Friday, April 25, 2008

My Other "Craft Personality" - Soapmaking

Pssst .... I have a secret to tell you.

Aside from making handbags, I do have another "craft personality" and that is, making handmade soaps. What are the benefits of a handmade soap? What's so special about it you may asked.
Handmade soap has no chemicals that can strip away natural oils and vital amino acids from your hair and skin protein. It has no petroleum based detergents, sodium laurel sulfate or DEA, or other typical toxic shampoo/soap ingredients.

All my soaps contain 100% goatsmilk (absolutely no water added!) and 50% Olive Oil. I also add coconut oil, castor oil and palm oil. Plus a touch of Jojoba or Avocado Oils, Natural Clays, dried Calendula or Rose Petals or Lavender Buds.
But wait there's more ... I also add 100% pure essential oils. My favourites are Lavender, Grapefruit, Tea Tree, Mandarin, Rose Geranium, Lemon, Palmarosa, Orange sweet and Patchouli essential oils. Now that's luxury!

Why do I like using these ingredients?

Goatsmilk - goatsmilk protein contains essential amino acids as well as vitamins A and B and minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. The low pH level of goat milk is close to our skin’s own pH, making it a very gentle cleanser.
Olive Oil - I believe this oil is central to the quality of handmade soap than any other oil used. Olive oil has superior penetrating power. It is not only a great moisturizer; it also protects and nurtures your skin. A superb moisturizer suitable for all skin types.
Coconut Oil - coconut oil is moisturizing and absorbs readily into skin. It produces hard soap with lovely, fluffy lather. In the tropical regions, it has always been used as a hair and scalp conditioner.
Castor Oil - castor oil is a very moisturizing and lubricating oil, high in fatty acids. It attracts and holds moisture in the skin. It is also suitable for shampoo bars.
Palm Oil - palm oil produces a nice, hard soap that doesn't dissolve quickly in water, cleans well and is also mild. It is also high in fatty acids and a rich source of beta-carotene.
Avocado Oil - is my favourite luxury oil. This oil is easily absorbed into deep tissue. It yields a rich and extremely deep penetrating oil, rich in vitamins A, D and E, lecithin, as well as potassium - known as the youth mineral. It is wonderful for all skin types.
Jojoba Oil - another one of my favourite luxury oil. It is non-oily or greasy and contains high levels of tocopherols, which have an antioxidant effect on the skin. It is an excellent emollient, and has a chemical composition very close to the skin's own sebum. It restores and conditions hair. It is suitable for all skin types.

So there, see how special handmade soaps are compared to commercial soaps you buy from the supermarkets? Let me tell you more ... this time about my favourite essential oils.

Lemon Essential Oil - is highly prized for its high anti-bacterial properties. It is recognized as being antiseptic, and as having refreshing and cooling properties.
Palmarosa Essential Oil - moisturizes the skin, while balancing the hydration levels and stimulating cell regeneration. Valuable for use with problem skin.
Lavender Essential Oil - is a natural antiseptic, controls the production of sebum, stimulates circulation in the skin, balances and soothes your skin. Assists in the healing of wounds and helps to rejuvenate the skin. Recommended for oily and sensitive skin, eczema, acne, and skin irritations.
Grapefruit Essential Oil - aside from its refreshing citrus aroma, it helps to clear congested oily skin and also assists with acne, while toning the skin and tissues. It is also said to promote hair growth.
Rose Geranium Essential Oil - this uplifting oil has a great all-over balancing effect on the skin and excellent conditioner. It create balance between oily and dry skin. Great for all skin types.
Patchouli Essential Oil - Antiseptic and deodorizing, it is recommended for relief of acne and eczema. It's said to assist in the regeneration of skin cells, and it soothes and smoothes dry, cracked skin. At the same time, it regulates the oiliness of skin and hair.
Tea Tree Essential Oil - is a natural astringent. It is best known as a very powerful immune stimulant. It can help to fight Bacteria, Fungi, and Viruses. For skin and hair, Tea Tree has been used to combat acne and oily skin and and itchy-flaky-scalp conditions. It may also stimulate hair growth!
Mandarin Essential Oil - it is a great ingredient to help purify and re-balance the skin and for promoting a fine textured skin, while at the same time fighting minor infections and skin problems.

Have you thought about switching to handmade soaps yet? Think about it and start reaping its benefits. It is truly a gift for your skin!

And oh, I forgot to tell you that I used the cold processed method in my soapmaking. Next time I will show you how I do it. Okey dokey?

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