Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New Melt and Pour Base Experiment

In my last post, I wrote about a new venture. Making my own melt and pour soap base. While I accomplished my mission, I was not overly thrilled with the recipe itself. Having been a soap maker for many years, and never tiring of the endless combinations of oils and butters when creating soap recipes, the recipe provided in the book I purchased for melt and pour soap base from scratch did not include ANY oils or butters. Huh? How could it even be soap? So, I continued my journey to find a true SOAP that could be made, melted and poured.
The key ingredient in any melt and pour soap is propylene glycol. As with every other ingredient on the earth, there are no doubt "studies" that have been done, deeming this ingredient as skin "unfriendly". There are just as many articles declaring it's benefits and safety. Regardless, this product is what makes the soap base meltable.
I didn't have enough of said propylene glycol for the recipe I found, but, being the impatient person I am, decided to make it anyway, using the amount of propylene I had, to see how it would  work out.
I soon discovered the resultant glitch from not having enough. After the soap was made, it wanted to skin over immediately as soon as I stopped stirring it. Not to be thwarted, I continued on.Into the mold it went.
Giving in yet again to my impatience, I popped the little darling into the freezer until it had sufficiently hardened that I could remove it from the mold.
Doesn't look too bad. Glad the yellow color toned down a bit. Now, to see if it will cut easily and remelt?
Yes! Nice and soft. Cut easily. Now. Will it melt?
Yes! However, can you see the skin on top? THAT is the thorn in my side, but, reminding myself this is an experiment.
I added some color, just for the sake of adding color. Didn't bother with fragrance. That skin is really starting to annoy me!
In the mold and then, yes, you guessed it! Into the freezer. lol
It came out of the mold easily, even tho it was still warm. (I did mention I was impatient, didn't I?)
It lathered good. Hmmm. What's this? My hands felt "sticky" when I was done washing my hands. Too much glycerin? Hmm. Then, a few minutes later, I realized the sticky feeling was gone and in it's place, my hands felt very soft and moisturized; as if I had put lotion on. Hmmm.

All in all, this was a successful project. I learned a lot. I have taken a giant step towards developing the most incredible melt and pour base on the planet. Well, maybe not that good, but really good! I DEMAND perfection. Stay tuned but don't hold your breath! My experimentation must be placed on the back burner for a few days while I work long hours at my day job.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Soaps Made with Scratch M & P Base

My initial Mad Scientist session is completed. Clear and White melt and pour bases made from scratch - noted in the previous post. Now, the final product.

These are little soaps made with the White Base. As you can see, they colored a beautiful pastel color. The base is very very white. The soaps unmolded like a dream, only requiring the slightest pressure on the back of the mold. Beautiful if I do say so myself!

I was pleasantly surprised when the clear base accepted the color so well, considering the color of the base was light amber instead of clear. This base required the tiniest bit more pressure on the back of the mold to release, however, I have a feeling this was because of impatience on my part and being in a hurry to unmold. They were still slightly warm.

Now for the all important suds factor. As previously noted, the clear base was a recipe named High Sudz.

I found it to create a creamy lotion like lather after a vigerous 30 second hand rubbing. Not at all what I would consider "High Sudz". A bit of a disappointment in my opinion.

The White base fared better.

A nice fluffy lather after only a few seconds of rubbing. This one is a keeper.

I will work on reformulating the clear recipe and work on a recipe for a base with additives such as oils and butters. The above recipes were simple, basic recipes.

My First Made From Scratch Melt and Pour Base

Here it is! Not as difficult as I expected nor was the end result as I expected. Since I had only ordered enough ingredients to make 1 full batch (10 pounds) of soap, I decided to make half of 2 different recipes. I chose a high suds clear and a white base. I made the high suds first and was disappointed when the end result was light yellow instead of clear, as I had expected.
As you can see, it is nice and clear, but, it's yellow! I don't know if that is how it was supposed to turn out of if I did something incorrectly. I followed the directions precisely. There are no oils in the recipe, so, I can't blame it on that. The soap is sitting, hardening as I write. I will give it a try a bit later today and post pics of the end result.

I moved on the the white base, which was very similar to the clear, high suds, with the addition of Titanium Dioxide.

At the suggestion of the author of the book, I added two extra ingredients after the heating process was completed, to ensure a nice hard bar. Well, that was a mistake. The soap hardens too quickly and will be difficult to use creatively in certain situations. Having said that, of course I will be giving it a try as soon as it hardens, and will post the results.

Since the available information pertaining to the creation of one's own melt and pour soap bases is limited, I plan to do some serious tweaking of the recipes I have and make that information available to the public. Stay tuned!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Expecting Ingredients Today

Finally, my shipment of ingredients should arrive today; after I have left for work, of course!!!
I do still work a full time day job (RN), but am working hard at new products, marketing and looking into opening a retail store. As God provides and things fall into place, I will be able to work full time making and selling my products and will be able to leave my day job behind.
Creating my own melt and pour soap base is taking a huge step in making my products truly my own. I am very excited about having the power to control what is in my glycerin soaps, the same as I am for the other products I make. Stay tuned for updates coming soon!

All Natural Products

With many customers preferring all natural products, finding a natural substitute for synthetic ingredients can be challenging. Unfortunately, with the enormous amount of information available on the internet, it is just as easy to become MIS-informed as it is INformed. Things are blown out of proportion, correct information distorted, things taken out of context and false information passed along as set in stone truth. Some mis-information is intentionally spread by malicious individuals to negatively impact the ever growning small business community, particularly with regard to handmade bath, body and beauty products.
Launching an all natural product line is on my radar but still in the formulation phase. I hope to present it later this year.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Branching Out

Over the course of my many years of making soap I have worked primarily with Cold Process Soap. I have created many different recipes and used endless combinations of oils and butters. I have managed to become increasingly creative in my designs and have many more ideas and designs in the works.
I also love melt and pour soaps because the creativity is endless. Mistakes are easily corrected by simply melting the soap and starting over. To date, I have used pre-made bases. After doing considerable research, I have decided to start making my own melt and pour base. Doing so will allow me to use only the ingredients I want in my soap and to create a more skin friendly product. I have ordered the necessary ingredients and should have them in time to give this a whirl the end of next week when I have a couple of days off from my day job. I will post my adventures, pics and updates.