Friday, May 30, 2014

Magic Hydrosol Wands - Kind Of


Sometimes, I wish I had magical powers.

If I did, I'd make magic herbal potions that could remove pain, eliminate sickness, and bring strength and courage to those who needed it.

When I was finished with that, I'd make more potions – to calm and sooth worried minds and instantly revive and refresh troubled spirits.

I'd put my magical potions into special wands that could be carried around. Then, any time it was needed, the wand could be waved and the potion could do its magic with the mere touch of a finger.

That's what I'd do if I had magical powers.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Facial Exfoliation - Let's Get Physical


Originally, I planned on writing about exfoliation in a single article, but the text just kept growing until it was quite clear that exfoliation had decided – quite by itself – to become a mini-series.

So, welcome to part 2!

Today, we're going to have a look at physical exfoliants for the face and how to use them. I've worked with quite a few exfoliants over the years – both physical and chemical – from the scott free kind to the super pricey kind.  Some physical (and even chemical) exfoliants can be used 'as is', and some need to be added to a cleansing product you either make or buy.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Kpangnan Butter – A Treasure Uncovered


The little lump of butter up there on the left may not look like much, but it's a treasure trove of hair and skin-loving goodness.

In my ongoing quest for the ideal butter for lotion bars, kpangnan literally showed up unannounced on my doorstep (as a small sample packet from my supplier). The timing was perfect – it was immediately incorporated into a lotion bar. 

Let's have a look at how what this butter has to offer and find out if behaved well enought to make it to the lotion butter winners list (hint: it did).

Thursday, May 15, 2014

About Exfoliation




Pictured: a drawing of a cross section of human skin. Our skin is made up of many many layers - each having a vital function.

I'm not going to go through all of the layers in this post. Today, we're (literally) going to be skimming the surface – the topmost layer – the epidermis (which also has several layers, but I'm only going to get a little teensy bit technical – promise).

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sal Butter - Pure Velvet


Five months ago, the first test batch in my self-appointed quest for 'the ideal butter for lotion bars' was created. There have been many batches and much note-taking since.  The formula has been identical for each batch – except for the butter.

Today, we're going to have a closer look at Sal Tree Seed (INCI: Shorea Robusta) butter.

Contrary to 'almond' and 'aloe' butters (which turned out to be a mix of oils and shea or cocoa butter), sal butter is the real deal.

Not only is it proving to be a wonderful addition to a lotion bar, sal has qualities that have made me a serious fan.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Hair Care Tips from a 2 Year Old


Did your parents teach you to always wipe your hands clean when they were dirty or after eating?

Me too.

Did they tell you not to use your clothes as a napkin?

Me too.

Did you listen?

Me either. Ok, only sometimes.

When I was a small child, switching my attention from play to finding a suitable piece of paper on which to wipe my hands was just too much to ask.

My improvised solution was to use my hair.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sweet Olive Wax - From Milk to Cream


Some time ago, my go-to emulsifier for creating a thin-but-stable, oil-rich emulsion was beheneth 10. If you had asked me what's in it, I would have regurgitated my then-suppliers description: 'it's plant-based'.

Even though I found this description far too vague, the supplier was 'all about plants' and 'organic' and 'safe', so I continued to use it while I dug around for more information.