Posts Tagged handmade soap

Himalayan Natural Rock Salt Lamps – Part 2

Today I wanted to expand more about my Himalayan rock salt lamp. Ever since I put one in my mother’s bedroom, I’ve noticed she has slept better, snored less, and even minimized her consistent coughing. And she has been coughing for a while now. I don’t believe it’s all placebo, as I have used the same lamp and woke up feeling very refreshed as well as having more vivid dreams. The brochure that came with the lamp also mention other benefits, such as help with insomnia, depression, and S.A.D. But the main reason behind the benefits of salt rock lamps is to help purify the air naturally.


Negative ions can be found here.  Beautiful waterfall picture from

When the rock salt lamp heats up, it produces negative ions. At first you would think it’s a bad thing because of the “negative” part of the description. But negative ions are actually good for you. According to WebMD website, negative ions are “odorless, tasteless, and invisible molecules that we inhale in abundance in certain environments.” The article can be read here. Pierce J. Howard, PhD, author of The Owners Manual for the Brain: Everyday Applications from Mind Brain Research and director of research at the Center for Applied Cognitive Sciences in Charlotte, N.C. says, “Generally speaking, negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy.”

There are immense amounts of negative ions in the mountains, the countryside, pine forests, around the beach and near waterfalls. These negative ions brings oxygen to your brain, lift your mood, and boost your immune system. Columbia University studies of people with winter and chronic depression show that negative ion generators relieve depression as much as antidepressants. They also help lessen depression and cure Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). So this is possibly the reason we feel so refreshed and happy after a day at the beach. Read the rest of this entry »


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Rice Bran Handmade Soap

The past couple of years has been really good to olive oil. But the future may belong to rice bran oil. I had read so much of the benefits of this oil (and the rice bran powder) from many Japanese skincare company catalogs. They actually inspired me to make my own version of the rice bran soap. I searched all over town trying to locate the oil, including Whole Foods. They had almost every oil, but not rice bran. I also tried our local Japanese market, but they were very expensive for such a small bottle. But they did have a good selection of rice bran powder. I almost gave up, but finally came across a bigger Japanese market with a more reasonable price. About $12 for 64 fluid oz. ricebran1a4

Soap Ingredients: Rice Bran oil, Palm oil, Coconut oil, Soybean oil, Castor oil, Distilled water, Sodium hydroxide, Rice Bran Powder. So I finally got to make my first rice bran oil bar. It has become my favorite bar. I scented it with lychee and mandarin, very light fruity scent. I use it as a facial bar and it’s very moisturizing. The best part is using it as a shaving bar. It really leaves my legs super super soft. I even forgot to use moisturizer (or felt I didn’t need to use it anymore). In Japan, Rice Bran Oil is used to enhance your skin and hair. It is also used all over the world in a variety of cosmetics, especially for treating dry, mature skin. Rice bran oil can be used to make massage oil, bath oil, body butters, and especially soaps. Possibly anywhere in cosmetics making. It is full of antioxidants, such as Vitamin E. Vitamin E is also used in soapmaking as a natural preservative. Oils by Nature supplies, a specialty natural oils company that supply to soapmakers and gourmet food industries had an interesting list of the benefits of Rice Bran Oil. Some of which I will list here:

  • Provides moderate penetration with little greasiness
  • Promotes of collagen formation
  • Treats dry, mature skin
  • Provides smooth spreadability

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Handmade Ginger & Cranberry Soap

Another addition to my handmade soap batch is ginger & cranberry soap. This batch also has ginger root powder and cranberry fruit extract, nature’s own antibacterial agent. After my ginger soap batch cured, it had a very nice soft ginger scent. The longer the soaps cure ( while it sits in a well ventilated room) the better it gets. The saponification happens when you add the sodium hydroxide to the oils and the mixture heats up and takes 18 to 24 hours to saponify. But it is recommended to let it completely saponify and becomes mild soap in 3 or 4 weeks.


Ingredients include: Safflower oil, Soybean oil, Olive oil, Palm oil, Avocado oil, Distilled water, Sodium Hydroxide, Ginger root powder, and cranberry extract. The color of bar is not as even out, with some streaks. No more streaks, after curing for 6 weeks. I thought the streaks might be from when I added the cranberry powder towards the end. But it is from not being completely cured. This bar is medium in texture, but gets softer after each use. Be sure to let it dry completely so you can get more uses out of it. The bubbles are nice. And it does later up well.

cranberryI have used this soap as a face bar and shaving soap. The bubbles are medium size and the scent is very light. For shaving, I find that I don’t get any more razor burns. I love that I never have to buy shaving cream again. Imagine all the chemicals found in commercial shaving creams. Basically, handmade soap is great and you can even use it as laundry soap.

These little cranberries (shown here) are really good for you. They are taken from John Cushnie’s article in the He wrote about these super berry tittled, “Cranberries and blueberries: the simple superfoods”. Who would have known that cranberries also help fight cavities.

You can purchase some of my other handmade soaps from my Etsy shop: Cambree’s Etsy Shop

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Handmade Tamarind & Aloe Vera Soap

Another new addition to my handmade soap collection is the tamarind & aloe vera bar. Besides it’s popularity in the (Asian) kitchen, tamarind fruit extract has also been shown to be very helpful in lightening those freckles on your face. So that is why I decided to make my first handmade facial soap with tamarind. I also added fresh aloe vera gel too. The aloe vera is soothing and moisturizing to the skin. And finally I finished it off with a little bit of food grade coconut milk powder too. Milk powder provides skin softening benefits.

The tamarind I used is in powder form, while the aloe vera is fresh aloe gel. I added all the powders and gel at trace, which is during the end of my mixing. This way it can still retain it’s useful skin benefits. And instead of water, I subsituted it with licorice tea.

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Handmade Coffee Soap

My handmade coffee soap finished curing today (after 3 weeks). Some soapers wait at least 4 to 6 weeks before they use it, but some say 2 to 3 weeks is OK. I figure somewhere in the middle, which is 3 weeks is best. So today I washed my hands with them and they are great, lots of nice bubbles and a very soft smell of fresh brewed coffee.

I plan on using it as a “kitchen sink” soap. Coffee is great with removing odor from your hands. Especially after handling garlic, fish, or other annoying stinks. Here is a picture of my soaps. I think the wavy lines make them look very pretty too.

Caffeine has been appearing a lot among many beauty products these days. Caffeine has been known to help smooth the skin and detoxify its surface from the daily exposure of pollution. An article from BBC mentioned that caffeine can also help fight skin cancer, you can read more about it here.

The recipe includes: Safflower oil, Palm oil, Soybean oil, Avocado oil, Olive oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Distilled Water, Instant coffee powder, fresh ground coffee, and peppermint oil.

If you would like to purchase some great handmade soaps and more, please visit If you like to puchase my handmade soap, please visit Cambree’s Etsy here. I sold 3 bars on Ebay and the rest will be given away as Christmas gifts.

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Handmade Charcoal Soap

This is the first charcoal soap I’ve made since I began my soap obsession. It contains palm oil, soybean oil, extra virgin olive oil, and castor oil – of course a dose of activated charcoal too. I decided not to put any frangrance or essential oils since I wanted a really pure facial bar. I figure it would be less harsh on the face. But thinking back, I could use a bit of peppermint or tea tree to hide the “nutty” smell of castor.

With this recipe, I decided to leave out coconut oil. And I think it’s looking very good. Coconut tends to make my other soap bars much harder. The palm oil does help it harden a bit better here too. The soybean & olive oils are both moisturizing for the skin. The castor oil also nourishes the skin, but the best part for me is that it helps with the removal of blackheads. The castor oil makes more of a soft bar. But it will harden up the longer it cures. And the super ingredient is the activated charcoal, helps to detox your skin and remove impurities.

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