Thursday, April 21, 2011

Why Soap

The most common questions I get when I mention what I do for a living are, what exactly do I do and why do I do it. Not many outsiders understand my complete and utter fascination and obsession with soap and soap crafting. I currently have just in my shower a Lemongrass and Coconut Milk shampoo bar, a Facial Purifying bar, a Green Tea and Cucumber body bar and a Rosemary Lavender body bar. Scattered throughout my house for guests is currently a Calming Jasmine, Green Tea and Cucumber bar and a variety of custom made soap spheres that have a range of exotic essential oils ranging from birds of paradise, orchid, ginger, heliconia, plumeria, hibiscus and more! Obsessed!


What I Do
I make a wide variety of exotic handmade soaps from all natural and organic ingredients. Each product is carefully designed with a specific inspiration in mind using only the absolute best essential oils, herbs, clays, waxes, silks and more.


Why Do I Do It
Store bought soap is full of detergents, Maltol, Titanium Dioxide, Tetrasodium Etidronate and many other ingredients that have absolutely no beneficial properties for our skin and can actually irritate and damage skin. I vowed to stop using store bought soaps when I found out that even my Dove brand unscented sensitive soap contained Maltol which is commonly used as a fragrance even though they claim to be unscented!? It also contains a long list of other questionable ingredients and leaves a nasty white puddle in my shower soap dish. It had to go.


Store soaps are also highly acidic. When I use to use regular over the counter products I would have bouts of rashes, dry areas and was constantly itching and having to spend extra money on lotions to use from head to toe daily. Since making the switch to handmade, I have eliminated the problem.


Through making handmade soaps for me and my family I fell in love with the entire process. It is tedious and time consuming, but once you get the hang of it, it’s very addicting. It’s the most amazing mix of art and design, baking and chemistry. It is the perfect blend of the areas of creativity I enjoy most. At the end of the day I absolutely love that I can offer my all natural skin loving products to others so they can feel the difference and make the switch.


A Peek into the Process
The end of the month is a busy one for me. Even if my online shop isn’t booming, I still have a local store front I keep stocked and I have an event I’m involved in the first Saturday of every month that I have to prepare for. I wanted to share one of my favorite to make creations because prepping for my event has given me the opportunity to take photos of the process.


Bar far my best seller is the Dead Sea Mud Shampoo bar. I created the recipe for the bar myself based on what I was looking to achieve. I wanted to invent a solid shampoo that would clean, clarify, protect, moisturize and above all else, treat the hair and scalp with a multitude of vitamins and have the bar last a long time. It took a lot of trial and error to pull off the benefits while still having a solid shampoo that created a thick luxurious and quick lather.


I start with a heaping serving of powdered Dead Sea mud which is loaded with a rare blend of minerals that help to draw out toxins, hydrate, and improve the flow of nutrients. I then add carnauba wax to make a hard long lasting bar and almond oil, castor oil, shea butter and cocoa butter for even more luxury moisturizing. The bar has a mouthwatering delicate cocoa butter smell due to the addition of the raw cocoa butter. This also completely eliminates any type of sea smell from the rich, natural mud.


After a tedious process of measuring, melting and mixing with a touch of chemistry, the batter is ready for the mold. I love using loaf molds for most of my soaps, but when it comes to my shampoo bar, I mold them individually to make sure that each bar is a hefty and oversized.


Then I let them cool and they go through a few extraordinary gel phases that create the most interesting patterns. I always pop my head into my studio to see what they are doing every 30 minutes or so. One always ends up in my shower and the rest are ready to wrap and ship out.