Monday, March 04, 2013

Ingredient Insider: Basics 101

I've spent quite a bit of time over the years, researching and experimenting with different ingredients for my soaps and other products.  My intention is to really try and use the best stuff out there, both in terms of skin and health benefits, sustainability and green merits, and cost effectiveness.  Because you can use the very bestest most expensive drops of liquid gold in the world to make a batch of soap, but if you have to charge $25 per bar, then almost nobody would buy it.  And they would probably go bad before they could be used properly, which is just a waste of good stuff all around.

So yes, cost has to be a factor too.  But I'm definitely not into cheap.  I buy pretty top-of-the-line ingredients, from base oils, to essential oils, even to fragrance oils.  I'm always on the lookout for better stuff at better prices.  And this past year, I was able to negotiate a little better deal on my base oils from a local food supplier.  Instead of pocketing all the cash, I'm getting a few more organic oils and sustainable oils, keeping the cost per bar the same, only with even better quality ingredients.  Hooray for you (and me).  

A bazillion years ago, when I started the blog, I wanted to do a lot more behind-the-scenes posts to explain my process and how it all works over here in the little studio at the bottom of the stairs.  But as the years rolled by, I felt like I had said it all, and that the web site had grown to cover most of what else there ever was to say.  I had added a "Healthy Ingredients" section that gave a bunch of specific information about all the ingredients I use in my products, their benefits and uses.  I guess I just gave up on 'splainin' it all over here on the blog.

This year I've got a bug to change up some of my soap line.  No panic!  I'm not going all organic and crunchy granola in one swoop.  But I want to up the ante a bit and get more green, more natural, more organic.  A sort of wellness revolution so to speak.  People always ask me "which soap is good for (blank)?" and most of my soaps are just the same - good for the general, average, everything.  A few of them were oomphed up a bit with goat milk, or fresh honey, or whatnot, but I didn't have a something for each skin condition kind of soap line.

Well, flash to a LOT (ahem) of years later.  My own skin is older, drier and I'm looking down the tunnel at that dreaded aging thing.  Gone are the fresh-faced, I can put anything on my skin days.  I need to slather on grease, moisturize ceaselessly, and freak about the SPF in order to keep them guessing my age.

So I want to make better soap for me.  And for you too of course.  Loaded with anti-oxidents, nutrients, vitamins, creamy goodness.  I'm just working out the whole "how" of that right now.  There will be a few for summer.  And the few experiments I've done have some really cool stuff in them: pumpkin, carrot, coconut cream, cucumber puree, fresh yogurt, tomato, Russian cambrian blue clay - just a whole farmer's market of juicy goodness.

I'm not ready to spill the beans on all of it yet.  I'm just playing around, imagining and dreaming, tweaking recipes.  But I'm going to post regular features here about some of the ingredients I use, why I use them, and just how darn good they are for you - look for the "Ingredient Insider" tag to find them.  

Eat your vegetables!  Or mash them up and wear them :)