Since I began this adventure in soap making about a year ago, I have been dabbling with various other natural skin-care products such as creams, lip balms, deodorants, solid perfumes, masks, exfoliating scubs, lotion bars, laundry soap... Some of the experiments are better than others... my favourite part is trying them out! Some of them have even been good enough to repeat and add to my Great Recipes repetoire...
Lotion Bars - I love the whole idea of lotion bars, as they moisturize the skin but without having to use water (preserving problem...) and have just begun experimenting with them. The white ones are with white beeswax pellets and the yellowy-orangy ones contain natural, local beeswax. I still find they are slightly too soft, especially the ones with natural beeswax. They melt/mush slightly in my hand as I rub on, so I think I need to find some packaging solution like a deoderant push up tube? And also continue to experiment until they are the perfect balance of hardness to handle and softeness to rub off on my skin!
Deodorant Cream - My mum and I have always searched for good natural deodorant, and I have tried all types, never finding one that actually worked well on me. Mum is very natural and has always believed that commercial deodorant could be a major contributor to breast cancer. When I told her I was experimenting with natural deodorant, she was excited! This is my first attempt. It is a deoderant cream, scented with Essential Oils of Orange and Ylang Ylang. It has corstarch and baking soda. I have been using this Deoderant now since July, throughout the hot and humid Spanish summer and it works! It does not stop sweating, but seems to absorb somewhat. It certainly does mask the smell. I can also apply directly after shaving and it doesn't sting at all. The only downfall is that my shirts may be getting slight oil stains under the arms... I will have to improve on this in my next experiment! I may make it harder (more beeswax) so that it can be like a deoderant bar!
Lip Balms, Creams & Other stuff - I really like my lip balms. My first experiments were too hard, then I have one minty one that is too soft for me but my daughter loves it as it leaves her lips with that glossy-wet look. My favourite is my orange-cinnamon lip balm with honey. As for my experimenting with creams, I still do not understand very well the whole array of emulsifyers that are out there and what to use. My most successful ones use Beeswax and Borax as an emulsifyer and whenever I make one, I cannot keep them around for long... my friends LOVE them. They are VERY moisturising (nice way to say greasy?). I understand that there may be issues with Borax so ideally I would like to find another emulsifyer that I can work with, and that maybe can produce less greasy creams? I do not want to use preservatives. Suggestions welcome.
Laundry Soap - I attempted a laundry soap for the very first time the other day. I have been hearing about them for a while, since in this area, a lot of older ladies still make their own laundry soap from left over oil. When I tell the locals that I am making soap, their first reaction is usually to assume that I mean laundry soap and they often tell me about the soap their grandmother makes. So this recipe I got from Inma at Atenea, a fellow soaper who lives less than an hour away, when we met recently. I think once it has cured, I am supposed to grate it into a powder. This one contains sea salt (for our super hard water) and sodium percarbonate (powdered hydrogen peroxide I believe) for whitening. I have also heard of including baking soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) which I will try in another experiment and Washing Soda (Sodium Carbonate), which I cannot find in this area. I have to wait a month now before trying this. The essential oils scent has not come through...
Mask - I have made several masks but this one has been the best so far. I just add liquid when I am going to use it. It is a combination of Green Clay and other natural skin-loving ingredients. I use 1 part powder, 1 part liquid and the liquid can be anything such as water, aloe vera gel, honey, floral water, herbal tea, egg white, yoghurt, glycerine etc...
Solid Perfume - This is my only experiment with solid perfume and it has not turned out that great. It is so hard that I have to dig my nails into it to get any and also there is not enough scent. I will try again at some point with less beeswax and more Essential Oils.
Scrubs - I have attempted several scrubs but here is my favourite so far... and it was not actually meant to be a scrub! I have been trying to create a nice soothing and healing herbal salve for my friend who has cracked feet/heels. But this salve didn't turn out, as it was too soft & mushy. So many of these natural skin-care products require the perfect balance of oils and beeswax! It was sitting around staring at me for a while and I decided to turn it into a scrub, by adding sugar! I have really been wanting to create a great non-emulsified sugar scrub. This one is super but again, as with my creams, EXTREMELY moisturizing. My legs look sleek & oily when I come out of the shower, but it eventually sinks in. As I am PASSIONATE about scrubs, I will be trying out some others, with salt, sand, coffee etc. Any suggestions for making it less greasy?
Well, I hope you have enjoyed the summary of my natural product experiments up to date... does it ever end? I have yet to try liquid shampoo, conditioner, dishwashing detergent and other cleaning products... and so many more! All with the aim of minimizing chemicals we use on our skin, our body and in the household... and of course sharing them with others!
Any suggestions for improvements or new ideas for anything are VERY welcome.
Happy Soaping and Happy Experimenting!