What the heck are dimethicone and cyclomethicone?  They are unmodified silicones.

The following is directly from this website:


Use with Skin and Hair

silicones stay on or near the surface of the skin. Not only are the
too big to physically enter past the upper living cells — they
associate with the upper layer
of drying skin — but they also cannot penetrate cell membranes due
to their large size. They
also dislike both the water and proteins inside cells.

Cyclomethicones are unmodified silicones. They evaporate quickly after
helping to
carry oils into the top layer of epidermis. From
there, they may be absorbed by the skin.
Cyclomethicones a similar function in hair care
products by helping nutrients enter the hair shaft.

are also unmodified silicones. They form a barrier layer on the skin
must be renewed as the skin sloughs off.
Dimethicones coat the surface of the hair and
lubricate it, improving combing providing detangling,
and thus, hair loss and breakage.

form a protective layer which helps prevent transdermal water loss — a
useful characteristic for many products. Silicone gums
provide instant shine to hair.
Silicones act to help seal moisture into the hair,
which helps prevent many kinds of damage. “


What are Glycerin, Isopropyl Myristate, and Sodium Lactate?  They are emollients and humectants.

The following is directly from this website.

“What are emollients
and humectants?

Emollients are ingredients
that soften and soothe the skin. They may be naturally occuring, such as
fixed oils and glycerin, or they made be man made, such as silicone oils
or isopropyl myristate. Their moisturizing qualities are provided by the
chemical composition of the material itself.

Generally, emollients are
added to such products as creams and lotions to provide extra
moisturization or to help relax fine lines and wrinkles.

Humectants also soften and
soothe the skin. They are usually derived from vegetable oils, but can
be man made. Humectants derive their moisturizing abilities from water
which they pull from the nearest available source. “


While I might be able to give out a tidbit of information regarding some ingredient or technique I recommend everyone do their own research.  I don't know everything and won't ever claim to know everything! 

Lotions changes for next time?

So, I've been using my lotions for almost 2 weeks.  No break outs.  Seems good so far! 

However, I do notice that my lotions have 'drag' to them.  The texture is creamy for sure, but there is some drag on the skin.  I've purchased some dimethicone, cyclomethicone, and isopropyl myristate.  They are known to provide more slip to lotions.  Also I ordered some modified corn starch (Dry-Flo) which is supposed to provide a little more velvety feel to the lotion.  I've also read that Sodium lactate which I already have for soap making is a good less sticky alternative to glycerin.

So, next time I make lotion I'll try some of these additives and hopefully it will reduce the drag on the skin.

My 2nd and 3rd batches of lotion

So here's a photo of my second and third lotion batches.  Remember the first one had the cider vinegar in it.  I'm not sure I'm going to keep that one around.  If you can get over the vinegary smell the lotion is quite nice, and cider vinegar is supposed to be a good tonic for the skin, but it's got a potent vinegar smell.  This might appeal to other people, but not to me.  Frankly, I can make it without vinegar so why should I waste time using something I don't really like.

So my second batch was the OOH lotion (sans vinegar) called so because it has Olive Oil and Honey in it (I like how that acronym works out).  This recipe I got off of the internet and it's a really nice one.  Very thick and creamy.

The next batch I tweaked a facial cream recipe I found.  I tweaked it to products I had on hand.  This one is a little looser in consistency, but I think that's because I accidentally put in a little too much aloe vera juice.  This cream is a little lighter in consistency and feel than the OOH lotion which actually works out well for a facial cream/lotion.

The packaging:  I got some of these Malibu/Tottle tubes, printed labels on vellum paper and ran them through my Zyron sticker maker.  I think they are simple labels, but they came out looking great!

So, now I'm testing. I'm using the OOH lotion on my body and the Facial Cream on my face.  I have pretty normal skin on my body and oily skin on my face. 

My arms are shaking

I made butter today.  Yes, I made butter, as in butter for toast.  I saw this video on YouTube and had to try it for myself. 

I totally forgot to leave the cream out to let it sour so mine came out of the fridge, so it was cold.  I was shaking and shaking and shaking for 20 minutes before it finally started to separate the butter from the buttermilk.  My arms are now shaky and tired.  But I did make butter!  Since I didn't let it sour the butter is pretty plain tasting so I did add a little salt and it's a really nice homemade butter!!  It's a light cream color and not the yellow that you see in store bought butters.  Most of the yellow color in those butters are added coloring.  There are some variations in butter colors depending on what the animal eats, but usually natural butter isn't super yellow. 

Anyway, I think next time I'll let the cream sour.  Having the cream at room temperature will make the process go much faster and the sour tang will give the butter and buttermilk some more flavor.  I have to let my forearm muscles recover before I try this again. 

Recovering from yesterdays Excel blunder!

So yes, I was able to reconstruct my data base, sort of.  I lost all of my comments, but I don't think I had too many.  What I really want is the list of recipes and fragrances that were used with each batch and the date that the batches were made.  I am so glad that I had this blog to reference!  It is my soap diary; my journal!  I don't care if no one reads it.  It can be for me and me alone.  It has already served a very useful purpose!!  If it helps anyone else – YAY!! 

Take home message – MAKE BACK-UPS of your files. DO NOT ASSUME you will remember to hit SAVE AS instead of SAVE.  So if you're going to do any kind of huge modification to a document make a copy of it and use the copy to screw around.   HOLY SMIHOLY did my eyes become huge saucers when I realized too late what button I had clicked. 

Anyway,  I feel better today.  All was not lost.

So, assuming I was able to reconstruct all or at least most of my database, I have made 106 pounds of soap!!  Wow, that's a lot of soap!  And I have had and am still having lots of fun doing it! 


One wrong click of a button and data goes bye bye!! 

So, I have a database on my computer on Excel which lists what soap formula I used, what fragrance I used, the date that the soap was made, and any notes or comments.  Well, I decided to start a similar one for Lotion making.  So I took my soap one deleted all the info except for the heading and column titles.  I started to fill in my two entries for my lotions.  And then I hit SAVE, not SAVE AS, but SAVE.  Yup, that's right I just wiped out all my data since November 2009!  O H  M Y  G O D !!!!  This list is really important to me because it's my soap making history.

So, I have, for the past 4 hours tried to extrapolate my list.  I have some printed recipes, I have some soap labels with ingredients and fragrances listed.  I have an old list of half of 2010 productions.  And I have my blog.  Tediously, I was able to re-create my database.  I have lost all of the comments that I made regarding each batch.  Bugger!!  At least I was able to get the recipes down and the dates of creation.  Whew!  At least not ALL was lost.

Molto bene!

I made my second batch of lotion.  This time I used citric acid in stead of cider vinegar.  Oh so much better!  I left it unfragranced.  So it smells of honey at first which fades nicely.  It's a very creamy recipe that is not greasy.  Ooooo…  I think this is another bath and body product that I could get into!

What's up next for experimentation?

I've experimented with different soap recipes and additives.  Animal fats, different vegetable fats, and different liquids – coffee, beer, animal milks.  I don't think I'm a big fan of animal milk soaps at least for unfragranced.  They have a faint 'barn yardy' smell.  A kind of grass, hay, earthy smell when I use it in the shower.  Animal fats make a nice soap, but I think I'm going to try to stick to vegetable fats.  Not that I'm vegan or even vegetarian, but I don't see a super need to use animal fats.   It's always there as an option if I want to use it in the future. 

So what's up next?  I would like to try coconut milk for the liquid.  I can't imagine it would have that same 'barn yardy' smell as animal milks.  Or actually any non-animal milks (almond, rice, soy, etc) would be worth a try.  I'd like to also try pureed carrots or cucumber.  Those might be interesting additives.

I took a look at the Key Lime Pie Soaps.  The tops are continuing to turn more brown while everywhere else seems to be keeping it's color.  It's been 2 weeks.  I think it's really interesting that only the tops are turning brown like the tops have a fine dusting of cocoa powder.  Will the vanilla color stabilizer continue to work with the rest of the soap?   Hmm…. stay tuned. 

First time

I LOVE the Woodfield molds!  My bastile soaps came out so easily from the silicone mold.  Smooth edges, a nice satin feel.  I used my Tank cutter.  Yay!  Cuts so easy! Every cut is even and straight.  Ahhhh…..  Interesting though the wire cut produces a pebbly surface.  A knife leaves a smooth cut surface, but the wire doesn't.  I think it drags through the soap more and leaves a slightly textured surface and light swoosh marks arc across the surface.  I don't think I mind that much though.  I think I would prefer a smooth surface, but to be able to cut even and consistently is more important to me.  I don't do huge production work, but I do love how quickly the Tank cuts!

The bastile soaps turned out great!  The pomace OO produces a slightly darker bar.  But they are plenty firm.  The soapcalc.net lye calculator says it will be hardness of 15 and cleansing of 0, but don't believe that.  Castile and bastiles are plenty hard.  At 8 hours after making the soap my bastile soaps are not mushy or soft.  In fact, after a good cure they are bricks!  And yes, they do indeed cleanse.  They are, afterall, still soap.  They don't lather as much and are kind of “slimy” when wet, but they are a very mild soap. 

Yeah, I definitely think the pomace olive oil I had last time was adulterated with some other oil.  My current pomace bastile feels nothing like the soap I made last time.  I'll not purchase that pomace olive oil again.

Bastile Soap and Lotion and taking classes

I made some Bastile soap today (Bastardized Castile Soap) 90% Olive Oil and 10% Castor Oil.  I made one pound of bastile made from light olive oil and one pound made from pomace olive oil.  I wanted to see the difference.  In the past I used light olive oil and the soap turned out a nice white color, really nice.  I also made it using pomace olive oil before.  But I think the pomace olive oil I used was adulterated (mixed up with some other oil).  The soap never really hardened and is kinda weird. 

So, I made more of the light olive oil batch and trying out a different pomace olive oil.  I also used my new Woodfield double mold.  No color, no fragrance.  One of the mildest soaps one can make.  It's in the oven right now.  CPOP.  I warmed to 170F, but just turned it off once I put the molds into the oven.  Once the soap comes out the molds I will try out my new Tank cutter!  Exciting!!  Using my new goodies.

I have been using my OOH cider vinegar lotion. And… yeah… too much of a vinegar smell for me.  Next time I'll definitely use citric acid instead.  But I have this vinegar batch.  I have read that some people have used citrous fragrances with this lotion.  So I mixed some Sparkling Grapefruit and Orange Peel FOs and it's better.  Doesn't totally cover the vinegar smell, but it's much better.

I think I'm going to take some classes at Nova Studios in Richmond Point, CA.  They have a couple of classes in March that I find interesting: 3 Types of Body Butters and Healing Balms and Salves.  Sounds like fun!