Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Vendor of the Month - Amateur Chemistry Lab

Most of my soap, lotions and balms are handmade in small batches, so that I can control to quality of my products.  This process lets me determine what ingredients I put in my products and the quality of individual ingredients.  For each of my cold process soaps I choose the oils so that the soap has particular characteristics, such as castor oil for lather, olive oil for moisturizing and coconut oil for hardness. I can also add butters, such as mango or shea, for increasing the moisturizing quality of the soap, which hopefully reduces the reliance on lotion over time.  Cold process soap is more expensive than mass-manufactured soaps and even my glycerin soap, but most of that cost is the cost of the oils used to make the soap.  There is a richness in handmade cold process soap that does not exist in mass-manufactured soap brands that use chemicals for  lather or breaking up surface oil.  The castile soap that I carry is made 100% from saponified olive oil and slides across the skin beautifully. 

The glycerin soap is made with the highest quality base that I can find.  Unlike the cold process soap, I can more precisely control the color, as I do not have to correct for the natural yellowness and/or greenness of the oils used in cold process soap.  The colors are brighter and truer in the glycerin soap, allowing me to provide a wide range of colors.  My recent favorite in terms of color was my 4th of July soap.  The blue pigment that I used had a very fluid motion in the soap and I was able to get it to set in manner that made it look like the soap was still moving.  Glycerin soap is also easier to mold, as the liquid state is thinner than most cold process soap and is already finished saponifying.  Because of that, I can create soap structures within the soap.  I have been experimenting with that in recent weeks.  The confetti soap at the store is my first attempt to embedded small pieces of soap within the soap layers.

I have also been spending time making scrubs, lotions and balms.  I make lotions out of the same oils that I make the cold process soap.  I use a lot of avocado oil and sweet almond oil in my lotions for their moisturizing quality.  My favorite lotion is my lavender lotion, because it uses lavender essential oil for the fragrance.  Unlike lotions that are an emulsion of water and oils, the balms are oil, butters and wax (to solidify the product).  I use cocoa, shea and mango butters in many of the balms for intense moisturizing.  I recently started making a mango balm.  It is great for moisturizing those really dry spots, like elbows and feet.  I am also a big fan of lip and body scrubs.  I have a new product that is an emulsified salt scrub.  It is like 2-in-1 conditioner for your body!  It has soap to clean your body and salt to scrub away the dry skin suspended in a lotion.  When you wash it off, the lotion stays behind. 

The other aspect of making my own skin products is that I can control for ingredients for skin or fragrance allergies.  I am willing to work people who have allergies to develop products that will work with their unique skin.  Just drop me an e-mail, amateurchemlab@gmail.com, to discuss it.

1.  Make your own kits: Buy 3 or more products at one time and get 10% off all products.

2.  Amateur chemistry mistake sale:  Occasionally the amateur chemist makes mistakes, such as using the wrong fragrance or wrong ingredient.  Occasionally, some of the soap is cut at weird angles.  The products are fine and skin safe, but are considered "one offs."  Generally, the amateur chemistry family uses these products at home, but they are starting to stack up!  These products will be sold at cost.

No comments:

Post a Comment