Face Mask Experiments – Part I: Baking Powder

One of the many things that one can read about online in numerous blogs are the benefits  of face masks.  Deep pore cleansing, skin balancing, blemish reducing – there are a lot of different types with different uses and, of course, different ingredients.  But as we all know, not every thing online is totally reliable.  Some things work better than others and some things are out-and-out bad for you, so I thought I’d try out some of the options and see if there are some good, easy, and effective DIY face mask options out there.

Besides, we all need a little pampering now and then………………….. Continue reading

Rules of Etiquette & Home Culture

While looking at bespoke hand-made suits I saw mention of a book, just as an aside in the description of a style of suit.  It was a book from the end of the 19th century discussing the finer points of how one should act and something about it caught my attention, so I sought it out.  It covers an enormous range of topics, from the basic importance of etiquette through to the correct wording to use when responding to a certain invitation.  Ever wondered when it is correct to call on a young lady?  Well, now you can find out!

Rules of Etiquette & Home Culture

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Mulled Wine Soap # 1 – Christmas Soap

As it is that time of year again, I thought that I would combine a couple of my favourite things.  I have wanted to try my hand at using alcohol in soap and what better than a bottle of Mulled Wine (or Glühwein as we call it here in Austria) and a nice Christmas Spice fragrance oil?  Combined with a little bit of a nice deep red colour, we should have a very interesting and seasoal soap.

011 - Christmas Soap #1 LR
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Exfoliation explanation

Just a quick post about exfoliation in soaps, I’ll be posting another soon about how important exfoliation is.

As with so much in life, a little can go a long way!  Not only that, but the type of material that you use can have a big impact on how the soap feels when being used.

My favourite so far has to be ground Poppy Seeds. Continue reading

The Ethical Gentleman

While I do not currently sell my soaps, it is something that I am actively working towards – here in the EU it is not as straight forward as it is in The United States, for example, which means it is taking some time to get in a position to sell my products.  Throughout this time I am faced with ethical choices and I also engage with other soap makers who do sell and face similar questions of ethics.

For me, ethics are a very important part of my plans. Continue reading

Shaving Soaps # 1 & 2

Shaving Soap # 1

A short time before I started making soap, I got in to traditional wet shaving – using a double-edge razor with blades, as well as a brush with shaving soap to make the lather. I hadn’t really given any thought to making shaving soaps until there was a discussion about it on The Soap Making Forum. It didn’t take much reading for me to decide that I was going to have to give it a try for myself.

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Tenth Soap – Salt Bar # 2

Having really enjoyed the first salt bars and was getting low on stock – this gave me a great chance to experiment with a couple of changes to the previous recipe.

A member on the Soap Making Forum had posted some interesting ideas on changes to the oils. The previous recipe had 15% Olive oil, but this time I changed that to 10% Avocado oil, upping the Coconut oil amount to 85%.
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How To Make Soap – Cold Process

In my previous posts I have often spoken about various processes involved in making soap.  In this post I will describe how to make soap using Cold Process.

Cold Process seems to be the way most people make soap and is certainly a straight forward method.  Many people use it because it is not only arguably the easiest method and therefore ideal for starting out, it also allows a lot of freedom in how the soap looks which makes it a mainstay for the majority of artisan soapers the world over.
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It Happens Eventually – First Major Issue

When it comes to soaping the odds are stacked so that mean, eventually, every soaper will have a fairly major issue to contend with. It might be a batch overheating or separating in the mould, or some issue with fragrance oils reacting badly and causing the soap to seize solid in the pot before it is even poured. This happens most often when trying out a new recipe or technique and not so often with something tried and tested. As it happens, I had a pretty major issue with a batch of soap that I was making. While it was a slightly different recipe, the problem came from something that can strike at any time – soaper error. Continue reading