Monday, April 29, 2013

Clay, Clay, Clay....We love clay!!

The usage of clay dates back to ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome to treat a variety of skin problems and digestive disorders.  Below are a few of the most commonly used and known clays. 

Kaolin clay or white clay is one of the most common minerals.  It is formed from the chemical weathering of rocks in hot, moist climates.  It is mined in the United States, Brazil, Bulgaria, France, China and Germany, just to name a few.  It is known for eliminating harmful microbes and toxins, while it renews cells and strengthens the immune system.  Kaolin clay is suitable for all skin types and is commonly used in many scrubs, shampoos, baths and toothpaste.  This clay can be used on a daily basis to help regenerate cells in the skin and leave skin looking and feeling smooth and free of breakouts.

Bentonite clay is a greyish cream color and can be used internally and externally.  The largest and most active deposits come from Wyoming and Montana.  It is known as the "swelling clay" because it will swell and become inert when mixed with water.  Drinking the mixture helps detoxify the body.  As it passes through the body it attracts toxins, which are expelled along with the clay.  Over time, the toxins that build up in your body can cause digestive problems, headaches and allergies.  Bentonite clay is a natural way to detox the body and is widely used for this reason.  Because the clay becomes inert when it comes in contact with water, it will not affect the natural chemical function in the body.

Using Bentonite clay externally is equally beneficial and is known to fight troublesome acne.  Mix the clay with water and apply to the skin.  You may notice the acne will get worse before getting better.  Do not worry if that happens.  The clay is doing its job by pulling out the toxins.

French Green clay, also known as Illite clay or Sea clay, is one of the most common clays used in skin care products.  At one time French quarries controlled the production of this green clay, hence the name it is now known as.  However, over time Wyoming, Montana, China and other European countries realized they had the same mineral deposits as France and began distributing the clay.  French Green Clay is a great purifying agent since it contains essential trace minerals such as silica, aluminum, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, copper, zinc, selenium, cobalt, manganese, phosphorous, silicon, decomposed plant matter, algae, kelp and plant-based phyto nutrients.  These ingredients help tone, stimulate and repair damaged skin when applied.

Rhassoul clay is harvested from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.  It is reddish brown in color and is rich in minerals that include sodium, potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium, just to name a few.  The clay not only works to remove impurities from your skin, it also replaces them with trace minerals that help firm the skin. The clay's high level of ions make it ideal for toning and enriching the skin. This clay also restores elasticity, unclogging pores, removing dead skin and surface oil.

Like the other clays mentioned, Rhassoul does not contain petrochemical derivatives, synthetic preservatives, surfactants or artificial colors, all of which are common in commercial soaps and cleansers.

Remember to do your research when purchasing clay.  You want the real deal and not the imitation.  Make sure it is not mixed with anything.  Buy it in its purist form.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Do you know what is in your skin products? Part 5 of 5

Continuation of April 24th article: Do you know what is in your skin products? Part 4 of 5

Here is what is in Clairalience Signature cream:
Aloe Butter – contains anti-inflammatory properties and can help to draw other ingredients to the skin.  It helps hydrate and moisturize the skin. It contains A, C, E, B, Choline, B12, Folic Acid,

Aloe butter is not truly butter like Shea Butter.  It is a combination of the gel from the aloe plant and coconut oil.  The coconut oil penetrating properties helps carry the aloe gel into the skin. 

Your skin knows to naturally absorb the aloe into the skin since it is one of the many chemical properties of the human skin.

Coconut Oil – Has been used for centuries in skin care products.  It is rich in vitamins A, B, C, and E, and is a natural anti-oxidant that helps the skin repair itself.  Coconut Oil helps protect the skin from free radicals and other environmental aging factors. Free radicals break down the connective tissues in your skin causing your skin to harden and lose its natural elasticity and strength.

Coconut oil is used for treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema, just to name a few.  Many use coconut oil on minor burns like, sun burns.  Coconut oil quickly penetrates the skin allowing the anti – oxidants healing properties to bring relief. 

Apricot Oil – Is a light carrier oil that does not leave a greasy coat on the skin.  It is gentle for all skin types.  Apricot Oil helps re-hydrate dry skin as well as help control oily skin.  The excellent softening and moisturizing properties is great for face, hands and hair.

Apricot Oil is high in vitamin A, C & E and rich in oleic and linoleic acid.   It helps the skin retain its elasticity, clarity, and suppleness, which makes it very popular in facial mask. 

Aloe Gel – is one of Mother Nature’s wonders.  The gel from the aloe plant is non-toxin and safe for all skin types.  Unless you are one of the few who are allergic to the gel it healthy for your skin.  

Aloe Vera Gel is loaded with vitamins including A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E, Folic Acid and Niacin. It healing properties are endless and can be used for the following; blisters, insect bites and any allergic reactions, eczema, burns, inflammations, wounds, psoriasis. 

Aloe Gel is a great moisturize for the skin and contains anti-inflammatory properties that assist in treating acne and pimples. It provides oxygen to the cells which strengthen the skin tissues and helps to keep the skin healthy.

Beeswax – Study after study has proven beeswax offers anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral benefits, making it beneficial for all skin types. Beeswax contains vitamin A, which is beneficial in softening and re-hydrating dry, rough skin.  When added to skin creams, beeswax acts as an emollient and a humectant, drawing moisture to the skin and sealing it in. The protective barrier on the skin protects against irritants while still allowing the skin to breathe without clogging the pores. 

Vitamin E – is an wonderful anti-aging ingredient for the skin and is a key ingredient in several anti – aging creams. Topical application promotes production of two important protein components collagen and elastin.  Both help improve the skins elasticity. This in turn reduces the appearances of the fine lines and wrinkles.

Vitamin E’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities aid in the treatment of psoriasis and eczema.  It also prevents water loss from the skin and restores the normal oil balance to the skin.   

Vitamin E oil is popularly used to treat minor sunburns and is an ingredient in many sunscreen lotions.  

Vitamin E is useful for removing acne scars from the skin.  Vitamin E speeds up the process of regeneration of skin cells while the dead, damaged skin cells are replaced with new ones.
Distilled water – Distillation is a process in which water is boiled until vapor is produced. The vapor is collected and cooled until it returns to a liquid state.  Minerals are too heavy to be carried by the vapor.  This process leaves the water free of additives.

Optiphen Plus - is water-soluble, paraben- and formaldehyde-free preservative. It helps to protect again bacteria, mold growth and even yeast! It is globally approved with many.  
It contains: 
  • Phenoxyethanol – is an organic chemical compound, glycol ether often used in dermatological products such as skin creams and sunscreen. 
  • Caprylyl Glycol -  is a skin-conditioning agent that may be plant-derived or synthetic and is often used as part of a preservative blend in skincare .
  • Sorbic acid - is a natural, organic preservative frequently used to maintain the freshness of a variety of human foods, drugs, and cosmetic products.
So what does all this information mean to you and me?  It means it is important to read the labels of the items we purchase.  

It is ok to question the ingredients on the containers.  It is ok to question your doctor’s skincare recommendations.   It is ok to not use something you are not comfortable in using.  You know more then what you think you do.  

The research on the skin cream took me longer then I thought it would.  Man-made ingredients are very convoluted.  I had to walk away many times from the articles just to clear my mind.  However the common thread with these man-made ingredients was…“using this chemical in small doses will not cause harm.”  Remember I said we would talk about this later?  It is later.  My question is… how many of these small doses of harmful chemicals can our bodies take before it becomes harmful and toxic?  Skin cream is just one of the many items that contain these chemicals.  At some point you have to say... ENOUGH!

It is no wonder the move to organic food and products are on the rise.

Hope you enjoyed the series.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Do you know what is in your skin products? Part 4 of 5

Continuation of April 24th article: Do you know what is in your skin products? Part 3 of 5

Methylparaben –   There are not many good things to say about this chemical.  It is highly controversial preservative in cosmetics and food.  Sadly it is widely used in skin creams and deodorants.   Studies have linked Methylparaben to breast tumors.  The tumors were found to have high levels of methylparaben even when only small amounts are used in products.
Methylparaben quickly absorbs in the skin.  Alongside all the other ingredients listed in this skin cream, your skin does not have a chance!

Methylparaben is found in most sunscreen.  When methylparaben comes in contact with UV Rays it kills the skin cells.  It is also found in eye drops.  Again, even small amounts can cause damage.  Studies have shown a connection to ocular damage.

Finally it is listed on the Hazardous Substances Data Bank list. 

Propylparaben - Is naturally derived from plants, as well as a few different types of insects.  It is also manufactured synthetically and is widely used in the skin care and cosmetic industries as a preservative.

Most research finds little to no harmful reactions to Propylparaben.  However there are some who find issue with it.  The main concern with propylparaban is it mimics estrogen and can trick the body with it presence.  Though estrogen is essential for female development, improper regulation of estrogen in the female body has many negative side effects. 

Water base cosmetics depend on this ingredient.  Without it bacteria, algae and fungi and mold can form.  Preservatives are added to both sustain the shelf life of the product and protect the consumer.  

Fragrance - are synthetic.   Research has shown fragrance oils are the most common cause to allergic reaction in products.  Even though some fragrances may contain essential oils it still has a synthetic base.

Fragrances do not always show signs they are irritating the skin.  As the fragrance is absorbed into the skin it will begin breaking down the collagen in the lower levels of the skin.  When the skin breaks down it is unable to heal properly.  Those with rosaceous, acne or other skin conditions should avoid any product that contains fragrances.  

Fragrance oils are not regulated by the government and those who manufacture the fragrance are not required to disclose what is in their formulas.  You have no idea what synthetic chemical you are putting on your skin. 

See part 5 of 5 on Fri., April 25th.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Do you know what is in your skin products? Part 3 of 5

Continuation of April 23rd article: Do you know what is in your skin products? Part 2 of 5

Mineral oil – Mineral Oil is a petroleum derivative whose chemical makeup is similar to petroleum jelly.   It is odorless, tasteless and inexpensive.  Mineral oil blocks the skin pores and do not allow the skin to breathe and release toxins.  Some researchers say toxins are not released through the skin as many claim.  However, when we sweat our body and skin release toxins as it cools the body.  

People who have oily skin should avoid this chemical since it only makes the skin greasier regardless of what your point of view of the chemical is.

Mineral Oil claim is it helps alleviate skin conditions when in reality it pulls the moisture out of the skin that it needs to stay healthy.  As it pulls moisture from the skin it damages newly formed skin cells as they develop and slows down the renewal rate causing premature aging.

Mineral Oil has a direct link to cancer because of the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which naturally occur in coal and petroleum.  PAH has been linked to gastrointestinal, bladder and lung cancer.  The FDA requires warning labels on some of the over-the-counter products that contain mineral oil, but not on all. Mineral oil found in cosmetics are highly refined to remove the PAHs, therefore are not required to display a warning label.   This is controversial in many groups because of lack of research to prove or disprove if refined mineral oils harmful.

Triethanolamine – Commonly known as TEA, it is made of ethylene oxide and ammonia, both are known toxins.  Its main use is to adjust the pH in skincare products.  It is known as a drying agent for the skin; over long periods of use it is a toxic to the skin. 

Used in low dosages TEA has shown cell mutation and has been linked to bladder and liver cancer.  It can cause itching and burning when used on the skin.  Europe has banned the use of TEA because of its known carcinogenic effects.  However the FDA still allows it usage in the US. 

As mentioned previously, this skin cream contains many ingredients that help the skin absorb the cream deep into the skin.   This means that since TEA is used in this cream it is being pulled “deep” into your skin.

The following items contain TEA; eyeliners, mascara, eye shadows, blushes, foundations, hair care products, shaving products, sunscreens, and skin cleaning products.

Allantion – is all natural! It is odorless, safe, non-toxic, and non-allergenic. Allantion is found in most mammals and plants including comfrey, sugar beet, tobacco seed, chamomile, and wheat sprouts.

It is commonly used in homemade soaps, lotions and bath products.  It has proven to be effective when treating acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

Allantoin helps keep the skin soft and smooth.  It is useful for dry skin, healing wounds, burns, scars, sunburns, chapped lips, cold sores, diaper rash, and similar skin irritations.  It is healthy for all skin types.

See part 4 of 5 on Thur., April 25th.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Do you know what is in your skin products? Part 2 of 5

Continuation of April 22nd article: Do you know what is in your skin products? Part 1 of 5

Propylene glycol – There is a great deal of mystery to this ingredient.  The FDA deems this ingredient safe in small doses; we will talk about all these small doses later.   Scientists have yet been able to determine how much the skin absorbs and its carcinogenic properties.

In cosmetics, propylene glycol is used in the smallest amounts to keep products from melting in high heat or freezing when it is cold.

If you search the internet for a definition of Propylene Glycol you will come across this definition, “A colorless viscous hygroscopic liquid, CH3CHOHCH2OH, used in antifreeze solutions, in hydraulic fluids, and as a solvent.”

Keep in mind this definition is based on a 100% concentration of the substance, which is not how it is used in skincare products.

Isopropyl myristate - is made up of Isopropyl Alcohol and Myristic Ccid.  Isopropyl alcohol is a propane derivative and is the main component of rubbing alcohol.  Myristic Acid is a saturated fatty acid that is found naturally in plants and animals.  When combined these ingredients they help the skin absorb the oils and whatever else is in the creams.  

When you hear advertisements say the skin cream penetrates deep into the skin, this is one of the ingredients that makes that action happen.  A reason Isopropyl Myristate is used is it lessens the greasiness of cosmetics leaving them feeling sheer and silky.

Isopropyl Myristate is considered to be safe but it does have a downside in that it clogs the pores.  Those who suffer from acne, sensitive skin or children under the age of four should avoid this chemical.

Dimethicone – is made of silicone oil that is manmade.  When it is added to skin cream it gives your skin that smooth feeling.   Remember silicone is a rubber like chemical that is hard to wash off.  As it sits on your skin it gives the illusion the skin is smooth.  That is because it is covering the pores and not allowing your skin to breathe properly. 

Everything I have read say regarding the studies done with Dimethicone show it to be a safe with little skin reactions.  In some cases Dimethicone can cause dryness when applied to the skin.  The dryness could be an allergic reaction to the chemical.

Dimethicone is found in many cosmetics such as foundations; anti-aging products; eye shadows; nail polish; conditioners;: makeup; lipstick; hair color and bleaching,  just to name a few.

Lanolin oil – is a fatty substance that is taken from the sheep’s wool before it is washed.  Lanolin oils help rehydrate and retain skin natural moisture, while it leaves the skin smooth, soft and fresh-looking.  It is very popular in skin and hair products and very safe to use.   People who have allergies to wool should avoid products containing lanolin. 

See part 3 of 5 on Wed., April 24th.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Soaps - Sea Salt

Looking for something different in a bar soap?  Sea Salt Soaps are a great change of pace. Sea salt is great for nourishing the skin.  It contains magnesium, zinc, calcium, potassium and iodine which help detoxify the skin. 

As you use the bar it become like a polished stone which helps buff the skin and increases blood circulation leaving the skin feeling refreshed.

All of my sea salt soaps are made with the following ingredients: Coconut Oil, Caster Oil, Aloe Oil and Celtic Sea Salt.

 Clary Sage Lemongrass – Ground Nettle Leaf, Clary Sage and Lemongrass Essential Oil

Fresh Lavender – Alkanet Root, Lavender, Litsea, Bergamot, Lemon, Pink Grapefruit, Lime, Ginger Root, Rosewood, Lemongrass, Citronella, Patchouli, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Myrrh Citrus – Ground Paprika, Grapefruit, Sweet Orange and Myrrh Essential Oil

Anise Myrrh – Ground Turmeric, Anise and Myrrh Essential Oil 

Bar size: 6.5 - 7.5 oz

Sea Salt Soap Prices:

Do you know what is in your skin products? Part 1 of 5

I have been asked many times for my feedback on over-the-counter skincare products.  It is not my policy to talk badly about another skincare line.  However I will provide an opinion for the ingredients contained within the line that I am being asked about.

Recently someone gave me a tube of skin cream they were given in a care package from the oncology office where they were receiving treatment.  Their concern was if the cream contained parabens, which they were told to avoid by their oncologist.  They were also concerned about the chemicals it contained.

I like a challenge so I was happy to do some research on the cream.  I assumed I would find little wrong with the cream since the oncologist provided the cream and I knew the cream.  It is a common over-the-counter cream.

Here is what the cream contains:
Deionized water (aqua) – is a purified water that has mineral ions (salt) removed from it.  When regular water is exposed to electrically charged resins the salt is removed from the water.  Many impurities in water are mineral salts so a claim can be made the water is pure after this process.  The truth is the water still contains numerous bacteria and viruses which cannot be removed when they come in contact to the electrified resins.  They remain in the water.

There is a claim that deionized water helps slow aging and prevents diseases.  Scientist who have studied the effects of deionized water call it “snake oil” and claim there is no scientific proof it slows aging or prevents diseases of any kind.  Keep in mind our bodies need mineral salts, which scientist believe can be obtained but drinking normal drinking water.

Stearic Acid – is a saturated fatty acid that is found in natural oils such as palm oil and coconut oil.  For the acid to be removed from the oils it goes through a process called hydrolysis.  The high heat and pressure the oil goes through separates the fatty acid chains.  It is at that point the stearic acid is extracted.

Some Stearic Acids are created from animal fat.  Most natural companies will say their stearic acid is made from coconut oil or palm oil.  However if the company does not disclose the origin of the stearic acid it is almost certain they are getting if from rending plants where slaughter houses and some animal shelters send the dead carcasses.  The fat from the rendering is then used in cosmetics.

PEG 2 Strearate – PEG is the abbreviation for polyethylene glycol.  Polyethylene’s common form is plastic.  When combined with glycol it forms a thick sticky liquid.

PEGs are followed by a number.  The lower the number the easier it is for the skin to absorb the ingredients.  Normally you will see a very low number used in cosmetics.

The reason PEG’s are used in skin care is they act as an emollient, which softens skin.  They are also an emulsifier, which helps bind the water and oils together.  Plus, they help the cream absorb into the skin.

Here is what you need to know about PEG’s in skincare products.  They are meant to increase the skin’s ability to absorb the cream into the skin.  This means if the skin cream has a “bunch of junk” in it, the PEG will cause the skin to absorb it deep into the skin.    PEG’s change the makeup of the skin and forces the skin to absorb more moisture then what it needs.  PEG’s are not a pure element for your skin.  Many are created with several toxins.  PEG’s used in skin cream have shown levels of heavy metals such as lead, iron, cobalt, nickel, cadmium, and arsenic. Many of these impurities are linked to cancer.

See part 2 of 5 on Tues., April 23rd.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Beauty of Himalayan Salt

They say Mother Nature provides us will all we need to stay healthy and the sea is where all life originates from. If that is true, then it is easy to understand why sea salt is an excellent source of nutrition for our body. Himalayan salt was known as the "king salt" or "white gold" by ancients dating back to 320 B.C. It is one of the cleanest, purest salts on the planet. 

There is some confusion whether the salt is mined in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is actually mined in the mountains of Hindu Kush and Karakoram. The true Himalayan Mountains form the border between India and China. The Hindu Kush are often confused with the Himalayas because they are considered part of what is called the "Himalayan System."  

Khewra, in Punjab Province in east-central Pakistan, is the world's second largest and Pakistan's oldest salt mine. The largest salt mine is actually at Carricfergus in Northern Ireland. These salt mines have been forming for over 250 million years. As the sea beds dry up, they leave behind large deposits of salt. With time and the Earth's pressure, the salt was left void of toxins and pollutants. The mining of the salt is unique in that it is all done by hand. The blasting of the mines with dynamite is prohibited as to maintain the purity of the salt. The salt is normally off white, pink, red or transparent. The color is derived from the type of algae that grew in the sea in that area millions of years ago.

The salt contains 84 nutritional minerals in two types, macro and trace. The macro-minerals found include calcium, chloride, magnesium, iron, potassium and sodium. The trace minerals are fluoride, iodine, zinc and selenium. The body needs a balance of both macro and trace minerals to function properly. The popularity of Himalayan Salt has grown in the culinary world because of its nutritional value and pleasant taste. 

The salt also has health benefits for the skin. Simply taking a bath with sea salt twice a week can help draw out impurities from the skin. Soaking in a warm bath will open your pores and allow your skin to naturally absorb the minerals it needs to heal itself. Toss a handful of salt in the warm water and relax. After one month of taking a bath twice a week, there will be a change in your skin. You will notice a reduction in fine lines, wrinkles and cellulite. The salt helps balance the oil in your skin to give it the healthy glow you are looking for.

There are many benefits to Himalayan salt:
  • It helps in the digestion of nutrients in the walls of the intestines.
  • It contains calcium that is crucial for the formation of strong bones and teeth. As we get older, our bones, nails, teeth and hair become brittle. Calcium helps us build bone strength and mass, warding off common conditions such as osteoporosis.
  • It contains magnesium, which is essential to the healthy functioning of all the body's cells. It is the 11th most abundant mineral found in the human body. Soaking in a Himalayan salt bath will help with muscle cramping and soreness.  
  • It contains potassium, which is crucial to heart function and has been used to treat hypertension and heart conditions. 
  • It helps regulate blood pressure; unlike table salt that causes the body to retain unwanted water.
  • It contains copper and iron, which aide red blood cells, support the nervous system, improve the immune system, and promote healthy bone structure and blood vessel function. 
  • It helps lower the risk of kidney and gallbladder stones.
  • It help relieve the pain of arthritis and gout.
  • It helps with skin conditions like psoriasis, dry skin, acne, insect bites and blisters. 
It is easy to see why the ancients understood the importance of Himalayan salt and made it part of the daily routine.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Using Soap to Clean Dentures

Every day I learn something new.  I know this may sound odd but it is true.   My friend recently had a new pair of dentures made.  When she spoke with her dentist she found out one on the best things to clean dentures with is soap.  She couldn’t wait to tell me what she found out.  Of course the dentist did not want to bad mouth any of the over the counter denture cleansers but highly recommended using soap.

My friend has been using my soaps for a few years and knowing there are no chemicals in my soaps thought she would try it.   She had a bar of unscented, which is what I would recommend, and brushed her dentures.   She said it cleaned them better than anything she has used over the years.  She no longer uses over-the-counter-denture cleaners to clean her dentures.

After reading several articles I didn’t find one bad comment about using soap on your dentures.  All the articles recommended using a soft tooth brush as to not scratch your dentures.   Scratches on the dentures can cause bacteria to form and cause bad breath. 

Many articles also recommended using:

Aloe Vera Gel is a natural anti-fungal   Place a small amount of on the dentures twice a day is all it takes to keep your dentures clean and your gums healthy. Aloe gel is safe to ingest.  I know many people who drink it daily.

Backing Soda is a great odor neutralizer.  Who hasn’t experienced baking soda to brush your teeth?   Soak dentures in 2 tsp of baking soda water mixture to help loosen food particles.  Don’t scrub your dentures with baking soda.  It could scratch them.

White Vinegar helps kill bacteria and helps remove tarter.  Soak your dentures for 15 minutes in one part vinegar and one part water.  However you need to be careful of any metal that is found in denture partials as it can erode over time.

Well there you are.  You know all four of these ingredients and unless you are allergic to any of them they are safe to use.   No harmful chemicals and all can be found in your local store.    I haven’t priced these ingredients but I am going to guess they are cheaper then over the counter denture cleansers. 

Always make sure you check with your dentist before starting a new cleaning routine.  

Happy denture cleaning!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Art of Soap Making

The art of soap making dates back to ancient Babylon around 2800 B.C.  Since then soap making has evolved.  Soaps have become more than just something to wash with.  People love finding just the right soap that makes them happy.  I love watching people when they pick up a bar of my soap.  They will either wrinkle their nose if the smell is not right or they will have a happy reaction followed by a happy comment when they find just the right one.

So how is soap made?  It all begins with the term saponification (sa•pon•i•fi•ca•tion – or -  sah-pon″ĭ-fĭ-ka´shun).  This is the chemical reaction that occurs between an acid (oils and fats) and a base (lye) to form salt (soap). 

The base is normally sodium hydroxide (lye).  Commonly used acids are: Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Palm Oil, and Shea Butter, just to name a few.  The list and combinations of acids are truly endless.  Each acid has a unique combination of triglycerides which combine with the base (lye) differently. The amount of base needed to react with the acid will vary depending on the chemical makeup of the acid. 

The most common method of making soap is called cold process.   Within this method the oils and fats are heated until melted.  Separately the lye is combined with a liquid.  The two mixtures are combined when they reach the desired temperature.  The mixture is then blended until it comes to “trace”.  Once the mixture reaches trace the saponification has started. 

Planning out the look and smell of the soap is the fun part.  So many things can be added to soap to enrich it even more.  Some soap makers keep the look natural and simple; some become very elaborate in their design.  There are so many wonderful choices to pick from. 
Here is something to keep in mind when you are purchasing homemade soap.   There are no regulations surrounding the making or selling of homemade soap?  The only real requirement is the label most say “homemade”.  

These two facts concern me.  As a soap maker I want to make sure people know what is in my soap in case of any allergies they may have.  I also want to make sure the soap is safe to use.  Testing to make sure the lye has processed out takes but a moment.  I use Phenol (Phenolphthalein) to test my soap.  One drop on a bar of soap is all it takes.  If the drop of phenol stays clear when it comes in contact with soap, then the lye has processed out.  The soap is ready to use at that point.  If it turns pink, there is still lye in the bar.  At this point the bar of soap needs to cure longer and should be retested.   In some cases the lye will not process out properly and the batch of soap should not be used.  I have made hundreds of batches of soap and I have had a few not turn out. 

I tend to make a big deal out of testing soap and it is covered thoroughly when I teach soap making.   I have had so many people ask me why their skin burns or itches when using homemade soap.  I know it is one of two things, allergies or more than likely there is still lye in the soap.  Lye is caustic.  It should not be feared but it should be taken seriously when making soap!  I have yet to have a mishap when making soap either on my own or in a class.  When taught how to handle lye properly, people normally have a great time making soap and the fear of lye goes away.

I recommend asking the soap maker what is in their soap and if the soap has been tested.  There is no harm in asking them how they test their soap.  If they say their soap cures for a certain amount of weeks before they sell it, that is not the same thing as testing the lye content.

Happy soap making!!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Soaps - All natural

Clairalience handcrafted soaps are made with all natural ingredients and essential oils.  They contain no drying agents, or artificial ingredients.  Clairalience soaps come in a variety of scented or unscented bars to pick from.  The soap will rinse clean and leave your skin feeling smooth and silky.

All soaps are made with: Palm Oil, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Palm Kernel

Clary Sage: Anise, Cedarwood & Clary Sage Essential Oil, Beer and Dried Calendula

Dark Lager: Frankincense, Lemongrass & Myrrh Essential Oils, Dried Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus Peppermint: Eucalyptus & Peppermint  Essential Oils

Lavender Fields: Lavender & Rosemary Essential Oils, Dried Lavender Buds

Lemongrass Bliss:  Lemongrass, Lime, Tangerine, Grapefruit & Patchouli Essential Oils

Oatmeal: Ground Oatmeal and no essential oils used

Pub: Rosemary & Sage Essential Oils, Dried Kelp

Rose Citrus: Lime, Sweet Orange & Ylang Ylang Essential Oils, Pink Clay, Dried Rose Buds

Scented Earth: Frankincense, Myrrh, Juniper Berry & Patchouli Essential Oil, Spirulina

Unscented: No essential oils used

Natural Soap size : 6.5 - 7.5 oz

Solid Scrubs

Scrubs are wonderful for exfoliating.  These scrubs are made with grapeseed butter to keep them in a solid form, which makes them great for traveling.  No more worries about the container leaking or passing through airport security liquid restrictions.

While in the shower or bath, simply place the scrub between your two palms and smash them together.  massage the scrub on the dry areas of your skin, rinse off, and  gently pat dry.  Allow the remaining oils absorb into your skin.

Himalayan (Unscented)
Ingredients: Grapeseed Butter, Sunflower Oil, Himalayan Sea Salt, Pink Clay
6 per container (approximately 6.5oz)

Lemon Drop
Ingredients: Grapeseed Butter, Sunflower Oil, Celtic Grey Sea Salt, Lemongrass and Eucalyptus Essential Oil
6 per container (approximately 6.5oz)

Orange Juniper
Ingredients: Grapeseed Butter, Sunflower Oil, Celtic Grey Sea Salt, Ground Kelp, Sweet Orange and Juniper Berry Essential Oil
6 per container (approximately 6.5oz)

Variety Pack
Receive two of each scrubs
6 per container (approximately 6.5oz)

Solid Scrub Prices

Monday, April 8, 2013

Homemade Dog Shampoo

Not only is it important to watch what you put on your skin but it is as important what you put on your dogs skin.   Dogs shampoo is too expensive in my opinion so I hunted the internet for a recipe.   The same basic ingredients popped up in all the recipes I looked at.  After doing my research,  I made one for my dogs.  I thought I would share it with all you dog lovers out there.  I have been using it for several years and never had a problem with it.  It cleans the hair and skin and takes away any odor. 

Dog Shampoo Recipe:

1 cup finely ground oatmeal
1 cup baking soda
4 cups warm water

Mixing together and shampoo dogs.

Make sure you grind the oatmeal up as much as possible so it is easier to rinse out of the dogs hair.  Short hair is not a problem but longer hair or thick hair can be a bit more work to rinse clean.

I have never stored it because I have two Cairn Terriers.  When it is bath time they are pretty dirty because they have found every stinky thing in the yard to roll in.   I end up using the entire recipe.  I have no idea how long it would keep in the refrigerator. 

Hope you like the recipe.

Saturday, April 6, 2013



Clairalience Scrubs are a wonderful natural exfoliant! While in the shower or bath, massage the scrub liberally over any areas of your body where you normally have dry skin. Rinse off, and  gently pat dry. Try not to rub off the oil that is left on your skin. Allow it to absorb into your skin. If you choose, you may apply a bit of Clairalience Signature or Shea Cream, depending on your skin's level of dryness. You may find that you don't need moisturizing until later in the day.

Another great use for Clairalience Scrub are for your hands. Run them under warm water, take about a quarter size scoop of the scrub and rub it into your hands. Rinse and pat dry. Your hands will feel soft and smooth.

Clairalience Scrub Ingredients
Sea Salt: Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, Apricot Kernel Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Pink Clay, Vitamin E,

Sugar Scrubs:  Brown Sugar, Apricot Kernel Oil, Rhassoul Clay, Vitamin E, Optiphen

No artificial coloring

Paraben Free

Alcohol free

Scrub Prices

Friday, April 5, 2013

Lotion Bars

Lotion Bars
Lotion Bars are a great alternative to creams and lotions. They melt from the heat of your body. Use anywhere where your skin is dry.

Great for traveling whether on a plane or car. Fits easily in a purse or carry on bag.

How to use:
Place in hands and allow the heat of your palms to warm the bar. Rub onto hands or other areas of the body where dry skin is present, just like lotion. Place back into tin when not in use. 

Be careful of heat. Lotion bars will melt if they get too warm.

• No artificial coloring

• No chemicals, preservatives or parabens

• Alcohol free

Lotion Bars
Shea: Shea Butter, Sunflower Oil, Beeswax

Aloe: Aloe Butter, Sunflower Oil, Beeswax
Bar size: 1.65 - 1.75 oz 

Lotion Bar Prices

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tub Truffles

New to the Clairalience line… Tub Truffles! 

These gems are lovely for bath time when you need to treat yourself to a quiet, relaxing bath.

These are made with natural butters , oils and essential oils.   Simply drop in your bath water and let them do their magic.  As the butters and oils melt they will turn your bath water silky smooth.  You skin will absorb the oils it needs as the aroma fills the air chasing away the stress of the day.

These are also great for foot baths.  Remember your feet need love and care after a long day.

Clary Sage/Grapefruit
Ingredients:  Mango Butter, Avocado Butter, Calendula, Beeswax, Himalayan Sea Salt, Grapefruit & Clary Sage Essential Oil
6 per container (approximately 6.5oz)
Ingredients:  Mango Butter, Avocado Butter, Beeswax Dead Sea Salt, Lavender, Patchouli & Bergamot  Essential Oil
6 per container (approximately 6.5oz)

Ingredients:  Mango Butter, Avocado Butter, Beeswax Dead Sea Salt, Oatmeal
6 per container (approximately 6.5oz)

Variety Pack
Receive two of each Tub Truffle
6 per container (approximately 6.5oz)

Tub Truffle Prices