Saturday, December 14, 2013

New fragrance now available in body wash, lotion and solid perfume

Brambleberry has a fragrance oil called Black Amber Lavender that is absolutely wonderful.   A warm and inviting blend of amber and vanilla with hints of musk and lavender.  It is very light on the lavender so works well for those who are not fans of lavender scents.  I have included this fragrance in a body wash, body lotion and solid perfume.  

~ Faith

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Best Homemade Caramel Creme Recipe

I don't know about you, but homemade caramels are about the best sweet indulgence one could ever treat themselves to.  Add in that swirl of sugary creme and it is all the better.  While this recipe is a bit more challenging than standard caramels, it is worth the effort.  The key to making anything with caramels is the cooking temp.  Cook your caramel to too hot a temperature and they will be too hard, too low a temperature, they will be too soft and not hold their shape.  It may be a good idea to experiment with the caramels and your thermometer first to get the exact temperature for this.

So, here we go......

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thickening Liquid Soap - HEC vs. HPMC

I normally thicken my liquid soaps with HEC (Hydroxyethel Cellulose) at a rate of 1% - 1.5%.  HEC can be easy to use and leaves your soap crystal clear (assuming your formulation produces a clear soap).   I have recently been introduced to HPMC (Hydroxypropyl Methycellulose) as a thickening agent as it is supposed to be easier to use than HEC. There are a few differences in how you use each one.

HEC (can be added before or after dilution)
  - Mix with your solvent at room temperature with a whisk
  - Add mixture to your liquid soap at room temperature
  - Mix with solvent at room temperature with a whisk
  - Add mixture to room temperature dilution water and whisk for 5 - 20 minutes to thoroughly disperse
  - Add dilution water/HEC mixture to room temperature soap paste

  - Use a whisk to blend in HEC mixture.  Heat up soap.  If mixture is added after dilution - stick blend when hot to fully distribute to avoid fish eyes, otherwise, allow soap paste to dilute as normal.
  - Thickening is achieved as HEC solution is exposed to a higher Ph (as typical in liquid soap) and heat

Friday, October 11, 2013

Thickening Liquid Soap with Hydroxyethel Cellulose (HEC) - Method 2

I had previously written about using Hydroxyethel Cellulose or HEC to consistently and successfully thicken my liquid soap after your soap was already diluted.  You can see that post here.  This tutorial will show you how to thicken your liquid soap with HEC at the same time you dilute and neutralize your soap.  This method can be a bit trickier as you need to know exactly what your dilution ratio is and how much citric acid or borax you will need to neutralize or lower the ph of your soap.  I only use this method on formulations in which I do not need to be neutralized or adjusted for pH.  Any formulations that need to be adjusted are diluted first, neutralized or adjusted for Ph, then thickened via Method 1.

You can get HEC at both Lotioncrafters and The Herbarie.  I use the one from the Herbarie so I cannot verify that these instructions will work with the Lotioncrafters HEC.

The most important thing to keep in mind when using this product is that the "gelling" process is accelerated by both heat and Ph of the liquid.  If it is added to warm or hot liquid or as it heats up, it will start to gel very quickly and not give you enough time to get it fully incorporated into your soap. The higher the Ph of the liquid, the faster the gelling process will be too. The last thing you want is your HEC to be in a gelled state before you add it to your soap paste - it is much easier to use when your solution of HEC/glycerin/water is in a fluid liquid state.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Liquid Soapmaking - the 50/50 Method with Water and Glycerin

I have successfully mastered liquid soapmaking using both the water method and the glycerin method. Each method has its pros and cons - each relating to time, cost and mess.  I want a liquid soapmaking process that is inexpensive, quick and easy with little mess.

The water method is cheap and distilled water is readily available at your local grocery or drug store. Glycerin is more expensive and not as easy to come by plus you need to take into account shipping charges if those are incurred for online or phone ordering from any of the various suppliers of soap making ingredients.  Point Water.

The water method can be a very long and drawn out process.  From the time it takes to get your soap to trace to the extended cook times plus having to watch and stir every 30 minutes.  If anyone has made a 100% olive oil liquid soap from scratch, you know how looooong it takes for that formulation to trace and not separate out.  The glycerin method is much quicker in that your soap will come to trace within 15 minutes or so.  Just like with the water method, some formulations trace quicker than others.  Point Glycerin.

I find that diluting paste created from the glycerin method is much quicker than diluting paste created from the water method.  Another time saving feature.  Point Glycerin.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Thickening liquid soap with Hydroxyethel Cellulose (HEC) - Method 1

Thickening liquid soap is a challenge faced by many soapmakers.  Most liquid soaps will be water thin after fully diluted.  Still a high quality soap, but not always as easy to use.  Foamer bottles are great for hand soap, face soap - any soap that will sit next to a sink.  When formulating body washes/gels and shampoos, thin soap can be more difficult to use and wasteful as the soap will run down one's hand and arm.  Some formulations (100% olive oil soaps) can thickened with a simple 20% salt solution that works well.  Other formulations have proven more challenging in finding a consistent thickening product or method.  Some ingredients/products I have seen mentioned with varying results are Borax, Glycerin and Crothix.  I don't use Borax, have never found glycerin to thicken any of my soaps and have never tried Crothix.

The product that I have found to work extremely well and consistently for every soap formulation is Hydroxyethel Cellulose or HEC.  This product is sold by both Lotioncrafters and The Herbarie.  I use the one from the Herbarie so I cannot verify that these instructions will work with the Lotioncrafters HEC.

The most important thing to keep in mind when using this product is that the "gelling" process is accelerated by both heat and Ph of the liquid.  If it is added to warm or hot liquid or as it heats up, it will start to gel very quickly and not give you enough time to get it fully incorporated into your soap.  The last thing you want is your HEC to be in a gelled state before you add it to your liquid soap - it is much easier to use when your solution of HEC/glycerin/water is in a liquid state.

What you will need:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Adventures in Liquid Soapmaking - Hints and Tips I've Learned Along the Way

So........ I have been working/experimenting with Liquid Soap Making for the past 2 1/2 years and while I love the process and everything that I have learned along the way, it is far trickier to accomplish successfully and consistently than cold process soap making.  Fortunately, the ingredient cost is minimal so I have not lost too much in materials (only time) during these past 2 + years of learning, experimenting, getting frustrated and achieving success.  (Updated 5/2014, 7/2014)

Here I share some of the hints and tips I have learned along the way.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

New Soap Ideas

I am thinking of expanding on my line of themed soaps that I currently create.  This would be the next one that I do titled "Winter Nights".  Scented with Brambleberry's "Fresh Snow" fragrance oil using SFIC glycerin soap bases for both the embedded elements and the soap bar with suspended fine glitter for sparkle.

This to go along with my current (and very popular) Beach Scene Soap below:

Thinking of other ideas that can be put into soap too!!

~ Faith

Monday, August 12, 2013

How to use Water Soluble Paper to Embed in Glycerin Soap - Tutorial

Printing images on water soluble paper to embed into your melt and pour glycerin soaps is a wonderful way to create something unique and even personal.  You can use words, phrases, digital artwork or anything that you can put into digital format to be printed.  These soaps are wonderful as home decor to compliment a variety of themes from children's bathrooms, guest bathrooms or even as shower favors.  They also make unique, one of a kind gifts.

There is very little information around about how to use this water soluble paper and none of the techniques I uncovered worked well for me.  Therefore, after lots of experimentation, I have come up with a technique that works for me.

What you will need to create these types of soaps.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Glycerin Method Liquid Soap Making Tutorial

Glycerin Method Liquid Soap Making.

The most common method for making liquid soap involves adding Potassium Hydroxide to distilled water to make your lye solution.  Glycerin can be substituted for the water in liquid soapmaking. Glycerin speeds up the saponification process so that you achieve the various stages of creating your paste much faster and cuts down on the hours upon hours of cooking time.  I also find that diluting the paste made using the glycerin method is also a much quicker process and often require less dilution water.  The glycerin method is also very forgiving and almost foolproof as long as your recipe is run through a lye calculator so that you have the correct amount of Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) for your oils.  Brambleberry's and Summerbee Meadow's Lye Calculators using a 0% - 3%  superfat (make sure to set it to Liquid Soap) have never failed me either.

As with any soapmaking method, there are a few basic rules but beyond that, everyone has there own techniques and methods to achieve their final product.  Here I will show you my method for creating liquid soap using glycerin in place of water.

You will need the following

9/4/13 - ETA:  I have had several people ask for the formula I used for this tutorial.  Since this is a formula that I carry in my line of soap products I cannot give the exact formulation.  However, I can tell you that this tutorial uses 20 ounces of oils (14% hard oils, 86% soft oils)  calculated Potassium Hydroxide and glycerin amounts.  As usual, always run your formulation through an appropriate lye calculator.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Soap Designs - Graphic Art Soaps created from one of a kind Artwork

I am currently developing a new line of artisan soaps using the artwork of various artists.  This beautiful artwork is printed on water soluble paper that is then embedded into a layer of clear soap to create these unique, one of a kind designs.  These soaps are complimented with coordinating fragrances and layered colors.  These soaps will be wonderful as gifts or to decorate a guest bath - and best of all, they can be used!  The water soluble paper dissolves as it comes into contact with water and washes away.  These soaps are created from high quality bases that contain no chemical detergents or lather enhancers.  They produce a wonderful creamy lather and are gentle to the skin.

The first two designs.

The above design was create with the artwork of Michelle Alexis Smith of Rome, Italy.  Her artwork can be found at PainterlyPapers on Etsy.  Beautiful pale blue flowers peaking out behind green vines.  This soap was scented with a sweet floral Hawaiian Lei fragrance and layered with coordinating colors of white, blue and green.

The above design was created with artwork by Robin Sampson of Tennessee.  Various shades of pinks and orange in circular patterns.  Scented with one of my favorite fragrances, Sparking Citrus Sangria on a white base.

More artistic soaps coming soon. 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Packaging Challenges and being "Eco-Friendly"

More and more I have been having customers ask about my packaging materials and can I please limit them as much as possible when packaging their order.  I truly commend those who inquire and help push all manufacturers, retailers, businesses and every household to be aware of the products they use and the effects on our environment.  It is true that every little bit can help.  However, people must also realize the challenges that it also presents.  First and foremost - do your research and understand the products you use and its effects on the environment.   Also, understand from the manufactures perspective that there are legal obligations, quality of product and sanitation issues that we must abide by and be aware of as we create, manufature and package our products.

For my bath and body products I must be aware of the following:

 - Product Labeling.  There are legal requirements from the FDA regarding the necessary information that must be included with soaps, cosmetics and drugs.   Each product classification has a strict set of labeling requirements.  Information on how these products are classified can be found here:  That said, every product that I create must have a label following the FDA rules, thus, I cannot send out naked bars of soap (which would be the most eco-friendly way to sell and ship them).   There is also the issue of allergens and making it easy for people with specific allergies or sensitivities to be aware of each and every ingredient included in the product that they purchase.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

New Liquid Hair Conditioners

Now available are new liquid hair conditioners.  The solid conditioner bars have been so popular that I decided to created a liquid version.  These liquid conditioners contain the same high quality conditioning, detangling and beneficial oils as the bars but in a liquid form.  Each one contains a different ratio of hair nourishing oils, fragrances and essential oils and can be customized to your preference.  Easily mix and match with the available Shampoo Bars and Liquid Shampoos.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

New Website now Open!

New website now open.  I have added a new website to purchase products from Alaiyna B. Bath and body.  You can find all available products here.  Please check it out.  Cold process soap, decorative glycerin soap sulfate free hair and body care products, lotions, lip balms and much, much more.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

New Liquid Shampoos and Body Wash Coming Soon........

After spending the last 3 months experimenting with liquid soaps and shampoos, here is a preview of the new liquid body wash and shampoos that I am just finishing up.  Three varieties of shampoo in various scents - Dry, Normal and Normal to Oily Formulas. All will be available soon on my website and in my Etsy Shop.

Natural liquid shampoos and body wash.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How I Create Liquid Soaps and Shampoos - A Tutorial

After spending years making cold process bar soap, I ventured into the world of making liquid soaps and shampoos from scratch.  I have been making cold process handcrafted soaps for several years now and was ready to venture into the world of liquid soapmaking.  I make several versions of cold process shampoo bars, but many of my customers prefer shampoo in liquid form.  Liquid soaps can also be preferable for guest bathrooms where bar soap can be a bit messy.  They are also wonderful in foamer bottles.

PLEASE NOTE: I refer to liquid soap and shampoo in the same process as they are technically the same and created the same. Liquid soap is liquid soap - a cleansing agent. You can really call it what you want (soap, shampoo, hand cleaner, body wash, shower gel) but it is still an alkaline cleansing agent. You can formulate using different oils and additives for your intended purpose but it is still a high alkaline cleanser. As far as using liquid soap as shampoo - please note that not all hair types can handle high pH cleansers. High pH cleansers will lift the hair cuticle/shaft and all those tiny pieces of hair can get very tangled and damaged in the process as you massage and manipulate the lather throughout the hair. Lower pH conditioners can be used afterward to close the hair shaft but if you have damaged your hair, it will not reverse the damage. No, you cannot lower the pH of liquid soap to be neutral or acidic and closer to the pH of your hair and scalp. Please see this post on lowering pH and getting accurate pH readings: Lowering soap pH

There are very few books and resources available to those looking to learn the process of liquid soapmaking and it takes lots of patience, practice and note taking to make it successfully and consistently.  I am not going to get into the various base oils and their properties and what they can bring to your soap recipe as there is a ton of information available regarding that.  My goal here is to show and explain how I make liquid soap and shampoo and hopefully help someone else struggling with the process.

You can see tutorials on other liquid soapmaking here:

Liquid soap is a bit more challenging than cold process soap, so if you have never made handcrafted soap of any kind (not including melt and pour), you may want to start with a simple 3-oil cold process soap first.  This will give you an idea of what trace is, what the initial saponification process is what can and cannot go wrong.

So let's get started.  I am not posting a specific recipe here since the point is the process.  The recipe I am using for this is a shampoo so is high in hard oils (Coconut, Babassu) and low in soft oils (olive oil, castor oil, almond oil) so it will trace a bit quicker.  The more soft oils in a recipe, the longer the process takes to get to trace to start the cooking.  100% soft oil formulations will take the longest to come trace and to get to the cooking stage.