Pure Essential Soap is going to be a collection (number as yet undetermined) of 100% natural soaps, all with additives that are proven to perform for your skin, with natural colours and all fragranced with pure essential oils. This was quite a challenge for me as, any regular reader will know that I LOVE my colours and I'm, what's known in the trade, as a complete FOHO (FO is short for fragrance oil and ho is... well, ya know). To move to work only with natural colours and essential oil (or EO) blends was a bit of a leap for me ... but YAY to that! Again, if you're a regular reader, you'll know I love a good challenge! I need to always push myself to do something different, something new, something a little out of my comfort zone... otherwise things get a little samey, a little too easy.
So how did I go about planning the Pure Essential Soap collection? In the intial stages, I thought "what would I like to see for sale .. if I could make any soap but within the 100% natural boundary, what would I want". That's always my own personal starting point. Then, once I had a few thoughts under my belt, the iamhandmade.com team had a meeting ... well, ok.. me and Titch and Malky were driving down to Cork one day and we did some brainstorming in the car but hey, that's a meeting right? We threw around more ideas and names and what might be added and came up with a plan, at least four solid ideas for soaps and ideas for more. I like that type of planning, it makes my brain go fizzing in all sorts of directions.
So ... the next set of blog posts will be about the Pure Essential Soap collection, the first being Zingara.
Zingara is made with Sweet Almond & Golden Olive Oils along with tons of creamy Cocoa Butter. We then added Goatsmilk, Pink and White Clays, Colloidal Oatmeal & Pure Silk.
As I'm using only natural colours and fragrances, I decided to try out two colours (yeah, why do one when you can do two?). The bottom layer of the soap is coloured using Pink Clay which came out a really lovely deep dusky pink and the top layer is coloured pale yellow using Tumeric - this was added to the soap at trace so it's given a lovely light speckle to the finished soap. The line dividing both layers is my VERY FIRST Cocoa Line which I actually hadn't planned but then, once the pink layer was poured, I decided to just go for it. I was a little nervous as I know that the soap can split along this line if the cocoa is put on too thickly so I was very careful. Hubs was fascinated by this and watched over me doing this. I wanted to shadow the use of this cocoa again in the soap so decided, at the end of making it and making the textured tops, to dust the cocoa, very sparingly, on the top of the soap, once made.
Whilst I use white clay in almost every soap now (great for all skin types, even sensitive and dry, and adds a lovely glide to the soap .. plus its great for use as a shaving soap too), I hadn't ventured very much into coloured clays until I started using them with the Pure Beer Collection.
Pink Clay is excellent for dry, sensitive & mature skin types and is just a lovely colour. It has a softening affect that refines the skin texture & provides hydration through moisturising properties. This delicate clay has firming and toning elements that improve connective tissue so it is perfect for more sensitive skin types.
I really wanted to use Goatsmilk in the soap as I'm a huge fan of it's skin loving benefits. It's packed with vitamins A, B6, B12 and E and is a wonderful natural emollient. The high content of capric, caprylic and caproic acids act as a natural AHA, exfoliating deal skin cells and balancing the pH of the new, healthy skin underneath.
When we were discussing colours and fragrances, I'd just taken delivery of stunning 5 Fold Orange and a Pink Grapefruit essential oils. I just had to use them. To deepen the fragrance and soften it, I added the Bourbon Geranium (which, any who buys essential oils lately, knows how expensive it's become) and I anchored the whole blend with some Dark Indonesian Patchouli - one of my favourite essential oils, it adds a depth and warmth to a blend.
So, do you want to see some pictures? Oh yeah!!! Here you go....
Zingara is available to pre-order now online, http://www.iamhandmade.com/ourshop/prod_2027227-Zingara-PreOrder-Cure-Date-13-June.html, so make sure to order as soon as possible before these are sold out.