Melt & Pour Soap – Layering Matcha & Coffee Grounds

Layered Melt & Pour is super easy to make and it looks beautiful. In this DIY video, I take you through the basic technique of layering using Matcha Powder and Coffee Grounds. You can find the full recipe and instructions below the video.

Use the code CORNER25 for 25% discount on the ingredients linked under the video, as well as all other products from Moksha Lifestyle Products.

Recipe:

  • 200 grams of Stephenson ‘Crystal Goats Milk Soap Base’ (Buy it here)
  • Jasmine Essential Oil (Buy it here)
  • 1 tsp. of Avocado Oil (Buy it here)
  • 1 tsp. of Matcha Powder
  • 1 tsp. of Coffee Ground (Can be used ones as well)

Equipment:

  • Cavity Mould
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Double boiler or Microwave
  • 3 bowls
  • 3-5 small spoons to mix the Soap Base and other ingredients
  • A spatula – to scrape out the last of the soap

Instructions:

  1. Measure out 200 grams of Soap Base
  2. Divide the soap base into two separate bowls – depending on how big you want each layer to be

Layer 1:

  1. Add 1 tsp. of Matcha to 1 tsp. Avocado Oil and mix it until it’s a smooth paste
  2. Melt the 1st part of the Soap Base
  3. Mix the melted Soap Base with the Matcha Paste and mix it
  4. Add 10-20 drops of Jasmine Essential Oil
  5. Pour the Matcha Soap into two spaces in a cavity mold
  6. Spray the surface with Rubbing Alcohol

Layer 2:

  1. Melt the rest of the Soap Base
  2. Mix in 1 tsp. of Coffee Grounds to the melted Soap
  3. Add 10-20 drops of Jasmine Essential Oil
  4. Spray the Matcha soap with rubbing alcohol
  5. Pour it on top of the Matcha Soap in the cavity mold
  6. Spray with rubbing alcohol

Set it aside until it’s completely hardened. Unmould and enjoy!

Feel free to leave a comment below. Would love to hear from you if you try this out, or have a question. Until then, happy soaping!

//Louise

 

3 easy DIY projects for fewer toxins in 2019!

Making your own natural beauty products is a lot easier than one might think! I have gathered a small video with the basic instructions for 3 easy DIY projects, that take less than 30 min to make. Here’s to fewer toxins in 2019!

Use the code CORNER25 for 25% discount on the ingredients linked under the video.

Disclaimer: use Brambleberry’s fragrance calculator to determine the dosage of your chosen Essential Oil in each product. Follow the link: https://goo.gl/jqHdVS.

Products used in the video:

Lip Balm: 

  • Beeswax (Available online)
  • Mango Butter (Buy it here)
  • Ylang Ylang Essential Oil (Buy it here)

Get the full instructions on how to make it in the post 3 easy DIY projects (for natural beauty products).

Note: not all essential oils are suitable for products used on the face since they can be photo-toxic.

Clay Face Mask:

  • French Pink Clay (Buy it here)
  • Lavender Essential Oil (Buy it here)

Handmade Soap:

  • Stephenson Crystal WST Opaque White Soap Base (buy it here – Available in India only – this can be substituted for any other Melt & Pour Soap Base)
  • Grapefruit Essential Oil (Buy it here)

Watch the video Melt & Pour – The Basics for the full instructions.

Feel free to leave a comment. I’d be happy to hear if you try this out, or what other DIY projects you have planned. Until then, happy New Year!

//Louise

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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 Moksha Lifestyle Products, to shop the ingredients. Moksha is a leading wholesale supplier of 100% Pure, Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils and other materials around the world. 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 mold, 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

 

 

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.

The 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.

The 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.

The 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

If you love it, share it!

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

The Ayurvedic Collection (Alternative Soap Ingredients)

The Ayurvedic soap collection is a beautiful creation by my friend and founder of Bare Elements Skincare, 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.

Use the code CORNER25 and get 25% discount at Moksha Lifestyle Products, to shop the ingredients. Moksha is a leading wholesale supplier of 100% Pure, Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils and other materials around the world.

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 fibers 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: Red Sandalwood

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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The 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

Video tutorial: whipped body butter

This is my second video of all times! To create your own recipe, start by reading the blog post: Whipped Body Butter (with 2 to 4 ingredients).

Use the code CORNER25 and get 25% discount at Moksha Lifestyle Products, to shop the ingredients. Moksha is a leading wholesale supplier of 100% Pure, Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils and other materials around the world.

Disclaimer: I personally don’t use preservatives in my Body Butter, since it’s only for personal use, but I would recommend researching lotions and preservatives, so you can make your own informed decision.

//Louise

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How to make two types of soap in one batch

The only downside of making soap at home, is that sometimes there’s just too many new (and expensive) things I want to try out – which is actually why I developed the trick I’m about to explain. In this post I will explain how you can make two or more types of soap in one go, in a way that’s simple enough for anyone with basic soap making skills to do so. If you want to see it live, you can check out my last post: Video tutorial: cold process soap making, where I make two types of soaps in one go. I will use the same soap as an example in this post.

Creating your base recipe – but mixing up the rest

I’m sure a lot of soapers can relate to having a ‘go to’ soap recipe, when it comes to the base oils (carrier oils). There might be smaller variations, but all of us have our favorites. I think this is for good reason, because when something works – why change it? But we still need the excitement of changing it up whenever we make soap, which is where the esthetic and experience of the soap comes into the picture – the shape, smell, look and feel can make two soaps seems completely different even if the base is the same. So to make two types of soap, you simply create a base recipe – but plan out different scents, additives and shapes for the two (or more soaps) you want to make. Here is an example of a two soaps in one:

Base recipe – 1000 grams:
  • 250 grams coconut oil
  • 200 grams olive oil
  • 150 grams mango butter
  • 200 grams canola oil
  • 100 grams castor oil
  • 100 grams sesame oil
  • Lye – 141.77 grams
  • Coconut milk – 425.30 grams
The two batches (separated after trace):

Batch 1 – around 800 grams:

This batch will be poured in a loaf mold in a simple swirl with the following ingredients:

  • 50 ml cedar wood oil
  • 25 ml lemon grass oil
  • Aronia berry powder

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Batch 2 – around 200 grams:

This batch will be poured in small muffin molds, unscented with the following one ingredient for color:

  • Paprika powder

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How to go about it

I’ve divided this part in three steps: Planning, Preparation & Timing. Here we go.

Planning

Once you’ve chosen your base recipe, plan out how the two soaps will be different, in a way you are sure you’ll be able to manage. For example if it’s the first time you try this out, start by only changing one element – such as shape or scent. If you’re more experienced you can plan out changing more elements, and even plan to make two different swirls in your two batches. Though whatever you plan, it’s important that it is completely clear before you make your soap. I usually spend some time visualizing my soap, and then write it down on a piece of paper with all the different components and details of each of the batches.

Preparation

Since you will be working with more components than normal, it’s important to prepare as much as you can before you start. Examples of ways to prepare are:

  • Set out as many bowls as you will be dividing the batter into (for two simple batches, prepare two bowls, for two batches with swirls prepare four bowls etc.)
  • Add the additives in the bowls at the preparation stage. If it’s powders, you can mix a little oil in it to make sure they don’t clump when the batter is added. You can either add the essential oil directly in the bowl at preparation, or put it next to to the bowl in a smaller container, so its ready to be added.
  • If you want to pour the soup in different molds, place them so you’ve got plenty of space to work. The batter might be hardening fast, and you wont have time to move things around when you are in the middle of the process.

Timing:

Anyone that has made soap before, knows it’s all about timing, and even more so when you are trying to make two different soaps in one go. The only thing I really do, is to separate the soap batter into the different bowls, a little before it really thickens (trace) and then use a hand whisk for the last thickening. In this way you gain some time to mix in the different additives before they become too thick. A useful pointer is the following: if one mold is a cavity mold, pour that one first. It’s really hard to scoop into a cavity mold (without spending too much time smoothing it out). On the other hand, if you plan a swirl in one of the soaps, pour that first – once it’s too solid, you wont be able to make certain swirls.

Now, that was all for now. Remember, practice makes perfect. I’ve only done this a few times, but I get better every time. And it really keep things interesting when you got the regular process down.

//Louise

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Video tutorial: cold process soap

This is my first attempt of making a video tutorial, so bear with me if some parts of it are explained too fast or I babble a little. Also, at the time of making the video I had been spending some time in Denmark, so my usual Indian accent is mixed with a Danish accent.

Feel free to ask questions in the comment section if something is not clear from the tutorial. I will leave the recipe below for reference.

Base recipe – 1000 grams:

  • 250 grams coconut oil
  • 200 grams olive oil
  • 150 grams mango butter
  • 200 grams canola oil
  • 100 grams castor oil
  • 100 grams sesame oil

Lye & Coconut milk:

  • Lye – 141.77 grams
  • Coconut milk – 425.30 grams

Additives: 

Batch 1 – 800 grams – scented:

  • 50 ml cedarwood oil
  • 25 ml lemongrass oil
  • Aronia powder

Batch 2 – 200 grams – unscented:

  • Paprika powder

//Louise

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The best hand washing soap (with recipe)

There is a lot of misinformation out there on what it takes to keep your hands clean (and soft) – at least if you ask me. I’m not a professional in neither biology or any other science, so if I ever find sufficient (trustworthy) evidence to prove the contrary I will be the first to admit I was wrong. Though until then, I will insist that the very best thing to wash your hands with is plain old fashioned handmade soap! Actually I intentionally try to avoid any stronger stuff, such as commercial antibacterial soaps like Dettol. If you want to explore this topic further you can start by reading: Dangers of Antibacterial Soap (Dettol) and Commercial vs. Handmade soaps. This post though will focus on my own alternative to products like antibacterial soaps, including the recipe I use, so that you can make your own. If you have never made soap before you can read about the process here: How to make natural soap.

The soap I prefer to wash my hands with (and the star of this post) is pure coconut soap. First of all, using 100% coconut oil makes a rock solid bar of soap, which can withstand the moist environment in many bathrooms. Additionally coconut oil is a strong cleanser, perfect for hand washing. A very common misconception about coconut soap is that it dries out the skin, but there’s a very basic trick to solve this: super fat! Super fat is a soapers term describing leaving some of the oil in the soap, , without being saponified (made into soap). This adds extra moisture to the soap. A normal batch of soap will have a super fat of between 5% and 7%, since more might make the soap too soft, but since coconut oil makes a rock solid bar of soap it can have a super fat up to 30%.

The second secret to great hand soap is essential oils. Essential oils doesn’t only add scent to a soap, but also different properties, depending on the essential oil you use. Tea tree, cinnamon and sweet orange essential oil, amongst others have antibacterial properties, making them great ingridients for hand soap. In this soap I’ve added lemongrass and sweet essential oil – which also smells divine.

My mold is 900 grams, so this is the recipe I’ve used:

  • 900 grams of coconut oil
  • 342 grams of Water
  • 140 grams sodium hydroxide
  • 40 ml Lemon grass essential oil (optional)
  • 50 ml Sweet orange essential oil (optional)
  • 1 spoon Aloe vera gel (optional) – added in the lye

Super fat is at 15%

The last three ingredients are optional and can be exchanged or completely left out. I prefer to keep the essential oils at 10 ml per 100 grams of base oils (carrier oils), but many use less than that. If you want to make less or more than this recipe, simply run it through your preferred soap calculator,

//Louise

How to form a liquid soap recipe (with recipes)

When I started making natural liquid soap, I realized that there’s a lot less information on this process, than there is on solid soap making (both cold and hot process). This goes especially for info on how to combine oils in the right percentages to make a great liquid soap recipe. After a lot of searching and experimenting, I’ve gotten a basic idea on the things to consider when forming a liquid soap recipe. I would like to share what I’ve learned with you in this post, including a few examples of recipes I’ve used. If you have never made liquid soap or would like to give it try, you can start out by reading: How to make natural liquid soap.

In the post How to form a soap recipe, I explain the process of forming a recipe for solid soap, and there are a few things that are very different when forming a liquid soap recipe.

1. Liquid soap can contain high amounts of soft oils

Solid soap is all about making the bar hard and long-lasting. This means that a lot of oils can’t be used in high quantities, because they make a soft and sticky bar of soap. These are called soft oils – meaning that they are fluid at all times (coconut, palm, and mango butter are examples of hard oils because they turn solid at certain temperatures). Liquid soap formulas, on the other hand, can easily contain high amounts of soft oils since you don’t have to worry about the soap turning soft. Examples of soft oils are Sunflower, Sweet almond, Avocado, Safflower, Castor, and Canola oil.

2. Liquid soap needs high amounts of coconut oil

Coconut oil is a must in most soap formulations because it gives great cleansing properties and abundant lather. Though in solid soap, coconut oil isn’t used above 30 percent, because it makes the soap drying (unless it’s super fatted properly. Read: 3 Coconut Soaps – for hair, body and clothes). Liquid soap, on the other hand, needs high amounts of coconut oil, to give proper lather and is often used between 60-90% of the total soap formulation. I’ve not experienced it to make the soap drying, properly because of the added water.

3. Liquid soap isn’t superfatted 

To Superfat a soap is to leave some of the oil ‘unsaponified’ in the soap, but since liquid soap has added water, the excess oil would just float on the top of the final soap. This means that it’s pointless superfatting liquid soap, the same way you would in solid. Though there are two ways to do it, which is to add glycerin or sulfated castor oil, which are both water soluble.

4. Liquid soap gets cloudy if certain oils are used 

This is of absolutely no importance to me personally, but for many soapers, it’s important to keep the liquid soap completely clear (not cloudy). Some oils make liquid soap cloudy because they contain high amounts of ‘unsaponifiables’ (oil that can’t be made into soap), and is therefore left as oil in the final soap, that creates cloudy masses. Examples of these are palm oil, lard, tallow and all types of Butters (cocoa, mango, Shea etc.). It’s recommended only to add these at 5% of the total recipe if you want to keep the Soap clear.

Another way this is ensured is to make the soap with higher amounts of potassium hydroxide and then neutralizing the soap at the end. This won’t work though if there are too much ‘unsaponifiables’ in the recipe, so either way first rule is key.

How to formulate a recipe

To make this guide more simple, I will write down a general guide and then mention the exceptions in the section with recipes. According to me, there are three parts to a great soap recipe, with the option of excluding the third category. These are:

1. Coconut oil – 60% to 90% of the recipe 

Coconut oil is a must, in any amount from 60% to 90%. I’ve tried all the ranges, and from what I can feel, the biggest change is how abundant the lather is. Though I would say the more sensitive your skin is, or if you want to make soap for children, the smaller amounts of coconut oil should be used. Baby soap is the only time I would add less than 50% coconut oil – and accept the soap will just lather less.

2. Soft oils – 10% to 40% of the recipe 

Soft oils serve to add moisture to your soap, and also to keep the price down. What’s great about liquid soap recipes, is that a lot of really cheap oil makes for great components in high quantities. These are for example sunflower, canola, safflower and castor oil. Other examples are sweet almond oil, avocado oil, and apricot kernel. Olive oil isn’t technically a soft oil but is also a very moisturizing oil. Therefore it can also be added to the recipe as a soft oil.

3. Hard oils – 5% of the recipe 

Hard oils can add some extra body to your soap but needs to be added in less than 5% if you prefer an unclouded soap. Though, since I don’t care I’ve added up to 15% and loved the outcome. Examples are cocoa butter, shea butter, mango butter, and kokum butter. Personally, I don’t use palm oil, because of its environmental concerns but I’ve heard it’s great for liquid soap. Additionally are tallow and lard, which I also don’t use.

These three in combination will make a great recipe. Let’s take some examples.

Liquid soap recipes

1. The super lathering one 

  • 90% Coconut oil
  • 10% Castor oil

2. The cheap one 

  • 60% Coconut oil
  • 10% Castor oil
  • 30% Sunflower or Safflower oil

3. The Luxurious one 

  • 60% coconut oil
  • 10% castor
  • 25% sweet almond or avocado oil
  • 5% mango, kokum or shea Butter

Now to the exceptions:

3. The baby soap 

  • 100% olive oil

4. The cleaning soap (for a sparkling house or super clean laundry)

  • 100% coconut oil

I’m a bit apprehensive writing a baby soap recipe containing coconut oil since I don’t have much experience with it. But from what I can deduct it could work with small amounts of coconut oil and high amounts of soft oil – if you want to avoid using olive oil.

This was all I could cook up for now. I’m not nearly as experienced in liquid soap as I am in cold process soap making, so feel free to write in the comment section if you disagree with something or have other input – I’d love to hear it!

//Louise

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