My favourite new soap has to be the Rosehip Seed Oil soap which is a lovely vegetable soap and the rosehip oil lends special properties especially for older skin and it's also good for stretch marks.
On the rose theme I've also made a rather old fashioned English Rose soap and tried out some vintage labelling to go with it.
The soap making process and use of essential oils has inevitably led me to research the therapeutic value of essential oils. This is an area that interests me greatly as I'm a firm believer in making use of natural products where possible. So perhaps it's no surprise that I've turned my attentions to balms and salves and my first experiment in this direction has been sleep balm. I have made several different versions of this but the main ingredients have been the same - lavender, camomile and bergamot. These oils all contain properties to soothe, calm and relax and thus promote better natural sleep. In addition to these staples I have also added bay, rosemary and frankincense.
|Perchance Sleep Balm|
In the same vein I've also created Andante, a stress relief balm.
|Andante Stress-relief Balm|
My first experiments with making creams has begun and I'm really excited!
Making creams and lotions has its own challenges but one great advantage of creams is that the use of essential oils will provide definite benefits unlike soap-making where the saponification process can sometimes eliminate the therapeutic properties - although not the fragrance.
Despite what the cosmetics industry would have us believe, there are really only two types of creams - heavy and light and to these you can make no end of variations but the underlying principles of manufacture remain pretty much the same.
So far I have made a heavy cream - designed for softening and soothing feet. This is delicately scented with tea tree and rosemary essential oils...
...and an ultra-light, almost whipped, moisturiser incorporating aloe vera, jojoba and rosehip seed oil.
I'll be testing these out over the next month together with my trusted gang of guinea pigs so I'll let you know how they go!