(¸.·♥ I have been feeling very ambitious lately and have dabbled in several experiments, one of the latest being soap making last spring.
I took some pictures along the way... presentation is, after all, *everything*!
I have very sensitive skin as well as multiple allergies which often crop up while using body products and cosmetics (I'm allergic to a particular hue of purple coloring/dye, have you ever heard of such a THING?).
I started off with natural based melt and pour soaps available at local health food stores and craft stores. I selected a vegetable based glycerin soap as well as a goats milk soap which were fragrance free.
I added the following ingredients, some to one base, others to the other base:
.·♥... Honey... Safe for sensitive skin, it has the ability to attract water and helps to aid in the process of tissue regeneration. Honey is also effective in reducing dryness, wrinkles and acne. It also inhibits the growth of fungi. And it smells delicious too!
.·♥... Cocoa Butter... The ultimate moisturizer, cocoa butter is strong enough to treat skin conditions as severe as eczema and dermatitis. It is often used by pregnant women for the reduction of stretch marks. I selected it specifically for it's ability to create a barrier between sensitive skin and the environment, helping it to retain moisture. It has a wonderful chocolate aroma which makes it yummy to work with!
.·♥... Shea Butter... ~ Shea butter also provides relief to minor skin irritations and helps to protect skin from environmental damages. It helps to restore elasticity to skin and is often used to heal minor burns. It is also the most eco-friendly additive that you can find which is a major plus in my books!
.·♥...Oatmeal... One of the most versatile skin treatments available, oatmeal has many healing properties. Not only does it make your skin feel super smooth, it also reduces inflammation and heals rashes. It can moisturize dry flaky skin, as well as absorb excess oils in oily skin!
.·♥...Sugar & Seeds... Sugars and seeds act as natural exfoliates while being incredibly gentle on skin. I added bits of lavender in lieu of fragrance, although I could also have used essential oils.
The end result?... Several bars of incredibly gentle hand soap that left my skin feeling soft and supple. I was so pleased I ended up purchasing larger molds and playing around with recipes to create wonderful body soaps.
I then packed them in brown paper bags lined with cellophane (although I later found out the bags could not be recycled due to the liner, doh!). I included recipe tags on which I had printed thumbnails photos of the key ingredients used and gave them to my family and friends over the Easter Holiday. I received a wonderful response, everybody loved the calorie free treats that were packed full of nourishment, and it smelled good enough to eat!