DIY Clay Masks

The beauty of a DIY (Do It Yourself)is that it gives you the freedom to use the most powerful, yet simplest pure ingredients on earth or to mix and match them your other favorite ingredients you may have at home to make and build a skincare routine that best fits your needs.

  • Simply chosen clay with Water until it is smooth in texture and apply it to your skin. Leave it on for 10 minutes to get the maximum benefits.
  • Use it as the first step to build your DIY recipe, mix it with one of your oils or plant-based hydrosols for additional anti-aging and calming benefits to the skin.  Try adding some green tea powder, honey, yogourt, whipped egg whites or mayonnaise.
  • Add your favorite exfoliator or add some fine salt or sugar with your oil for the perfect anti-oxidant, environmentally friendly scrub.
  • It is not recommended to prepackage your masks as the addition of water-based ingredients will require a preservative.
French Green Clay is highly efficient at drawing oils and toxins from the skin, therefore use this clay for oily skin and hair types. Limit to 1 application per week. Do not use for sensitive or dry skin types.
Rhassoul Clay’s most impressive properties in skin improvement are its capacity of absorption due to its high level of absorption & silky texture. Studies have shown that it is reputed to reduce dryness and flakiness, improve skin clarity and elasticity. It contains a higher percentage of silica, magnesium, potassium, and calcium than other clays. Despite its powerful absorbing properties, rhassoul also works for dry and sensitive skin. 

Kaolin clay (China, Lion or white clay) is the mildest of all clays and is used in cosmetic masks and soaps for sensitive skin as well as dry skin. It does not expand with increasing water content.

Rose clay or pink clay is a mild clay which will gently cleanse and exfoliate the skin. Pink Kaolin Clay does not draw oils from the skin and can, therefore, be used on dry skin types.  A facial mask may be used once a week to draw out toxins and impurities from the skin.

French red clay: Unlike some cosmetic clays, red clay moisturizes well and will not easily dry out your skin. Probably not the best skin care clay for oily skin types (use French green clay for that), but it is great for those who suffer from dry skin conditions.

Bentonite clay is composed of volcanic ash sediments that have been weathered over a long period of time. Sodium bentonite clay is known for its swelling properties, as it acts like a sponge when mixed with water. This clay is very popular for facial masks, foot baths, or bath soaking blends.

Dry Characteristics: The dry clay has a neutral scent and a pale, off-white color. The texture is slightly grainy, but it smooths out when pressed between the fingers. While it does leave something of a powdery coating behind when brushed off, the dry clay doesn’t stick to the skin too much.

Wet Characteristics: When wet, the clay paste is off-white in color with a smooth consistency. If liquid is added in too slowly, clumps will form, and the use of a whisk is helpful for keeping a smooth consistency. This wet clay spreads smoothly on skin, and its thick texture is reminiscent of cooked oatmeal.


Dry Shampoo


  • 87.5% Arrowroot powder
  • 5% Modified tapioca starch
  •  .05%  Lavender essential oil & Peppermint essential oil
  • 1% Pentsia powder as a texture enhancer
  • 1% Silica microspheres for a silky feel and oil absorber
  • 5% Bentonite clay for very oily hair


  1. Blend all ingredients together. Use a powder spray bottle to easily distribute on your scalp and roots.  Try and apply evenly.
  2. Allow the product to sit for a couple of minutes.
  3. Once it has had a few minutes to work into the hair and roots, comb or blow-dry it to help it blend well.
  4. If the last 3 ingredients are not available, switch out with the arrowroot powder.

Lip Gloss Stain

Fall is here just in time to highlight our lip gloss tubes with wand applicator.  Here is a simple formula to try at home with just a few ingredients:

96% soft oil of your choice.  (can be combined with several oils)

1% Cera Bellina wax (subst with regular beeswax)

1% Vitamin E oil 

*1% flavor( ensure is it oil based)

1% Mica or lake color of your choice (quantity depends on the color and intensity of the desired shade)

Melt the wax and oil at low heat on top of the stove in a small stainless steel measuring cup.  Keep your pot small for small recipes.  We used 1/4 cup for 2 x 11ml size lip gloss tubes. Remove from the heat and add your color and flavor, stir until totally combined.  The mixture will still be warm and can be poured within 1 or 2 minutes.   This recipe is not for lip balm roll-up tubes.  It has a much looser viscosity created especially for lip gloss tubes with wand applicator.

We used Abyssinian seed oil due to its comedogenic rating of 1 which signifies a very low chance of skin irritations.  It is a  very rich super light oil with no noticeable odor or flavor which does not interfere with the final product.

Shade test:  to see if you are happy with the color, take some and spread it onto a paper towel.  If it is not too hot, try some on the back of your hand.  Add more color if required.

*Cautionary note.  If using essential oils for flavor, do your homework.  Some essential oils can burn your lips with very little quantity.  Ones that come to mind:  peppermint, cinnamon & clove

Difference between Cera Bellina and regular beeswax are: Cera Bellina has more of a  satin-like feel on the skin,  less graininess or rice granule effects when using shea and other natural butters in anhydrous formulations., it  also helps to break up pigment cluster and by forming a gel network to maintain an even distribution of ingredients.

Recipes, Uncategorized

Solid Hair Conditioner

conditioning bar ingredients.png Makes 2 x 50 gram bars

conditioning bar heated phase.pngconditioner bar melted phase

Heated Phase
4.5 TB (50 grams – 67%) BTMS-50 
1 TB(10 grams – 5.2%) kokum butter 
2.5 TB (25 grams – 1.13%) cetyl alcohol 
1 TB (10 grams – 5.2%) shea butter 
1 tsp (4 grams 2.1%) black cumin oil

conditioner bar cool down phase

Cool Down Phase
1/2 tsp (1 gram – 1%) hydrolyzed honey protein                                             

1/2 tsp (1 gram -2.1%) panthenol powder (dilute in some water)                     

½ tsp (4 grams -.01%) aloe juice                                                                              

1/2 tsp (1 gram – 1%) hydrolyzed baobab protein                                           

¼ tsp (1 gram .05%) vitamin E oil                                                                         

1/2 tsp (1 gram – 1%) hydrolyzed silk protein                               

1/8 tsp (1-gram – .05%) optiphen plus                                                                       

1/2 to 1 tsp (50-60 drops) (2 grams – .010%)scent  

  • Weigh/Measure your cooldown ingredients and set aside for future use.
  • Weigh/measure the heated phase ingredients into a small saucepan and melt everything together over low medium heat. The temperature should not need to exceed 70C. (invest in a laser thermometer, it is well worth it).  This takes around 12 minutes. Let some of the last bits melt within the warm mixture by removing from the heat and stirring. 
  • If the mixture cools below 61C, the cool phase will bring down the temperature further and start to harden your mixture. It can be reheated gently if required. At low heat only as to not degrade any of your cooldown ingredients.
  • Add the cool phase to the heated phase and mix until combined. Your mixture will start to thicken, so you want to work fast to have nice uniform bars. 
  • Pour into your mold and put into the freezer for 1 hour. Remove from your mold and let the bars sit for 24 to 48 hours to allow any excess moisture to evaporate.  If you do not find the time to remove from the mold right away, no worries as they can be left there indefinitely. They should be solid when you pop them out of the molds.  Store them in a cool dry place.

To Use: Rub the bar in your hands at first then onto wet hair. It will feel soft and silky, unlike a shampoo bar. Rinse and hand dry your hair.  As the conditioning is so high, color treated hair can benefit. 


  • For oily hair:  The BTMS can be 50% 25 and 50% 50.  Not recommended to use 100% BTMS 25 as the 50 is more conditioning, however, oily hair can handle less BTMS 50
  • If you don’t have kokum butter, you can use cocoa butter instead. 
  • It is not recommended to use other emulsifying waxes as they lack conditioning that hair needs. 
  • Cetyl alcohol thickens and helps with a silky glide, unlike stearic acid that can be draggy. That does not mean stearic acid cannot be used.
  • You can omit the panthenol & hydrolyzed proteins but make it up in your BTMS
  • Dandruff prone scalps can benefit when using black cumin oil however it can be substituted with shea butter. Keep in mind there is a slight cumin scent to this wonderful oil.

Ingredient properties:

Aloe Juice – natural keratin to balance ph and helps with an itchy scalp.  Limit concentration to .05%  as aloe cleanses the hair follicle efficiently by stripping off extra sebum (oil) and residue from other hair products.

BTMS-50 ( and BTMS 25)-conditioning emulsifying wax

Kokum butter -moisturizer promotes hair growth

Cetyl alcohol –helps thicken and with spreadability

Shea butter -moisturizes and softens frizzies

Black cumin seed oil -anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antibacterial

Hydrolyzed honey protein –penetrates hair to provide moisture, shine, and luster. Improves wet-combability, reduces static buildup when dry combing. Vegans can skip this with no issues in the final product.

Panthenol powder –forms a smooth film over hair cuticles that enhance light reflection and makes tresses look shinier and glossier. A humectant that helps give body & shine and detangling properties to hair. It can cause curly hair to frizz, however

Hydrolyzed baobab protein (or quinoa protein) -a great silicone replacement

Vitamin E oil -Use the naturally derived kind. helps with hair growth & hair loss

Hydrolyzed silk protein -improves elasticity, resiliency, and restores the moisture balance) If you are vegan, skip this ingredient

Optiphen plus -broad-spectrum preservative  

Essential Oil Ideas

Bergamot can be of great benefit to thin, dry hair that breaks.  It increases shine & can help make a protective barrier if you style your hair with heat.  If you have curly or frizzy hair try this Citrusy essential oil.  
Rosemary is great for thickening hair. It can help prevent baldness, slow the graying process and treating dandruff and dry scalp.
Chamomile essential oil is a great essential oil for hair because it adds shine and softness to your hair while soothing your scalp.  It can be used to lighten your hair naturally. 
Cedarwood essential oil can also help to reduce skin irritations and repel bugs, which can be beneficial on summer nights when you’re spending time outdoors
Lemongrass essential oil has healing properties, and it works as an effective cleanser and deodorizer. It can strengthen your hair follicles and soothe an itchy and irritated scalp. 
Peppermint essential oil helps to stimulate the scalp, and it can treat dandruff and even lice due to its powerful antiseptic properties.  It also stimulates hair growth.  Caution:  Don’t over do it, as it is a very strong essential oil

conditioner bars solid



Say No to Hydrogenated Oils in Body Care

Do we really want to use hydrogenated oils in skin care?   The hydrogenated oil process is basically heating oils to a very high temperature which renders them rancid.  The oils are then treated with hydrogen. Many manufacturers add a perfume to neutralize the smell. The oils then become thick and spreadable.  This practice increases the shelf life of the oils.

I question heating oils at such high-temperatures.  It removes all the great properties we look for in crafting natural high-end body care.  Professional crafters take such pride to stand above the big commercial cosmetic manufacturers, we may want to consider upping our game by using nonhydrogenated virgin unrefined oils.  How do crafters label their products when using hydrogenated I wonder?

It is my goal to use virgin, cold pressed, unrefined and if possible organic oils.  Using these lovely oils does come with some caveats.  Virgin oils can have a shorter shelf life and are often not a neutral color. They can have a smell of the plant where the oils come from.  If you can live with that, go for it.  Virgin oils can also be a little more costly.

Coffee Butter  Non Hydrogenated

Let’s look at the coffee butter on the market.  Most contain hydrogenated vegetable oils  It looks great, smells wonderful that is true. It must be less expensive to produce and that means higher profit margins for the producer.  Soap & More manufactures their own coffee butter using refined coconut oil (no smell and a hard oil) combined with fair trade coffee infused MCT oil and coffee essential oil.  This is what makes us stand out as we continue to march to the beat of our own drum.  Most aloe vera butter on the market is also manufactured with the use of hydrogenated vegetable oils.  Keep an eye out for the inferior oils and butters.

Vegetable oils contain a number of nutrients that play an essential role in the metabolism of our skin.  They are at the basis for having lovely skin.  This is a good reason why one should make use of the vegetable oil properties, especially by mixing up their skincare uses, but one must first understand the way they should be extracted in order to get the best out of their use!

Vegetable oil is qualified as virgin or refined according to the way it has been extracted.  If the extraction is done by pressing, then it is considered virgin oil.  If the extraction is carried out by solvents, then it is called refined oil, which allows one to obtain a “standardized” oil by modifying its fatty acids.  But for the case of “virgin” oils, one gets an oil that is pure, without any foreign substances, exclusively purified through physical processes, and cannot have been submitted to any other treatments.

After refinement, degradation of the nutritional value occurs.  This means the natural Vitamin E  with its antioxidant regenerative and anti-inflammatory properties are gone.  The loss of the biological activity of essential fatty acids which are the base for a hydrated, plump, and dense skin, that is supple and luminous occurs.  The beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant element is degraded as well as the disappearance of phospholipids and sterols that play a key role in cellular growth and the function of the skin’s plasma membrane.

Natural Body Care Products for the People who Want to Know!

Virgin versus refined carrier oils & butters

oil drop

My take is somewhat bias towards unrefined carrier oils & butters.  Embracing the natural essence of the oil or butter for all can do for your skin with as little processing is preferable.

What is the difference between virgin oil and refined oil?

Vegetable oil is qualified as virgin or refined according to the way it has been extracted.  If the extraction is done by pressing, then it is considered virgin oil.  If the extraction is carried out by solvents and heat, then it is called refined oil, which allows one to obtain a “standardized” oil by modifying its fatty acids. Cosmetic companies prefer a more standardized oil with little or no color and no aroma.   But for the case of “virgin” oils & butters, one gets an oil that is pure, without any foreign substances, exclusively purified through physical processes.

Why refine oils?

The refining process creates oil that is stable, easy to preserve, hardly colored, with no discernable aroma, and with a yield around 97 percent which is much more profitable to the industry.  Refining can also extend the shelf life of carrier oils.  However “pressed” oils preserve all their qualities, are more expensive, and can lose up to 20 percent of its substance when extracted.

Which one is best for my skin?

After refinement, the original composition of the oil has been deeply modified that results in an almost total loss of the healing active properties.  Refining can cause:

• a destruction of vitamin E, with its antioxidant, regenerative and anti-inflammatory properties

• the disappearance and/or the loss of the biological activity of essential fatty acids which are the base for a hydrated, plump, and dense skin, that is supple and luminous

• the disappearence of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant element

• even the disappearence of phospholipids and sterols that play a key role in cellular growth and the function of the plasma membrane

We encourage choosing virgin oils & butters for a healthy and beautiful skin.

Recipes, Soap Recipes

Jelly Soap (Vegan)

Jelly soaps are so much fun and kids love them. They are jiggly, sparkly soapy fun!

  jelly soap


225 ml  glycerin
1 TB  carrageenan iota powder
200 ml distilled/purified water
25 grams Lanthanol

Cool down phase ingredients:
25ml  Cocamidopropyl Betaine 
1 tsp optiphen (the very high % of glycerin contributes greatly to preservation in this formula)
1 tsp fractionated coconut oil or almond oil or rice bran oil
1/4 tsp essential oil or fragrance oil
1/8 tsp color powder in 1 tsp water and stir until combined

Important tips:

If the recipe does not set add 10% more carrageenan.  (Another reason why the shower jelly may not harden could be the mix was not heated to a sufficiently high temperature).

  • To color, use dilute your powdered colorant in water.  Micas add sparkle to your creation.
  • hand stirring can be used.   (A stick blender will create lots of foam).


  1. In an empty container add the glycerin
  2. Add the carrageenan into the glycerin and mix well
  3. In a separate pan add distilled or deionized water and heat
  4. Add the lanthanol into the water whilst mixing and heating using a stick blender
  5. Add the carrageenan/glycerin mix to the lanthanol/water mix and heat to 200°F/95°C.
  6. In a separate container combine the cool down phase ingredients, which are: optiphen, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, oil, fragrance
  7. Let the heated mixture cool to below 140°F/60°C and before it starts to gel, add color and stir
  8. Add the cool down phase ingredients, stir
  9. Pour into preferable silicone molds or an ice cube mold
  10. Let the shower jelly cool and set before unmoulding
  11. Have fun!