The Glow of Bacuri Butter

In an ever-increasingly crowded industry such as bath & body product creation, it’s growing harder and harder to be heard or seen in that over-populated arena.  My voice fades when strained, but I keep hope alive in my belief that it’s the quiet ones that often get more attention with a whisper rather than a shout.  Given my physical restrictions (weak vocal chords) I whisper and can still register on that B&B Richter scale.

The things I love to ‘whisper’ about most is a new discovery or new product crafted for its beneficial ingredients without being too obvious about it.  Crafty individuals that we are, we B&B crafters choose our words carefully in order to stay within a rigid boundary that excludes medical or beneficial claims that could set off bells to the powers that be.

The choices bath & body makers are never random.  They’ve all done their research, tested, and reformulated numerous times before finally landing on something they’re pleased as punch to send out to the masses.  I’m no different, by the way. I try to find that formula that provides a soft feel on the skin that lasts, even after washing, without a greasy or heavy feel. It’s a sort of holy grail of formulations.  It should moisturize without feeling greasy or clog pores, provide some type of beneficial results we’ve read about in a reliable, verifiable resource, and still be less expensive than the pricier than gold products in those chic boutiques downtown or in suburban malls.

One such recent new discovery is Bacuri butter, a dark, dense seed butter found in the rainforests of Brazil. It’s known to the populace for its use to help with cold sores, scars, wounds, blemishes that have already appeared. As a proactive application, it’s wonderful for nail, hair and skin health, maintaining collagen and elastin production, and a rich, high-performing emollient. It also contains high levels of Lysine and Methionine which your body utilizes for the treatment of cold sores & psoriasis, and strengthening & maintenance of hair, skin & nails respectively.

 

Given all of that and the fact that, to me at least, it smells like chocolate, I’ve made plans to use it in a body butter for fall & winter this year.  With the blend planned it should leave the skin velvety feeling and perhaps a bit warmer in hue.  As for scents, well, that is yet undecided.  Not sure if any other scents would go naturally with the butter’s natural aroma, but we will see. I can imagine it with hints of chocolate and an underlying note of coffee.  Almond or vanilla could also work.  Something slightly sweet, but definitely not sweet citrusy notes!

Want to read more about Bacuri Butter or purchase your own personal stash?  Click here. You’ll find many more glorious butters for skin, hair and nails at this link as well.

Want to shop for our products? Products crafted with this deep, dark butter are coming soon. It’s too hot during our summer months for prep and shipping, so we will be releasing in mid to late September Click here.

 

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Use This, Not That

This particular subject is one I frequently come back to over and over, mainly because new ideas, updated information comes to light after yet another study is released. But some things just don’t change as much and for that, I’m forever grateful!

Many people ask why we use what we use in our soaps, lotions, body butters and body washes, mainly the beneficial elements they offer, but sometimes it’s about how the soap feels.

For most soap makers, we don’t make any sort of medical or cosmetic claims, we just say our products clean, but if due diligence is researched properly, the individual ingredients we use start to become clear enough to understand.

As previously mentioned, we state it’s just soap and it cleans. End of sentence, but well, not so fast. Look between the lines and you come to understand that I choose sweet almond oil, olive oil and coconut oil for very good reasons.  Olive is a classic for soap makers and Castile bars are renown for their mildness thanks in large part to the beloved olive oil.  I like to use the light salad oil, more golden in color rather than the greener types (mostly virgin and extra virgin).  Over time it becomes an extremely hard bar which equates to a long-lasting bar.  Sweet Almond oil moisturizes gently, sinks in quickly, produces a marvelously lustrous lather that’s dense & creamy.  It’s particularly good for very sensitive skin, troubled skin or older skin. Coconut oil produces big fluffy bubbles and a very hard bar that’s snowy white in color, that is until you add a color to it.  When mixed in ideal proportions, you have a hard, light-colored, bubbly yet moisturizing bar, which everyone enjoys!

Some of the delightful extras I love to blend in include skin safe colorants and/or clays, milks of various types, usually goat or coconut and silk, preferably bamboo or humanely, sustainably harvested Tussah silk. Fragrances are typically either essential oils, fragrance oils or a combination of the two but used with a light hand to keep that gentleness of the bar going strong, keep it focused on giving the skin the TLC it deeply deserves.  So what would be the purpose of silk and how does it get into a solid bar of soap?  When added to the liquid portion of the soap during production, it dissolves leaving those all-important amino acids behind that bring a silkiness to the lather that slithers over your skin in the shower or bath leaving you soft & smooth almost like satin. The milk, with the extra fats found in the coconut milk in higher levels than most other types of milks except for heavy whipping cream, lends something we call superfatting.  Superfat creates creamy dense lather, gloriously rich, abundant.  Pure luxury in its simplest form.  It was such a formulation that had me hooked on handcrafted bar soaps so many years ago, leading me down the path of creating artisanal soaps for myself and others. After one use of a superfatted, handmade bar soap, there was no mad rush to the lotion bottle.  The skin is left soft, clean, lightly scented, hydrated and thoroughly loved. Spoiled even.  As for clays….they are great oil absorbers good for troubled or overly oily skin, perfectly suited to individuals that are bothered with acne, blackheads or whiteheads.  Activated charcoal is also an excellent additive that has deep cleansing, detoxifying benefits that many appreciate in a facial soap.

Finished
homemade coconut milk

 

These are just for starters, but as you plainly see, there are valid reasons why I use what I use in my bar soaps.  Further reading of our labels would show you what we incorporate in the liquid or cream soaps, while slightly different ingredients are used in lotions.  Why?  They’re a leave-on application and that is a topic for another day.   Making your own lotions or soaps is not that difficult but requires a bit of study and preparation, care and respect for the use of certain materials.  Real soap is made with a liquid mixed with sodium hydroxide.  Without these, there will be no soap. Soap requires either sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide for liquid soaps or a combination of the two for a cream soap. Lest you hear otherwise, keep in mind a true soap has the glycerin intact which is why they’re such delightfully moisturizing bath treats.  They are soaps, real soaps.  Store bought items are not soap.  They are detergents or syndets as we know them.  Chemicals that lather up and clean you off but likely do so a bit too well.  Your skin can feel tight, itchy, in need of lotion immediately after stepping out of the shower.  That makes no sense to me.  You should feel better after a bath not worse.  Find a maker of soaps and find out the difference a real soap makes (that is, if you haven’t already) and you’ll never go back to store-bought again.

How do you know when it’s time to stop?

I had to think, rethink, then re-write that title about 6 or 7 times before I landed on the right wording.  I didn’t want readers to think I’m 1) dying  2) planning to stop crafting bath & body or 3) both.  So this is where I landed and I’ll say this much – I’m not ending or closing my business.  I’m just pondering the process and the lead-up to it based on another maker’s decision discovered just today.

A friend of mine is leaving the B&B business but is going about it in a very organized, well-planned method.  She’s thought of a two-year exit strategy based on her emotional needs and where it’s leading her now as opposed to where she was years ago when she first began.  I have to say it’s bittersweet news as we’re both in the same industry, she once lived in the same city I do now though she now lives along the coast which is where I long to be and we’ve had many good discussions.  She’s realized that the business no longer feeds that inner need it once did and another focus is slowly forming for her and she’s heeding that call.

So her plan is at once sad as well as encouraging.  I only hope that when the same issue comes along in my life I can face it with the grace and good sense she’s so clearly exhibiting.  I truly admire her strength & wisdom.

If business no longer drives you to leap from your bed in the morning.  If it no longer pays its own way after numerous efforts to get it there. If the motivation to create something that brings others comfort & joy is missing.  If retailers and wholesalers’ interest in carrying your product is not enough to bring a tingle along your spine. It’s truly time to walk away.  Find a new path.  A new focus.  Bring light into another avenue that means something to you on some level whether it be professional, emotional, mental, physical, philosophical or psychological.

Know what the signs are, heed them and alter course.  Yes, it’s scary.  Nothing is guaranteed.  No one can promise it will go smoothly.  You may feel you are failing, but if you don’t even try, that is the true mark of failure. To fall down means you’re trying and each stumble is a learning experience.  It teaches what NOT to do the next time on that next step.

So find your path, your new path, whether it’s your first or your tenth or more, find it, follow it, pick yourself up and move forward when you fall because it taught you something you didn’t know before. It’s all about growth anyway.

Salt bars!

Charleston Salt Bars Collage

To get you caught up if you’ve noticed I’ve been away for a while, I’m still soaping, blogging, recording videos and pulling my hair out over their editing and the writing of newsletters. Most of my current work can be found on my web site’s blog page here.

Above is the Instagram image used for the Salt bars made a short time ago.  I’ve also made a full-length video of their process which you can view here.

It was recorded in parts so it can be viewed easily in small portions so you’re not committed so long at the computer screen.  As always, it’s only for entertainment purposes and not as a tutorial.  Subscribe to our channel to follow future video posts and leave a comment, but please be kind.  I make for a general population, not for a small defined audience.  All products are not for everyone, so read the labels carefully when purchasing from anyone online. If in doubt, email me and I’ll let you know of any content you might be allergic to or have other issues with.

I provide on my website an opportunity to sign up for our email newsletter, so please stop by and sign up.  We only use this info for our newsletter and nothing else.  Our newsletter offers inside info on what we’re thinking about adding or eliminating from our product line.  It has secret sales codes and dates that no one else will have access to as well as earlier notification of sales coming up seasonally.  It’s worth it to sign up for our newsletter and we promise not to bombard you with too many emails about us.  Just enough to tempt you now and then.  🙂