Experimenting clay

August and September were busy months for me (preparing some students for their school’s exams) – as much as I’ve looked forward to creating soaps, I was not able to even make a single batch. I love experimenting and the more I do, I began to discover and develop a better soap sense. A couple of weeks back, I decided I wanted to experiment with clays after researching the different type of clays and the kind of benefits they give. Clays have often been used for skin care and in many spas all over the world and they are known to help stimulate circulation to the skin while gently exfoliating and cleansing it. Unlike other clays, pink and yellow clay do not draw the skin’s oils, and they are suitable for all skin types even for the sensitive ones.

Here are some French yellow and pink clay I bought last year and I used them for my new formulation last week.
pink+yellow clay

I  wanted to try the ‘funnel pour method’ swirl which I did for the charcoal soap but the mixture had traced too quickly than I expected and nice swirls cannot be done if mixture is thick. It’s was a real ‘clay challenge’ for me – adding different clays and separating mixture really need skills and you may have to work fast to get the results.

Felt rather a little disappointed over some visible spots of clay (probably due to my forgetfulness to dissolve the clay powder in some water before adding into the oils mixture), but nevertheless, I am quite pleased and satisfied with the results.……tho’ they may look like some pinky ‘kuih talam’ (a kind of local layered cake) but I am happy with the natural colorants the clay gives to the soaps.

pinkie soap


They are now set to cure and should be ready by mid November…

pinkclaysoaps

and what’s my next to-do-batch ? Goat’s milk ! ...can’t wait 🙂

Activated charcoal soaps

As usual I made my regular trip to Rainbow Women’s Home today to check on the soaps that were made yesterday. We were so pleased to see the results of each bar cut and we call them ‘zebra’ soaps. They are actually activated charcoal  body bar soaps which were made using the funnel pour method and just swirled simply by a chopstick. The patterns turn out to be so amazingly beautiful.

There’ll be more of these coming up the pipeline at Rainbow Home. Meanwhile this small batch will be placed in the curing rack for 30 days before they can be ready for wrap.

zebra soaps

After having done with the ladies and soaps, I head on to the Kamdar fabric store and got these lovely English cotton fabrics at a special offer of RM4.80 per meter. (It’s always a nice feeling to browse round the fabric store but each time I’m there I have to tell myself – ‘not for long’, else I’ll be lugging home bags and bulks of fabrics that will find no place in my fabric shelves… * feeling guilty*  😛 )

cotton fabrics

Well, stay tuned and watch what I’ll be up to next. … am so bursting with inspiration and  I can’t wait to try my hands on the next project.

BERSIH means clean

Introducing BERSIH soap

Have you been working or rallying in the sun for long hours and find your skin sweating, itching or sunburned? Exposing your skin in the sun (without any protection) for long can result in irritation or damaged of skin cells. Here’s a soap to ‘sayang’ (love) and comfort your troubled skin.

The recent events of  BERSIH  in my country had inspired me to make this soap (my 7th) for those with sensitive skin. (Note: This skincare product is one of my own inspired creations and is NOT a  product endorsed by the BERSIH  movement).

Rice bran is one of the oils used for this soap. It  (has oryzanol components ) is believed to act like a protective sunscreen agent against UV rays (Health Benefits of Rice Bran – A Review ). I added Calendula Officinalis  (pot marigold) powder to give it a light natural yellow tone and to soothe irritated damaged skin. To give it a fresh uplifting scent,  I have also added a blend of patchouli and citronella essential oils. It lathers beautifully and has a lemon like scent.  BERSIH (in Malay language) means clean. Pamper  your skin with this soap and make it feeling refreshingly bersih!
So here’s a yellow soap to cheer you up !

BERSIH soaps in the ‘tub’

BERSIH soaps in their yellow organza pouches 🙂

Charcoal and Clays

Here’s the soap, a better version of the charcoal and clay batch I made last week. This will be my 5th type of soap.  Instead of adding two types of French clays, I decided to just add French pink clay and activated charcoal powder. Besides using those usual skin-loving oils, I have also superfatted with jojoba and macadamia nut oil to reinforce its moisturizing effect.  French clays (a wonderful gift from the earth) are known to have many benefits for skin. French clays and other natural clays have been used both in cosmetics and as a valuable aid in skin-care. They work as a powerful exfoliator, cleanser and invigorate the skin to make it looking young and fresh.
It is said to do a marvelous job of removing impurities from the skin.
Activated bamboo charcoal powder is used. This is commonly used in Korea, Taiwan and Japan for their skin-care products. It is also known to unclog pores and remove impurities from the skin.

So for those reasons, there goes my pink clay and charcoal for this soap with a young growing adolescent friend in mind. Essential oils of rose geranium and patchouli are added to give it a light rosey scent. I am inspired to name this soap….as ‘East meets West’. How about that? It’s a wonderful fusion of the east (bamboo charcoal) and the west (french clays).

Melody, this soap is for you. Hope you’ll like it when it’s ready 🙂

these are smaller bars cut as samplers.

I love the two contrast colors swirls, black and pink  done by the funnel pour method. Can’t wait to try these soaps myself.

Failed, Rebatched and Usable

Did you ever experimented something you hope or knew would be perfect … only, it wasn’t?

I started soaping ventures six months ago and there are still lots to learn. Soap making can be very addictive for me (a newbie) as you can see (there have been many exciting discoveries each time I’m in the soaping affair!) In my attempt on the first batch of goat’s milk soap, I would say it wasn’t quite a successful one. Sometimes, batches curdle,  separate layers happen when I think I’ve accounted for all of the things in my cold process soap batch. In my first attempt, the temperatures of both oils and lye/milk mixtures were far too high (Silly me! I didn’t know how to read the thermometer ) and when I mixed them together the mixture curdled or traced rather too quickly in the pot before I could pour them into the mould. And in another second attempt, my cold processed soap (after 24 hours) appeared to have two separate layers and there was an oily film floating on the top. I was too distraught to take any pics 😦

Well, I did not give up or *sob* – I tried to reclaim and save those two ruined batches by picking up some tips from the internet. I did not throw or washed them down the drain as it would be such a big waste of my efforts and money (oils and milk can be very costly).  Anyway I had used some rebatched soaps and would like to say they had turned out great! Here’s one I love to use for washing hands often. Though it does not look smooth on the surface ( or you’d call it ‘rusty-lookin’), it is ok! It’s actually as good as my other ‘well done’ soaps – hard, creamy and lathers well. Each time, I washed with this soap, my skin feels soft and nice. So there’s a lesson learnt personally from my failed batch. I am thankful for this…

a nice creamy little bar (rebatched) of goat’smilk and honey resting in my washroom with my favorite patchouli scent still lingers on…. this gives a new song !

Here’s another batch made a couple of days ago – this is supposedly to be for adolescent skin with ingredients good for acne-prone skin . I made this with a young adolescent lady friend in mind. It did not turn out as I expected – it was powdery and not so smooth when sliced ! (probably I had added too much French clays and bamboo charcoal powder).

Notice the corners with cracks? They could not gel properly.  But I love the wonderful color swirls done by using the funnel pour technique. These soaps are now being set to cure and we’ll see what become of them after some weeks. I am keeping my fingers crossed….

This recipe is reformulated and another batch was done today. I will post more pictures later on….so keep watch for my next post.

**A personal meditation for today:
“It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.
~ Psalm 119:77 ~

Soap moulds

Daiso Japan has many cute stuffs from office stationery, kitchen, toiletries to a huge variety of household items. I was happy to have found some cheaper  heart-shaped silicone moulds for RM5 (for 6 moulds) which were perfect for my soap-making as I wanted to make about 50 heart shaped soaps for Mother’s Day. I recently bought one silicone tray with 8 heart shapes only (from a baking supply shop) which cost RM15. That was pretty expensive and I couldn’t afford to buy those trays for 50 hearts. So here is the first batch of  30 heart soaps of yogurt and honey ..

 

Soaps in heart-shaped silicone moulds.

Lovely heart shapes unmolded…

A swirled log of yogurt & honey unmolded for cutting

placed in the rack to cure……. 🙂