Saturday, April 23, 2016

Aloe Vera White Soap from A Misty Dimness Soap

Well, here it is... I'm finally reviewing one of my own soaps. So I guess it's not really a review so much as advertising...

Aloe Vera White Soap from A Misty Dimness Soap is my first original recipe. It's currently available in the store as a clearance item. I have reformulated the recipe just slightly and when it comes back into stock it will be called White Soap. (It's a slight FDA violation to call it Aloe Vera soap when there are other ingredients, so I'm trying to comply as much as possible.) It will also be in the standard bar form that all of my soaps come in. I've stopped using single cavity molds unless it's a test recipe or a special order.

The bar that I have in my shower looks different from the store because it was made from an over pour (I had more soap batter than mold space) so I grabbed the first single cavity mold I could get my hands on. I had enough to make three bars, so those went into my personal stash. So, now that I feel I have any confusion cleared up... here's what's what...

Ingredients: Aloe Vera Juice, Sodium Hydroxide, Coconut Oil, Lard, Shea Butter, Olive Oil, Castor Oil, and skin safe Titanium Dioxide.

First Glance: I still am a little bit in awe when I pull out one of my own soaps. It's like... dude, I made that. This is a nice evenly colored bar, nice size and smooth looking. No fragrances were added, so soap has a natural light scent. Bar is of medium weight.

First Use: Big creamy bubbles. Smooth skin feel. Rinses clean but not squeaky clean. Unscented.

Overall Thoughts: This is one of my favorites, even with the old formula. It's a nice unscented bar. Not one of my longer lasting bars, but it did go further than I expected. This is a great soap for anyone who likes a clean skin feel and clean scent.

The new formula will improve the usage life. I've done a lot of playing around and have finally settled on a standard that uses more lard, less coconut oil, and the addition of soybean oil to balance the other oils and butters. I have added aloe vera gel to the recipe to increase the goodness of the soap, and I have removed the titanium dioxide. The extra boost of white coloring just isn't needed.

If you're curious about my other soaps, head over to my online store!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Italian White Sage, Geranium & Yarrow Soap from Pangea Organics

 I first found Pangea Organics when I was searching for something to add to my oil cleansing method skin care routine. I wanted something that didn't have a lot of unnecessary ingredients and was affordable. Pangea Organics delivers big on the ingredient part, but I struggled with the price tag. I jumped into their multi-level marketing because it helped with my personal costs. Unfortunately the MLM was very badly handled and they have since discontinued this type of sales. Great products, just a poorly managed company. Their soap bars remain one of my favorites.

Ingredients (from package): Palm Oil, Palm kernel oil, sodium hydroxide, water, glycerin, geranium oil & citrus oil, sage oil, sodium chloride, citric acid, rosemary leaf extract, rosemary leaf powder.

First Glance: Packaging is very earth friendly, made from recycled materials. Soap carton contains seeds that can be planted to grow spruce trees. Bar size is a nice fit in the hand. Smooth surface with nicely rounded edges. Very shiny and creamy looking bar. Stamp in the center is a nice touch. Light and pleasing fragrance, not too floral or spicy.

First Use: Because I have been using this soap for four or five years, it's difficult to remember what my first impressions were. I intentionally didn't use the soap for about six months, hoping to refresh the experience. Soap lathers easily with medium sized bubbles. Very smooth lather. Bar is slightly slimy after use. Scent is very light even in water. Pleasant after skin feel with a squeaky clean rinse.

Overall Thoughts: This soap fits somewhere between a commercial soap and a handmade soap. It's a nice transition between the two types. I had three handmade soaps in my shower at the time, and found myself going to them more often. This is a nice soap, and I would buy this before I picked up any other commercial bar, but it can't compare to a nice handmade soap on any day.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Dead Sea Spa Bar from Great Cakes Soapworks

 Here's the last bar of my Great Cakes Soapworks stash. I had received a sample in my first order and I liked it enough to add a full-sized bar to my second order. I am going to review it based on my thoughts of the full-sized bar.

Ingredients: Saponified Olive Oil, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Tallow, Castor Oil, and Cocoa Butter, also Dead Sea Mud, essential oils of lemon, grapefruit, tea tree, and patchouli, kaolin clay, and titanium dioxide.

First Glance: This comes packaged in a nice box with a window for smelling, aside from the errors in the ingredient label it is a professional looking packaging. The bar is a large bar, probably the biggest I have gotten from Great Cakes, and heavy. Bar texture is a bit grainy. Colors are muted gray, olive, and white in a nice swirl pattern. Fragrance is a light ocean scent - not tropical but very "lake" or "water where fish are" smelling, in the pleasant sense, not the "there's a dead fish somewhere" sense. (some day, I promise, I'll work on my ability to describe fragrances.) Essential oils are very complementary to the bar.

First Use: This bar requires a bit more water than normal to lather. I assume that there is quite a bit of dead sea mud which would inhibit the lathering affects of the soap. It's not difficult to get a lather once enough water is used. Lather is low and creamy. Slight grit feeling when applied to skin - not blast your face off, but not completely smooth feeling. Leaves a light film on skin when rinsing.

Overall Thoughts: I added this into my morning face wash rotation. It's a nice indulgence that pops up every few days. I don't think it's one that I can use daily because of my skin type (cystic acne prone) and my sensitivity to tea tree oil. This is a very hard bar that I have used about 10 times and it shows no signs of wear. The fragrance takes a bit of getting used to, but I'll own up to not being a fan of "water" scents, so that may be why I notice it more.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Lemon Pepper Soap from Great Cakes Soapworks

 I received a sample of Lemon Pepper Soap in my last order from Great Cakes Soapworks. I like lemon pepper on chicken, but in soap? Color me intrigued!

Ingredients currently unavailable on website and none on packaging.

First Glance: A generous chunk of soap for a sample. Very pretty light yellow and gray variations. I would have like to have seen a whole bar, it looks like the design concept might have been very cool. Smooth, creamy looking bar. Smell was very faint.

First Use: A nice sudsing bar. Very smooth, good slip, not slimy or soft. Fragrance became stronger when wet, but still a lightly fragranced bar. Couldn't smell any pepper notes, but lemon notes were sweet - more like lemonade than sour fruit. (if that makes sense...)

Overall Thoughts: As far as soap goes, this was nice. Fragrance wasn't that great - maybe why this bar is no longer available in the store?? - I was able to pick up some pepper notes as I used more of the bar. A very well colored bar that gave white lather. I was glad I tried it, but I was expecting a stronger and more masculine scent from the lemon pepper.