Monday, October 31, 2011

Coloring Your Soap

Coloring your handmade creations is one of the most enjoyable parts. There are endless color choices, schemes and designs. Your first decision is what type of colorant to use.
There are 4 basic categories.

FD and C dyes (Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act), pigments, micas and natural colorants.

FD and C colorants are synthetic and are available in a wide range of colors in both powdered and liquid form.  In soap making they are mainly used in melt and pour soaps as they are not stable in cold process soap making, often "morphing" (turn into strange colors or disappear altogether). The downside of using these colors in your melt and pour soap is they tend to bleed (migrate from the original site). They are great for making beautiful colors if you are making the bar one color.

Pigments  include both ultramarines and oxides. Although many pigments were once taken naturally from the earth, they are now replicated synthetically in a lab for consistency and safety. This was enforced by the FDA because when mined naturally, pigments contain toxic materials which the FDA deemed unsafe.
Ultramarines and oxides are very stable in soap making and can be used in pretty much all soap making processes including melt and pour, cold process and hot process. Pigments are probably the best synthetic color source for swirls as they will not bleed at all. Pigments do tend to clump, so it is best to mix into a small amount of soap first and then add it to the rest.

Micas are colorants which have a glittering effect to them when the proper lighting is present and are available in a wide variety of colors.  Mica is a mineral which is used in practically everything you see that is glittery-- plastic, paint, lipstick, nail polish, glitter. It comes in varying size flakes, which determines how sparkly it is. The larger the mica particle, the more light it reflects. Micas are available in a large variety of colors. They are very easy to use in soap making as you don't have to worry about clumping like you do with pigments, however, keep in mind that it does generally take a substantial amount of mica to color a full batch of soap. Mica's are is best seen in soaps made with a clear melt and pour base. Not all mica's are safe for ingestion (use in lip products) so be sure to check with your supplier before using in this manner.

Natural colorants are natural botanicals which you can use to color your soap. Annatto seeds work beautifully for shades of yellow to orange. To use them, soak the seeds in oil for a day or longer, drain the oil off, and use it in your soap. Save the seeds, they're reusable many times!  Powdered rosebuds make a nice shade of brown. Red sandalwood powder makes a striking maroon color. Alkanet root powder makes a shade of purple, and madder root powder turns red.
Natural herbs have been used to tint and color products for centuries. These herbs can be used directly in soaps to achieve color or a speckled effect. Alternatively, you can make an oil infusion by warming the herb in oil first. The strained oil can then be used to tint your formulations. To make an infusion, place your herb in a double boiler and then covering it with olive oil. Allow the oil to warm for 2 hours and then check the color. If you want a darker color, remove the herb and replace with new and warm the same oil for another 2 hours.
Here are some other options for natural colorants:
Alfalfa - medium green
Alkanet - steep in oil first - deep purple to muted blue
Annatto Seed - steep in oil first - yellow to orange
Beet Root - pink to brown
Bentonite Clay - off white to light green
Ground Calendula Petals  - yellow
Carrots shredded - yellow to orange
Chamomile - beige to yellow
Cinnamon - tan to brown
Cloves - brown
Cocoa Powder - brown
Coffee Grounds - brown to black
Comfrey Root - tan to light brown
Cucumber - light green
Curry Powder - yellow
Indigo Root - dark blue
Kaolin Clay - off white
Kelp - green
Morrocan Red Clay - dark red
Paprika - Peach to orange to brown (can be an irritant)
Pumpkin - orange
Pink Rose Clay - pink to red
Saffron - yellow
Sage - green
Spinach - green
Tumeric - orange to amber
Wheatgrass Juice - dark green

Melt and Pour Soap

I have often been asked the difference between cold process soap and melt and pour soap. Melt and pour soap is often called glycerin soap. I like to use the analogy of a cake. Scratch cake versus a boxed cake mix. Both are delicious, but, most people prefer a scratch cake. Cold process soap is essentially made from scratch, with the butters and oils of your choosing. Melt and pour soap is premade soap base. You melt it and add the fragrance and color of your choice, pour it into a mold and you are done. Once the soap hardens it is immediatley ready to use. Cold process soap has to go through a curing process, at least 4-6 weeks, preferably longer.
Melt and pour soap base is available in many different varities. Plain, honey, oatmeal, shea butter, clear, extra cleansing, olive oil, to name a few. Each is simply a plain soap base with additives.
The beauty of melt and pour soap is the endless creativity as far as shape, size, color, fragrance, etc. If you are making a project and the soap hardens, simply remelt and continue on. There IS a limit to the number of times you can remelt. Each time you melt, moisture is lost from the mixture. Glycerin soap naturally draws moisture to itself and if the moisture balance in the soap base is disrupted from repeat melting ( or heating too hot), it is more prone to developing "glycerin dew". Glycerin dew is tiny droplets of water which forms on the soap and appears like dew. It doesn't ruin the soap per se, however, looks unsightly and WILL soften the soap.

Here are some pictures of  melt and pour creations.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lotion Lotion Lotion

I love making lotion almost as much as I love making soap. The ingredients used in lotion is almost as diverse as those that can be used in soap. Most people prefer a non greasy lotion, which necessitates the use of oils and butters that are absorbed quickly. The perfect lotion is one that has several oils or butters, or a combination which includes both fast absorbing for immediate relief of dryness, but also a slower absorbing ingredient to provide longevity of moisturization without being overly greasy. For a super moisturizing formula, slow absorbing ingredients can also be incorporated.
The one constant ingredient in lotion is an emulsifier.
Emulsifiers are used in creams and lotions to mix water with oils. Since water and oil do not mix but stay separated, an additional agent (emulsifier) is necessary to form a homogenous mixture keeping water and oil together. There are 2 types of emulsifiers. Oil-in-water  emulsifiers keep oil drops packed in water, while water-in-oil  emulsifiers keep water drops packed in oil. Water-in-oil emulsifiers are used for a more moisturizing or greasy feel, such as night creams or sun protection. Oil-in-water emulsifiers are used more in less greasy, moisturizing products such as body lotions and day creams.
There are many different choices in both the oil-in-water and water-in-oil categories. Every lotion maker has their preference.
Once you have decided which oils, butters and emulsifier you want to use, there are still a couple of ingredients to consider. First, always use distilled water, never tap water.
Now, on to a very controversial ingredient; preservative. Any product which contains water, MUST have a preservative. Without a preservative, the shelf life of a product containing water is only about two weeks, even with refridgeration! Do not let anyone convince you otherwise. Natural substances that show antimicrobial activity are either not adequate for broad spectrum protection or they have undesirable qualities. Most natural substances are not active against the most threatening microbes, pseudomonas. Others, such as essential oils, require very high concentrations to be effective. Some have offensive odors or colors that would be unacceptable in skin care products. Many become inactivated by manufacturing procedures and other factors. So a natural preservative is not really an option. If using a preservative is really not something you want to do, you must formulate a product which does not incorporate water, which, in essence would not be  a lotion or cream, but rather, a butter, and generally speaking has a much greasier feel than lotions ir creams.
So, back to preservatives. There has been much bad press about preservatives, but, as with anything these days, even foods, it doesn't take much looking to find an article proclaiming all of the potential negativity. Most studies involve using amounts many many times the generally used amount of a product. Overuse of ANYTHING has negative consequences. One of my favorite treats is M and M's with Peanuts. If I eat a handful, they are a delicious and enjoyable treat. If I ate the whole 2 pound bag, I would be as sick as a dog. That doesn't mean M and M's are bad. It means I should stick to a serving.
As with most any thing else, there are choices when it comes to preservatives. I personally use Parabens because they broad spectrum and are more tolerant of higher temperatures, meaning I don't have to wait until my lotion mixture has cooled to a specified temperature before adding the preservative. Some preservatives are very sensitive to temperatures and are rendeded ineffective if added to lotion that is too warm.
Now, for some tips pertaining to the consistency of lotions and creams. Believe it or not, just because you have the ingredients and have the general knowledge of how to make lotion, there are some secrets on how to end up with a smooth, creamy  lotion versus just lotion, or, a whipped, airfilled lotion. It all has to do with the temperature of the water and oils at the time of mixture. Having the temperature too high, results in extended mix time and the incorporation of more air and a whipped, air filled lotion. Mixing with temperatures too low will cause the emulsifier to thicken and even partially solidify, preventing appropriate oil-in-water or water-in-oil emulsion, giving the lotion an almost tapioca pudding (much smaller "lumps") consistency. Reheating briefly and remixing will correct this problem. Mix when the temperatures are just right and you will have a bowl full of the most beautiful, smooth, glistening white, creamy lotion you ever did see! It's a beautiful thing.  It takes practice to achieve this, but, so worth it!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Making A Batch of Cold Process Soap

The Lye water has been added to the oils.
Hot liquid soap in mold.

Soap is insulated and allowed to cool.
Finished Product. Sliced and curing.

This post will cover some basics. I am not going to walk you through making a batch of soap. If you decide to try your hand at making soap, I highly recommend  you do extensive research and buy a book so you will have directions to follow, step by step. There are many good books readily available in your local book store or on line. I will share some very important safety precautions, however, these precautions should not be considered an all inclusive list. Research! Read everything you can get your eyes on.
Soap making is a "process". I don't recommend trying to formulate your own recipes until you are really comfortable with the soap making process itself and have considerable knowledge of the different oils and their properties. There are many recipes available in books and on the internet. Never trust a recipe you have not personally tried. All recipes should be run through a lye calculator, available on many soap making supply websites. This is a program where you type in the number of ounces of each fat in the recipe and it will tell you the correct amount of lye. Trusting a written recipe leaves you open to typos that could result in a recipe with too much lye, which could be catastrophic. In order to make soap, you HAVE to use Sodium Hydroxide (Lye) which is a dangerous, caustic chemical and MUST be treated with respect. As long as you are careful, you have nothing to worry about. Please, always wear safety goggles when making soap. Splashing hot (both temperature and chemical wise) soap in your eye could cost you your sight! When mixing the lye and water ALWAYS do just that, add the lye to the water, NEVER the other way around! Only mix in a well ventilated area, preferably outdoors. Inhaling the fumes are dangerous and will take your breath away. The mixture immediately becomes very hot. There is some difference of opinion on what type of container is best to use for mixing the water and lye mixture. It will cause etching of glass over time, making it more prone to breakage. Depending on the quality of the plastic, it will  cause deterioration over time. So, which ever you decide to use, keep an eye on it and replace when necessary.  Do NOT use aluminum bowls, pots or utensils! Lye water can react violently when it comes into contact with aluminum. Stainless steel is acceptable, but, I personally stick with glass, plastic and wood. Wooden spoons can be used, but, don't last too long due to the corrosive action of the lye. Replace as needed. Be very careful not to get the lye water or freshly made soap on your skin. Have White Vinegar at hand to rinse your skin with if you do accidently get lye on you. Vinegar will help neutralize the lye. If you get lye on your hands, you may notice your hands feel "slippery". This is from the damage to the skin from the lye. I recommend wearing rubber gloves. Keep lye away from pets and children!
Having said all of that, you are probably wondering why anyone would ever want to make soap. Once you have made your first batch, you will be hooked. It quickly becomes an addiction because of the limitless variations, all of which result in a slightly different bar of soap. You probably wonder too, if lye is such a horrible, awful, potentially hurtful ingredient, how can you use soap which has lye in it. Well, without lye, there is no soap. Freshly made soap DOES have lye in it, however, after the saponification process (the chemical reaction between the fat and lye) is complete and the soap has cured (4-6 weeks), the lye is no longer present, providing the recipe you used is not lye heavy (meaning too much lye). This is why it is imperative that you run your recipe through a  lye calculator. When you do that, it is going to ask you what percentage you want to "superfat". Superfatting is having "extra" fat in your recipe over and above the amount the lye is able to saponify (chemically react with to turn it into soap), which means there is more "free" fat in the soap. Superfatting is beneficial to a point because it makes the soap more moisturizing for your skin. Superfatting too much will decrease the shelf life of the soap because the "free fat" will become rancid. Superfatting too much can also decrease the abundance of lather. I typically superfat at 5%.

Beneficial Properties of Oils and Butters Commonly Used in Bath and Body Products

Coconut Oil - The lather produced by coconut oil is absolutely incredible. In fact, this oil produces such a great lather that 100% coconut oil soap will actually suds in salt water!
Coconut oil is a will add hardness to your bar which is extremely valuable when you are creating soap with other oils that alone would produce a softer product. The amount of coconut oil you use for soap making depends on what type of bar you are trying to produce. If you wanted to make a mild soap that is to be used on the face, don’t use more than 20%. Too much coconut oil can actually be drying while smaller amounts add moisturizing properties to your soap.

Olive Oil - Many people love making (and using) pure 100% olive oil soap without adding any other oils to the recipe. This is a TRUE Castile soap. Unfortunately, plain Olive Oil soap has it’s downfalls. It will initially produce a fairly soft soap with an almost slimy lather, however, after a long cure time it will harden up nicely, but the lather will still have a slimy feel. Many soap makers like to combine Olive Oil with other soap making oils, such as coconut oil, which helps produce firmer bars that offer a more bubbly lather.

Avocado Oil - Avocado Oil is renowned for its regenerative and moisturizing properties. It is rich in vitamins A, D and E, lecithin, potassium, protein and amino acids. It absorbs into the skin quickly and helps heal flaky skin as well as relieve dry and itchy skin caused by psoriasis and eczema. Avocado oil is often used to treat sun or climate damaged skin and is reputed to have anti-bacterial and anti-wrinkle properties. You do not need a lot of this oil in your soap recipe for it to be beneficial. Since this oil produces a soft bar, you should only add 10 - 20% of your total oils at the start of the soap making process.

Almond Oil - Almond Oil makes a wonderful emollient for softening and conditioning skin and hair. It is well suited for eczema, psoriasis and itchy, dry and inflamed skin. It is rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E. Almond oil is light and penetrates easily, and with its rich concentration of linoleic and oleic essential fatty acids which help to give it unequaled penetrating and restructuring properties makes it a great aromatherapy carrier oil, massage oil or after bath oil. Great for use in creams, lotions, lotion bars, balms, scrubs, massage oils and soap.

Jojoba Oil - Jojoba Oil is excellent for moisturizing and nourishing your skin and hair. It is easily absorbed and is well known for its regenerative properties, helping to moisturize dry skin and soften facial wrinkles. Jojoba Oil can also be used to assist in fighting wrinkles and extra dry skin on it's own or combined with other carrier oils. It is also a very healing and moisturizing oil for the hair with no other additives being needed. Jojoba oil is actually not an oil, but a liquid wax. Because of its fatty acid make up, jojoba oil is very resistant to oxidation and has a very long shelf life.

Apricot Kernal Oil - Apricot Kernel Oil is a smooth and lightweight emollient oil that is high in oleic and linoleic acids. It is high in Vitamin A and minerals and has a superb texture that is great for all skin types. Apricot kernel oil is known for its ability to penetrate the skin and leave a velvety sensation on the skin and is often used in face creams, lotions, bath oils, and sun care products. It also conditions the hair, leaving a glossy shine. Apricot kernel oil is also popular as a massage oil. Usage rate for soap making should be about 15% of total oils.

Babassu Oil - Babassu oil comes from the fruit kernels of the Babassu palm, native to the southeastern Amazon region of Brazil. It has been used for centuries to soothe dry skin, due to it’s beneficial properties for both dry and oily complexions, gently moisturizing the skin without contributing to an oily sheen. It's especially suitable for eczema, itchy, dry and inflamed skin. Babassu Oil contains glycosides, vitamins and minerals and makes a great massage oil, additive in lotion bars, lotions, balms and of course soap making. It yields a mild soap with good lather. Babassu Oil forms a protective, soothing coat when applied to the skin and provides a pleasant, velvety feeling.

Castor Oil - Castor Oil is found in many skin care products and is used as an emollient and skin softener, as well as treatment for other skin problems such as psoriasis. Castor oil is very soothing and lubricating to the skin. Used in combination with other oils for soap making, castor oil makes for a very nice, emollient bar of soap but should not be used at more than a 5% rate of the total weight of oils, or a soft bar will result. Commonly used in lip products.

Emu Oil - Pure Emu Oil is a highly moisturizing, natural skin softener. It is non greasy and highly penetrating. Emu Oil has been demonstrated to be one the fastest and most penetrating oils when applied the skin, making it an excellent carrier for any other added moisturizers or therapeutic ingredients. Emu Oil itself, and creams made of Emu Oil help reduce irritation and inflammation of the skin due to Eczema. It has also been shown to promote healing of burns with less pain and scarring.

Grape Seed Oil - Grape Seed oil is a powerful anti-oxidant that protects skin cells while it moisturizes and tones. It quickly penetrates the skin which makes it a favorite of massage therapists. It is odorless and often used in massage and facial products. Grape Seed oil is ideal for use in soap, lip balms, hand creams, and regenerative products for mature, damaged and stressed skin.

Hazelnut Oil - Hazelnut Oil contains an astringent quality, making it beneficial for use on oily skin. It absorbs quickly and is useful on oily or acne-prone skins. Hazelnut oil is high in essential fatty acids and is soothing and healing to dry, irritated skin. It works well when used in massage oils, hair care, creams, lotions, scrubs, and soaps. The downfall to this oil is a short shelf life, about 3 months.

Hemp Seed Oil - Hempseed oil is from the seed of the hemp plant. It has superior moisturizing properties can be used directly on the skin. It is commonly used in skin care products and soaps. Hempseed Oil is naturally rich in omega 3, 6 and 9, also contains important minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, It is high in vitamins A and E and is very effective ingredient in anti-inflammatory skin care products. This oil is commonly used in soaps, lotions, lip balms, healing salves, body balms and foot products. The fatty acids are high in antioxidant protection and will also help to protect your skin from moisture loss. Hempseed oil can be used up to 15% of your total oils in soap and up to 50% in your lotions and other toiletries that call for liquid oils. Hempseed oil has been known to reduce inflammation, eczema, & psoriasis as well. Shelf life is relatively short, about 4-5 months.

Macadamia Nut Oil - Macadamia nut Oil is excellent for intensive skin care and makes a good massage oil, for normal and sensitive skin. This is a sweet, nutty smelling oil, rich in unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin A & E. It is also rich in essential fatty acids, lecithin, vitamins and vital substances. Macadamia nut oil is high in palmitoleic acid which is a component of skin fat that supports cell regeneration. This fat also contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids which help the skin do its job as a water barrier for our bodies. Macadamia Nut oil absorbs quickly into the skin. Because of the high levels of anti-oxidants that are found naturally in Macadamia Nut Oil, it has a shelf life, from time of bottling, of at least 2 years without refrigeration.

Kukui Nut Oil - Kukui Nut Oil is high in linolenic acids and essential fatty acids which are vital for the metabolism of healthy skin. Vitamins A, C and E are added to stabilize the oil. Kukui nut oil is easily absorbed by the skin and has been known to sooth irritated, sunburned skin and can help relieve itchy and dry skin due to eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.

Palm Oil - Palm Oil makes a nice hard bar when used in combination with other oils such as coconut and olive oil.

Peach Kernal Oil - Peach Kernel Oil is used for its moisturizing, regenerative and restructuring properties. Peach Kernel Oil is generally found in fine lotions, creams and higher end cosmetics.It is especially useful for mature skin, and works well in lip balms and massage oils because it absorbs easily and does not leave a greasy feeling.

Safflower Oil - Safflower Oil is a highly moisturizing oil with an exceptionally high amount of Oleic acids. It is deeply soothing and is commonly used for skin care recipes requiring moisturizing benefits.

Sweet Almond Oil - Sweet Almond Oil has exceptional softening and conditioning properties for the skin and hair. It is also beneficial for eczema, psoriasis and itchy, dry and inflamed skin. It is rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E. Sweet almond oil is light and penetrates easily. I has wonderful penetrating and restructuring properties, making it a great aromatherapy carrier oil, massage oil or after bath oil. It is commonly used in creams, lotions, lotion bars, balms, scrubs, massage oils and soap. Sweet almond oil yields a mild soap with good lather. Sweet Almond Oil is great for all skin types. It is best known for its ability to soften, soothe, and re-condition the skin. Sweet Almond Oil is one of the most useful, practical and commonly used soap making oils.

Walnut Oil - Walnut oil is a deep penetrating, emollient and nourishing oil that is high in linoleic acid and vitamins A, C, & E and is recommended for use on dry damaged skin and leaves a the skin with a luxurious, silky feel. Walnut oil is said to have moisturizing, anti-aging, regenerative and toning properties and works well in lip balms and massage oils, as well as soap. This wonderful oil has a short shelf life of 3 months and should be refrigerated to help prolong the shelf life.

Shea Butter - Shea butter is obtained from the nut of the fruit which grows on the Karite tree, native to West Africa. Shea Butter is used in many skin care products and is believed to have natural sun protection qualities and the ability to heal scars and prevent or reducing stretch marks. It can be applied directly to the skin in it's ready form or added to bath and body products to enhance their effect on the skin.

Mango Butter - Mango Butter is a rich tropical fruit oil known for it's hydrating, healing and UV radiation protective properties. Mango Butter seals in moisture and helps soften and protect dry skin. Mango butter is a wonderful ingredient to use in lip balms, lotions, lotion bars, body butters and soaps.

Kokum Butter - Kokum Butter is frequently used as a alternative to cocoa cutter due to its consistent triglyceride composition. It melts when it comes into contact with the skin. Kokum Butter contains beneficial compounds which help revitalize skin cells. It is commonly used in skin healing lotions, creams and body butters, as well as soaps, cosmetics and toiletries. Kokum Butter has very high compositions of advantageous materials to help rejuvenate tired and worn skin cells and aid in elasticity and general flexibility of the skin wall.

Cocoa Butter - Cocoa butter is one of the most stable fats known. It contains natural antioxidants that help prevent rancidity, providing an extended shelf life, up to 5 years. Cocoa Butter is an excellent moisturizer that melts at body temperature, leaving the skin feeling soft and silky smooth. Used in soap making and lotions, cocoa butter will add hardness to your bars of soap. Unrefined, natural cocoa butter with a rich chocolaty scent, yellow in color and can be used in all cosmetic, bath & body products. It is know to reduce dryness and improve skin flexibility.



What is Soap Made Of

Soap can be created with any fat (oil or butter), whether it is animal or vegetable. Many people are opposed to the use of animal products, however, using tallow creates an especially mild soap with abundant lather. I personally use vegetable oils and butters.

When making soap, it is important to know the specific properties of each ingredient. Every oil and butter contributes to the quality of the final product. You need to choose a combination of fats which will result in the type of soap you want whether it be an especially hard bar, which will last longer in the shower, big bubbly lather versus a more creamy type lather, etc. If you use an unbalanced group of oils you could very well end up with a soft soap with poor lather. Each fat also has special properties pertaining to moisturizing ability. The secret is to come up with a recipe that contains all of the perks you are looking for in your soap. Having said that, the fragrance used also affects the amount of lather. I have tried countless recipes and just when I thought I had the perfect one, would use it with a different fragrance oil only to find the lather to be less abundant.

All hand made soap is naturally high in glycerin, a know humectant, meaning it draws moisture to itself.  Most Commercial soap companies remove the glycerin from the soap and sell it to cosmetic companies for use in their products, leaving the soap harsh and drying. Not only is making and using your own soap fun, it is much better for your skin. Having said that, don't let anyone tell you their soap will magically cure psoriasis or any other skin condition. It just isn't true. Yes, handmade soaps are often less irritating to sensitive skin than commercial soaps, and, can even help with moisturizing and relieving some skin condition symptoms, but, nothing will miraculously make the condition disappear overnight. Using a mild, handmade soap on a regular basis IS much better for your skin than commercial soap, therefore, you very well could note an improvement in your skin condition over time.

In my next post I will give examples of different fats and the benefits they hold as it pertains to soap making.

In future posts I will  go over the necessary safety precautions that must be adhered to when making soap.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Did you ever stop to think how much you take soap for granted? Just imagine if you would, what life would be like without it. We work and play hard and then can't wait to jump in the shower. But wait! There's no soap! 
The first  record of soap was as far back as 2500 B.C., though it wasn't soap as we know it today. It was more like a clay or mud, but, did the job at the time.
At one point, oils were used as cleansers, in conjunction with seeded berries or sand, as an exfoliant.
We have all heard of Cleopatra and how beautiful she was. She especially loved to take milk baths and attributed her beauty to same.
Soap, as we know it today, was "discovered" if you will, during the Roman Era when animal sacrifices were common. The place of sacrifice was a mountain known as Mount Sapo. When it rained, the remains of the animals as well as the ashes from the fire eventually made it's way down the mountain to the Tiber River. The locals discovered the foamy water was the perfect spot to do their laundry and to bathe as well.
To this day, Mount Sapo is recognized for it's "discovery" of soap in that the term saponification is the name given to the chemical reaction that occurs when a vegetable oil or animal fat is mixed with a strong alkali, resulting in the formation of soap.


Life got in the way of my pursuit of Blogging, so, I will just start all over!

First of all, thank you for visiting my blog. My name is Nancy Krainz and I am the owner of Pocket Full of Sunshine Boutique, previously known as LydiaMarie's Bath & Body Boutique. I changed the name to better reflect the expanded product line, which now includes jewelry and other miscellaneous hand crafted items.

I first began making soap in 2004. I read everything I could find on soap making and learned that there are many different ways of making soap. I started out doing strictly cold process soap making. It quickly became an addiction and I soon had far more soap than I could ever use myself or even give away to friends and family. I started participating in craft shows and selling my soap in various local establishments and as time passed, my product line grew to include lotions, creams, lip balms and more.

I discovered the beauty of melt and pour soap and the creativity it afforded, which was not possible with cold process soap. I tried whipped cold process soap which allows more creativity than traditional cold process soap, but, I didn't personally care for the light airy texture of the finished product, so, didn't spend a lot of time with that. I worked for a while doing rebatching, which is grating and melting previously made cold process soap and adding different ingredients. I found this to be a time consuming task and the end product wasn't a attractive as I liked, though soap made through this method does have it's attributes, even if it isn't the prettiest thing you ever saw. I will get into the different types of soap making in future posts. I spent time also, making soap using the hot process method and didn't care for that at all. I made a few batches of liquid soap but wasn't as taken with the process as I was with making bar soaps.

Currently, I make mostly Goat Milk or some other type of milk soap, using the traditional cold process method. As the years have come and gone and after making what at this point is probably hundreds of batches of soap, maybe even thousands, I have learned how to be more creative, though I never lose sight of the potential dangers of working with lye and maintain appropriate safety precautions. My other steady products include lotion, foot cream, lip balm and melt and pour soap creations.

The purpose of this blog is to share the knowledge I have attained with years of practice.

Years back, I bought some beads and decided to try my hand at jewelry making. I didn't have the time necessary to learn at that point and soon packed the beads away. Over the past couple of years, the beads were brought out of hibernation and many new ones were added. I studied and practiced and studied and practiced until I was able to make professional quality pieces of jewelry. I sell at craft shows and on line.

Again, the purpose of this blog is to share the knowledge I have attained with years of practice. I will vary the subject matter with each post. Feel free to ask any questions you may have!