Aug 16 2013
I’m not the type of person to sit still unoccupied. I’m a girl with a million hobbies… so when the idea was suggested to me to learn how to make soap I jumped at the opportunity. What is one more hobby?!
With just a few common household items soap is actually quite easy to make. You just need oil, lye and water. In days gone by fat was trimmed from butchered meat and turned to lard as the source of oil. In my cousins grade 12 chemistry class she was lucky enough to go through the fat harvesting process. I opt for the easy option: olive oil.
There are two different processes for making soap: the hot method and the cold method. The cold method takes a little longer, but produces harder bars. The hot method makes soap you can use the next day. Using different combinations of oils changes the amount of suds.
Mixing the grated soap half and half with washing soda gives you the best laundry detergent ever. Perfect even for the high efficiency machines
Home made soap is truly the gentlest soap around. I can use it on my sensitive skin and that sais a lot!
If that wasn’t amazing enough…. it is cheap! One batch, made into bars and laundry detergent lasts us a few months and costs less than ten bucks.
There is a sea of wonderful resources out there if you are interested in a soap making adventure.
There is a sea of wonderful resources out there if you are interested in a soap making adventure. Here is a place to start!
Jun 10 2013
For safe summer fun, you want to protect your skin. But for many people it also means steering clear of many of the chemicals and preservatives found in commercial sunscreens. There are a number of excellent natural sunscreens on the market, but I discovered its actually easy and affordable to make your own.
- 1/2 cup almond or olive oil (can infuse with herbs first if desired)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (natural SPF 4)
- 1/4 cup beeswax
- 2 Tablespoons Zinc Oxide (This is a non-nano version that won’t be absorbed into the skin. Be careful not to inhale the powder). This makes a natural SPF of 20+ or more can be added.)
- Optional: 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
- Optional: 2 tablespoons Shea Butter (natural SPF 4-5)
- Optional: Essential Oils, Vanilla Extract or other natural extracts to suit your preference
How to Make Natural Sunscreen:
- Combine ingredients except zinc oxide in a pint sized or larger glass jar. I have a mason jar that I keep just for making lotions and lotion bars, or you can even reuse a glass jar from pickles, olives or other foods.
- Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and place over medium heat.
- Put a lid on the jar loosely and place in the pan with the water.
- As the water heats, the ingredients in the jar will start to melt. Shake or stir occasionally to incorporate. When all ingredients are completely melted, add the zinc oxide, stir in well and pour into whatever jar or tin you will use for storage. Small mason jars (pint size) are great for this. It will not pump well in a lotion pump!
- Stir a few times as it cools to make sure zinc oxide is incorporated.
- Use as you would regular sunscreen. Best if used within six months.
- This sunscreen is somewhat but not completely waterproof and will need to be reapplied after sweating or swimming
- Make sure not to inhale the Zinc Oxide- use a mask if necessary!
- This recipe has an SPF of about 20, though adding more Zinc Oxide will increase the SPF
- Add more beeswax to make thicker sunscreen, less to make smooth sunscreen
- I recommend coconut or vanilla extract or lavender essential oils for fragrance
- Store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge
- I prefer to store in a small canning jar and apply like a body butter. It will be thicker, especially if you use coconut oil in the recipe.
- remove the Zinc Oxide and this makes an excellent lotion recipe!