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

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 (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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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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The comeback of the indigenous cow (A2 vs. A1 milk)

Disclaimer: this post is not sponsored, but has been written in collaboration between the co-founder of “Meri Gaiya” Rajesh Madan and myself. It is entirely our own personal perception of the matter at hand.

When I came to India, I discovered something about milk that I had never thought about – namely that there’s a big difference between pasteurised, homogenised and raw milk! Furthermore, organic and non-organic milk are two very different things too. Recently my understanding of milk deepened even more, when I found out milk from different breeds, contains different proteins, making them very different as well. So why does it matter if all these are different? From my own personal conclusion, I believe the kind of milk we drink has enormous implications for our health (as well as a number of other aspects – but that discussion is for another time). In this article I will focus on my new discovery, leading me to conclude – that we should all be drinking A2 milk over A1 milk. From here I will let Rajesh Madan explain:

A1 vs. A2

When Keith Woodford published the Groundbreaking Work “Devil in the Milk” in 2007, it put a stirrer in the world’s glass of milk, so to speak.

A professor of Farm Management and Agri Business at Lincoln University in in New Zealand, Woodford presents irrefutable evidence in his book that linked cow’s milk to numerous medical mysteries including diabetes and autism.

In “Devil in the Milk”, Keith Woodford brings together the evidence published in over 100 scientific papers. He examines the population studies that look at the link between consumption of A1 milk and the incidence of heart disease and Type 1 diabetes; he explains the science that underpins the A1/A2 hypothesis; and he examines the research undertaken with animals and humans. The evidence is compelling: WE SHOULD BE SWITCHING TO A2 MILK.

The book in itself is an amazing story of not just about the health issues surrounding A1 milk, but also about how scientific evidence can be molded and withheld by vested interests, and how consumer choices are influenced by the interests of corporate business.

So what exactly is A1 and A2 milk?

Originally, all animal milk was A2, including of course the cow milk. But then, a mutation occurs in the Bovine Population of Northern Europe and Voila! Cows started producing A1 milk.

India’s National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NABGR) had done a study in 2012 where they specified that the A1 and A2 variants differ at amino acid position 67 with Histidine in A1 and Proline in A2 variant. This polymorphism leads to a key change in the secondary structure of expressed β-casein protein. The variant A1 of β-casein has been suggested to be associated as a risk factor for the following diseases: Type 1 diabetes mellitus, coronary heart disease, arteriosclerosis, sudden infant death syndrome and neurological impairment including autistic and schizophrenic changes.

The Indian Village and the Cow

Needless to say, all indigenous breeds of cows in India produce only A2 milk.

The cow in fact had, and perhaps still has a central place in the Indian Rural Economy. The milk was treasured, the dung used as fertiliser to rejuvenate the soil, the dried dung cakes used as a cheap substitute for firewood, the male bullocks put to work in the fields, and then of course it fed the leather industry too. This bond of the farmer with the cow is so strong that the cow has came to be held as sacred in the Hindu way of living.

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This sacredness turned beef consumption into a contentious issue in India. The ancient ayurvedic texts supported eating of beef: “The flesh of the cow is beneficial for those suffering from the loss of flesh due to disorders caused by an excess of vayu, rhinitis, irregular fever, dry cough, fatigue, and also in cases of excessive appetite resulting from hard manual labour.” But over time, beef became a strict no-no in the diet of an Indian, except the lowest of the low classes of Hindus and those from other religions.

The invasion of the Western Cows

To increase the availability of milk for every Indian and also to increase the income of farmers, the Indian Government launched Operation Flood in 1970. The import of alien cow breeds like Jersey or Holstein Friesian was encouraged as they produce more milk.

That started the slow but steady downward slide for India’s 37 indigenous cow breeds. There was a relentless and reckless drive to cross breed the alien varieties with the indigenous ones.

In 2013, Jay Mazoomdar wrote in Tehelka, an Indian News Publication: India is the world’s largest producer of milk. But in 10 years, we will be forced to start importing it. And the Indian cow will no longer exist.

Today, according to one estimate, only 5% of the total cow population is of pure indigenous breeds. But the good news is that over the last few years, awareness has grown on the harmful effects of A1 milk and efforts have gathered steam to promote and increase the indigenous cow population.

The A2 Ambassadors

Unknown to most, Desi Ghee made from A2 milk is lighter than the ghee from other sources. It can prevent heart blockages, help cure gastric problems and headaches. It also combats Asthma and Insomnia, besides lowering blood cholesterol and recovery of wounds.

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Many ventures like ‘Meri Gaiya’ and ‘The Way We Were’ have come up in India which have taken it upon themselves to increase awareness about all the health benefits of cow ghee made from A2 milk and at the same time promote ethical dairy practices and conservation of indigenous breeds.

We felt passionately about our cause for the consumer’s health, farmers as well as cows. We put together a small capital to start our dairy last year with just 4 Desi A2 Cows. We made sure to feed them only with Organic feed and took care of them like part of our extended family. We now have 28 cows – Rajesh Madan

The fight to reclaim the health, community and environmental benefits of indigenous cow breeds and their milk products has begun in earnest. And in the years to come, it promises to gain momentum and turn things around.

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A big thank you to Rajesh for this inspiring information, and for inspiring others to get back to basics! Your ghee will from now on be a stabile on my kitchen counter. 

//Louise.

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The comeback of the indigenous cow (A2 vs. A1 milk)