Amazingly enough, nearly anything can be put into your soaps. Any sort of flowers, teas or herbs of your liking. Below I have included some common add-ins for soaps that you may enjoy. Before experimenting with your ingredients, be sure to do some research on their effects on skin. Not all organic ingredients are great for skin, and some only in small amounts. When using teas, you can add them in replacing the brewed tea for water with your lye or can you can them at trace for the herbal affect.
Although chamomile has most benefits as a tea it can also be used on the skin. It has been said that chamomile can help speed healing of skin ulcers, wounds, or burns. It can also be used be used as a wash or compress for skin problems and inflammations, including inflammations of mucous tissue. It has a soothing effect on skin rashes (including eczema), minor burns and sunburn. Used as a lotion or added in oil form to a cool bath, chamomile may ease the itching of eczema and other rashes and reduces skin inflammation. It may also speed healing and prevent bacterial infection.
Cocoa powder is rich in Vitamin E and a powerful antioxidant. It protects and frees the skin from free radicals that cause significant damage to skin layers. Also used in our soaps for the aroma and colorant benefits.
The caffeine in coffee has been proven to increase blood flow, which can increase circulation. Caffeine can also act as a vasorestrictor – meaning that it can tighten and shrink blood vessels. Coffee acts as a diuretic for your skin cells, dehydrating fat cells causing them to shrink in size.
Comfrey Root Powder
(INCI: Symphytum officinale) is known for its wound healing properties. Used externally, it has been said that Comfrey Root aids in the relief eczema and dry skin, and a poultice to heal boils and abscesses.
Goats’ milk contains tons of beneficial nutrients that can rejuvenate the skin. The pH level of Goats Milk is similar to that of our own skin. In addition to the high amounts of protein, fat, iron, vitamin C and vitamin D, vitamin B and Vitamin A, it contains natural alpha hydroxy acid. Alpha hydroxy acid is a natural exfoliant element that removes dead skin cells from your skin. It has great moisturizing and calming effect for the skin, relieving the redness produced by acne.
Green tea contains a cocktail of potent antioxidants called catechins, which help fight damage caused by free radicals. Green tea has been shown in studies to rejuvenate old skin cells that were at the end of their life cycle. It also has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. If your skin is very sensitive and often red, products containing green tea extract may help soothe it. People with skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, and dandruff, which are caused by inflammation, may benefit the most from the anti-inflammatory action of the chemicals in green tea.
Honey possesses anti-microbial properties. It helps in promoting autolytic debridement. It deodorizes malodorous wounds. It speeds up the healing process by stimulating wound tissues. It helps in initiating the healing process in dormant wounds. Honey also helps in promoting moist wound healing.
Relieves itching and moisturizes skin. Used in a bath, oatmeal can take the itch out of rashes caused by allergies or illnesses such as chicken pox, or stings. I do not recommend using instant oatmeal in your soaps. You should always use the unprocessed, old fashioned oatmeal.
Pumice is a natural lava-based substance that is expelled from volcanoes. It is used in bath and body products as a way of cleaning and scrubbing skin from the body, such as from the bottom of the feet. The abrasiveness of pumice helps make it a useful cleaning and scrubbing product. Additionally, as pumice is a naturally occurring substance, using pumice instead of more chemically based cleaners can have environmental benefits as well.
The aroma when inhaled has been said to bring mental energy and help clear the respiratory tract. Used in massage, it can help ease dry skin and help ease the pain of scabies by using directly on wound. Inhibits infections and helps rid body odors associated with bacterial and fungal infections.
Spearmint is also known as the original mint. It can be found growing wild throughout the world in almost every country that has been civilized. There is no other aromatic better to use to overcome the smell of tobacco. You can rub the fresh leaves or essential oil directly on the skin for bee stings. Inhalation - Calms nausea and stimulates the mind. Good for sinusitis. Skin Care recommendations - Acne, dermatitis, congested skin and any rashes or irritations. It has been said that using the essential oil directly on the forehead or temples to help relieve headaches.
Water will be required for any soap recipe. I recommend using distilled water in your soap recipes. Distilled water has been processed to remove any bacteria or contaminants. Handmade soap generally does not contain any preservatives (except natural) and using distilled water will help to preserve the integrity of your soap.
SAP Value 0.1900; (INCI- Saponified Coconut Oil Sodium Cocoate) it prevents destructive free-radical formation. Coconut oil is often used in handmade soap to help increase lathering effect of handmade soap. Coconut oil will not only bring temporary relief to the skin, but it will aid in healing and repairing. Coconut oil can aid in removing the outer layer of dead skin cells, making the skin smoother but can be drying to skin in larger amounts. The essential oil is unscented.
Grape Seed Oil
SAP Value 0.1265; (INCI-Vitis Vinifera Seed Oil) a vegetable oil pressed from the seeds of various varieties of Vitis vinifera grapes, an abundant by-product of winemaking. Grape seed extract is often rubbed directly on the skin as well, and doing so may help people maintain the elasticity of the skin. Is known to be a rich source of flavonoids, those phytochemicals whose antioxidant properties may exceed those of the more well known vitamin A and vitamin E for damaged and stressed tissues, It can help skin retain the normal structure of epithelium cells and nerve cells via supporting the cell membranes. It is noted to be especially effective for repair of the skin around the eyes. Used as an all-over skin moisturizer, grape seed oil is known to reduce the look of stretch marks. Grapeseed oil is light, thin oil, that leaves a glossy film over the skin when used as a carrier oil. It contains more linoleic acid than many other carrier oils. Grapeseed oil is also usable as a lubricant for face shaving.
Hemp Seed Oil/Butter
SAP Value 0.1345 ;( INCI- Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil) Stimulates growth of hair and nails, improves the health of the skin, and can reduce inflammation. The hemp seed oil that is used for cosmetics and skin care products contains a high amount of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (linoleic and linolenic acids), which makes it an important ingredient in anti-inflammatory skin care formulations. It is beneficial, as it helps to heal skin lesions, balance dry skin and fight skin inflammations. It is a non-greasy, emollient and moisturizing compound with excellent anti-aging and moisture balancing properties. When consumed the oil is of high nutritional value because its 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids matches the balance required by the human body. Hemp can be used as a carrier oil or at light trace to super fat.
SAP value 0.1340; (INCI-Olea Europaea Oil & Saponified Olive Oil-Sodium Olivate) Great for moisturizing the skin and is unlikely to cause allergic reactions. Olive oil is great for relieving the symptoms of skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis. Olive oil gives the body “beneficial” fatty acids to use, which helps the skin become suppler. Olive oil contains squalene. The sebum glands in the skin naturally produce squalene. The squalenes work together to help prevent the skin's natural oils from oxidizing which could lead to cell deterioration. There are several grades of Olive Oil available and nearly all of these will work. Pomace Olive oil or Grade A Olive Oil are generally recommended for soapmaking due to cost.
Palm Kernel Oil
SAP Value 0.1560; (INCI-Elaeis Guineensis) Palm Kernel Oil is made from the kernel of the palm fruit. It is most commonly found in handmade soap to increase its lather and hardness. It may also be used in a multitude of other cosmetic and body- care products for its moisturizing properties.
SAP Value 0.1410; (INCI: Elaeis Guineensis & Saponified Palm Oil- Sodium Palmate) Palm oil is rich in Vitamin E (tocopherols & tocotrienols). Vitamin E is a powerful anti-oxidant, capable of reducing the harmful types of oxygen molecules (free radicals) in the body. Also acts as a natural preservative in the soaps.
Sweet Almond Oil
SAP Value 0.1360; (INCI- Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil) Sweet Almond oil has been traditionally used by massage therapists to lubricate the skin during a massage session, being considered by many to be an effective emollient. It is mild, lightweight oil, rich in unsaturated fats and essential fatty acids which is easily absorbed into the skin. Almonds are a rich source of Vitamin E, containing 24 mg per 100 g. Almond oil is good for all skin types and helps to relieve dryness, itching and inflammation.
These are just some cold process soap ingredients, and a complete list of the ingredients Pure Purrfections uses in our soaps. We use Sodium Hydroxide (lye) in ALL our soaps. You cannot make soap without Lye. Our ingredients that are listed as "Saponified" means that this is the name of the oil AFTER if has reacted with Sodium Hydroxide.
Back to Basics
Cocoa Butter (organic)
(INCI-Theobroma cacao) is naturally rich in Vitamin E as well as a number of other vitamins and minerals. Vitamin E helps to soothe, hydrate, and balance the skin and also provides the skin collagen, which can assist in diminishing wrinkles and other signs of ageing. Cocoa Butter also contains cocoa mass polyphenol (CMP), a substance that inhibits the production of the immuno globulin IgE. IgE is known to aggravate symptoms of both dermatitis and asthma. For centuries pregnant women have used to Cocoa Butter formulations to prevent and treat stretch marks. Research indicates that massaging the skin with Cocoa Butter may help relieve stress, boost the immune system, and even prevent cancer.
Hemp Seed Oil/Butter
(INCI- Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil)Stimulates growth of hair and nails, improves the health of the skin, and can reduce inflammation. The hemp seed oil that is used for cosmetics and skin care products contains a high amount of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (linoleic and linolenic acids), which makes it an important ingredient in anti-inflammatory skin care formulations. It is beneficial, as it helps to heal skin lesions, balance dry skin and fight skin inflammations. It is a non-greasy, emollient and moisturizing compound with excellent anti-aging and moisture balancing properties. When consumed the oil is of high nutritional value because its 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids matches the balance required by the human body.
(INCI: Butyrospermum Parkii) Shea Butter contains several natural anti-inflammatory agents and a minor sunscreen agent. Clinical studies have shown that this product transforms the skin in as little as 4-6 weeks, into a softer, smoother, and better looking skin. Those who routinely use Shea Butter report a number of other special benefits for skin ailments, including relief from blemishes, itching, sunburns, small skin wounds, eczema, skin allergies, and wrinkles.
Colorants have been used for many years that are derived from natural plants and products. Vanilla can give you a brown color, whereas strawberry blite can produce red. Many different barks and plants can be used to produce color in products. Due to the extensive process it can take to extract these colors the old way, many soapmakers prefer to use micas and body safe colorants to their soaps. At Pure Purrfections, I limit my colorants to maintain as natural bar of soap we can. Soaps will generally take on the color of your additives, like cocoa powder or coffee and I prefer the natural look of these soaps.
There are a variety of clays available which can aid in coloring your soaps. Using clays to color your soaps will give you the added skin benefits clay can provide. Pink Kaolin is a very mild clay that is great for dry skin and will give your soap a pinkish color. Some clays can be drying, or exfoliating. Just be sure to research your clays before using so you can chose the right one for your purpose.
Micas can be used as natural colorants in a variety of products. Micas use light reflection, refraction, and transmission to exhibit their effects much like a prism. Most mica obtains its color from a coating of titanium dioxide and/or iron oxide. Used most often in eyes shadows and other natural cosmetics, Micas have been debated as to whether they are natural or not. Pure mica is a natural substance but once processed and color is added, they are not in pure form. At this time, mica is still regarded as a natural alternative due to limited processing.
Essential Oils in Handmade Soap
Essential oils are derived from various plants and nearly anything that can carry a scent. There are several ways to get the oils but we prefer steam distillation. Plants can also be crushed into a fatty substance, allowing the scent to attach to the fat. The less processing that has to be done to produce the oils, the more natural and pure the oil will be. Using less processing also reduces energy used reducing your carbon footprint.
Steam distillation is a simple process of applying steam to the plant. The oil attaches to the steam, and once the steam is cooled you have the oil.
We use several different oils in the making of Pure Purrfections Soaps. Although essential oils are natural, sensitivities can still arise. Certain oils are not recommended for use by pregnant women, or can cause sensitivity to sunlight.
Pure Purrfections has listed all of the essential oils used in our soaps on our site (coming soon). Anyone unfamiliar with oils should always read over the essential oils to see if a particular soap will work for you.
Cinnamon Essential Oil
Cinnamon Essential oil is peppery, earthy, spicy, bright and slightly woodsy. The essential oil has a somewhat different scent than”fragrance” oil. Cinnamon oil is not commonly used on skin; especially sensitive areas (and we don’t have any in our soaps) but we use this in our home in potpourris in blends with other oils. Cinnamon oil has been suggested for use as a digestive stimulant and to improve circulation. Cinnamon oil can be used as a preservative in oil blends.
Lavender Essential Oil
(INCI: Lavandula Angustifolia) Flash point: 156F Lavender essential oil has a calming scent which makes it an excellent tonic for the nerves and helps in treating migraines, headaches, anxiety, depression, nervous tension and emotional stress. The health benefits of lavender oil for the skin can be attributed to its antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. It is used to treat various skin disorders such as acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and other inflammations. It heals wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns rapidly as it aids in the formation of scar tissues.
Neem Seed Essential Oil
(INCI-Azadirachta Indica Seed Oil) Neem seed oil is a vegetable oil pressed from the fruits and seeds of Neem, an evergreen tree. The oil has moisturizing and regenerative properties, contains Vitamin E, and has essential fatty acids. It is used to treat bacterial, fungal, and viral infections, boost the immune system, and for many specific health problems. It is also used to deter mosquitoes, fleas, flies, ticks, mites, and lice. Among other conditions, Neem Oil has been historically used to treat the following: acne, eczema, psoriasis, scabies, ringworm, chicken pox, lice, dandruff, burns, wounds, athlete’s foot, boils, ulcers, warts, herpes, cold sores, parasites, bed sores, rashes, gangrene, hives. Extracts from neem have shown incredible success with not only battling fungus problems but also many forms of root rot on plants.
Patchouli Essential Oil
(INCI: Pogostemon cablin) a fixative is a substance that combines well with the other ingredients in a blend; slowing down the evaporation of the fragrance and making it last longer when applied as a personal essence. As the oil ages it mellows considerably, becoming sweeter and more balsamic. In aromatherapy patchouli is often used as a relaxant. The warmth and depth of its aroma make it comforting and relaxing. Patchouli's relaxing attributes, coupled with its rich and exotic nature, have led to its inclusion in sensual and amorous blends. An aromatherapy blend inspired by the traditional Chinese use can evoke a feeling of gentle clarity and inspire the harmonious flow of emotional energy. It uses oils with balancing and mildly energizing aromas.
Peppermint Essential Oil
(INCI: Mentha Piperita Oil) Flash point: 151°F. OK to ship via air or ocean. Peppermint, when applied topically, has a soothing and cooling effect on skin irritations caused by hives, poison ivy, or poison oak. Peppermint oil is used in Aromatherapy for stimulating the mind, which in turn enhances the focus. It is known for its anesthetic, antispasmodic and antiseptic therapeutic properties.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
(INCI: Melaleuca Alternifolia) Commonly used as a very effective first aid remedy and against countless skin ailments, infections, cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites and skin spots etc. Tea tree oil is effective against nail fungus, ringworm, athlete's foot, dandruff, acne, blackheads and many types of infestations including lice, mites, scabies and mosquitoes etc (For humans and animals alike). Tea tree oil is not just soothing and disinfecting, it is capable of penetrating into the lower skin layers with its anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, analgesic (pain-killing) and cicatrizant (wound-healing) qualities.
Vitamin E Essential Oil
(INCI: tocopherols & tocotrienols). Vitamin E can act as a preservative in organic products. Vitamin E helps to soothe, hydrate, and balance the skin and also provides the skin collagen, which assists with wrinkles and other signs of aging. Vitamin E is a powerful anti-oxidant, capable of reducing the harmful types of oxygen molecules (free radicals) in the body.