Melt & Pour Soap – Christmas Gifts for Him & Her (Video Tutorial)

Want to try out making your own handmade soaps for this years Christmas gifting? Click here to watch the full video. Use the code CORNER25 and get 25% discount at http://www.Mokshalifestyle.com. You can find the recipe below the video. Happy soaping!

Recipe:

  • 200 grams of Stephenson Crystal WST Opaque White Soap Base (buy it here – Available in India only – this can be substituted for another Melt & Pour Base)
  • 2 teaspoons of French Pink Clay (Buy it here)
  • 2 teaspoons of French Green Clay (Buy it here)
  • 2 teaspoons of Castor Oil (Buy it here)
  • 20 drops Lavender Essential Oil (Buy it here)
  • 10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil (Buy it here)
  • 10 drops Grapefruit Essential Oil (Buy it here)

How to go about it:

  1. Add the French Pink Clay to one bowl, and the French Green Clay to another
  2. Add 1-2 teaspoons of Castor Oil to each bowl
  3. Mix thoroughly – this will make it easier to mix it with the soap base later
  4. Add 20 drops of French Lavender Essential oil to the French Pink Clay
  5. Add 10 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil and Grapefruit Essential Oil to the French Green Clay
  6. Melt your Soap Base in a microwave or double boiler
  7. Add the melted soap base evenly to your two bowls
  8. Mix well with two separate teaspoons
  9. Pour each bowl into a cavity soap mould, that fits 100 grams in each cavity
  10. Spray with rubbing alcohol to burst any surface bubbles
  11. Set aside until completely hardened
  12. Un-mould and enjoy your beautiful soaps!

Feel free to leave a comment below if you try this out or have any questions!

//Louise

 

 

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New DIY video series on handmade products! (with discount code)

I am happy to announce my new project with Moksha Lifestyle Products, showcasing in a video series, how to make your own personal care products with bases from Stephenson Personal Care. We are shooting this project off with three videos, that will be followed by one new per week. 
Melt and Pour soap is a great way to get started making your own personal care products. Stephenson Personal Care provides high quality bases, made from almost entirely natural products. Combined with Moksha’s variety of natural and organic ingredients, you are all set to make your own safe and luxurious products!
 
Use the code CORNER25 to get 25% discount at Moksha, to get started making your own beauty products.

To shop visit:

Video 1: Melt and Pour Soaps – The Basics

Watch how to make it here!

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This video runs through the basics of making Melt and Pour Soap, through the making these lovely French Lavender Soaps.

Recipe used in the video: 

  • 1 kg Stephenson ‘Crystal WST Opaque White Soap Base’
  • 20 ml. French Lavender Essential Oil from Moksha
  • (Optional) Lavender flowers

Video 2 – Melt and Pour Soap – The Microwave Method

Watch how to make it here!

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The video takes you through using the Microwave Method in Melt and Pour Soaps, through the making of these beautiful Peppermint Soaps.

Recipe used in the video: 

  • 300 g. Stephenson ‘Crystal ST Transparent Soap Base’
  • 7,5 ml. Peppermint Essential Oil from Moksha

Video 3: Melt and Pour Soap – Acne Soap with Green Clay

Watch how to make it here!

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The video shows the making of these easy soaps, that helps prevent and fight acne and troubled skin.

Recipe used in the video: 

  • 100 grams ‘Crystal WST Opaque White Soap Base’
  • 10-20 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil from Moksha
  • 1 teaspoon of French Green Clay

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Disclaimer: whenever you use the discount, I will get a piece of the pie.

The Ayurvedic Collection (Soap Inspiration)

The Ayurvedic soap collection is a beautiful creation by my friend and founder of Bare Elements Skin Care, Anuradha Pant. I wanted to share this collection and it’s ingredients, for some soap inspiration, that celebrates important ingredients in the ancient indian system of Ayurveda.

MRIDUL – meaning gentle

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Key ingredient: Basil and Bael

Ingredients: lye, water, goat milk, basil, bael, charcoal powder, coconut oil, palm (RSPO), rice bran, olive oil pomace, shea butter, kokum butter, chlorophyll oleoresin, silk fibres tussah, kaolin clay, himalayan rock salt, brown unrefined sugar, cedarwood, lime essential oil

SHANTI – meaning peace

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Key ingredient: 100 x washed cow ghee and Wild Turmeric

Ingredients: lye, water, goat milk, 100 x washed cow ghee ( clarified butter), coconut oil, palm (RSPO), rice bran, safflower, olive oil pomace, kokum butter, castor oil, silk fibres tussah, kaolin clay, himalayan rock salt, brown unrefined sugar, annatto infusion, wild turmeric ( Kasturi Manjal ), cedarwood, ashwagandha, ylang- ylang, pine

CHANDAN – meaning sandalwood

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Key ingredient: Sandelwood

Ingredients: lye, water, goat milk, 100 x washed cow ghee (clarified butter), coconut oil, palm (RSPO), rice bran, olive oil pomace, cocoa butter, castor oil, kaolin clay, red sandalwood powder, Himalayan rock salt, brown unrefined sugar, tussah silk fibres, french lavender, peppermint essential oil

KESH – meaning hair

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Key ingredient(s): Brahmi, Amla, Arapu and Curry leaves

Ingredients: lye, water, coconut oil, safflower, olive oil pomace, shea butter, castor oil, silk fibres tussah, kaolin clay, himalayan rock salt, brown unrefined sugar, Brahmi powder, amla powder, arupu ( cake oil tree), curry leaves powder, basil, lime, lemon, cedarwood, rosemary essential oils

Hope this will give you some inspiration to explore indian ingredients for your next soap making session. Feel free to leave a comment below with any thoughts or questions!

//Louise

DIY Coconut & Coffee scrub cubes

Disclaimer: since cold pressed coconut oil hardens under room temperature, it can create plumping use if poured excessively down the drain in colder climates.

Coconut & Coffee body scrub cubes is one of the easiest DIY project you’ll ever make – and it will make your skin feel as soft and smooth as a babies bottom! It can also temporarily help cellulite effected areas, by tightening the skin, as well as treat minor skin irritations. Besides these benefits, it’s just a great way to make a two-in-one solution for a scrub and moisturiser!

Why Coconut & Coffee?

Coconut oil is a widely used oil for health and beauty world wide, and for good reasons. In India it has used for thousands of years, as a part of the ancient science of Ayuveda, for both internal and external healing. For skin Coconut Oil is used to promote wound healing and cooling in conditions such as eczema, as well as general nourishing and moisturising. Since it is highly antibacterial and antimicrobial, it can also help ease different mild skin irritations.

Coffee grounds scrubs off dead skin cells, leaving the skin smoother and softer. It is also known to be absorbed into the skin where it dehydrates the fluid in cellulite effected areas, tightening the skin temporarily. An extra benefit is that it’s a great way to reuse your coffee grounds, from your morning coffee!

What you need

  • Coffee grounds (used)
  • Coconut oil (not fractioned since it won’t harden – either 72 degrees or 92 degrees)
  • Essential oils of choice (optional)
  • An ice cube tray

How to go about it

  1. Spread the coffee ground in an ice tray
  2. Heat the semi-solid coconut oil either in a double boiler or in a warm water bath
  3. Pour coconut oil over the coffee grounds
  4. Add two-three drops of essential oil to each
  5. Put the tray in the freezer until solid
  6. Once solid, put them in a jar and keep it in the fridge (unless you keep your house under room temperature – around 22 degrees Celsius)

How to use them

  1. Take out a scrub cube before your bath or shower. You will use the scrub as the last thing, so don’t put it too close to a steaming hot shower since it might melt
  2. Put the cube in your hand and it will soon start melting
  3. Scrub it against the areas of your body you want to treat
  4. Wash the grounds of with water, but no soap (since it will wash away the coconut oil
  5. Step out of the shower/bath and dry yourself lightly with a towel, to allow the coconut oil to be absorbed into your skin
  6. Voila!

That was all for now. Would love to hear from you if you try this out – or have other tips on easy DIY projects from natural beauty.

//Louise

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Coconut:Coffee scrub cubes is one of the easiest DIY project you'll ever make - and it will make your skin feel as soft and smooth. It can also temporarily help cellulite, by tightening

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How to make liquid soap, the easy way! (out of solid soap)

A lot of cold process soap makers hesitate to get into the hot process method, and I definitely was one of them. Though once I got started I realised it really more difficult, it just more time (and most of the time takes very little effort). All that being said, I do on a regular basis make liquid soap the easy way: by melting solid soap in water. I especially use this soap around the house, wash my laundry and to clean my dishes! If you would like to try your hand at making liquid soap making from scratch you can start by reading  How to make natural liquid soap. Otherwise, keep reading!

The Method, Issues and Solutions

The method seems pretty very simple, and I didn’t invent it, but there are two difference between how I use this method, and the way I’ve mostly found other people do it. This method that addresses two issues I’ve had when melting soap:

Issue 1: some soap turns out sticky, lumpy or uneven when its melted into water. This can partially be avoided by adding more water, but that takes away from the lather (and obviously makes it very thin)

Solution: I use pure coconut soap. Every soap, according to it’s oils, has a different diluting point (how much water needed to dilute it) and coconut soap has one of the lowest diluting points. Additionally coconut soap has one of the most abundant lathers, so even with the added water it lathers beautifully.

Issue 2: most recipes calls for grating the soap. Have you every grated soap? It takes forever!

Solution: same solution – I use coconut soap. It dissolves fast and evenly, without needing grating.

What you need

  1. A pot – it doesn’t have to be a double boiler, just any regular cooking pot
  2. A spatula or big spoon 
  3. Pure coconut soap – I make it by cold process method, and store it for when I need more liquid soap. You can find a guide here: Two Coconut Soaps – for Beauty and Cleaning
  4. Water – plain old normal tap water
  5. (Optional) Essential oils – any of your choice

How to go about it

  1. Measure and weigh your soap and water – approximately 1 CUP of water per 100 grams of soap
  2. Simmer it on low heat – don’t boil it, since it might burn (and burned soap smells horrible!)
  3. Stir occasionally – until the pieces of soap has dissolved
  4. Put aside – until it has cooled down.
  5. Add essential oils – until it has the scent you want

Voila! Keep in a bottle. I dont make more than I need for a month, so I don’t need to add any preservatives. In case you keep it for more than a month, I would recommend you only use it for dish wash, laundry and cleaning around the house.

Note: I use this method for personal use only. If you intend to sell or in any other way distribute, I would recommend you use appropriate preservatives.

What to use it for

Coconut soap is very cleansing, and therefore makes great for washing dishes, clothes and cleaning the house. I basically only use coconut oil, and it works like a charm! As for beauty, make sure the coconut soap is properly super fatted (read the article given above), since it will otherwise be too drying on the skin. I’ve heard very mixed reviews on coconut soap as a face and body bar, but I personally love it!

This was all for now. Let me know if you try it out, or have any other tips to making liquid soap the easy way!

//Louise

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Making soap the easy way, is as easy as vooking a meal. All you need is a solid bar of coconut soap and water!.png

Homemade all-natural hand sanitizer (Dettol alternative)

Antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers have boomed over the last decade, and ironically enough this has introduced a number of new health concerns.  That being said, keeping a good hand hygiene (washing your hands with good old soap and water) is essential to stay healthy. Because I don’t always have access to soap and water when I travel here in India, I have learned to make my own hand sanitizer from all-natural ingredients, that I would like to share with you. But first a little background.

The antibacterial scam

While we are being bombarded with commercials, stating that antibacterial products are more effective than regular soap and water, the reality is more complex. Many antibacterial agents added in commercial products, are strong chemicals that does more damage to our health than it prevents. Additionally, test have shown no evidence they do a better job at cleaning your hands. If you want to read more on this topic, you can start by reading The dangers of antibacterial soap (Dettol).

Its also important to understand that not all bacteria is bad – actually, we need them to stay healthy! We even need to be exposed to ‘bad’ bacteria to help build up our immune system, which usually happens as we grow up. Though the same process continues every time we get exposed to a new environment. My point is this: don’t take commercial companies on their word. Understand the science, and make an informed decision. I’ve concluded that the best option is natural soap, water and homemade hand sanitizer.

The Ingredients

Rubbing alcohol – a strong antibacterial agent, often used for disinfecting and sterilizing. It can be left out of the recipe, for a milder hand sanitizer.

Aloe Vera gel – a nourishing gel, that is mild on the skin. It can help treat small rashes and skin irritations.

Essential oil – a selection of EO’s with antibacterial properties – choose between tea tree, cinnamon, Oregano, Thyme, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemongrass and Bergamot, Clove.

(Optional) Glycerin – a moisturizing liquid, known for it’s ability to ‘attract’ moisture from the air. Rubbing alcohol can be drying, and this is to counter that.

The Recipe

Note: the recipe is not adjusted to children. Do research child safe essential oils, to adjust accordingly.

  • 1 tbs Rubbing Alcohol
  • 5 tbsp Aloe Vera Gel
  • 20 drops Essential Oils of choice
  • 1/2 tsp Glycerin

Simply mix the ingredients in a bowl and stir for a few minutes. Keep it in an airtight container. I have re-used an old squeeze bottle, which fits conveniently in my hand bag.

This was all for now. Let me know if you have any questions or comments below. I’d be happy to hear your favorite recipe for homemade hand sanitizer if you have any!

//Louise

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Making your own natural hand sanitizer out of just 3 ingredients, and avoid buying toxic commercial options..png

 

 

Intermitted fasting & it’s benefits

I don’t believe in living on diets, but on developing healthy habits and maintaining them. This includes eating whatever ‘bad’ food you have a weakness for, from time to time. Anyway, this post is not on my eating habits in general, but only one of them, namely intermitted fasting. I actually started intermitted fasting by curiosity, but have since then experienced a lot of benefits attached to it, that I would like to share with you in this post.

What is Intermitted Fasting?

In simple words, intermitted fasting is fasting in intervals. Either by skipping one meal in a day, or fasting on certain full days of the week. There’s a lot of scientific background, that I’m not gonna get into – but if you’re interested you can read more here. The basic idea, is that the digestive system and body is given a break, and that you at the same time take in less calories. My confirmation of it’s validity comes more in the fact that it has been done for centuries in India, than the high amount hype that is being made around it lately. So, I chose only to look at the benefits I myself have experienced and how it makes me feel. For a better understanding, I don’t eat lunch, meaning I only eat breakfast and dinner. The following is what has happened since I started this practice.

It makes you less hungry

I wanted to write this first, to ensure that you’ll keep reading! I admit there’s an adjustment period, but it can be managed by slowly easing into it. You can start by eating a smaller meal during your fasting time, and then work yourself down to just having a snack and then nothing. A great way to ease into it is to prepare chia seeds in water, with for example fresh berries and cinnamon, that you can drink through the day. Chia seeds keeps you feeling full, and is loaded with nutrients.

It gives you more time

We spend a lot of time everyday either preparing food or eating food. For some either is a recreational activity, and for others a hassle that just needs to get over with. No matter how you feel about cooking or meal time, cutting down on one meal a day frees up time to spend on something else. This could for example be used to get in some exercise, or put extra effort into your two other meals.

I allows you to eat better

Since you only have to cook two meals in a day, there’s more money and time to spend on them. I use the extra money I save to buy better quality foods, but also to treat myself to going out to eat or making something special at home. I think it’s important to note that when you only eat two meals, and don’t snack in-between, these meals need to count. Both so that you won’t get hungry during the day, but most of all so that you’ll get all the nutrients you need to be healthy.

It makes you loose weight

I’m sure there’s combined reasons for this. Even if you eat to your hearts desire during two meals, one can only ever eat so much in one go, so you will be taking in less calories all together. Additionally intermitted fasting lets the body enter into what’s known as a fat-burning state (which only happens 12 hours after a meal), as well as to increase the metabolism.

This is all I’ve noticed till now, but maybe in time I will make a follow up post after exploring it some more. Feel free to comment below with questions or your own experiences!

//Louise

 

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Want to know more about fasting? I can highly recommend this book: