True Natural Beauty comes from within...

True Natural Beauty comes from within...
Welcome, to my natural bath / beauty and clean eating blog, where nature is our pantry....take a few quiet moments to enjoy free recipes and tutorials using natural ingredients. Have questions about recipes or where to find these ingredients? Put your question in the comment box and I will be happy to answer .............Anna

Monday, December 31, 2012

Spiced Coffee Sugar Scrub Recipe

How about a nice spiced coffee sugar scrub to moisturize and liven
                        up our winter dry skin....smells divine!

Winter definitely has its drying effect on our skin. How about a yummy, toasty coffee sugar scrub scented with the warm essence of ginger and cinnamon!

Ginger, a native plant of  Asia, does have some skin benefits.  As a natural antioxidant it fights skin damaging free radicals, and is said to promote an eveness to skin tone and lighten age spots. Which is why I intend on using this scrub on my hands.  It is also used in cellulite reducing formulas because it improves circulation, which is why I coupled it with coffee as a scrub to use on legs!

Once you do a nice sugar scrub on your skin, and the old dry skin sloughs off,  your oil can get down in there where it needs to be, leaving your skin feeling soft, supple and moisturized.  Just what you need to fight the winter dry blues!

This recipe makes about enough for one full body use.   Use spices and Oil at your own rate to truly make this your special scrub! (Keeping in mind that too much cinnamon is drying)  Some like their scrubs liquid, some like it dryer.  I make mine with 2 TBL  grapeseed oil in this recipe as I prefer a lighter oil.  You can use olive oil for a heavier scrub or mix the oils, or melted coconut oil, sweet almond oil,......your choice!

Enjoy,  Anna

My latest soap adventure......
"mocha Cafe" 
A soap made with fresh brewed coffee and real cocoa powder.

My back yard.......It snowed here last night in Arizona! 

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Coffee and Cocoa Soap: Easy 3 Oil Recipe and Tutorial

Fresh Brewed Coffee and Cocoa Soap.....
Easy Crock Pot (Hot process) Recipe
 and Full Tutorial How-To
Updated 6/22/16

Mocha just took on another meaning for me!     I love making fresh brewed coffee soap!

I've made soap with fresh brewed tea and honey and wanted a coffee recipe to compliment it.  How fun is that, tea and coffee luxury homemade soap!

I also wanted to make a simple 3 oil recipe that would be a good starting recipe for new soapers as well as a good basic and affordable cleansing, nourishing bar. Full tutorial and recipe below.....

If you wish to make a smaller batch, please use soapcalc (click here), and reformulate your
recipe to get correct lye and liquid amounts, etc.  This batch is a 40 oz oil batch which makes
about a 3 LB loaf of soap.


12 oz of Coconut oil
16 oz of Crisco  (don't use the store brand, use only Crisco)
12 oz Olive oil  (no need to use the more expensive extra virgin olive oil, the skin properties are just as great with the "regular" oo)

1 - 2  TBL cocoa powder  (optional amount, the more you use, the darker the soap)

5.6 oz  Lye
15.2 oz  water (cold coffee)
1.2 oz to 1.5 oz of fragrance oil  (optional)

Ingredients For 3 Oil Recipe:
Lye, Crisco, Coconut oil, Olive Oil, Liquid of choice (I used coffee)

Crockpot, Stick blender, pyrex or something like it to mix lye/water, long handled mixing spoons, I use silicon.  Rubber gloves, and eye protection.
Scale to weigh ingredients.

If you choose to make this with distilled water instead of coffee, that is the only other ingredient along with your fragrance (optional) you will need.  ( I added cocoa powder to go with the coffee )

You can purchase Lye on line at Brambleberry or Essential Depot  (my favorite) which is food grade. In the USA you can still find 100% lye at ACE hardware in the plumbing section. Make sure it says 100% LYE on the container. Other varieties contain particles for drains, which is NOT the correct lye for soap making.  This lye is also very affordable.

 Always wear protective eye ware and rubber gloves when working with lye.
I use a glass container to measure my lye into. Plastic containers conduct static and the lye beads stick to it ridiculously.

Have vinegar near by to neutralize any splashed lye. If you get it on your skin wash immediately under water.

Designate a crock pot for your soap making adventure, I got a used one at a thrift store.

1:   Measure your brewed COLD coffee, you can even use coffee ice cubes, 
never use a hot or warm liquid and add lye to it.
Your liquid is measured by weight, NOT volume. In a separate container measure lye by weight.

2:  In a well ventilated area, (I go outside) pour your lye crystals into the  
cold coffee  ( or liquid of choice).
NEVER pour liquid into lye, always pour lye into liquid.  Now stir until all lye crystals are 
dissolved. Gloves and eye wear a must.

  When thru stirring lye into water, drop the empty lye
cup, spoon into vinegar water to neutralize it.  Always put anything with active lye on it into your vinegar solution when you are thru using it.

3:  Preheat crock pot to LOW.  Measure (by weight ) coconut oil, olive oil and crisco into large container that is microwave safe.  Place in microwave and heat until melted.
4:  When all oils are melted together, pour into crock pot. Crock pot should be on LOW.
NOTE: if you are making this with cocoa powder, at this point take out a little of your melted oils and mix with your cocoa (unsweetened) powder and stir, consistency liquidy, not dry, just want to make sure you don't have lumps of cocoa powder in your soap!  Add back to crock pot and stir.

5:  Now you slowly pour your lye mixture into the crock pot with the melted oils. Stir with long
        handled spoon a bit.
6:  Get your stick blender out and begin to slowly blend, stirring blender around  the crock pot.  This is when the magic begins!  As you blend away, the liquid/lye and oils begin to saponify, which
        means you are literally turning your oils into soap by the chemical reaction to the alkali (lye).
Your mixture will begin to get thicker, when it gets like a soft pudding, and you lift up your blender (turned off of course) and the mixture leaves a trail, or a trace on top, this is called "Trace".  Continue to stick blend until it gets like pudding.

7:  Next, place lid on crock pot, leave on LOW, and watch as you make soap!
        Never walk away from  a crock pot of soap cooking, watch thru the lid, if it starts to boil up as
        if to over spill, stir it and release the heat, it'll go back down.

Your mixture will go thru changes. It's edges along the crock pot will rise and curl in towards the center. You will see a clear liquid pool in the center, this is glycerin!     Commercial soap makers remove this awesome natural soap by-product and use it for other purposes, that is why store bought soap is so drying, no glycerin. Your homemade soap keeps all that moisturizing goodness.

My crock pot was a bit too small for this size batch, make sure your crock is big enough.

Depending on the ingredients added to your soap mixture, your soap can take a half hour to an hour to be done, I've had my coffee and tea recipes take 20 mins, so don't walk away!

My soaping friend who taught me how to make soap, showed me an easy way to tell if your soap is done......

Think of the sides of your soap as waves, and the center as a glycerin-island.   The waves will continue to grow and rise around the island which is smooth.  As it cooks, the waves roll inward closer to the center making the island smaller and smaller.  When the island has sunk beneath the waves, you will see some clear glycerin on top. Stir it back in. Turn crock pot off. If you have a removable crock, take it out. Stir to cool down your soap. Yes, I said made soap!

8:  If adding fragrance oil or essential oil, this is the time to put it in.  Stir well.  General rule of
        thumb for fragrance is no more than 1 oz per 2 pounds of soap.
        Of course this is entirely dependent on the fragrance or essential oil used. 
        Some are quite potent. Most manufacturers give their recommendations for their product. 
        ONLY use bath and body safe fragrance oils, NOT candle ones. Some fragrances can be used
        for both candle and bath and body.... MAKE sure you know what you are using !
9:  Now its time to put into mold (s). I used a wood soap mold, lined with freezer paper to
         easily remove the soap.  You can use any mold you want. Silicon works great, plastic too.
         Pringles cans work too, the next day after pouring, just rip can away from soap! Be sure and             tap mold on table after putting in soap batter to get out any air pockets.
         Leave in mold over night, this recipe with coffee and cocoa was still soft after one
         night, so I left it in for two.

           Your beautiful homemade soap is ready to be cut and used.  Tip: if you let your
            hot process (crock pot) soap dry for a week or two it will become a much harder
            bar,  hence, will last longer in the shower!  But, if you're like me, one bar ends up
            in the shower right away!  Crock pot soap also known as Hot Process soap when
            made correctly is ready to use right away, you do not have to cure it for 4 weeks like
            you do with Cold Process soap.



                This recipe made a bar of soap with large chocolate colored bubbles, lovely.
             Any questions please ask away......   enjoy,       Anna


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Soap Cutter

Soap Cutter made of steel and high impact plastic.......hubby made                   for me for Christmas!

I love my new soap cutter!   Very
sturdy, strong, heavy duty, doesn't slip around at all when you cut your soap.   The bottom slides out so you can vary the thicknesses of your bars with ease, or keep them all perfectly uniform in size.
It's 14" long to handle small to large loaves without slipping! The
bottom pulls out and stays in place while you slice away!  The sides are taller than the average soap
cutter (cutting surface to top of side is 4 1/4") which makes it alot easier to start your cut and get that
perfect slice.      Husband designed and made this for me! Thanks honey!  Love it!!

Merry Christmas!!!


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Bath Fizzy Melts Recipe and Tutorial

  Scented Bath Oil Fizzy Bomb Melts......almond biscotti scented
             Just made these awesome little goodies for some Christmas treats for my girls.
Made with citric acid, baking soda, corn starch, grapeseed oil, specked with dried rose petals and oatmeal, and fragrance oil from Brambleberry called almond biscotti, (totally yummy warm scent, love it)  and spritzed with a little water to get it to harden, they fizzle away in your tub as your stress and weariness fizzles right away!

Bath Oil Melts  
1 cup baking soda
1 cup citric acid
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or olive oil, or sweet almond, or sunflower its your choice!)
1/2 tsp almond biscotti fragrance oil ( use your own strength and own fragrance choice) )
Dried rose petals (ground in my coffee grinder!!) for accent, optional
Spritzer of water

Put baking soda, citric acid, corn starch and bits of rose petal (optional) in a bowl.
Mix well. I used a small strainer to get it a finer mixture.

Add your oil of choice, and fragrance/essential oil.  (I used grapeseed for its lightness.)

Mix well.  Mix with your hands into a soft dough.   If crumbly, spritz sparingly with water and mix
well. This helps it to harden, it will fizzle slightly. NOT too much water here girls!

Sprinkle rose petals in mold before you put mixture in for added effect. (optional)

You can use just about anything to mold these goodies in as long as its bendable so you can pop
them out.  Or just mold into a ball by hand and let dry.

NOTE:  I tried spritzing  with witchazel and with alcohol as I use in my bath fizzy bomb recipes that do not have oil in them, and it did not work,  they didn't harden.

This makes a lovely bath oil melt. Soothing and soft.  Luxurious and pampering for your skin.

This is the mixture with all ingredients after I spritzed with water and mixed well.

Put it in your palm and squeeze.

If it holds together like this, it is ready to go in mold. Mine would not harden without that spritz of water.  I had left them in the mold overnight, and they were still oily and not hardening. I took them out of the mold, put them in a bowl, crumbled and spritzed with water.  I then re-molded them and let them sit over night and they were hard as a rock.  

This post is linked up to a few great LINK PARTIES, come join the fun.....

Gingerly Made: Show and Tell
Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Milk Bath Recipes: Luxury Spa-Baths at home!

                          Updated 10/6/17      Make your own MILK BATH, 4 free recipes!
                                       pure pampering luxury for  your the home-spa experience.

photo source flikr

Warm water from a spa or a bath helps to relax our bodies by warming muscles, allowing them to relax, as well as improve blood circulation. 

            If you can’t step into a spa for that much needed soak, turn your tub into your                      own personal spa with ingredients you probably already have.  

Surround the tub with candles, soft background music if you like, a good book, or simply just relax in the peaceful atmosphere as research shows that taking a warm bath an hour before bed can help you to sleep.
photo by Anna
              The home-spa-bathing experience is more than  unwind time.  It’s a great way to hydrate yourself and soak in skin loving natural ingredients that soothe, nourish and moisturize  your skin, aiding in elasticity, cell renewal, anti-aging and overall skin health.  Leaving you with a natural glow and general well being. 

Here are a few ideas to get you started....

·       The Milk Bath:
There are many variations of the milk bath.  The lactic acid in milk along with its fat and vitamin content is simply unparalleled.  It is soothing, nourishing and a gentle exfoliater that loosens the bonds that hold dry, 
dead skin cells allowing them to slough off. New skin 
cells are revealed and new skin cell growth is stimulated.
It will leave your skin refreshed and renewed, literally.   

           Recipe 1 :  Milk and Honey spa bath

1  ½  cups dry powdered milk or liquid milk.( Use full fat or lowfat, the
     higher the fat content the more nourishing and soothing to skin.
¼ cup baking soda (cleans, soothes, softens skin)
¼ cup Epsom salt  (magnesium rich, is great for your skin)
¼ cup warmed honey  (humectant, anti-inflammatory)
Use: Pour all ingredients under warm running bath water. You can also
 make up the dry ingreds in advance and store in airtight container.

 Recipe 2 :  Rose - Milk spa bath

1 ½ cups – 2 cups milk (dry or liquid) full fatted works best
2 – 3 cups homemade rosewater (simply steep rose petals like tea and strain. Use 1 cup dried petals or 2 cups fresh petals to 2 cups boiling water to steep)
A few drops of rose essential oil (optional for scent)
          Drop a few handfuls of fresh petals into the tub for the finishing touch,
          This is my personal favorite.
 Use: simply pour ingredients under running water.

 Recipe 3:  Oatmeal and Milk

1 ½  - 2 cups Milk (as above)
½ cup oatmeal finely ground ( grind in coffee grinder or bullet type)
    The finer you grind your oatmeal, the more it will suspend in
 your water, (which is what you want) this is called colloidal oatmeal. 

Use:  Pour milk and ground oatmeal under warm running bath water.
 Some will settle on the tub bottom, just stir around a bit. It  washes
 down the drain just fine.   Can be a bit slippery.    Colloidal oatmeal is
 great for itchy skin, dry skin, acneic, or oily skin. Soothing.

 Recipe 4:   Scented Milk Bath

1 ½ cups milk (powdered or liquid)
¼ - ½ cup cornstarch (anti-   inflammatory, soothing to skin)
¼ cup baking soda

**Essential oil of your choice 

Use:  Combine dry ingredients 
well.  Put them in a glass container
with a lid and add essential oil(s), shake to combine well.  Use 1 to 2 cups per bath.

** HOW to add essential oils to your bath water:
Mix 5-6 drops of essential oil into liquid whole milk, pour into tub water
Mix 5 drops essential oil into 1 TBL of carrier oil (such as sunflower,
grapeseed, olive, sweet almond, etc) pour under running water.

 Take a moment and check out my Face Book page and You Tube channel for
more free recipes and info on natural bath and body!

Enjoy,    Anna


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Green Tea Soap Recipe: Hot process that looks like cold.

                                       Organic Green Tea Soap with citrus and gingko

Peppermint and Green Tea Soap
Green Tea , Honey and Lemongrass
These two soaps were made the hot process method with the exact
same recipe, the only difference being the essential oils added.
Soap on the left had peppermint e.o. the right had lemongrass.
The soap with peppermint was noticeably lighter. Both came out really smooth, look cold process.  I love to make hot process when in need of soap quickly! I also enjoy using tea. Tea has worked great for me in the hot process method as well as cold. The lemon e.o. handled the hot process really well as did the peppermint. They went to trace quickly and were done in the crockpot in 15 minuets. No kidding. Maybe less.  I brewed the tea in rain water I had frozen in cubes, rain is exceptionally soft water.
Smooth bars of hot process soap.

I recommend a supperfatting to 5-6% . I did it at 5% to make the bar harder, for some reason my tea soaps are always softer, not sure if its the tea or the essential oils.

When adding the lye to the cold tea, it immediately turned very dark.  The scent was not pleasant at first, but by the next day it was very fresh and lovely.  The bars themselves lighten
up over night.   I added honey and essential oils at trace, total of oil and water is 60 oz.

Watch, watch, watch your crock pot, this soap GOES FAST!   It's alot of fun to make.
Comment below if you would like full recipe.

Always wear protective goggles, gloves and other safety clothing when handling lye, it  is caustic and will burn you!  Always use a lye calculator found on-line if you change any ingredients in a known soap recipe, you MUST recalculate the lye amount !  Be safe, and enjoy !

Enjoy,  Anna

 Here are 2 RECIPES I used to make this soap, they both worked beautifully and made smooth bars of soap with luxurious lather. Recipe 1 is a smaller batch of soap made with easy to come by oils, Recipe 2 is a larger batch with different oils/butters.

Recipe 1
9 oz  olive oil                                         
6 oz  coconut oil
5 oz  canola oil
9 oz  lard
1.1 oz beeswax 

4.1 oz lye
11 oz  organic green tea brewed in rain water
note: my green tea had citrus and gingko in it

1 TBl of honey added at trace
Peppermint essential oil added after the cook
5 % superfatted

Recipe 2

15 oz  olive oil
13 oz  lard
9 oz  coconut oil
2 oz  shea butter
2 oz  grapeseed oil
2 oz  beeswax
1 oz  cocoa butter

5.9 oz lye
16  oz green tea brewed in rain water
6% superfatted

1 TBL honey added at trace
Lemongrass essential oil added after the cook

Here is a link to my tutorial on crock pot , hot process soap making. It is a
different recipe, but the process is the same.

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