Tag Archives: soap

Basic Soap Equation

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French Green Clay Soap

About a week ago, a friend of Fernando’s posted some questions on his Facebook page about my soap. His question about the soap was: “She doesn’t use lye to make soap does she? I’m asking because lye is caustic acid/poison.”

This got me to thinking about how best to educate people in general about natural soap and how it’s created. While the person who posed the question was correct in stating that lye is caustic, he was incorrect in his assumption that lye in soap is bad. Lye is one of the three essential ingredients needed to make soap. The most basic equation for soap is:

Water + Lye + Fat (animal or vegetable) —> Saponification (chemical reaction) —> Soap (by product of the chemical reaction)

My general response to the question was: “When you mix water, lye and some sort of fat (vegetable or animal), it goes through a chemical process called saponification. Within about a week, the water and lye are “cured out” but you are left with a by product of the chemical reaction, which is soap. So, lye goes in, but does not come out.”

So for those of you out there wondering how the heck soap is made (even with a caustic ingredient), there is your quick and simple answer.

Funny enough, the guy never responded to my response. Hmph.

Camille

store: www.havelinasoap.com

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Sugar Whipped Soap Scrubs

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Yesterday my mom came over to help me get ready for the holiday boutique I will be doing next Saturday (more details on this to come!). One of the products we made for my table is sugar whipped soap scrubs. I love this product so much I’m almost willing to stop using soap and use this exclusively. (I did say almost didn’t I?)

Sugar is mixed with bath soap and whipped until it is light and fluffy and then scented with essential and fragrance oils. Unlike apricot kernals/seeds (which can tear your skin), the sugar in our scrub is very mild and can be used all over your body (except the face). Some of the scrubs even have additional scrubby action with natural jojoba beads as an ingredient.

The scrubs will be available for sale on the website and at the holiday boutique. Each scrub is 10 ounces and current flavors are peppermint, lavender and for the holidays, pumpkin spice.

I absolutely love this scrub. Not only will it slough away dead skin cells, you will be squeaky clean from head to toe. Even my little big mom will tell you “Use this scrub!”

Camille

Sneak Peek At The New Store

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Well dear friends, I’ve admitted this many times, I am technologically ignorant.

BUT I have gotten the online store up.

Say what? Oh yeah, I have finally figured out how to do this. *smile*

Right now, the store is preview mode, so why don’t you mosy on over and take a quick peek? Not all products are listed just yet and some of the soaps will be released as they are fully cured. And as a special treat, all of you dear readers will have a special 25% off discount code ready for grand opening! (You may even get some other treats. Shhhhhhh!)

So for now, check the store out at http://havelinasoap.com. The grand opening is only days away…

Camille

Nayko’s French Lavender

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Lately I haven’t been taking great soap pictures, so please bear with me and this post. I made a batch of Nayko’s French Lavender and wanted to share the photos. The last time I made it I colored it lavender with white accents and this time I did just the opposite.

I loved the way the swirls came out and couldn’t wait to see what the bars would look like cut. It was a long two days as I waited for the bars to harden up. And here they are…

Well, the color faded a little, but the lavender essential oil fragrance stayed strong. The color will pop again once you start using the bar in the shower. I wish I didn’t have to wait another few weeks to try one, but alas, I must be patient.

These bars will also be available in a soapy 4 pack and as individual bars in the online store. Countdown 12 days…

-Camille

With Sadness

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As you all know, I’ve been in an herbal medicine class for the past year. Our last class was Saturday, and I’m still sad about it. This class was more than just learning about herbs. It was a celebration of all things sacred to women, a reclaiming of our voice in a world. Many of us have forgotten how women were the caretakers of not just their families, but of the earth as well. For thousands of years, women were connected to plants and listened to the earth’s needs and wants. Somewhere along the way, these skills were lost, and we as people suffer because of it.

For the past year, I’ve been fortunate enough to be surrounded by other like-minded women looking to become caretakers of the earth as medicine women. We are women who believe in the healing powers of the green world and are on a mission to spread the word. I hope some of you someday can take this class with Kami. It will change you in so many ways. 

In another post, I mentioned that we exchange little tokens on our last day of class. Here are some of the cute things that Kami and other students brought:

Pumpkin pie spice, candles, herbal teas, body butter sample

Guess which one Ms. Katherine brought?

How cute is this? She is just so creative!

Other students brought herbs and plants to share with the classmates. My classmate, Janet, even brought California poppy seeds for planting! How cool is that? Oh and before I forget, here is how the Medicine Woman soap turned out.

The green got greener, but I still got hit by the soap ash monster.

I also made these cute little four packs of soap for a few of my classmates and our teacher. (Yes, Katherine got one and yes, Dani, one is ready for you too.)

The four pack has a Simple Soap, Camille’s Blend, Good Morning Sunshine and Medicine Woman soap.

I’m still thinking about how much I’m going to miss my herbal classes and my herbal sisters. And with that said, I am signing off to go make some herbal fire cider.

My name is Camille and I am a plant person.

Sugarloaf Soaps In the News!

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Sugarloaf Soaps is another awesome soap company owned by my good friend Rose Cunfer.

Rose is a soap design genius.

This is pure soap.

I love looking at all of Rose’s new creations. She can sense what people like and want, and does and amazing job of customizing a soap to fit each person’s personal needs. Recently, an article in the Hazleton Standard Speaker was published  featuring Rose and Sugarloaf Soaps showcasing all the work she puts into each soap she creates. It was a great article but only captured a little of Rose’s design flair. You really need to experience her soaps for yourself!

How fun are these little guys? What kid, or adult, would say no to these?

Sugarloaf Soaps is located in Sugarloaf, Pennsylvania. Rose sells her soaps at craft fairs, special events and by private appointment. Her soaps are also sold at Abbey Gourmet Coffeehouse in West Hazleton, PA. Check out her website (www.sugarloafsoaps.net) for more details! I’m hoping to get out to the East Coast to hang out with this soap design guru soon myself.

-Camille

All Soap Is Not Created Equally

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This summer, while on vacation with Fernando in Jamaica, I came across a store selling naturally crafted bath & body products. Of course, being a soaper, I was more than happy to buy a few of the local bars to bring home with me.

Blue Mountain Coffee Scrub (bottom) and Milk & Honey with Ginger

Blue Mountain coffee is my absolute favorite coffee to drink. It was only natural that I would totally pick this soap. Plus my own attempt at making a coffee soap had been disastrous at best, so I was more than happy to try someone else’s. Honey is another favorite of mine and I grabbed this bar as well.

I finally got around to using both soaps and I have to say I was disappointed. It reminded me that no matter what ingredients are used, not all handcrafted soaps are created equally.

The first thing I noticed was that the bars were much lighter than what was stated on the package. The package claimed each bar was 4 ounces, but in reality they were more like 3.2 and 3.3 ounces. (Yes, I totally busted out my scale to weigh these) In my experience, most soap makers will tell you the exact weight of the bar or give you a range, but will not sell you something that’s under weight. That’s just poor business practice.

The second thing I noticed was lack of suds between both bars, with the coffee bar being worse then the milk & honey bar.

Blue Mountain Coffee Scrub

Milk & Honey with Ginger

My friend and fellow soaper, Danielle of skycovespa also makes a honey soap that is amazing.

Danielle’s Honey Bar

Look at the difference between the suds of the top two bars compared to Danielle’s bar. And with Danielle’s bar, I didn’t have a tacky feeling after I got out of the shower. It could be the Jamaican bars are not balanced between the ingredients used, but either way, I would not buy these again. I think that they are okay for kitchen/garage sink use because they will get you clean, but I’d prefer something else for whole body use.

Even though these soaps were a bust, I’m glad I got to try them. In the future though, I’m going to stay away from coffee soaps. I just don’t have any luck with them. But to drink, pour away!

Camille