleas, too, and has a very aromatic smell. Use 0.5 oz in your soap mixture in a batch that makes 40 oz. of soap.

Use these 4 essential oils in your dog’s shampoo and you’ll be happy to have him jump into bed with you every night. His fur will be clean, shiny and smell great! (If you’re brave, you can also use it on your cat.)

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List of Common Essential Oils

September 24th, 2018 No comments

Essential oils are created by extracting the oil of plants. They have therapeutic qualities and a beautiful long-lasting fragrance. When making soap, don’t confuse them with the cheaper versions called ‘fragrance oils’ or ‘perfume oils’. Here’s a good article describing what to look for in essential oils.

Essential oils are used in aromatherapy and are very useful in creating natural handmade soaps. Remember that true essential oils are very potent and need to be handled with care. Store them in glass bottles in a dark, cool place.

Anise – sweet, licorice type smell. Used as a mood lifter
Basil – helps as a skin toner and to control acne
Bergamot – calming, earthy scent with antiseptic qualities. Mixes well with other scents.
Cardamom – spicy scent in the ginger family
Carrot seed – anti-aging
Cedarwood – astringent properties that make it good for oily skin
Cinnamon – sweet, spicy scent we’re all familiar with. Has some anti-oxidant properties.
Citronella – lemony smell used to repel mosquitoes
Clove – strong, spicy smell with antiseptic qualities
Coriander – mixes well with other spicy scents and is rejuvenating
Eucalyptus – good for clearing nasal passages, anti-fungal, insect repellant
Fennel – lifts your mood
Frankincense – nice woodsy scent. Good toner for aging skin
Geranium – light floral scent
Grapefruit – uplifting citrusy scent, helps with dull skin
Jasmine – floral scent that’s good for all skin types
Juniper berries – helps with eczema and acne
Lavender – very calming scent used a lot for babies. Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial
Lemon – perennial favorite citrus scent. Antiseptic and uplifting
Lime – another citrus scent with sweet undertones. Mixes well with others
Marjoram – helps with sleeping
Myrrh – musky scent. Helps with aging skin.
Orange – bright, cheerful citrus scent, anti-depressant
Patchouli – sensual fragrance with many good qualities for all skin types
Pennyroyal – goes well with sage, rosemary and eucalyptus
Peppermint – very invigorating smell we all love
Pine – woodsy and antiseptic
Rose – floral scent that helps with relaxing
Rosemary – herbal scent that’s used as an astrigent
Sage – common sage has a spicy scent. Not for use by pregnant women
Sandalwood – nice spicy scent. Mature trees are becoming scarce and some eco-conscious soapmakers don’t use it anymore.
Spearmint – milder than peppermint but still uplifting
Tea Tree – medicinal and anti-fungal qualities. Helps soothe irritated skin
Vanilla – warm, rich scent that enhances and blends well with others
Ylang ylang – exotic floral scent that’s fresh and delicate. Helps with depression and anxiety

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