Customizing your own conditioner only takes a few minutes! In this DIY video, I show the basic steps of customizing a conditioner base and using it. I also include a before and after, to give you a feeling of how well it works!
Use the code CORNER25 for 25% discount on the ingredients linked under the video, as well as all other products from Moksha Lifestyle Products.
Measure the desired amount of Conditioner Base (measured in ml.)
Mix in up to 2% of Essential Oils of choice (measured in ml.)
Stir the mixture until the ingredients are completely dispersed
Keep in a bottle or glass jar, like you would any conditioner
Note: ensure that your conditioner base contains a preservative. Otherwise, you will need to add that additionally. Stephenson Shampoo Base already contains a preservative, hence I don’t need to add one.
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.
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!
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)
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.
If you have never made liquid soap from scratch, and are looking for a natural alternative for commercial options – this might be helpful! To making liquid Soap the easy way you just need a piece of natural soap, water and a pot to boil it in. If you would like to try your hand at making liquid soap from scratch you can start by reading How to make natural liquid soap. Otherwise, keep reading!
The Method, Issues and Solutions
This method is very simple, and I didn’t invent it. Though there are two differences between how I use this method and the way I’ve mostly found other people do it. Here are the two main issues and the solutions I’ve found to solve them.
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 its formulation, has a different diluting point (how much water is needed to dilute it). Coconut Soap has one of the lowest diluting points, as well as an abundant lather, meaning that even when it’s diluted with water it still stays relatively thick and with a great lather.
Issue 2: most recipes call for grating the soap.
Have you every grated soap? It takes forever!
Solution: the same solution – I use coconut soap.
Coconut Soap dissolves fast and evenly, without needing any grating. I simply leave the full pieces of soap in the water and let the heat do its job.
What you need
A pot – it doesn’t have to be a double boiler, just any regular cooking pot
(Optional) Essential oils – any of your own choice
How to go about it
Measure and weigh your soap and water – approximately 1 CUP of water per 100 grams of soap
Simmer it on low heat – don’t boil it, since it might burn (and burned soap smells horrible!)
Stir occasionally – until the pieces of soap have dissolved completely
Put aside – until it has cooled down
Add Essential Oils – until it has the scent you want
How to store it
Keep in an airtight bottle. I don’t 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 that 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 is, therefore, makes great for washing dishes, clothes and cleaning the house. As for beauty, make sure the Coconut Soap is properly superfatted (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!
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 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 do more damage to our health than it prevents. Additionally, tests 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).
It’s 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.
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 its ability to ‘attract’ moisture from the air. Rubbing alcohol can be drying, and this is to counter that.
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!
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
Batch 2 – around 200 grams:
This batch will be poured in small muffin molds, unscented with the following one ingredient for color:
How to go about it
I’ve divided this part in three steps: Planning, Preparation & Timing. Here we go.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
I always loved making things myself. I am a passionate soaper, which means I end up writing a lot about it, but I have a lot of additional experience with making other Natural products because I make all my own products. So I thought I would put together a list of easy DIY Natural products that can be made with 2 to 4 ingredients, for own personal use or to gift in the upcoming Indian holiday season. Lets face it, nothing beats homemade gifts. So here we go.
Lip Balms for super soft lips
Lip balms are some of the easiest products you can make. Again, I’m super lazy when it comes to personal care, so I’ve narrowed it down to the most basic thing I can use on my lips – butter! I just take some Mango butter and use it as lip balm. Though as a gift it’s nice to fancy it up a bit. There’s only one thing you need to keep in mind when making your lip balms:
Some essential oils are phototoxic, which means that they react to exposure to sunlight, in a way that can cause allergic reactions in some people. Phototoxic essential oils are mostly citrus scents such as Lime, Orange, Mandarin, Bergamot and Lemon. So don’t use these in the Lip balms. Actually they should never be added in product used when going outside during the day. Otherwise you can switch up any part of the recipe – Shea butter, Cocoa butter, Sal butter and Mowrah butter can be substituted for the butters, and any Carrier oil or essential oil depending on availability and preference.
Mango Lavender Lip (Vegan):
This makes a softer, more butter like lip balm. Almost like a lip butter. I prefer this because it’s easier to apply in a round container. For a lip balm tube it won’t work because it’s not hard enough. This is also an option for vegans that don’t want any animal products in their products.
50% Mango butter
50% Sweet Almond oil
Lavender essential oil
Kokum Coconut Care:
I personally love peppermint in my lip balms. It gives a tingling sensation when you apply it and just smells like a dream. This works well in both a container and a lip balm tube. Beeswax protects the skin and tend to make the lip balm feel fresh on the lips a little longer. This might get a little hard in winters, so its possible to add a little extra oil if you like it softer.
50% Coconut oil
Peppermint or Spearmint essential oil
How to make it
Measure out your ingredients on a scale according to the size of your containers
Gather oils/butters/beeswax in a double boiler and melt
Add essential oils (I would add a few drops per 30 grams)
Pour into your containers and let it harden
Face packs for beautiful skin
Face packs or Face masks (depending on where in the world you are) is another thing that is super easy and still feels really really luxurious. I prefer to keep my Face packs pretty simple, and always use clay as my base. Besides being fantastic for the skin, clay also gives the mask a very smooth feel and makes it easy to apply. Depending on your preferences you can use any clay – I’ve chosen Bentonite Clay and Karolin Clay.
Activated charcoal & karolin clay
Activated Charcoal is a fantastic skin cleaner, because it absorbs impurities without drying the skin. Karolin clay is a great clay for more sensitive skin, because its a very gentle cleaner that moisturises. This mask is perfect for dry, sensitive and troubled skin.
75% Karolin Clay
25% Activated Charcoal
Turmeric & Bentonite Clay
This mask is not for sensitive skin. If you want to make it more mild, you can switch Bentonite for Karolin Clay. Though Bentonite Clay is super cleansing, and perfect for skin that needs some extra detoxifying. When coming in contact with liquid the clay gets the ability to absorb toxins and impurities. Turmeric is an ancient Ayuvedic ingredient in Indian skin care, that is used to give a beautiful natural glow and is said to be help lighten dark spots. If you’re very light skinned, it might give a yellow glow for some time after its used. You can removed it by applying oil on your skin, and remove it with a warm washcloth.
85% Bentonite Clay
Note: you can add any favourite ingredient to the mix such as for example Red Sandalwood or fruit powders
How to make it:
Measure out your ingredients on a scale according to the size of your containers
Gather, mix and voila!
The mixes can be used mixed with water, honey or rosewater. If you’re gifting it you can make a small instruction to go with it.
Hair pack for lustrous hair
I’ve not used hair packs much, but when a friend showed me a hair pack she wanted (and I saw the price of it) I told her I could make it for her. After using it once, she declared every dying love to it and made me promise to order the ingredients for it right away. So for so much love I thought that should make the list. Now hair packs can be combined in any combinations of the ingredients I list, so feel free to get creative. Actually you can even stuff all of them in one hair pack!
Hair cleanser and softener (south Indian style)
Soap nut is traditionally used to clean hair in India, and can actually be a substitute for shampoo. If you want to read more on natural shampoo you can read Chāmpo चाँपो / Shampoo. Arappu is made from a leaf and is mostly used in southern India to clean and soften hair. It’s a natural conditioner, so it will leave your hair super soft.
25 % Reetha (soap nut) powder
75 % Arappu powder
Optional adds: Amla for shine
Hair cleanser and shine
Shikakai like soap nut is also a natural cleaner, and help strengthen the hair roots. Amla nourishes the hair all around, and gives beautiful shine.
Optional adds: Arappu for extra soft hair
Hairfall hair pack
Neem and Fenugreek are superior when it comes to help treat hair fall, while Amla and Moringa nourishes and stimulates hair growth. Even if you’re not struggling with hair fall it’s still a super hair pack that will give overall healthy hair and scalp.
Optional adds: Reetha or Shikakai for Cleanse
How to make it:
Measure out your ingredients on a scale according to the size of your containers
Gather, mix and voila!
The mixes can be used mixed with water or yogurt to be applied on hair. If you’re gifting it you can make a small instruction to go with it.
Another easy idea for a personalised gift is to make body butter. If you want to give it a try you can read Whipped Body Butter (with 2 to 4 ingredients). If you’re more adventurous you can go for learning how to make soap here – How to make natural soap. Though I warn you, soap making is highly addictive. One day you find yourself counting the days since you made your last batch of soap. Sigh, 2 weeks. I hope this was useful! Let me know if you have any questions or ideas for more easy DIY.