Posted on 9 Comments

Red Cabbage Dye

Red cabbage

I chopped up a few red cabbage leaves and boiled them for about an hour in all, to be left with about 30ml of a deep purple liquid. Purpose: to experiment and see if it will indeed turn into a shade of blue when added to my soap mixture.

I’ve read a few websites where people have tried it out and it worked. Like this blog where a mom dyed eggs using red cabbage and they turned out blue; or this other blog where someone made a Rainbow Bento using various vegetable dyes, including red cabbage for a nice shade. The bento does look really pretty:

Rainbow Bento

But by far the most interesting to me was finding this page, where it gave a rough explanation about red cabbage dye being used as a natural pH indicator in labs. Here’s the photo that caught my attention:

Red Cabbage dye under various pH conditions

Is that cool or what? Now, seeing that soap is basic, when I add it to my soap mixture at trace, it could turn blue (pH8), green (pH9) or yellow. Yellow is most likely at this stage since saponification may not be complete. But will its colour change when the pH drops to the 8-10 range after the soap has hardened after 24 hours?

EeeEEE I CANNOT WAIT to try this out and take some photos!

Posted on 4 Comments

Experimenting – Skin Salves

It has long been an interest of mine to create a line of skin salves or balms to address various skin concerns, particularly:

  • an anti-mosquito blend. I’ve had enough of seeing my poor Andrea come home from playschool or my in-laws’ dotted with angry, itchy mosquito bites!
  • to soothe eczema flare-ups. My soap can help soothe skin over the long term by reducing irritation caused by harsh detergents and other external factors, but sometimes a more intensive treatment that is left in the skin may be required.
  • to calm down and heal skin that’s itchy and inflamed from bug bites, diaper rash, minor cuts and nicks.

Continue reading Experimenting – Skin Salves

Posted on 4 Comments

Things That Can Go Wrong While Making Soap

Darn it, photos would have been brilliant to illustrate what I am about to describe, but I was too  busy a) panicking, then b) setting things right. I spent the afternoon making Goats Milk and Honey soap, and here are the mishaps that transpired along the way to finally setting the soap in their molds to harden (with a HUGE sigh of relief!). Continue reading Things That Can Go Wrong While Making Soap

Posted on 7 Comments

Experiment: Curing Soap While In Cotton Muslin Bags

Given Malaysia’s generally high levels of humidity, I’m wondering whether it’s actually safe to leave my stock of soap in their cotton muslin bags for long periods of time to continue curing past their usual 4 weeks on the drying rack.

So I’m going to try this out: I’ve picked a few bars of my new batches of soap to be dressed up in their cotton muslin bags, and am allowing them to sit amongst their other — uhm, brothers and sisters? — to cure in open air, as is normally done. Every 3 days I’ll be checking in in these dressed soaps to see whether anything funny starts growing on the surface of the bars or the bags.

The reason why I’m concerned about this is two-fold. Firstly of course is my customers’ safety. I don’t ever want to send you a bar of mouldy soap! I’m taking as much precautions as I can especially since everything I have in the store doesn’t contain artificial forms of preservation.

Secondly is to do with production efficiency and storage. I’m still figuring out how many bars I have to churn out and at what frequency to ensure a steady supply of soap. It’s tricky business trying to ensure that I don’t end up having too little or too much stock. Too little means I can’t meet demand, and too much means having valuable storage space being occupied, and soaps losing their fragrance because of essential oils evaporating since I don’t shrink-wrap them in plastic.

An alternative to continuous air-drying past the normal 4-week curing time is storing my soap in air-tight containers with silica gel to keep them dry. I am already trying this out. So far no mould has shown up (my soap has been in there for about a month or more now) but having to constantly check and replace the gel is proving to be a bit of a pain.

Ah well, let’s see how the next few weeks go. 🙂

Posted on 7 Comments

Cleanse Your Face With Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I kid you not. I’ve experimented with it on myself, and I love the results–soft, quenched skin that may not need additional moisturizer afterward. Here are some of the main reasons why I’m so excited about cleansing my face this way:

  • It’s fragrance, preservative, and colouring-free. Suitable even for the most sensitive of skin.
  • It’s cheap! Well, compared to buying your usual cleansers from cosmetic companies and pharmacies anyway.
  • I love the thought of how it nourishes your body, both inside and out.
  • Effectively clears your skin of the heaviest makeup without the use of harsh chemicals

If you’re curious about how easy, effective, gentle and simply wonderful this oil can be for your skin and its cleansing routine, read on!

Continue reading Cleanse Your Face With Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Posted on 4 Comments

First Trial Run For Anti-Mozzi Oil Blend

Brandon and Andrea at our playground
Brandon and Andrea at our playground

Whenever I send my kids over to my in-laws’ place for the afternoon, they invariably come home with terribly itchy mosquito bites. Hubby and I get bitten badly too. Andrea gets a lot more than Brandon–and she has been losing sleep at night because of this. Usually at about 1am she’ll start stirring from her slumber and I’ll hear her swishing her legs on the mattress, trying to rub away at the bites. Continue reading First Trial Run For Anti-Mozzi Oil Blend

Posted on 6 Comments

Currently Working On…

Jar of whipped body butter.
First batch of skin-lovin' goodness.

…whipped body butter! Using a combination of just vegetable oils and essential oils, I’m now experimenting with blends that are luxuriant on skin without needing to rely on preservatives, stabilizers etc that are normally present in store-bought body butters.

I’ve been working hard at this–and the results are pretty exciting!

Continue reading Currently Working On…