After writing and making the recipes for Kitchen Soap for Chefs: 4 Easy Melt & Pour Soap Recipes, I came up with yet another cool soap idea that I hadn’t published before. In fact, I used to sell it when I had my Everything Shea business, but it went by another name. I changed two of the ingredients, but it’s pretty similar and it’s now called Vanilla Bean soap. I have my almost year-long baking binge to thank for this recipe, too. So if you’re looking for a fun and easy soap recipe to make for the holidays or just because, here it is…
Vanilla Bean Melt & Pour Soap Recipe
Learn how easy it is to make this creamy melt and pour soap with natural vanilla beans. This type of soap is wonderful for all skin types and would make an excellent addition to any bath & body gift basket!
This is my favorite soap to make as it’s so good for one’s skin and is gentle enough to use for a facial soap. the following recipe is from my eBook, THE JOY OF MELT AND POUR SOAP CRAFTING.
Oatmeal + Honey + Goat’s Milk Soap
16 ounces white soap base 1/4 cup ground oatmeal [rolled oats, not instant oatmeal] 1 teaspoon organic honey 1 teaspoon powdered goat’s milk 1 teaspoon vanilla fragrance
OR oatmeal, milk & honey fragrance [optional]
4 four-ounce molds
Slice up soap base into small cubes and melt. If not using goat’s milk base, add the powdered goat’s milk. Just before it’s fully melted add oatmeal and honey. Stir well. Add fragrance and remove from heat. When soap is just starting to form a layer, pour into molds. Spritz away any bubbles with rubbing alcohol. Allow soap to harden in fridge, freezer, or remain at room temperature. Remove from molds. Make sure soap is at room temperature before wrapping. Wrap in cling wrap and label.
Oatmeal Note: The above method will create a soap bar with oatmeal on one side only. To make Oatmeal+Honey+Goat’s Milk with the oatmeal suspended throughout the soap, you must stir in the oatmeal, turn off the crock pot OR double boiler, and stir occasionally for approximately 5-10 minutes while the soap mixture thickens.
When I first began crafting melt and pour glycerin soap, I was always more interested in what went into the soap rather than how creative or unique it looked. I still like to make a variety of shapes and colors, but I’m more intrigued by what additives improve melt and pour soap. I think I’ve succeeded in using the best types of soap bases on the market that are good for all skin types and don’t cost much more than standard melt and pour soap bases. Best of all, none of them contain sulfates!
What’s it about?
If you want to make the most natural soap without using lye, here is a way to craft organic and sulfate free melt and pour glycerin soap at home. In less than an hour, you can craft lovely organic, sulfate free and eco-friendly Castile soaps with these carefully tested recipes.
This eBook contains:
* Organic, sulfate free and Castile melt and pour soap bases: facts and tips
* How dangerous are sulfates, surfactants and propylene glycol?
When I go to a party store and see the vibrant luau section, I always want to buy the tiki lamps, hula skirts, leis, colorful napkins and paper plates and throw a big party. Doesn’t matter what time of year, it represents that perpetual summer—which can be good if you like warm weather and tropical scenes.
I decided to create a fun recipe to share with you. When the soaping bug hits, it hits hard and this’s the result. Tropical Paradise is a little more involved than a basic single pour method, but not much. Plus, the results are more 3-D!
I chose white soap base as that’s what I had on hand and I wanted a pastel colored theme rather than neon colors. Of course, you can use clear soap base and have a more dramatic looking contrast between clear soap and bright green or whatever color you choose mini palm tree embeds.
Both molds came from the discount store and cost $1 each. One is a storage container; the other is a plastic ice cube tray. Pictured here are the ingredients including, from left to right: containers of mica, white soap base, ice cube tray, and storage containers. The colorful tropical themed napkin is sold in a package of 20. The napkin can be used for wrapping but only after the soap has first been wrapped in cling wrap–otherwise the colors will run.
8 cavity mini palm tree molds [approx. 2 oz total]
Instructions for Palm Tree Mold:
Slice the soap base into small cubes. Just before the soap is fully melted, add the colorant. Adding fragrance to them is optional. Stir well. Slowly pour into the molds. Spritz away bubbles with rubbing alcohol. Allow soap to harden in fridge, freezer, or remain at room temperature. Remove from molds. This soap will solidify within minutes. Remove and set aside.
NOTE: If you live in an area with low humidity, it’s best to allow this soap to freeze so that it’ll be even easier to keep the little soap inserts/embeds from melting when pouring the second layer.
Instructions for Oval/rectangular Mold:
Prepare your molds by placing one to three of the mini palm trees on the bottom.
Slice up soap base into small cubes and melt. Stir well and add colorant. Add fragrance. Don’t pour it when it’s too hot, make sure it’s cooled down so it won’t melt the mini palm tree embeds. Then pour a small amount into molds, about half the size of your intended soap bar [2 ounces or so]. Spritz away any bubbles with rubbing alcohol. Allow soap to harden slightly. Test this by touching it gently with your finger. The surface should be firm but you’ll feel a little give as it won’t be completely solid. Now add more of the mini palm trees. Pour the rest of the soap so that it covers them, although you can have it so the palm trees stick out! Allow to solidify. Once it’s hardened remove from the mold. Make sure soap is at room temperature before wrapping. Wrap in cling wrap and label.
Learn more about soap crafting! Check out my book titles and articles here: soapmaking stuff
Crafting books are always in demand, especially around the holiday season. In 2011, I published my first melt and pour soap crafting ebook. Since then, I’ve noticed a proliferation of other ebooks on all types of soap crafting methods, along with how to make other bath and body products. Many of them are written by authors who write about a variety of nonfiction topics.
Last month I was contacted by an author of a soap making book in search of a review. I was interested in seeing what types of soap it covered so I agreed to look at it. When I received the PDF copy, I noticed it had photos, always a plus, but the material seemed to be regurgitated. After reading it, I learned nothing new. Contacting the author to inquire about her soap making experience, I didn’t receive a response.
And that’s the problem with many of the newer titles; the author is just repeating facts they’ve either read online or in other books. Some of them aren’t avoidable, like the history of soap making, but others are. There have even been cases of ebooks that were “written” by authors who found content/recipes on websites, copied and pasted them into a file, and slapped their name on the content.
What I’d encourage you to do when buying nonfiction titles is to take a minute or two and see if the author is an expert in the field they are writing about. When it comes to soap, lip balm, lotions, perfume etc., see if they discuss how they make and/or sell the product[s]. If they don’t sell what they are writing about, then check to see how long they’ve been making the products.
Other tips on finding worthwhile ebooks:
~ How long is the book? Amazon posts an approximate page count, as do other online bookstores. Using the sample feature can give you a clue as to how long the book is, especially if it contains a table of contents. In fact, most nonfiction books should contain one.
~ What is the book’s price? Free. Well, why not take a chance if you have the room [and the time!] but for books priced at $0.99 and above, I’d recommend that you read the sample to see if it’s going to be of interest to you. Another gripe readers may have with a soap crafting book is that it might be about a different type of soap making technique than what they’re seeking. By checking out the sample you avoid downloading the “wrong” type of ebook.
~ Does the book include recipes? Does it only contain recipes? Are the recipes indicated by grams/ounces? Both? If it only contains recipes, does it give information that might be necessary such as safety tips, where to buy supplies, basic facts about soap and/or other body products? For those who make soap from scratch, recipes with accurate measurements are imperative as lye, oils, water and other additives must be carefully calculated.
~ Is a supplier/resource section included? I think it’s helpful to provide resources so that people can easily locate any of the ingredients that the author writes about. When I first began crafting melt and pour soap, I didn’t have any ebooks to read with lots of pictures and step by step instructions. Now all of us do, as there are many to choose from!
Most flowers begin to lose their scent when they are picked. Not with tuberose! Like jasmine, the heady floral scent continues to produce itself. Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) is native to Central America. Aztec healers called it omixochitl (bone-flower) due to the waxy, luminous white flowers that actually contain anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. Tuberose may grow wild in Mexico and surrounding countries, but the cultivation of tuberose is usually in Morocco, the Comores Islands, France, Hawaii, South Africa, India, and China.
For the Gardener
The tuberose grows in elongated spikes that produce clusters of aromatic white flowers. They can be grown outdoors in warm climates. Tuberoses flourish in sunny places and bloom in late summer. After the last frost, plant your tuberoses in a sunny spot, beneath a couple of inches of soil and almost a foot apart. Fertilize and water regularly.
If you pot and grow tuberose indoors, keep at a temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Potted bulbs take about four to five months to bloom.
Tuberose in Hawaii
For millions of tourists who have been to Hawaii, the first scent to greet their nostrils has been that of the offered tuberose leis. The ancient tradition for a Hawaiian wedding is for the bride and groom to wear flowers. The groom wears a maile lei, which is a native Kauai plant, while the bride wears a wreath of tuberose and pikaki flowers around her head called a haku. The custom is still popular as a part of a time-honored Hawaiian wedding ceremony.
If you’re interested in purchasing tuberose bulbs from Hawaii, contact Paradise Flowers at: http://www.ParadiseFlowers.com. You can also order tuberose leis, bouquets, and hakus too!
The Power of Tuberose
The legend of the tuberose in France warns that young girls should not breathe in its fragrance after dark for fear that it would put them in a romantic mood. In India, tuberose is known as rat ki rani, (The Mistress of the Night) for similar reasons. In Ayurvedic medicine, attars are held in high esteem not only for their exquisite fragrance, but their healing properties. Tuberose is known to improve one’s capacity for emotional depth. By opening the crown chakra it improves psychic powers. Tuberose also amplifies artistic inspiration as it stimulates the creative right side of the brain. And it brings serenity to the mind and heart. Maybe these reasons are why tuberose essential oil is so expensive!
More expensive than most rose attars, pure tuberose essential oil is difficult to find. “If you want to be precise, there is no ‘essential oil’ of tuberose. The flowers won’t stand up to the high temperature of water/steam distillation. Therefore a solvent, usually hexane, is used. Solvent extracted oils are absolutes. Some aromatherapists will not use them, as they believe there are traces of the solvent in the oil, even if only on a vibrational level. I disagree with this in general, and use absolutes quite often, however, it is case by case, as I often will choose to use only distilled oils in a blend.” Trygve Harris, Enfleurage, New York City.
“But this is where phytol enters center stage…the product of the amazing Phytonics process, conceived and developed by Peter Wilde in England. Phytonics uses low pressure, involves no heat and uses a solvent which is recyclable; it produces an essential oil that requires no additional processing unlike other concretes and, remarkably, does not emit by-products that damage the endangered ozone layer.” Eva-Marie Lind, Dean of the Aromatherapy Department of the Australasian College of Herbal Studies.
Make Your Own Tuberose Soap
As listed above, you can buy tuberose online at Enfleurage. It’s available as a jojoba-based roll-on perfume and the pure absolute is sold in small sizes. However, if you want to make tuberose soap for only a few dollars, you can do so by using tuberose floral wax. If you’d like the recipe, check out my eBook 12 Easy Melt and Pour Soap Recipes.
Olive oil is a natural remedy for many of your skincare needs; it contains vitamin E which is excellent for maintaining healthy skin. Less costly than what you may be accustomed to, it’s quite effective, easy to find and even easier to use.
You probably have a bottle in your kitchen or decorating a table or shelf. This 5,000-year-old Mediterranean staple is all natural and has many uses. Olive oil is one of the safest fruit oils to use internally and externally. Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal, and Tunisia are the largest olive oil exporting and producing countries in the world. Olive oil can be used as a natural moisturizer for your skin and hair. It can be used to remove makeup. Rough elbows and heels? Soften them with olive oil. The same goes for those chapped lips. You don’t need to spend lots of money on expensive department store moisturizers and creams if you have access to olive oil.
Why is olive oil so beneficial? Olive oil contains natural vitamin E which is excellent for maintaining healthy skin. This is especially prevalent in the extra virgin grade of olive oil. It helps protect vitamin A and essential fatty acids from oxidation in the body cells and prevents breakdown of body tissues.
Shelf Life: Buy small quantities of olive oil for purposes of skincare. The bottle needs to be tightly sealed, and make sure it is stored in a cool, dark location. Do not store next to your stove or oven as that can cause your olive oil to oxidize. Refrigerate if necessary. A sell by date should be on the bottle, along with the year it was harvested. Unlike wine, olive oil does NOT improve with age!
Cold Pressed is Best? Cold pressed refers to the temperature during the extraction process and that no nutrient-draining heat has ruined the olive oil. A bottle of high quality olive oil will cost a little more than your grocery store brand. With olive oil you get what you pay for. If a bottle of olive oil from California bears a seal from the California Olive Oil Council [COOC] you can be sure it’s of top quality. If seeking olive oil from the European Union, look for a guarantee of quality. For each country it goes by a different name, and for Italy is known as Denominazione d’Origine Protetta [DOP].
Simple Recipes: Hair Conditioner: Pour a small amount of olive oil into your hands so you’ll soften your hands and your hair at the same time. Massage oil gently into your scalp and work down to the ends. Put on a shower cap to trap in the heat and moisture. This can be done for about 30 minutes. Shampoo well to remove.
Lips: Olive oil makes an instant and 100% natural lip balm.
Nails: Dip your fingers in a bowl of warm olive oil for several minutes.
Skin: Apply olive oil like you would any other lotion or cream. Always start with a small amount, increasing as needed. It’s a quick and easy makeup remover. Olive oil is particularly soothing for your heels, elbows, and knees. For an instant sugar scrub, mix equal parts olive oil and brown sugar in a bowl, rub on your hands, and rinse clean.
Bathing: Mixing a teaspoon or two of olive oil with a few drops of your favorite essential or fragrance oil is a great way to smell good, relax, and have soft skin. Recommended scents: orange, rose, patchouli, lavender, and rosemary.
Olive oil is a natural remedy for many of your skincare needs. Less costly than what you may be accustomed to, it’s quite effective, easy to find, and even easier to use.