Cherry Kernel & Pomegranate Lotion

The name is a bit of a mouthful, but a bottle of this creamy lotion is more than a bottleful of wonderful.  So the natural question for this lotion is typically – “What’s so special about cherry kernel oil?”  Well for starters, it’s loaded with three types of tocopherols (Vitamin E) – alpha, delta & gamma, plus Vitamin A.  It’s also known to contain oleic acid, which lends a marvelous moisturizing quality to the emulsion. It’s a light oil that is ideally suited to make the perfect addition to lip balms, body butters, lotions, or light-weight liquid soaps that moisturize without stripping or over-drying your skin or hair. It would make a truly fabulous shampoo soap in bar or liquid form.  It’s very similar to Peach Kernel Oil or Sweet Almond Oil and performs similarly in the various products mentioned.  This oil intrigued me.  That’s the bottom line as to why I decided to try it out in formulations.  Who can resist cherries?  Really?  Just the name alone sounds fun, playful, sweet, so what better ingredient than this to add to something that is sure to make your skin all but sing out loud for joy!  It was among a very short list of new oils I was impressed with by their qualities, their qualities lent to various types of bath & body products, and this was one of three I added to my inventory recently for a batch of what’s sure to be a truly enriching experience in lotion-making and lotion use.  Cherry Kernel oil bears no scent of the fruit it is derived from, so clashes with your fragrances or the unscented state some customer may want will not be a problem. You can find this oil here.

I tried out a new fragrance as well, one from Rustic Escentuals, called Ocean Breeze, that is described by their web site as ‘just the right combinations of salty sea and fragrant foliage.”  Can you hear the ocean waves crashing along the shore yet?  One whiff of this and you will!  This is surely going to become a favorite here among the ocean-like scents.  They’re a personal weakness of mine, but this one in particular is truly bliss.  Beachside Bliss.  I’ll be trying it out  in a soap soon, too.  Just need an afternoon of no interruptions – please! – and we’ll see how fabulous it smells in a cp soap.

Cherry Kernel & Pomegranate

Cherry Kernel & Pomegranate Lotion

Initially this was thick enough to stand a spoon, a metal spoon, up in it, but once you add fragrance it isn’t quite so thick.  It could easily be thickened up a bit more to make it remain a bit thicker after the addition of the scent if that’s the consistency some prefer. I might split this batch into halves and thicken one half further to do that.  I like a really thick lotion, but there are times when something lighter is preferred and not everyone likes a thicker lotion as I do, so all preference need to be considered.

You really need to try this one out soon.  It also works beautifully as a carrier oil for massage oils, oil-based perfumes, sugar or salt scrubs, bath oils, or base for an aromatherapy oil.

Watermelon Seed Oil

Soap making is alchemy at its most useful and beneficial.  We take two entirely different things, combine them, and magic happens.  The results is an end product that’s both useful, beneficial and more often than not, it’s pretty to look at and feels terrific on the skin.  There’s nothing sexier than soft, silky, sweet-smelling skin! We soap makers have this knowledge feeding our need to be creative, giving us justification to obsessively make, create, and develop to our hearts content, but sometimes, just sometimes, we think, what else is out there that I can use in my soaps to give it that little something extra?

We’ve all been there.  We look at everything differently than before our soapmaking days.  Every container has Mold Potential written all over it.  We can’t resist going through the bin of flat boxes at Costco or Sams to find the sturdy double-walled flats for a spectacularly well-constructed and reasonably priced, aka free, slab soap mold.  I know I’ve done it even when all I picked up that day was a jar of cashews for the hubby or a four-pack of spray starch.  I certainly didn’t need that humongous, flat, cut-down box that once held pears from California or grapes from Guatemala to lug those spray cans to my car, but I was not thinking of hauling when I nabbed it.  No sir, I was thinking, “Wonder what swirl I’d do in this one?”

Then there’s the ingredients that go into soaps.  Some like it hot, others like it cold.  I like cold process because it’s more fun to play with it and make it something special rather than something ready to use within a week, two at most.  I’d take that trade-off any old day.  So, the basic ingredients are relatively consistent across the board with regard to oils and liquids.  Both are necessary to make soap and lye, no matter which way you shake it, must be in the recipe to make genuine real soap.  No lye, no soap.

The liquids can be varied so long as they’re liquid and not too heavily acidic as it can interfere with the saponification process.  I’ve even heard some soapmakers using vinegar in their soaps and they’ve said the soap turned out just fine!  That was interesting to hear and learn about, but I haven’t tried that yet, so I can’t say firsthand how well it worked out.  I’ll go into other forms of liquids at a later date.  The focus here and for the next few posts will be on oils.  Different oils.

Today’s oil, not one I’ve seen used in other soapers’ products too often intrigued me because I didn’t realize there was an oil produced from watermelons, since they’re more than 90% water, it just didn’t dawn on me to look beyond the edible parts and seek out the seeds for the source. Shows how things can change when you think outside your given field of vision. But yes, it will create an oil.

Watermelon Seeds Watermelon seeds, often in two colours, a mottled black and brown in appearance are the mature seeds while the white ones are the immature ones.  The larger, darker ones will provide more oils.

The oils, attained by pressing the seeds, is a golden yellow colour and contains none of that classic juicy watery watermelon scent that’s so beloved by all.

Watermelon Seed Oil

Watermelon’s INCI name, Citrullus vulgaris, is often known as Ootanga or Kalahari oil and possibly sprang from the Kalahari Desert region of western Africa around 5,000 years go.  They slowly made their way northward towards Egypt and were later cultivated by the Romans.  Traditionally, to obtain the oils the outer casing was removed and the softer pale centers were toasted in the hot sun. Once dried, the seeds were pressed and the oils collected. The oil attained from this pressing is high in Linoleic acid and is also very high in Omega 6 and 9 fatty acids. The linoleic acid helps to remove the excess oils as you cleanse with products created from this oil as well as to wash away the excess oil built up in your pores.  This make Watermelon Seed Oil the ideal candidate for use in facial bars and washes. Liquid soap, too, would be a perfect application for this oil!

The values for this oil are as follows:

Palmitic                                   11%

Stearic Acid                          10%

Oleic Acid                               15%

Linoleic Acid                         63%

Unsaponifiable matter     1.5%

Iodine Value                         115-125

SAP Value (NaOH)             135

SAP Value (KOH)               198

Specific Gravity                  0.896

Colour:  light to medium yellow gold to clear

Odour:  None

Major  Characteristic added to formulations:  Moisturizing

This oil could be mixed with others that are slightly heavier and/or thicker in order to extend their shelf life since Watermelon Seed Oil has an excellent shelf life. (Try nearly indefinite if stored properly!)  With its natural lightweight characteristic, it’s ideal for use in baby creams, facial lotions, balms, ointments, salves, eye creams and liquid soaps, in addition to being the ideal oil for use in massage oils.  When used in massage oils, creams, or lotions, it disappears quickly, being readily absorbed into the skin, making it perfect for a light summer lotion for after tanning, when a light moisturizing application is needed, or anytime since it’s not going to leave you feeling greasy or sticky afterwards.  This feature was the biggest selling point for me because I don’t like the way tapioca, arrowroot powder or other powders feel in lotions.  It leaves a dusty feeling on my hands later after the oil part of the lotion has sunken in.

Have I sold you on the beauty to be found from the use of this marvelously beneficial and versatile oil yet?  You can find Watermelon Seed Oil here.

Given all the positive attributes Watermelon Seed oil has going for it, it would work perfectly as a naturally softening, moisturizing & soothing part of a silky lotion, so I’ll try it in a batch soon with another oil to see how it compares to the one I currently make all the time.  My regular lotion recipe uses Golden Jojoba oil and Peach Kernel oil and there’s absolutely no greasy after-feel left behind once it’s been taken in my the skin.  And there’s no powder added at all, so it’ll be hard to beat that  formula, but I really want to add some diverse formulations to our collection of creams & lotions, so this will likely be a good one for a summer formulation.  But it also will be appearing in soaps in the future too!

Lots of new things are happening!

Freshly labeled body wash

Freshly labeled body wash

After about 2 straight days of working on the labels , printing them and getting them all applied, there are 20 scents in our Silken Hand & Body Wash and they’re all up on the site now.  They’re clean, clear easy to read and available in two sizes – 4 oz and 8 oz.  Later I’ll begin work on the 16 oz size if the demand is there, but these two sizes are the most popular, so I’m not pushing to get the larger size up and ready to go.  The demand thus far just hasn’t been there, but these turned out nicely and hopefully customers will think so, too, enough to buy some at least.  The body wash is really nice to use, not at all drying, leaving my hands & body feeling very soft, clean, and silky, not dried out at all.  I don’t feel like I have to hustle to the lotion bottle.  I still use lotion later though, being winter, because it’s absolutely necessary!  It helps stop that static from zapping me all the time, though it sinks in eventually, but for a while at least I’m granted a reprieve and my skin is much happier for the additional moisturizing layer.  Winter time is terrible, isn’t it?  Torture on our skin and bodies!

Clip art was used for the background and washed out a bit, then the text was added in with a shadow effect, using the 2 fonts I like to use that identify it as my product (branding) then covered to protect from smears.  I have waterproof labels, but they’re not laid out in a form that printer seems to like so when trying to use them it doesn’t play well together with the forms.  Maybe one day they’ll reach an agreement, but right now they aren’t.  PicMonkey and Picasa are great programs to use for tweaking labels into something that can become just yours alone. Something that tells everyone out there “This is mine!”

I’ve also been feeding my font obsessions and found some really fun fonts to add to my now huge collection in the computer and these will appear now and then in blogs, labels, emails, etc.  That was about four days on the computer, but it was time very well spent.  Fonts are vital, even if you think the ones you have now are fine and will work because they’re easy to read, go small enough for your labels, etc, there’s always more out there to be found, and many of them are free.  Some really gorgeous ones are also available, but not so free, but if they have multiple uses in numerous applications, they’d be worth the investment to buy.   I’m not saying spend $95 on a font that’s so cute you can’t resist but have no particular project in mind for it, but rather one that strikes you as very cute, attractive, or unique in some way that would look very eye-catching on a label for a certain soap, body wash, or other product as soon as you see it listed.  I’ve been to mainly www.dafont.com to find most of mine and their listings are huge.  So huge, they’re divided up into various types and styles, so be prepared to spend days looking through them and downloading the one that truly strike a chord within.

Belly Butter (800x600)

Yet another addition to our line up, though it looks like something already there, is shown above.  It’s labeled Whipped Belly Butter, and you’re thinking, well, you already have that here.  Well, the label on this one is deceptive.  I’ve used that label for a reason.  One I cannot say at this time, but all will be revealed at a later date, but for now, suffice it to say, it’s a specialized body butter that I’ve developed for use for a particular sector of the population.  A very special sector.  It’s now being shipped off to its recipient with this label with the knowledge that it’s not going to be called this permanently.  Once the time is upon us, I’ll release the real name and the product will become visible on the site,  It’s there, but it’s been hidden for now.  This butter is unscented, but could be scented if demand is there.  I’m thinking of just certain fragrances for it, not the full line, which is quite extensive, but just a few that are perfect for this particular product.  You’ll see when the time comes.  Don’t you just love a mystery?

Caribbean Sand circa 2014

Caribbean Sand circa 2014

Caribbean Sands is also making a comeback after being depleted in our stock for a while but with a couple of twists.  One is I left out the sand colour except at the top of the bars.  Sand bars maybe?  🙂   But the mica swirl at the top was the same colour was was used in previous batches, but with an additional sprinkling of gold mica glitter blended in to give it a bit more kick in the swirls.  This switch up is a bit different, though I’m hoping others will feel it’s a positive switch. Well, anyway, the other change was part of the liquid being aloe juice instead of all water.  It seemed appropriate though, don’t you think?  A soap scented with a sunshine & beaches scent just cries out for aloe in it.  Like it’s part of the sunburn treatment regime, but I’m not touting it that way.  It’s going over to the Aloe Soaps page once it comes out of the Pre-Order status. It has three colours, all from TKB Trading – Pale Aqua, Pearl Blue, and Coral Reef Blue.  Here in this CP soap, you can see that these colours do not morph at all, remaining stable and true to their colour throughout the process.  I’ve used their Lemon Drop a couple of times in CP soap and it’s a bit of a shock to see it turn bright orange in the soap while it’s still in the liquid state, but once it solidifies and the saponification is complete, it goes back to its true colour – Lemon Drop yellow.  So, for you soapers out there reading this, if you use that colour, don’t be surprised bu the change, or try adding more colour, just wait a day or two at most, and it will go back to the colour you saw in the powder form.

We’ve also recently just gotten in some new oils, ones I’ve never used before.  We now have for soaps and/or body butters & lotions Cherry Kernel Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, and the third is one most everyone has used for things other than soap, Fractionated Coconut Oil.  I’ve wanted add it to my lotion formulations and see what results come from this.  I like the drier oils for lotions as they don’t leave skin feeling heavy, clogged, sticky or weighed down.  The peach kernel, jojoba, and wheat germ oils are really nice ones for bringing that touch to a lotion.  It sinks in very nicely, very cleanly, no greasy after feel or residue, so that’s what these new oils are for as well.  The coconut is great for use in lip balms, which I’m still tweaking even though the last batch turned out very nicely, not too loose so it falls apart when applying it, not too stiff that it pulls the skin during application.  I’m still working out that perfect balance of bees wax per amount of oils for the different oil blends.  It does change things a bit when other oils are used. So look for new oils in many of our products as time goes on, and I’ll be sure to post about how they’ve performed, good or bad.

Another things I’d like to pass along to those of you who are the creative types (which is ALL of you, otherwise why would you be here!), maybe seeking some fresh ideas, and want to avoid the Pinterest black hole, from which there’s no quick escape, check out these very inspiring publications from Stampington & Company.  Find them here.

Artful Blogging – Visually Inspiring Online Journals

Handcrafted

Belle Armoire

Haute Handbags

Where Women Create Business

and numerous others!

These publications are not monthly, but rather every quarter in most cases or semi annual.  They’re completely worth the money and the wait.  The photography is clear, clean, directions are easy to follow, the stories of others creating their own place in the digital world is inspiring, making this much better than Pinterest and you will be able to put it down long enough to prevent dinner from burning.  You really need to check out these publications.  Your business, crafts, and points of inspiration will never be the same!

Two new items – on the web site today

I’ve just put up the lip butter to the web site – www.neecysnecessities.com – with the note that other flavors are coming  very soon, making 7 flavors available in our lip butters!  So excited to be able to finally say the lip butters are one I’m happy with and ready to put up on the site.  Finally.  I’ve been working on this one for years, countless versions, some good, some epic fails, but this one is good.  Silky smooth, glides on easy, no pull at all, and the flavor/scent is subtle but there.  Just not too much this time.  Too much makes your lips go numb.  Never a good thing.  lol!  This butter is crafted with a rich blend of coconut oil and cocoa butter with a nice helping of beeswax for just the right amount of lasting texture and firmness.  

Orange is pictured, but we also have Margarita, Raspberry, Black Cherry, Watermelon, Strawberry, and Coconut & Lime!  Yay.  $3 each in a twist up lip balm tube, but they’re such a luscious blend, it’s not a balm, it’s a butter!

Lip Butter, pictured, $3 each

Lip Butter, pictured, $3 each

Another new goodie is our Cream Soap, made with coconut oil, grapeseed oil, aloe vera juice, and glycerin for a great moisturizing feel, plus just a dash of camu camu fruit powder for a healthy dose of Vitamin C which your skin loves.  It also helps with exfoliation, ever so gently.  It’s a luxurious way to shave or cleanse your face without irritation or roughness.  The fragrances we have so far are Calm Sea and Perfection, both perfect for men, but women will love these just as much,  plus our favorite, Fresh Air.  I’ve personally tested out a bit of this cream soap batch and can honestly & without bias say that my skin never felt so good after a good scrub or shave.

Calm Sea Cream Soap

Calm Sea Cream Soap

Fresh Air Cream Soap

Fresh Air Cream Soap

Perfection Cream Soap

Perfection Cream Soap

Other fragrances will be available soon in this form as well as scrubs.  For now these are going up on the web site tonight.  These are in 4 oz airless pump bottles and will be $10.50 each, not including shipping.  Fragrance free is also available upon request.  Contact me through my email  neecysnecessities@live.com.

Balm, butters, and rain, oh my!

When it’s a rainy weekend, with only enough sunshine to work outside sporadically at most, it’s the perfect time to do some different things indoors.  Slightly different from the typical soaping adventures.

Now that summer is rapidly approaching, it seemed logical to begin adding in the lip balms and cuticle balms into the list of things to make now.  That treacherous labeling bridge can come later, though it’s still the object of dread it always has been.  Ever tried to label a lip balm tube with all the things required and still be legible?  It’s not as simple as soap bars and they alone can take the better part of a day.

I’ve made lip balms before, really didn’t like the texture, since the shea butter can be a problem child when heat’s applied, creating a grainy texture, so I tried something different this time that I read elsewhere.  Heat to melt, cool, reheat, cool, reheat.  That works!  Not a single grain of grit to be found.  From this batch I got 13 lip balm tubes poured & flavoured with raspberry flavour oil, & sweetened with liquid sucralose, kept 1 for myself as a tester, of course, and 3 tins, 0.15 oz. of watermelon flavoured balm, also sweetened with sucralose liquid.  It tastes lightly berry and subtly sweet.  I used a liquid form of sucralose since the granular tends to not dissolve completely and with the shea butter not getting gritty on me, I was reluctant to risk getting grit again due to the sweetener.  I’ll look for a liquid form of stevia or something similar next time I’m out restocking for supplies.  I’d prefer to keep it as natural as possible.

The texture is divine!  Smooth, soft, easy to glide over the lips in an even coating of moisture, wonderfully light, sweet flavour, no tint this time (but I plan to make some with tints soon – the tints are on order – so this is a very successful formula, one to be repeated for sure.  It stays firm in the tube, doesn’t get too soft in the warmth of the of spring/summer days, which can result in great gross globs of balm on the lips.   I haven’t pocket tested it yet.  We’ll soon see how that goes.  I really wouldn’t recommend leaving anyone’s balm in a hot, parked car with the windows up though and definitely not a good idea to leave it in your pocket while you’re washing your clothes.  I don’t even want to know how many tubes of balm I’ve lost to the dryer!   Nothing will withstand that.

tubes - raspberry; tins - watermelon.  both are sweetened with liquid Splenda.

tubes – raspberry; tins – watermelon. both are sweetened with liquid Splenda.

The next batch made, just this morning, in fact, was  abatch of cuticle balm, which is wonderful for use during the summer gardening months.  This was something I wanted to add to the Gardener’s Gift basket for the Adult Summer Reading program at our library.  This batch was made with horsetail butter from WSP, which is the reason for the green colour.  I also added cocoa butter, and beeswax, to give it thickness, a firmness in the tin while also lending the nutritive elements of the wax to the balm itself.  The horsetail butter contains silica, due to the horsetail essence that’s added to the oils in the creation of the butter.  Horsetail, with its high silica content is great for hair, skin & nails.  It would be very nice added in a melted form of course, to a shampoo bar or liquid shampoo, though in small amounts since it is a butter.

I use my hands a lot during the course of a day at work and at home, and the nails, cuticles and fingers can get really sore, ragged, and inflamed from all the rough abuse.  A soothing balm would go a long way toward alleviating these sore spots, help in healing, and get them back to their happy place once again.  I might try other formulations in future, but this one is a strong start. I made 2 small tins and set the rest aside in a small tub for storage until I can find some more tins to pour it into.  It’s an unscented balm, by the way.  Why scent a cuticle balm?

Cuticle Balm (1024x768)

So for now it’s the fun part – labeling.  yay  :[

Saturday, October 20th, Body Butter Day

As you see it was a day for creating body butters and these two made today were similar only in name.  The first is lush, heady, a dream to the senses in every possible way, pristine white.  The second is unscented, slightly tinted naturally by the contents of the butters and bit of Camu Camu fruit powder, rich, dense, emollient, light, and a long-lasting silky smooth feel that doesn’t leave a lingering greasy feel to your skin.

The first is made with 3 butters, one of which is Monoi butter with that voluptuously fragrant scent of tiare flowers of which Hawaiian leis are made.  Gloriously sweet, slightly reminiscent of gardenias and lilacs.  Pure, snowy white, no other scent added other than what is naturally imbued in the Monoi butter, it’s whipped thick, light and creamy into a airy smooth butter that melts on contact with your body’s temperature, smooth on evenly and goes in without a long-lasting greasy feel that cries out to be wiped off.  No, you’ll want this one around for as long as possible.  Small bits are always left over from making these batches, so naturally I must make the ultimate sacrifice for the customers welfare by testing on myself before releasing to the public.  It’s the right thing to do. Well, this is one body butter I happily roll in for hours if it was possible, but then I would likely get nothing else done the rest of the week, so I control my usage by trying out a bit on my hands and arms.  Mmmmm, yummy!  It just leaves me speechless.  Words are simply insufficient.  The Monoi butter is a bit expensive, so this butter in the 3.75 oz size will be a bit higher than the others of a similar size, but oh my goodness is it ever worth it!

Monoi Body Butter

 

The second is not nearly so decadent in appearance, but then looks can be deceiving.  It’s amazing on the skin!  I’ve tried this one out this evening whilst out on a cool autumn evening using that awful foamy hand ‘soap’ from wall mounted hand pumps in a ladies public restroom in a restaurant and must say this one is fabulous on even hours later.  It has a slightly lavender tint mixed with the orange-beige added from the Camu Camu fruit powder to result in a slightly lavender-grey colour, yet the feel is light, melts immediately on contact with my skin, then sinks in to stay, moisturizing thoroughly, deeply and for the long-term.  The Camu-Camu fruit powder is said to contain  vitamin C, vitamin B1, B2, B3, beta-carotene, amino acids, phytochemicals, bioflavanoids, phosphorus, potassium, iron, antioxidants, and calcium. It also is said to reduce free radicals, protect the skin from premature aging, help lighten dark areas on the skin in skincare products. The butters, 4 in all, begin with Aloe butter and Acai butter, a healthy dollop of shea and cocoa butters as well for good measure, then enhanced with Vitamin E.    With this amazing supply of skin care assets, it’s worth overlooking the outward appearance in favor of the benefits it will ultimately provide.  My skin still feels wonderful – hours later!

Aloe-Acai Body Butter