Nourishing Skin Oil

Nourishing Skin Oil

Nourishing Skin Oil
Contents | Argan Oil (Argania spinosa), Avocado Oil (Persea gratissima), Rosehip Oil (Rosa rubiginosa), Evening Primrose Oil (Oenothera biennis).

The 100ml glass jar I ordered from UK finally arrived! While I could find the bottle anywhere here, I wanted a pipette dropper instead of a pump or standard internal droppers (the ones they use for essential oils). The idea of pipette droppers intrigue me mainly because I wanted less mess and only a few drops instead of a squirt of oil everywhere. Besides, holding an oily bottle, negotiating a pump, all that isn’t very fun (after my experiment with Noah’s calendula oil).

This blend has only oils that has been tested on Noah and that works well. I have tried neem and it wasn’t very successful plus neem oil STINKS! Rosehip oil is my favourite in terms of scent and overall performance. Unfortunately it is high in AHA so can make skin photosensitive, making it unsuitable for daily day use on its own.

In the meantime, in between waiting for more jars to come in (for my body butters) and assignments on knee walkers, I’ll continue doing patch tests for jojoba and Camellia oil – both reputed to be light oil that absorb easily yet work wonders on the skin.

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Avocado-Mango Skin Relief Butter

Avocado-Mango Skin Relief Butter

Avocado-Mango Skin Relief Butter
Contents | Avocado Butter and Oil (Persea gratissima), Mango Butter (Mangifera indica), Vitamin E (Tocopherol).

After nearly two weeks of testing ingredients, I can finally whip up a butter for Noah. I have been doing patch tests for avocado oil and mango butter on his arm and leg. (Avocado butter is essentially the same as the oil except the difference in fluidity and physical state.) The results have been promising so far so time to get cracking on the butter (I have been busy looking at things like how to repair leather furniture – don’t ask!).

I chose avocado oil and butter because its high content in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids which are lacking in most people suffering from eczema. It is also high in sterolins which can help heal, soften and moisturise skin. The butter is extremely rich but easily absorbed, making it a good night cream – something which Noah really needs as he often wakes up with flakey, slightly dry skin.

Because this butter is very soft at room temperature, I needed a harder butter to stiffen the cream up and picked mango instead of the usual cocoa and shea butter. Noah appears to be allergic to nuts so shea is out and I didn’t dare chance cocoa since I have yet to test it out. I settled for mango instead after reading that it has been traditionally used for its skin softening, soothing, moisturizing and protective properties. It can also help restore flexibility and reduce degeneration of skin cells AND has UV protection properties!

No fragrances or anything fancy – so the butter pretty much smells like avocado. Quite vegetably and not at all unpleasant, if you ask me. I intend to start him on this tomorrow and hope that his skin will get better in time! *keeps fingers crossed*

Cold pressed avocado oil Melting the avocado and mango butter Whipping everything together

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Lemonade trumps the lemon!

Circles & Squares

Y’know the saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”? Well, this is a fine example of just that.

Inspired by this post on using different oil infusions as a colorant, I decided to plunge into uncharted waters and whip up my own version. No no, nothing fancy like swirls. Just two layers with soap balls and bars as embeds. The colours I had in mind were just two – creamy yellow and a nice lavender. I thought alkanet and madder root infusions would do just the trick.

Apparently not.

What I got was an icky blue-green-grey layer that was neither blue or green and definitely not purple!

From one angle, it looks grey, another brown-grey and when I showed it to Nil, he just went “Uhhh…it looks interesting”. He then suggests that I save a few bars for my mother-in-law, an artist and remarked that it reminded him of paintings by Gustav Klimt. After doing some search, I would say that this batch of lemonade reminds me of more geometric abstract art.

Still, it’s flattering when he tells me that a botched batch is artistic!

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Shea & Mango Rich Skin Butter

Shea & Mango Rich Skin Butter

Shea & Mango Rich Skin Butter
Contents | Mango Butter (Mangifera indica), Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii), Calendula infused Sunflower Oil (Helianthus annuus), Avocado Oil (Persea gratissima), Soybean Oil (Glycine soja), Walnut Oil (Juglans regia), Rosemary Oleoresin, Vitamin E (Tocopherol), Essential Oils (Geranium, Chamomile, Rose).

This is an ultra rich whipped butter I made for super dry or mature skin. I used the same oils from the soap I formulated for my mum and these oils are:

  • Avocado oil which contains contains large amounts of vitamins A, D, and E as well as protein and amino acids.
  • Soybean oil which is high in both linoleic and oleic acids, making it a good moisturiser.
  • Sunflower oil which is high in vitamin E.
  • Walnut oil which is high in linoleic acid and vitamins A, C, & E.

The result is a highly hydrating butter which I would probably only use at night, just before going to bed.

I had to use a little bit more essential oil that I normally would as the scent of the walnut oil was a bit tad strong. The avocado oil and mango butter gave the mixture a slightly green-yellow appearance so if you’re aiming for a nearly-white butter, sorry, you’ll have to give this recipe a miss.

A note to anyone attempting to whip mango butter – it sets up really fast so it would be a good idea to use it in conjunction with a softer butter like shea.

I hope the recipients will like this butter. I particularly adore the scent, especially the geranium – very relaxing. Nil didn’t quite like the scent blend – he thought it reminded him of burnt air! (He thinks my peppermint soap smells icky – a sign that his nose is NOT suited for this sort of work – blending and sniffing fragrances!)

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Keeping my fingers crossed…

Pure (Breast milk): Saponifying

One big thing about soapmaking is that if you discover in the beginning that you may have a tiny problem with your soap, you have to wait at least 16-18 hours before confirming it.

That’s Pure – my breast milk-shea butter soap – saponifying. It’s currently gelling (see this link for an explanation on what gelling is) but that isn’t the problem. The problem is in the beginning – at the lye solution stage. I used 100% frozen breast milk and added in the lye gradually, stirring a lot as I went along. I thought I stirred enough but as I reached the bottom of the container (while pouring it into my soap), I saw a few (around four to five) tiny lye pellets.

My heart sank.

Undissolved lye.

I didn’t use the pellets (thankgoodness there wasn’t any more milk-lye solution in the container) but now I wonder if my soap has undissolved lye. I will have to wait till tomorrow before I find out and if there are lye pockets, I’ll end up rebatching this like how I did with my cucumber soap.

So yes, am keeping my fingers crossed!

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Calendula Frosting (Whipped Shea Butter)

Calendula Frosting (Whipped Shea Butter)

Chamomile Frosting (Whipped Shea Butter)
Contents | Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii), Calendula-infused Sunflower Oil (Helianthus annuus) and Sweet Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis), Calendula Powder

I had to be very careful when formulating this as this is for Noah and meant to replace his current calendula cream. He has eczema, if I haven’t mentioned it before so I can’t just put in anything I like. It could just cause a flare-up and I definitely don’t want that. So I settled with what he has been exposed to – Shea butter, sunflower oil and so forth.

I left this unscented so the only scent I get is from the calendula – I used dried calendula petals and ground them up as finely as I could before adding them to my shea butter. Then I added in a calendula oil infusion – basically calendula petals soaked in a blend of sunflower and sweet almond oil. I made this infusion a few days ago and it sat in my slow cooker for over 12 hours before cooling down and sitting in the oil for a further two days.

Why these three oils?

Well, I read that Shea butter has anti-inflammatory benefits and can aid in cell regeneration, healing as well as offers some degree of protection against the sun’s UV rays, while sweet almond oil is soothing, easily absorbed and gentle, making it suitable for babies or adults with sensitive skin. Sunflower oil contains high amounts of Vitamin E, fatty acids and antioxidants and is non-comedogenic.

You may not be able to see it here but the texture is very much like the previous frosting I made for Eva – very fluffy and airy. The picture you see is the frosting fresh from whipping – it needs to set for at least 12-24 hours before first use but I couldn’t resist. Hehehe.

Like the previous frosting, it is a rich cream and I hope will do wonders for his dry and flaky skin. The lotions I have been using for him don’t last long – I reckon they are just too light – and I find myself putting more and more each time. I didn’t make much; just enough for a 150ml container. As usual, I didn’t have any on hand and used two 110ml glass hermetic sealed jars I bought earlier.

Can’t wait to try this on him tomorrow! Hopefully his skin condition will get better with frequent use of this! *keeps fingers crossed*

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Updates on Chamomile Frosting

Chamomile Frosting: After setting

About 12 hours later, this is how Chamomile Frosting looks like.

It’s a little softer than pure shea butter and definitely airy – I could hear the air pockets going squish as I tried to spoon it out. I might put in a little bit more carrier oils to make it softer but overall, I like this formula. Melts on the skin immediately and no grains!

I am so tempted to buy some unrefined and/or luxury butters and play around with the mix but I have a funny feeling that Nil isn’t going to be all that happy with me adding more to my soap stash! Anyway, this – if stored and used properly (no water or dirty fingers) – should last for at least 3-6 months.

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Chamomile Frosting (Whipped Shea Butter)

Chamomile Frosting (Whipped Shea Butter)

Chamomile Frosting (Whipped Shea Butter)
Contents | Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii), Chamomile-infused Olive Oil (Olea europaea), Macadamia Nut Oil (Macadamia ternifolia), Sweet Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis), Grapeseed Oil (Vitis vinifera), Apricot Kernel Oil (Prunus armeniaca), Rosemary Oleoresin (Rosmarinus officinalis, Oleum), Chamomile Powder, Essential oils (Geranium, Chamomile, Lavender).

I have been spending a bomb on creams since I arrived here, namely for myself and the kids. With Noah’s sensitive skin and eczema flares (now under control thanks to some calendula cream), Eva’s dry skin coupled with my own increasingly dry skin, we can spend up to €50 on creams every two months (at this rate, I’d be spending enough to buy e-readers (anyone looked up the kobo ereader reviews?)). Noah’s concoction, especially, isn’t cheap since I can only get it from organic stores. After taking a look at the ingredients list and discussing with my hubby, I decided to dig into my soapmaking supplies and see what I could come up with, especially when my calendula petals arrived in the mailbox today.

After scouting the Internet for ideas and techniques, I finally decided on a formulation for Eva. She has been using my soaps so I know it’s safe to make a butter with the same oils I use in my soap since she hasn’t shown any reaction to it. My recipe is loosely taken from a few formulas from the Internet, which include this one here and here. It took me about half an hour to 45 minutes to whip up some lovely body butter – I made enough for a 250- or 300-ml container. My pot can only take up to 200ml of butter so the remainder went into a glass jar we used for storing homemade jam (that is another story altogether – homemade jam beats commercial jam ANY TIME!).

I tried it on my skin immediately and I like how it feels, very moisturizing and rich. Scent-wise, I love it. I mildly scented this with some of my favourite essential oils and two hours later, there is still a slight lingering geranium scent with a lavender & chamomile undertone. Very relaxing and soothing!

I don’t think it’ll be suitable for use on her face though – could be too heavy – and I don’t want to make an emulsion (oil and water) because emulsions need some form of preservative (that have to be anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant). Too much work, too many steps – they require more time for me to research, digest and more materials/packaging to buy.

Anyway, up next will be some creams for Noah since I’m fast running out of the calendula balm that I’ve been using for him. I’ll be adding in infused olive oil together with some calendula powder – all homemade. I could add a few other oils (I order 10ml bags of different oils for making butters and pots) but I’ll need to do a patch test to see if he has an allergy to them. Will definitely see how it goes when that happens.

Looks like I’ll have plenty of handmade Christmas/birthday/baptism/whatever gift ideas! Hehehe.

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