Beeswax Hand Butter Recipe

Beeswax Hand Butter Recipe

This sweet and zesty smelling beeswax hand butter is perfect for those cold winter months when you need a little extra moisturising . Richly nourishing and made with 100% natural ingredients it can easily be made at home with a few select ingredients including beeswax which seals all the moisture into your skin, cocoa butter, shea butter and avocado oil and a few other ingredients.

Here is the full recipe so that you can try it at home for yourself!

You will need:

114 grams Beeswax

85 grams Cocoa Butter

7 grams Shea Butter

7 mls Lanolin

7 mls Avocado Oil

7 mls Tea Tree Oil

7 mls Jojoba Oil

7 mls Orange Essential Oil

An empty container to store your Hand Butter

Directions:

First, melt the Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter and Beeswax in a double boiler or Baine Marie then gradually add the other ingredients leaving the Essential Oil to last. Make sure that you stir all of the ingredients together thoroughly and only add the Essential Oil once the mixture has cooled down. Beeswax thickens fast so make sure you pour it quickly into your container before it thickens up as otherwise you will have to remelt it again and repour. Place in freezer until it had set up then take it out and wait for it to come to room temperature first before using.

This is a wonderful recipe that lasts a while due to it’s highly effective ingredients. I hope you enjoy it and of course do let me know what you think of it!

wishwant & The Secret Scent Societe’

wishwant & The Secret Scent Societe’

 

Wishwant collage

Yesterday we had some really great news here in The Secret Scent Societe’ lab – Our partnership with online gift buying store wishwant is now official, and there brand new website has just gone live! (yippeee!)

wishwant are offering an entirely new gift buying experience to the masses – not content with merely offering gifts, they have partnered with some of the most exciting UK brands (including us!) to offer a variety of products to people with a twist. And here’s the twist…rather then the gift buyer choosing the gifts (and potentially getting it wrong!),  it’s the gift receiver instead that chooses.

How does that work? I hear you ask

Well, wishwant allow the gift buyer to select up to 12 different gifts they think their recipient would like from a selection based on their budget, and then those gift choices are packaged up in a fancy booklet and sent to the recipient for them to choose from. Then they simply go online and redeem there gift and it gets sent to them. And voila! Everyones happy! 🙂

I really think that this concept is a great idea and I’ve had a look at some of the other companies partnering with them and there are some really lovely and unique products on there so I would definitely consider using the service myself. I think that this type of gift buying could become very popular in the future and I’m really excited to be a part of it. Currently my Body Souffle’ and Aromatherapy Candles are available to buy (or include as a gift suggestion). I can’t wait for people to start talking about and using this very unique service!

wishwant say:

We are excited to announce that our products are now available at wishwant.co.uk, a brand new gifting website with a twist.   

 Wishwant is a unique concept that allows you to curate a beautiful personalised gift book with a selection of twelve handpicked products for your loved one to choose from.

 Founded by good friends Ksenia and Tetiana, this London-based company is hoping to revolutionise gifting this Christmas by making unwanted presents a thing of the past. At the heart of Wishwant’s philosophy is the desire to stock truly beautiful and unique products by carefully selected British retailers.

 So, head over to wishwant.co.uk to add our products to your own personalised gift book and give a gift that the recipient is guaranteed to love.

So, if you’re stuck for ideas, run out of time, are on a budget, or just need some help in choosing a gift then please do take a minute to check them out!

Natural Winter Hair Remedy

Natural Winter Hair Remedy

shikakai powdercoconut milk

I’m being perfectly honest when I tell you that my hair has never felt cleaner since I stopped using store bought, chemical inclusive hair shampoos and started making my own natural hair care. And I could also argue that my hair has never looked better, but that could be a matter of opinion 😉

I am always on the lookout for natural ingredients that have beneficial properties to health and skincare and as such I have been looking specifically for some really good hair conditioner recipes. I was using Coconut Oil previously, but I feel it can be a little drying and could do with some jazzing up.

Recently I came across some Natural Hair Conditioner recipes, with interesting ingredients that I’d like to try out within the next couple of weeks. As I’m going on holiday tomorrow and won’t be back for another week I’ll need to do one of the conditioner recipes tonight after I have washed my hair with my tried and tested Basic Hair Shampoo Recipe: https://silklafox.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/basic-natural-hair-shampoo-recipe/ .

Coconut Milk & Shikakai Deep Conditioner

Ingredients

1 Cup (or Can) Organic Coconut Milk

2 Tbsp Shikakai Powder

2 Tbsp Olive Oil (or Avocado Oil)

2 Tbsp Jojoba Oil (or Sweet Almond Oil)

2 Tbsp Manuka Honey

A few drops of Essential Oils (optional)

Shikakai Powder (also known as Acacia Concinna), is a natural fruit powder originating from the Acacia tree found in parts of Asia. Shikakai means “fruit for hair”, and has been used as a natural hair ingredient in India for centuries. Shikakai is a result of the fruit pods, leaves and bark being ground into a fine powder, which is then made into a paste.  It has a ton of benefits, including:

  • Nourishing hair, promoting hair growth & strength
  • Gentle on the scalp and hair
  • Prevents and eliminates dandruff
  • Works well both as a shampoo and in a conditioner (the paste like texture gives it lathering capabilities)
  • Strengthens and moisturises the hair
  • Can also be used as a body wash and face cleanser
  • Doesn’t strip the hair of it’s natural oils
  • Helps protect the hair from fungal infections (and lice)

This product sounds like an absolute god send! I haven’t managed to get my mitts on it yet as Holland and Barretts don’t stock it and Whole Foods only have the capsules but when I do oh boy will I be making good use of it! V Excited. Coupled with the properties of Coconut Milk which soothes the scalp and provides softness and deep conditioning, I think this is going to be a very good conditioner indeed.

Recipe number 2..

Coconut Milk, Shea Butter & Honey Conditioner

Ingredients

1/4 Can Coconut Milk

1 Tsp Whipped Shea Butter

1 Tbsp Manuka Honey

1 Tbsp Olive Oil (or Avocado)

1 Tbsp Jojoba Oil (or Sweet Almond)

2 Tsp Vegetable Glycerin

A few drops of Essential Oils (optional)

I can’t tout the goodness of Manuka Honey enough – I use it in my face cleanser, moisturiser, hot oil conditioner and in my bentonite clay & honey face mask: https://silklafox.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/bentonite-clay-manuka-honey-face-mask-recipe/. It can be used in a variety of different recipes so it is a highly recommended investment – and it IS an investment. I had to pay £31 for 250 grams! Try it out for yourself and see what you think. See you in a week! 🙂

Rebatched/French Milled Soap

Rebatched/French Milled Soap

 

It’s very unfortunate to say but it is looking like I’m going to have to rebatch my Neroli and Lavender Meadowfoam soap. My Cocoa Butter and Rose soap was a success, infact if I had any complaints about it at all it was that it took quite awhile to trace, something like 15 minutes, BUT it looks and smells glorious! My Neroli and Lavender Soap however has issues: I think the lye wasn’t properly incorporated into the batch when I made it – I unmoulded the soap after 24 hours and found that there were oil/lye pockets throughout. I waited for awhile in the hope that perhaps it would dry out and rectify itself but after 3 days the wet patches are still there so I think it would be safest (particularly as they will be provided to strangers as complimentary favours) that I rebatch and start again.

Now I have never rebatched soap before so I’m not 100% certain I know what I’m doing but I have it on good authority by reading a number of soapmaking forums that once it’s rebatched it’s perfectly safe to use, and in this way you can save your failed soap or improve it by adding various nutrients, colourants, fragrances etc that would otherwise have caused your cold process soap to seize when made in the traditional cold process way. Often the reason why people rebatch is because they have forgotten to add an ingredient. My case is simply because I don’t think I stirred it for long (or thoroughly) enough. It was taking awhile to come to trace and I got impatient. Because my experience with other soap batches was so different (they all seized on me within seconds due to, I realise now, the fragrance oils I used). I expected the batch to seize in a moments notice and I was preparing for it to do so but then I was also worried that it was going the other way..it was taking too long to trace. And so the soapmaking story goes!

Well I have been warned that when you hot process or rebatch soap it doesn’t come out quite the way you hope it to (aesthetically that is), and that is a shame because I am not particularly a fan of the rough, rustic, knobbly look, alas it will have to do as as perfectly looking as my soap currently is (aside from the lye spots that is!) it’s not going to retain it’s smooth look after I have rebatched it. On the flip side, at least I’ve learned a valuable lesson about how long it takes to bring this particular recipe to trace, and I had previously written in my notes that I would have preferred a little more Neroil Oil in the batch and with this rebatching method I will now be able to remedy this. ALSO, and for me this is the most exciting thing of all (sad I know), I will now be able to call this soap technique French Milled Soap (though apparently you can’t actually use this term to describe your soap made here, it has to have been made in France!). I know that it basically means the same thing as rebatched soap but this version sounds more desirable to me! lol

There are 3 ways (and possibly more that I’d love to hear about in the comments below if you know of any!) of rebatching soap namely: Microwaving, Oven Method and the Double Boiler Method. I will be using the Microwave Method because it’s much quicker and I don’t intend to spend much more time on it!

Soapmakin’ Troubleshootin’!

Soapmakin’ Troubleshootin’!

 

So last night I made another batch of cold process soap!

As you know, my last batch didn’t come out well at all (seize alert seize alert!) and I was fearful that this batch would be a repeat of my past failure. I done a lot of research beforehand trying to eliminate all possible causes of a botched batch. I opted to use pure essential oils instead of fragrance oils, soaped at no higher then 80 degrees faranheit, added the essential oils to the oils before trace, made a smaller batch, used less hard butters and more soft oils and stirred my soap with a spatula instead of a hand blender. What a change eh?!

You might be asking…

Why Essential Oils instead of Fragrance Oils? – Because Fragrance Oils speed trace. Due to there synthetic nature, and particularly due to the inclusion of alcohol in Fragrance Oils which reacts with the oils in soap, you will nearly always have an accelerated trace when using Fragrance Oils. Depending on where you buy your Fragrance Oils, some of them have been tested for there behaviour in cold process soap, and this can be helpful BUT as with most soapmaking it is a scientific thing, variable depending on a number of factors namely your recipe, or what temperature you soap at.

Essential Oils are much more stable in that they allow you more time to work with your soap before it reaches trace, giving you time to add colourants, herbs and clays etc. Needless to say though, this differs depending on which Essential Oils you use, typically Floral Essential Oils and some Spicy Essential Oils can accelerate trace quite dramatically therefore it is always suggested to test your fragrance in a small batch first. I used Neroli (citrus oil) and Lavender (herbaceous floral oil) in mine.

Why soap at such a low temperature?
– Because heat accelerates trace. Some people say that soaping at low temperatures stops the saponification process from happening but the saponification happens when you combines the lye with the oils, combining them at a lower temperature does not stop this from happening.I soaped at 80 degrees but some soapers combine the oils and lye at a much lower temperature then this, indeed some leave both the lye and the oils in the fridge overnight and soap the following day!

Why make a smaller batch? – Incase of a botched batch! I could have wept the last time I made a full 1 kg batch of soap only to find that it had seized irreparably. It was painful indeed. Not just because of the time and effort it took to make the soap but because of the ingredients which were not cheap! Therefore I thought that as I did not want this to happen again I would make less first to test, and then if it was a success I would increase the quantity.

Why use less hard oils?
– Because hard oils accelerate trace! A ratio of 45% hard oils to 55% soft oils are recommended to achieve a good consistency, but up to 55% hard oils should be fine also. Anything more and you run the risk of a fast trace. Hard oils are those that are solid at room temperature such as Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Palm Oil, Coconut Oil etc. I replaced the Mango Butter that I had in my original recipe, with Sweet Almond Oil, which is a soft oil.

Why add the Essential Oils before trace? – Because this too speeds up trace! It is advised to add the Essential Oils to the Oil blend before adding the lye to it which allows the Essential Oils to be fully combined, this leads to less of a shock when the lye is added. The chemical reaction is much less severe when done in this way.

Why use a spatula instead of a hand blender? – I’m sure you’ve guessed it – because it speeds up trace! I also have the windows wide open when I’m soaping to keep the room cool, and to speed up the cooling down process of the oils and lye.

So, using all of these processes I began making my soap. I’ve agreed to make some complimentary favours (including travel candles), for a festival that my cousin is organising at the beginning of October and thought that soap would be a perfect favour to give.

When I was making my soap I did indeed notice a difference in the consistency when soaping – it was much much lighter, indeed it allowed me to be spontaneously creative and add herbs which would have been impossible for me to do before. I could also have added a colourant but as I wanted my soap to be white I just added some calendula petals and left it colourless. Or at least I thought that it would be colourless anyway!

This morning I went to check on my soap (which was a suspicious bright orange colour when I last left it) to find that it was still (surprise surprise) ORANGE!
And yes I was a little surprised as I expected it to turn white overnight. I looked over the ingredients:

Meadowfoam Oil – a very light yellow colour – no
Shea Butter – creamy white – no
Lavender Essential Oil – no
Sweet Almond Oil – a very light golden brown colour – no
Coconut Oil – white – no
Palm Oil – BRIGHT orange
Neroli Essential Oil – greeny, yellowy

I was stumped. The Palm Oil that I used previously was a creamy white, slightly yellowish colour and I will admit when I compared it to the Palm Oil that I received yesterday I was a little concerned as it was BRIGHT ORANGE. However I just put it down to the fact that it was from a different batch and therefore might have different visual characteristics. But when I done research on whether Neroli Oil discoloured soap I couldn’t find anything and so I wondered….
I looked back on my previous order for Palm Oil to find that there are infact 2 different types of Palm Oil (Unrefined and Refined), and on the previous occasion I had ordered the Refined Palm Oil which had obviously been bleached to make it white. Red Palm Oil however is much more sustainable then the former and is naturally a reddish orange colour. I called the supplier to make sure and they confirmed that yes, the Red Palm Oil does discolour soaps and there isn’t really anything you can add to remedy this. After my initial shock I soon came to accept that it was a small error but infact it is better knowing that my soap has been naturally coloured, is more sustainable and most importantly WAS NOT A BOTCHED BATCH. Hallalujah, I did not make a botched batch!! 🙂

If I am so inclined (as you know I am not one for taking pictures!) I will out up a picture of my new and improved soap which according to my lye calculator indicates that it is going to be a very hard and creamy, wonderfully conditioning, thoroughly cleaning, relatively bubbly bar of soap!

I’m going all natur-elle

I’m going all natur-elle

 

Contrary to popular belief, there are a range of natural products that can do the job of maintaining your beauty regime just aswell if not BETTER then your current commercial staples. There is almost no product that can’t be replaced with a natural one, which is just aswell as I’ve decided to go all natural. With my recent transition of going natural with my hair (meaning no texturisers, relaxers or chemicals of any kind), I’ve started to see the benefits of being completely natural.
Also, though it can be a little time consuming, it’s less maintenance overall.
I’m no longer having to go to the hairdressers to get them to treat my hair as I can do it at home, using my own homemade products. For styling I simply use a homemade blend of water, glycerine and essential oils to soften and lightly scent my hair and then I grease my scalp and hair with Coconut oil. Coconut Oil is great for the hair and skin, it aids with hair loss, strengthening the hair and imparting a natural sheen. It helps with loss of protein and provides a cooling sensation on the scalp for people with sensitive scalps. It’s also a very good conditioner and lessens the build up of dandruff. Melted and applied to the hair and used as a hot oil treatment is another great way to keep the hair soft and moisturised and the scalp healthy.

The following products can be made at home, using products from your kitchen cupboard! Do you know any great natural recipes for any of them? – if so post your recipes below for a chance for it to be featured in the next I’m going natur-elle blog post!

Hair Shampoo

Hair Conditioner

Hair Moisturiser

Face Mask (See our wonderful Manuka Honey and Bentonite clay recipe here: https://silklafox.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/bentonite-clay-manuka-honey-face-mask-recipe/

Face Cream

Body Butter (We make a wonderful Body Souffle’ that you can buy from notonthehighstreet): http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/thesecretscentsociete/product/rose-geranium-or-lemongrass-body-souffle

Exfoliator/Body Scrub: You can buy our Himalayan Pink Salt Body Scrub Souffle here: http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/thesecretscentsociete/product/rose-geranium-and-jasmine-salt-scrub-souffle

Deodorant

Soap (The Secret Scent Societe’ is working on perfecting our Meadowfoam Soap recipe so that we can make it available to buy in time for Christmas!)