Check out Not The Same. They are from Calistoga, California, and their specialty is making natural bath and body products out of mud. I'm sure you've used a mud mask before, well, just below I've listed some of their mud products that I am sure you will want to check out. They also have seaweed products.
Calistoga Mud Bath - special blend of muds and salts are great for pain relief, detoxification, increased circulation, and deep relaxation
Calistoga Mud Mask - deep cleansing facial and body treatment; blend of mineral rich muds draw out toxins and impurities such as environmental pollutants, black heads and blemishes; as the mask dries it stimulates circulation which tones and tightens your skin and softens wrinkles
Calistoga Seaweed Mask - a blend of seaweeds and mineral rich magnetic clay. Spirulina and Kelp help restore essential minerals and nutrients to your skin that are regenerative and help to eliminate wrinkles. Super-charged Bentonite clay stimulates circulation which tones and tightens your skin. This mask also draws out unheathly skin impurities
Calming Seaweed Bath - special blend of seaweeds, mud and salts are great for drawing out toxins and relieving everyday pain and tension
Products for Outdoorsy Folks: horseback riders, cyclists, hikers, campers, ranchers, etc.
They also have aromatherapy sprays that are great for purifying your air.
Shea butter, also known as African karite butter, grows in Central Africa, where it is taken from the fruit off the African butter tree. What's unique about shea butter is that it remains in its original state within bars of soap, unlike other oils that combine and decompose with the sodium hydroxide.
Coconut oil is obtained from copra, which is dried coconut meat (the edible white meat of the coconut). Coconut oil gives soaps wonderful moisturizing and lathering qualities that keeps the soap from becoming rancid.
Benefits when added as a soap ingredient: Moisturizes and softens
Great fluffy lather
Cocoa butter is obtained from the same bean that chocolate and cocoa come from. The butter is pressed from cocoa beans as a by-product of making chocolate. Cocoa butter is a very hard, saturated fat (solid oils, more stable) that is not easily absorbed by the skin. So when you use it, it's good to use it along with unsaturated oils (liquid, less stable) like olive oil or avocado oil, and this will make it absorb more easily into your skin.
Cocoa butter lays down a protective layer on your skin that holds moisture to your skin, making it a wonderful softener. The purest cocoa butter has a strong scent of chocolate.
I just wanted to send out a big Thank You to those who have viewed my products at my Etsy shop; those who have viewed and made comments on my blog; and those who have made purchases. My last few purchases have been thanks to Kristen, who is running a Give Away on her blog.
Cold process soap is known for its hard, long lasting quality. Depending on the oils used, the bar can have great lather (coconut oil has awesome lathering properties), be incredibly mild (olive oil is renowned for its gentle qualities) or be very moisturizing (with the addition of oils, such as shea and cocoa butter or hemp oil).
Melt and Pour Method (great for kids to do)
This is glycerin soap, or clear soap. It can be very nourishing and moisturizing. Glycerin is a “humectant,” so it draws moisture to itself. The theory being that if you wash with glycerin soap, a thin layer of glycerin will remain, drawing moisture to your skin.
Hot Process Method
A newer trend in soap making, with this method, you can make the soap in the morning and use it that very night. It's basically like the CP method, where you combing the oils, water, and lye, except you make the soap on your stove top. Very cool. I haven't tried this method, but it seems relatively easy and convenient.
This method is often used to preserve the scent or the healing properties of some essential oils. You take your CP soap, grate it up, heat it up in a kettle over your stove top, and the mixture melts into a wonderful mushy mess.
* Nero loved roses so much, he would have banquets covered with rose petals
* King David saturated his clothes with aloe and cassia, which is a type of cinnamon.
* Napoleon recognized that strong perfumes would promote laziness and lust, which he thought would prevent his troops from doing their job.
It was "manly" to just simply use water that smelled of citrus, like orange and lime, and a woody base note like sandalwood and cedarwood. Fragrances not acceptable to manly scents were flowers and musk and amber. Poor guys:(
It wasn't until the 1950's that the fragrance revolution for men took place. Fragrances introduced by Dior House, which we all know is famous for their fashion, were daring because they appealed to both men and women. The floral notes that were unacceptable were now becoming popular, and this opened up a flood of new creations for men.
Colognes like Paco Rabanne pour Homme, Davidoff's Cool Water (my husband loves this one), and New West by Aramis, have all capitalized on this new "openess" in men's fragrances.
The Big Secret In the beginning, people would have to get their perfumes and fragrances from plant and animal sources.
But in the 1800's, the first synthetic fragrance material was produced, and from then on, perfumes were no longer just for the rich. Perfume houses popped up everywhere, and availability to everyone became much easier and cheaper.
As perfumers were becoming popular, secrecy became a MUST. Formulas for fragrance oils couldn't be patented, so listing ingredients on the perfume would have the risk of other companies copying the perfumer's own creation.
There is actually a law called the "trade secret" law that gives perfumers the benefit of not having to list their formula and ingredients on their product. However, you can always contact your supplier of fragrance oils and ask for a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). This will give you information on safety precautions, and physical and health hazards.
If you go to Bramble Berry and check out their "Web Specials" you will find discounted prices for Christmas molds, colorants, and organic sea salt. I think the Christmas molds are especially cute, and they would work great for melt and pour soap.
In some of my upcoming posts, I am going to really delve into the types of ingredients that go into handmade bath and body products, and how they are good for your skin.
I think ingredients is what makes or breaks a product. And I don't know if you can tell by now, but I am definitely a lifer in using handmade bath and body products. Even though I make and sell handmade bath and body products, I don't want to deter people from making their own. There are tons of resources on the web as to recipes, supply stores, and even forums, like the one I like to look at called the Soap Dish.....great wealth of information .
For all you moms who have little ones who just don't want to go to sleep when you want them to, I found a few remedies from the Soap Dish Forums that other moms have had success with using Lavender Essential Oil.
1.) Add a little bit to your little one's blanket during the rinse cycle
2.) Add a few drops to their bath
3.) Make a small "Lavender Dream Pillow" to put in their pillow case
For a good night sleep or just to relax, you take the seeds and flowers of the plant and add it to your pillow. For a good bedtime drink, steep the seeds and flowers of the Lavender plant in water for about 15 to 30 minutes, then add a cup of boiling water.
I absolutely love the scent of Lavender. We actually sell some of our products in this particular type of scent. Who doesn't love Lavender???
Natural, handmade lip balms are easy to make and so, so....did I say so? so much better for those luscious kissers of yours. Store bought lip balms usually have a petroleum base, which is good for that immediate relief you need for your chapped lips, but if you've noticed, the more you use the more your lips stay dried out.
Natural, handmade lip balms made with moisturizing vegetable oils are better for your lips because the oils are able to soothe and soften your lips, and protect against moisture loss and those harsh wintery cold days.
Vegetable Oils you will find in the lip balms that I produce:
Sweet Almond Oil - conditions
Coconut Oil - moisturizes and softens
Avocado Oil - moisturizing, healing, and contains large amounts of vitamins A, D, and E
Cocoa Butter - retains and restored moisture to your skin
Shea Butter - nourishes
Sources for my research: The Soapmaker's Companion: A Comprehensive Guide With Recipes, Techniques & Know-How, 1997, by Susan Miller Cavitch
Those who are allergic to chocolate and nuts, you may want to keep an eye out for cocoa butter, coconut oil, and almonds, possibly even sweet almond oil, when you are reviewing the ingredients in your handmade items.
If you are allergic to pollen, keep an eye out for handmade items that contain honey. We actually use real honey in our Oatmeal and Honey soap, and that is one of my favs.
Sources for my research: Natural Soapmaking, 1998, by Marie Browning
Sodium hydroxide, or lye, is a must to make soap. You cannot have soap without the lye. Lye is a caustic alkaline (a soluble base) that can be found in hardward or grocery stores, or you can even buy it online from a soap supply store, like Colorado Organics or Bramble Berry.
When dissolved in distilled water, the lye forms a strong alkaline solution, which becomes slippery and soapy to the touch. Lye is actually extremely dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. I'm telling you, this stuff is almost like a chemisty project, but if you wear proper gloves, goggles, and an old long sleeve shirt you will be fine.
As for distilled water, this too is another essential ingredient in making handmade soap. Distilled water is basically water that has had all of its impurities taken out through distillation. You cannot use regular tap water in place of the distilled water, because tap water may contain certain minerals that react with the lye, and ruin your soap.
Sources for my research: Handcrafted Soap, 2002, by Delores Boone
Up until the 1900's, soap was probably second nature for moms, who would make their soap from saved up fats they got from cooking or butchering. But due to war and the economic needs of the time, companies began to make soap as a synthetic detergent.
Animal fats, such as lard and tallow (fats from pig and cattle), are still used today in making handmade soap, but back in the day, ALL soap was made with this type of ingredient. However, over time, vegetable oils from grains or nuts, were becoming the new alternative to making soap.
Even though animal fats do have their own unique quality, producing a hard, mild soap, they tend to clog your pores, whereas with vegetable oils, these tend to better absorb into your skin.
Sources for my research: Handcrafted Soap, 2002, by Delores Boone
What I sell is actual soap made through a reaction of oils and lye called saponification. This chemical reaction creates soap and glycerin.
Most commercial soaps are not soaps at all, they are actually detergent bars. Commercial soaps use a synthetic detergent, which is less expensive, such as sodium lauryl sulfate. In addition to use of detergents as the cleaning agent, the naturally produced glycerin in commercial bars is removed since it can be sold and used for other products.
Some soaps may contain essential oils, but they are ruined because of the added chemicals used to enhance the scent of the soap and disguise unwanted byproducts from plants not grown organically. These ingredients remove the beneficial aspects of the oils and often cause allergic reactions.
Handmade soaps, on the other hand, are generally made in smaller batches (where commercial soaps are made in MASS quanities) with personal attention, where the naturally occurring glycerin is retained in the soap. Handmade soap is also rich and very moisturizing; it soothes, softens, and cleanses the skin.
This is an amazing forum. Wonderful place for marketing ideas, recipes, ingredient tips, and basically the ins and outs of handmade bath and body products. Today I learned these interesting marketing tips:
- To try to be featured in magazines, send the editor (whichever one deals with bath and body or beauty) samples of your products, but when you send it, it MUST be very professionally wrapped, including a brochure of your products and information about your business, and even a .jpg (on disc) with your product pics on it; also include your business card and contact info
- It may be easier to get into your local magazine. They are usually looking for interesting local people or businesses to write about.
- The freelance writer or your local newspaper is your BEST FRIEND. Be kind to them and give them any and all the information they need, and afterwards send them a thank you card and maybe even a gift of your products. These folks will often contact you again for information or a related story, and even sell the same story again, but with a different spin on it.
Check out this awesome Give Away Blog from September 26 - October 3! I will be doing a giveaway. I haven't quite decide on what to give away, but I'm thinking of something like 2 soaps, 4 oz. bath salt, a bath bomb, a lip balm, a soap dish, and maybe a whipped shea butter (which I hope to list soon). The verdict isn't in yet, but these are just some of the possibilities.
Has anyone ever gone to a Speed Networking function at there local Chamber of Commerce before? I will be experiencing this for the first time this Wednesday. I am a little nervous, but I have done some research to better prepare myself. These are some of the TIPS I've read so far:
1.) Prepare a 2 minute speech describing who you are, your business, how you can benefit others, and what you are looking for.
2.) Bring a pen (seems obvious, but for us 1st timers, it could be easy to forget, I'm sure) and lots of business cards, brochures, and/or any other marketing materials you care to give out.
3.) When business cards are exchanged make sure to read the other participant's card aloud to help you better remember this person's name and face.
4.) Write a brief note on the back of the other participant's business card to also help you better remember something specific about this person.
5.) Make sure to separate your business cards from the cards you receive from other people. This will help you stay better organized.
6.) If you can provide referrals, services, or products, do so....this shows Good Will!!
7.) Take part in the informal networking sessions at the end to build a stronger rapport with participants.
8.) Be direct, and avoid polite conversation (of course, don't be mean and cold, but this is a business opportunity, so show your strong business side), and make sure to send out some kind of follow up card to participants you had a strong connection with.