Tuesday, January 27, 2015

FREE Fragrance Gap Analysis Worksheet

Enjoy this handy worksheet for determining what scents your product line is missing. Fill in the sheet with FOs and EOs you currently offer. Any areas that seem to be lacking on types of scents you may want to consider adding to your line.

To get your free worksheet, click on the image above.  From our website page you can download and print the sheet.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Top 10 Fragrance Oils for Soapmakers

While there are many amazing fragrance oils to use in soapmaking, this list was comprised based on the following factors:
ü  Price
ü  Popularity with consumers
ü  Work well in soap (no issues)
ü  Can work well in a blend

These fragrances represent all of the main scent families, giving a new soapmaker a well-rounded starter fragrance ‘kit’. 
One of the most popular fragrance oils. It has a sweet, balsamic, floral aroma.  This is an excellent staple fragrance, and blends well with other fragrances or essential oils.

Sandalwood is a very expensive essential oil, but in a fragrance it is quite affordable.  It has an intoxicating warm, sweet, rich, balsamic, woody scent.

Citrus (any kind)
Citruses are refreshing and clean, and smells just like the fruit with a zesty, crisp fragrance.  Bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, orange, and lime are all popular among consumers and blend well with other scents.

Mint is refreshing, cooling, and uplifting.  Its fresh scent can be blended with a variety of fragrance oils to create a vitalizing new fragrance.

Vanilla blends well with other fragrances, such as sandalwood , mint, and lavender.  It is creamy and sweet and bring a softness to any soap.  Its only issue is that it contains vanillin, which turns brown in soap.  You can counteract the problem by using a vanilla stabilizer.  It is well worth the effort for such a popular fragrance.

Berries (any kind)
Berries are fruity and fresh and blend well with other fragrances, such as vanilla, mint and lemon. From blueberries and blackberries to strawberries and cranberries, they are refreshing fragrances, any of which are great to have on hand.

Ocean is a fresh, ozone fragrance which can encompass anything from an ocean rain to an ocean breeze.  Ocean scents are complex and include anything from a zesty hint of citrus to a floral, such as lilac.  It is calming and refreshing.

Verbena is a spreading, flowering plant that has a sweet, musky aroma that can be paired with citruses and/or coconut, such as Coconut Lime Verbena.  It is as close to unisex as you can get in a floral.

Patchouli borders on the exotic, and the aroma is earthy, rich, sweet, balsamic, woody and spicy. It is excellent blended with many scents such as orange, lavender, and sandalwood.  While consumers either love it or hate it, it is a must have fragrance.

Ginger has an exotic spicy fragrance that has become very popular in blends, such as Ginger Lime or White Tea and Ginger.  It is classified as an oriental scent and works with anything from a floral to a fruit, making it a well-rounded  fragrance.  

Other popular scents to consider are apple, almond, coconut, jasmine, and lilac.  Many of the fragrances listed are great on their own but lend themselves well to blending, both of which should be considered whenever you are deciding on a fragrance.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Top 10 Essential Oils for Soapmakers

While there are many amazing essential oils to use in soapmaking creating endless possibilities, this list was comprised based on the following factors:
  • Price
  • Popularity with consumers
  • Ability to blend well with other EOs
  • Work well in soap
By far one of the most popular essential oils. It has a sweet, balsamic, floral aroma which combines well with many oils including citrus, clove, patchouli, rosemary, clary sage and pine.
Aromatherapy benefits: balancing, soothing, calming, relaxing, healing

Sweet Orange
More sweet orange oil is produced than any other citrus oil. It has a lively, fruity, sweet aroma. It blends well with patchouli, citruses, clove, and spearmint.
Aromatherapy benefits: cheering, refreshing, uplifting

Lemon is refreshing and clean.  Lemon essential oil smells just like the fruit.  It blends well with lavender, citruses, and palmarosa.
Aromatherapy benefits: uplifting, refreshing, cheering

Aromatherapists use spearmint to energize the mind and body. It has a minty refreshing scent.  It is a great anchor and enhancer in fresh blends.
Aromtherapy benefits: refreshing, cooling, vitalizing

Peppermint has a powerful, sweet, menthol aroma.  Blending with spearmint will cut the strength of the scent down. 
Aromatherapy benefits: vitalizing, refreshing, cooling

Rosemary is known as the herb of remembrance. The plant produces an almost colorless essential oil with a strong, fresh, camphor aroma. It blends nicely with citruses, as well as spruce and amyris.
Aromatherapy benefits: clarifying, invigorating

Litsea Cubeba
This essential oil has a heavy, sweet citrus scent.  It works as an anchor in citrus blends and works well with rosemary, tea tree, cypress, eucalyptus, and palmarosa.
Aromatherapy benefits: refreshing, uplifting, cheering

Amyris is also known as West Indian sandalwood, although it is unrelated to the true Indian sandalwood.  It has a woody, slightly sweet, balsamic aroma, very similar to sandalwood and is an excellent, less expensive, more sustainable alternative. Amyris is a great anchor and blends well with cedarwood, jasmine and rose scents.
Aromatherapy benefits: strengthening, centering.

Patchouli borders on the exotic, and the aroma earthy, rich, sweet, balsamic, woody and spicy. Patchouli oil is one of the few essential oils that improve with age. It is an excellent anchor and can be blended with many scents such as orange, amyris, frankincense and spices, such as clove.
Aromatherapy benefits: romantic, soothing, sensual.

Tea Tree
The leaf of the tea tree has a long history of use in Australia. The aroma is warm, spicy and medicinal. It blends well with lavandin, rosemary and nutmeg oils.
Aromatherapy benefits: cleansing, purifying, uplifting.

Blends to Try
Amyris Patchouli
Lavender Litsea Cubeba
Lavender Orange
Lavender Spearmint
Lavender Rosemary
Lavender Tea Tree
Lemon Lavender
Lemon Rosemary
Lemon Tea Tree
Orange Amyris
Orange Patchouli
Peppermint Spearmint
Peppermint Lemon
Rosemary Spearmint
Rosemary Tea Tree

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Color Me Pretty Part 2 - Cosmetics Recipes

See the previous post Color Me Pretty Part 1 - Making Cosmetics for background information and details about making powdered make-up.

Loose Pink Blush Powder

1g Titanium dioxide

2g Kaolin
2g Magnesium Stearate
1.5g Red mica
2g Pearl white mica
18g Talc
4g Corn starch

Blend the first 5 ingredients with a mortar and pestle. Add each of the remaining ingredients blending well after adding. You may need to adjust the color by adding more red or white mica, until the desired color intensity is achieved. Fill jars.

Mineral Eye Shadow Powder

1g Corn starch
7g Talc
11g Mica powder
2g Magnesium Stearate
5g Mica pigment of choice

Blend all ingredients with a mortar and pestle. Fill jars.

Lip Color

Lip color can come in many forms – lipstick, lip gloss, and tinted lip balm. There are a few factors to consider for each. Lipstick should be easy to apply, not bleed around the mouth, and should feel moist on the lips. Lip gloss should also be easy to apply, have a wet look on the lips, and provide sheer coverage. Lip balm should provide protection on the lips, which softens and conditions.

Some ingredients that you may need in creating lip color are as follows:

  • Waxes: Create a support structure for the stick. Common waxes include carauba, beeswax, candelilla, and ozokerite wax.
  • Oils and Butters: These provide the moisturizing properties to the stick. Castor oil is very popular as it creates a nice shine. Plant oils and butters, such as grapeseed and shea, are fine as well, but are more expensive. 
  • Colors: Can include FD&C and D&C dyes, pigments, and micas. 

Burgundy Lip Gloss

40g Jojoba Gel
7ml Jojoba Oil
.5g Vitamin E
.25ml Brown Oxide
2g Pearl white mica
2g Deep red mica
.5ml Lip-safe preservative (optional)
Flavor (optional)

Blend the jojoba gel and oil with the Vitamin E. Add the remaining ingredients to the jojoba mixture and blend well. Adjust your color as needed by adding more colorants until the desired color is achieved. Place in lip gloss vial. If too thick to package easily, heat to 125°F.

There are many cosmetics you can make yourself, from skin care lines to lip pencils and mascara. The following resources can help you to learn more about the different aspects of making your own colorful line of cosmetics.

Cosmetic Ingredient Suppliers:

The Conservatorie
Many items can be purchased from your favorite soap supplier.

Cosmetic Books:

Make Your Own Cosmetics: Recipes for Color Cosmetics By Karen and Thomas Bombeli
The Complete Book of Lipsticks by Jan Benham

Resources for Labeling and GMP:

FDA Cosmetic Labeling Guide
FDA Cosmetic GMP
Soap & Cosmetic Labeling by Marie Gale
Good Manufacturing Practices for Soap and Cosmetic Handcrafters by Marie Gale
Bath Alchemy Lab - online classes in labeling and GMP

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Free Soap Cigar Band Wrappers - Fall Designs

Enjoy a set of three free soap cigar band wrappers in multiple fall designs for use on your soaps. Simply download, print, write in your soap details, wrap around soap, and secure in the back with tape.

These cigar band wrappers are free for personal or commercial use, however, the designs may not be sold. 


To download free PDF, click here

We regularly update our website with free resources, from links for good content to freebies made by Bath Alchemy Lab. Join our monthly newsletter to get updates when new resources have been added.

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Color Me Pretty Part 1 - Cosmetic Recipes

History of Cosmetics

Civilizations have used forms of cosmetics for centuries in religious rituals, to enhance beauty, and to promote good health. Cosmetic usage throughout history can reveal a civilization's practical concerns, such as protection from the sun, acknowledgment within a class system, or simply for beauty.

In as early as 10,000 BCE, men and women in Egypt used scented oils and ointments to clean and soften their skin and mask body odor.  In 4000 BCE, Egyptian women applied forms of copper and lead to their faces for color and definition.  In 3000 BCE, Chinese people began to stain their fingernails with colors used to represent social class, and Grecian women painted their faces with white lead and applied crushed berries as rouge.  

Over 200 years ago, women had a full line of colorful cosmetics from powders to lipsticks to nail polish.  Who would have guessed?  Some of what was used for coloring the skin was downright dangerous, such as lead, while others were things still used today, such as oxides.  Thankfully, today we have options and lots of them, including creating our own cosmetics for both personal and commercial use.  While you can make anything from anti-aging products to liquid foundations and everything in between, the easiest place to start if you have never made cosmetics before is colored make-up.  Cosmetics can be quite complex.

Making Cosmetics

Before beginning the journey in making colorful cosmetics, it is important to know a few things.  First, you must follow good manufacturing practices, especially when it comes to sterilizing your equipment.  If water is in the recipe, such as a liquid foundation, or can be introduced to the container it is in, such as a scrub, you need to use a preservative.  There are finally some promising natural preservative systems on the market for small businesses. 

You need to be careful about how you represent your product and its label.  Cosmetics must follow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines in the US.  If you list a sunscreen in your product, it is no longer a cosmetic, instead it is a drug in the eyes of the FDA.  Be sure you know labeling requirements.  See the resources at the end of this article.  Now let’s take a look at making color cosmetics.

Powdered Mineral Make-up

Years ago, mineral make-up became very popular in the mainstream market.  Since it is often touted as ‘all natural’ (although it isn’t always), people jumped onto the band wagon and have not gotten off.  There is something about using natural and simple products with colors from the earth that make mineral makeup very intriguing.  Even better, much of the makeup is very simple to make.  In fact, you can simply dip an eye shadow brush into a container of mica that you use to make soap and be ready for a night on the town, however, adding ingredients that make it stay or keep it slick will yield a better product.

Some ingredients that you may need in creating mineral make-up are as follows:
  • Talc:  A natural mineral consisting of silicon, oxygen, and magnesium used as a filling agent to provide texture and coverage
  • Titanium Dioxide: A white crystalline powder used for coverage and in sunscreens
  • Zinc Oxide: Produced from zinc ore, a naturally occurring mineral used for coverage and in sunscreens
  • Kaolin: A natural mineral derived from aluminum silicate used for coverage, oil absorption, and to prevent breakouts
  • Magnesium Stearate: A powder made of magnesium and stearic acid use to improve slip and adhesiveness
  • Corn Starch: Controls oils in the skin

To create a good face powder, you should use a combination of these ingredients with mica to provide good coverage and nice texture, as well as preventing break outs.  Commercial products have fragrance added.  This is optional, but not everyone likes the earthy scent of the minerals.  Also, these recipes are not set in stone.  You can tweak the ingredients and their amounts and feel free to replace mica colors and even blend to get the perfect shade.  You will need a mortar and pestle for some of these formulas.

Loose Mineral Face Powder

4g Titanium dioxide
8g Zinc oxide
6g Pigment blend (see resources)
55g Talc
7g Magnesium Stearate
16g Mica Powder
1ml Fragrance (optional)

Blend the first 3 ingredients with a mortar and pestle.  Add each of the remaining ingredients blending well after adding.  Fill jars.

More Recipes in Part 2

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