Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Soaps and Scrubs

Two years ago I was part of a little circle of ladies from church 
who met monthly to do homemaking projects. We started out 
doing more conventional stuff - trading recipes and organizing tips 
and even a theoretical session on sewing and darning. 
One member, Kris, turned out to be particularly talented and 
accomplished in other ways too - organic farmer, soap maker 
and general crafty person who was always experimenting 
and turning her hobby into a side business. 
During the first winter of our group's existence, we made soaps
 - all her own recipes, fine-tuned over many, many batches 
that she made as gifts and on consignment. She was nice enough 
to not only lug all her ingredients (huge tubs of oils and lye) 
to one of our homes to make the soap but also let us wrap 
the end-products ourselves to give away to friends for Christmas
 as if we had singlehandedly made them. 
Her original packaging is much nicer, of course.

I gave away only some. I still have a few bars in storage that I am 
hoarding and savoring because they are soooooo good and smell divine.

The second winter we made salt scrubs. 
Again, Kris lugged all the ingredients to that same friend's kitchen 
where we'd made the soaps and we had a sort of spa evening. 

The little purple dots are jojoba spheres which, apart from 
obvious aesthetic value, also add a moisturizing quality to the scrub. 
There are many recipes on the internet and most are so simple 
that it's baffling why a person would spend so much money at 
a spa getting a scrub. The recipe for this scrub was from Anitra Brown 
and I thought I'd include it here:
  • Half cup oil (we used olive oil, jojoba, grapeseed, even canola!)
  • 1 cup salt (we used sea salt, regular table salt and whichever type of salt we could find in our friend's kitchen when our original supply ran out - the coarser the grain, the coarser and more exfoliating the scrub, of course).
  • 5 drops essential oil
      Mix the oil and the salt in a bowl. 
      Add the essential oil and combine well.

It can be used immediately but we wanted a takeaway 
so we spooned the scrub into these little plastic wide-mouthed 
cosmetic jars that Kris brought. And we wanted it to look fancy, 
so we added some jojoba spheres. 

There isn't a special store to buy the jars, but Kris got hers online 
here, where she also buys all her soap-making and other supplies. 

Note: When I visited Singapore earlier this year, I had thought of 
bringing little jars and the essential oils and raiding mum's kitchen 
for the other ingredients, and making some for you guys 
(the ones who got the soaps last year). But the thought 
of the luggage reeking of bergamot and lavender because of leaks 
made me change my mind. Now you can make your own 
- and if you do, write and tell me how it went!

1 comment:

  1. This all sounds fantastic. I must admit, however, that I would never bother; I don't even have a bathtub in my apartment, in my defence. In 'Fight Club', soap making was a first step toward anarchy and revolution - I wonder if there's any truth to the internet lore that one can make exploding devices (ie, the 'b'-word) using soap ingredients.


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