Handmade soap and natural bath products made from pure plant oils and extracts. We turn wonderful natural ingredients and stunning scents into tempting bath delights. Bath bombs, fizzies and bath melts, bath salts and milks and all kinds of delicious bath treats.
Karité, or Shea Butter is one of most important ingredients and we have to make sure we never run out as we include it in a lot of our products. It's one of the reasons our products are so creamy, and so luxurious - we don't hold back on the Shea Butter!
Well I was talking to somebody the other day, and they asked me what it was, so I thought I'd write a little bio here.
Shea butter comes from a smooth nut harvested from wild, uncultivated Karité or Shea treesButyrospermum parkii, growing in savannah areas of West and Central Africa, where the trees are protected and provide mainly women with an income, as well as being used as food and personal treatment.
The nuts are collected from the wild, and the external fruit is removed. The nuts are then boiled and left in the sun to dry. The shells are crushed and the nuts taken out. After washing and drying again, the nuts are then roasted. All that work is all done by hand! The nuts are then milled to a paste, which is then washed with water, boiled and skimmed to remove residues and then filtered to produce an absolutely fantastic natural product.
Raw Shea butter is naturally rich in Vitamins A, E and F and actually offers a natural UV protection (SPF 6). It provides essential fatty acids to the skin and hair necessary for the production of collagen, containing oleic, stearic, palmate and linolenic acids. It is an absolutely fantastic body moisturiser, has a slight waxiness to it, which is absorbed fairly easily into the skin, but provides a protective barrier. It is a well-known essential for Black hair, helping to give shiny, lustrous curls, but is an all round head-to-toe wonder butter for face, hands, body and feet, and is great and gentle for baby. You can even use it for dry, cracked doggy paws!
We use Shea butter in all our soaps, to give them extra creaminess, smoothness and add softness to the skin. You will also find them in our luxurybath cakesandtreats, teamed up with cocoa butter to turn your bath into a super-moisturising pamper pool.
And so you are never far away from your Shea butter to keep you skin supple and gleaming, we've got a luscious range of Luxury Whipped Shea Butter, laboriously triple whipped with added Jojoba Oil and some gorgeous scents. From stock we have aLavenderall-rounder, great for Mum and Baby, a relaxing massage, or for using after late night bath or shower, ready for bed. We've gotPink Grapefruit and May Chang,fruity and tangy, for a lovely refreshing daytime scent, andSweet Vanilla -watch out, this one makes you smell truly edible.
For bulk orders (minimum 100 jars) we have a sensational list of really high quality fragrances - from fruits and florals, to musky orientals. Just enquire for further details.
As a follow-up to my previous post on nettles and shampoo, here's some info that should be interesting to those who want to treat their hair gently and naturally.
Our solid shampoos are based on a soap formula using selected plant oils, coconut oil, olive oil a LOT of cocoa butter and thick castor oil for creaminess. We make strong infusions of herbs and include both the infusion and the infused herbs in the shampoos, along with blends of essential oils. They are designed to wash hair gently, cleaning the hair and allowing it to achieve its natural balance. Unfortunately, and we are fessing up, there can be a downside to them, depending on where you live.
Tap water contains minerals; commonly calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and phosphorus. Hair products can react with these minerals in the water, leaving a residue on your hair: our solid shampoos are no different, and because of all our lovely natural oils, the residue can make your hair feel heavy. If you find this a particular problem, and actually even if youdon'tfind it a particular problem, rinsing your hair withApple Cider Vinegar,can be a true revelation!
One of Nature's treasures, Apple Cider Vinegar seems to have many benefits, internally and externally. For all the science, here's an interestingread.
The simple thing is, it makes a great (and cheap) hair rinse, removing product build-up and residue, and restores the natural pH balance of the hair. People even report it adding body to their hair, which sounds like a tall order, but if the hair is healthy, it will have more bounce, so that could be what they are experiencing. Importantly however, it closes the hair cuticle, smoothing the surface of the hair shaft, which will help hair to detangle, reduce frizz and give it a shine. Make your own hair rinse easily. We use a naturally fermented cider vinegar straight from the farm, fromSomerset Cider Vinegar.It has a lovely flavour, so we use it in our cooking too, and take it medicinally.
To make a hair rinse:
Add 30-50ml Apple Cider vinegar to 500ml of water. After shampooing, pour the mixture slowly over the hair, allowing it to wet the scalp and all of the hair. Massage for 2-3 minutes, and then rinse! Don't worry about the vinegary smell, it will disappear once the hair dries. Try it once a week and see if it works for you. You can alter the amount of vinegar you use, depending on your own hair.
We make three types of shampoo designed to appeal to people with different hair types and conditions.
Nettle, Parsley and Rosemary Shampoo: formulated for dark hair and including three powerful herbs used for promoting hair growth, invigorating the scalp and promoting healthy, shiny hair.
Chamomile, Rose Hip and Lemon Shampoo: intended for those with fair hair, chamomile flowers are used to add a golden tint to fair hair, rose hips for their high level of Vitamin C and Lemon to brighten the hair and treat dandruff on the scalp.
Green Tea, Eucalyptus and Peppermint Shampoo: green tea is a powerful anti-oxidant and has the ability to stimulate hair growth, eucalyptus oil with scalp massage can stimulate blood flow to the hair roots, and Peppermint to rejuvenate the hair follicles.
You can try steeping any of the above herbs in hot water, before cooling and straining, to which you add your vinegar. You can also add a few drops of essential oils, if you have them.
I love nettles. Yes, it's true. We are brought up to avoid them, hate them, because of their sting, and of course a nettle sting can irritate for hours. The tiny stinging barbs on the underside of their leaves are there to protect the plant from being eaten. But assuming you can avoid their itchiness, they have a lot to offer. A patch of stinging nettles, orUtica dioica,can be a beautiful thing with their tall spikes, serrated leaves and tassled flowers. And they have a lovely scent, green and cleansing, and they can be made into an absolute. Once the leaves are dried, the acid in the sting is neutralised and the sting is rendered harmless.
Medicinally, stinging nettles have been used to combat aches and pains and ancient herbalists used the leaves to treat gout and arthritis and they have a natural anti-histamine effect. They are are now sometimes used in the treatment of arthritic conditions and asthma.
Nettles like rich soil and can often be found on old compost and waste heaps, sometimes long after humans have abandoned the site. They are a butterfly heaven; Red Admirals and Painted Ladies, Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells and Commas are particularly fond of nettles, so if you can, leave a nice patch for these butterflies and they will reward you by pollinating your garden flowers and crops. They provide a home for Ladybirds too.
So why are we, as handmade soap makers, so interested in nettles? Well, stinging nettles are rich in Vitamins A, B, C, D and K, so make yourself some nettle tea as a vitamin boosting tonic. They also are anti-inflammatory, and astringent, so can be used to make a topical treatment for inflamed skin, burns, rashes and eczema. Traditionally however, it is of benefit to the scalp and hair, for hair loss, dandruff and shinier, healthier hair.
So we make handmade nettle shampoo! We use handfuls of dried nettle leaves, soak them, pulp them and use the infusion and herb directly in our solid shampoos. We add parsley and wonderful essential oil of Spanish Rosemary to help stimulate hair growth and treat a dry scalp.
Our handmade shampoo bars are great when you are on the move, to take to the gym, or on holiday. No bottles!
To use our solid shampoo bars, thoroughly wet your hair and gently massage the shampoo directly onto your scalp. When you've got a good lather going, massage the scalp and allow the suds to wash the rest of your hair to the ends.Rinse, and rinse.
You won't need a regular conditioner. We believe they are an invention to counteract the harshness of synthetic detergents in commercial shampoos! It has to be said though, that in some areas, our soap can react with minerals in your local water and you may find a residue. For this reason, we strongly recommend you use a traditional hair rinse after washing. You can make your own easily by adding about a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to a litre of water. Don't worry about the vinegary smell, it will disappear, but the vinegar will close the hair cuticle, act as a natural detangler, reduce frizz and add SHINE!
Presenting our handmade soaps is all part of the fun. We send our soaps to you as a blank canvas, along with all the information you need to fulfil labelling requirements. You can then add your particular style and individualise our soaps in all sorts of ways. Think of a theme: rustic, vintage, minimalist, boudoir, patisserie, urban, and then try to find materials that will easily adapt to your theme.
Our soaps need to be able to breathe, so I picked up some muslin bags quite cheap on Ebay and employed the office stamp to give them a bit of design. Don't stop there though. You can get a custom made stamp to apply your company logo, a simple or even a more complex design. The ink seems to work well on the porous fabric. The string pulls on the bags weren't too beautiful, so I just added a bit of hemp twine for a clean rustic look. Cheap too!
I found some nice examples on Pinterest, where people have gone a few steps further.
Since we first launched our website in 2002, we've had several different looks as we all need a bit of a makeover from time to time. Website publishing is getting easier and it's possible to include all sorts of design features now, without having a lot of techie knowlege.
We've added a members log in to this site, so we can interact a bit more with our customers and provide them with extra help and info so that they can show off our products to their very best. So if you want to find our more about our ingredients, we are slowly listing them on theOur Ingredients Page. We'll be adding descriptions and benefits for all of the ingredients, so that you can understand just how special these natural wonders really are!
We've also got a few pages that only registered customers and fans have access to. On ourMembers' Page, you'll find extra info for our products including ingredients lists and our product schedule, which lists which products we are making available to order at any particular time. We've also got an excitingIdeas Page, where you will find a host of photos of ingenious packaging and presentation ideas that we have found on the internet to inspire you to come up with your own presentation. You'll also find some links to different companies where you'll find retail packaging.
Plus of course, this Blog where almost anything can happen. Special announcements, ingredient focus, interesting news from the world of natural cosmetics, ideas, and hopefully, some feedback from you!
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