Saponifier Magazine The Magazine for Professional and Aspiring Soapmakers2015-06-30T16:16:51Z http://saponifier.com/feed/atom/WordPress Beth Byrne http://www.SoapandGarden.com <![CDATA[Harnessing the Power of Social Media for Your Business]]> http://saponifier.com/?p=333 2015-06-30T16:16:51Z 2015-06-30T06:39:52Z It’s time to get social! It is time to use social media to your advantage, that is. If you are like millions of other soap/bath & body/candle makers, you use social media. But, do you use it to spread the word about  your business? If not, you are missing out on the fastest growing method…

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It’s time to get social! It is time to use social media to your advantage, that is.

July2015If you are like millions of other soap/bath & body/candle makers, you use social media. But, do you use it to spread the word about  your business? If not, you are missing out on the fastest growing method for reaching your current customers and obtaining new ones, not to mention quite possibly the least expensive. Even if you do use social media for business; like me, perhaps you could improve your strategies.

You will be happy to know the issue you will find in your mailbox on July 1 features using social media for business.  Erica Pence educates us on visual storytelling marketing, while Kylie Wolfson advises us of five simple tips for boosting our businesses on social media. “Being Visible” by Melinda Coss is sure to give a boost in using Facebook.

You are not a business person? You will find a great deal of other information to tantalize you:

  • Design Mania Winners Announced
  • Non-anionic surfactants as can only be shared by Kevin Dunn
  • Power of the Seed – Your Guide to Oils
    for Health and Beauty
    book review written by Marina Tadiello
  • Making herbal teas and tisanes from Natalie Wilson
  • Understanding web hosting terminology with our new Working Smarter columnist, Michelle Rhoades!
  • How social media is like the wild, wild West explained by Anissa Patten (which I know those of you on Facebook groups will love).

We at the Saponifier are so excited for you to read this July/August 2015 issue! Yes, I  say that each time, but it is because we are. Yet we also know we have so much heartfelt work to offer to you, our readers. Let us know what you think.

Until next time, may your days be filled with bubbles and wax.

Beth Byrne, for the Saponifier

 

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K. Tarbox <![CDATA[VOTE: Design Mania Contest – 2015]]> http://saponifier.com/?p=249 2015-06-16T16:42:59Z 2015-06-01T18:38:03Z Voting is now CLOSED. Photo entries have been uploaded to our Pinterest page. Votes are being tabulated and the winners will be contacted. Winners will also be announced in the July/Aug issue. The person who garners the most votes (across all design categories) will be our Grand Prize Winner! Those receiving the most votes for…

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Voting is now CLOSED.

Photo entries have been uploaded to our Pinterest page.

Votes are being tabulated and the winners will be contacted. Winners will also be announced in the July/Aug issue.

The person who garners the most votes (across all design categories) will be our Grand Prize Winner! Those receiving the most votes for their categories will become category winners. Prizes will be awarded to all category winners with the bulk of the prize package awarded to the Grand Prize Winner.

Design Technique Categories: Click each category link to view the entries

    1. Embedded Circle
    2. Flower Power
    3. Inverted Stamp
    4. Turkish Ebru

 

Saponifier’s 2015 Design Mania contest is based on 4 spectacular design technique tutorials published in the latest issue (May/June 2015).

**We would like to express sincere thanks to our sponsors who so generously donated prizes to make our Design Mania contest a success! Please visit their websites to see the great selection of products they have to offer!

(Sponsors retain the right to award either product or gift card when a winner resides outside of the USA)

Sponsors

onlinelabels
Aftelier Perfumes
Wholesale Cosmetic Pigments
Formulator Sample Shop

Winning Prize Packages

Grand Prize Winner (1)

  • $100.00 Gift Certificate / Formulator Sample Shop
  • $50.00 Gift Certificate / Online Labels
  • Signed Copy of Fragrant:The Secret Life of Scent, by Mandy Aftel
  • $50.00 Gift Certificate / Wholesale Cosmetic Pigments
  • Saponifier 15-Year Collection: DIGITAL USB Flash Drive
  • Formulator Lab Notebook by Saponifier Magazine
  • 1-YR Subscription (or applied extension to existing) to Saponifier Magazine

Category Winners (4)

  • $50.00 Gift Certificate / Online Labels
  • Signed Copy of Fragrant:The Secret Life of Scent, by Mandy Aftel
  • Formulator Lab Notebook by Saponifier Magazine
  • 1-YR Subscription (or applied extension to existing) to Saponifier Magazine

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Beth Byrne http://www.SoapandGarden.com <![CDATA[Stick Blender Basics]]> http://saponifier.com/?p=305 2015-06-01T06:19:34Z 2015-06-01T06:19:34Z What would we modern soap and lotion makers do without our beloved stick blenders? Now considered basic equipment, we study the features to determine which among the many brands will serve us best.  Which one will perform well? Which one will give us the longest use? Which one comes in my favorite color? What? That…

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What would we modern soap and lotion makers do without our beloved stick blenders?

Now considered basic equipment, we study the features to determine which among the many brands Stick Blenderwill serve us best.  Which one will perform well? Which one will give us the longest use? Which one comes in my favorite color? What? That isn’t important? Think again. Happy is the user with a purple blender! Or maybe that is just me.

The best blender is dependent upon the product one is making, so features to look for are categorized by use.

CP/HP/Cream Soap – I have used many brands of stick blenders in a wide price range. For the newbie, I suggest the cheapest tool you can find. Check thrift shops and garage sales, paying as little as possible just in case you do not like soapmaking (gasp) or your goal is to keep your family in soap, and you will be making fewer than ten batches a  year. This also gives you the opportunity to decide what kind of stick blender you really want for your second blender. Even if you do plan to buy a brand-spanking new blender because you just know you will be using it often, having a back-up is smart.

I bought the $10 discount store version when I began making soap and it only broke after years of use because it was knocked off the counter–and not on purpose. Honest. This blender was basic plastic except for the blades, of course, and the shaft could not be removed from the handle, so I had to be careful not to submerge the motor in water. It was somewhat inconvenient finding a container to soak the blender in after use, but not insurmountable. If you find one with a removable shaft, all the better. Two speeds is better than one.

Liquid Soap – Since you are mixing heated lye water and heated oils together and even heated glycerin if you use that method, a blender with a stainless steel shaft is preferable to one with a plastic shaft.

Lotion – Due to the sanitary requirements for safe lotion making, a stainless steel shaft is preferred over plastic because, given its non-porous nature, it is more sanitary if prepared correctly than plastic. Take into consideration also, the batch size you will be making. I found stick blenders with a large bell (the wide part at the bottom) and large holes in the bell to be more suitable for gallon sized batches than one pound batches. Because the bell could not be submerged deeply enough, the holes caused lotion ingredients to fly everywhere. Scraping lotion off prep surfaces and one’s safety glasses is not fun and should be avoided. If you do use a stick blender with a large bell in a small batch, you will need a deep, tall mixing container.

To use a stick blender correctly, following a few simple rules will help.

1.    You may have to “burp” your blender by plunging it up and down a few times to get the air bubbles out of the bell. This prevents air bubbles in soap.

2.    Keep your blender low to the bottom of the container and tip it a bit at times when necessary, to get the most shear.

3.    Stir your oils and lye water with a whisk or heavy spoon; then mix for a minute with the blender.  Stop and let it rest while you stir again with the spoon. Repeat until your mixture is emulsified. This is true for soapmaking and will prevent your motor from burning out, which is the leading cause of death in stick blenders. Knocking them off the counter is second, carried out by those desiring a purple blender.

With these few tips, choose the right blender and get going!

Speaking of going, did you submit your photo for the Design Mania Contest? I cannot wait to see what you all created!

Until next time, may your days be filled with bubbles and wax.

Beth Byrne, for the Saponifier

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Beth Byrne http://www.SoapandGarden.com <![CDATA[Guess Who is in Design Mania!]]> http://saponifier.com/?p=274 2015-05-03T02:38:46Z 2015-05-01T07:09:54Z I am so excited about the newest issue of the Saponifier that will be delivered to your inbox in just hours. Why am I so excited? It’s because we are featuring four tutorials for fabulous soap designs by some of our favorite soapmakers!   Do you want to know whom they are? Okay, I’ll tell:…

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Cover-May/June 2015I am so excited about the newest issue of the Saponifier that will be delivered to your inbox in just hours. Why am I so excited? It’s because we are featuring four tutorials for fabulous soap designs by some of our favorite soapmakers!

 

Do you want to know whom they are? Okay, I’ll tell:

Tanya Bainbridge with Turkish Ebru Design

Sabine Milby with Flower Power Technique

Jodi Berg with Embedded Circle Design

Clara Lindberg with Inverted Stamp Tops

 

Some of you know these talented women and what they are capable of. Some of you have seen these designs and have been asking for a tutorial. Now, you will have it.  Clara, Jodi, Sabine and Tanya have labored to explain their innovative work just for you. Once you read the magazine, be sure to try the designs out for yourself. Take good photos because we are again sponsoring a contest with prizes you’re pining for!

Happy reading and wishing you the best on your own soap designs.

Until next time, may your days be filled with bubbles and wax.

Beth Byrne, for the Saponifier

 

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Beth Byrne http://www.SoapandGarden.com <![CDATA[Why Do Soapmakers Make Soap?]]> http://saponifier.com/?p=232 2015-04-03T05:11:23Z 2015-04-03T05:10:09Z I was pondering recently, why do we soapmakers love making soap so much? What is it that captivates us nearly to the point of obsession? Of course, it did not take long for me to answer my own question. Soapmakers love to make soap for many reasons. We love the science of soapmaking, the practicality,…

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I was pondering recently, why do we soapmakers love making soap so much? What is it that captivates us nearly to the point of obsession?

Of course, it did not take long for me to answer my own question. Soapmakers love to make soap for many reasons. We love the science of soapmaking, the practicality, the endless variety and the creativity.

The science explaining how water and oil combine to make an emulsion is much more fascinating when contemplating soap than any school lecture ever could have been. And learning how molecules with hydrophilic and hydrophobic ends lift off dirt is a marvel.

Additionally, knowing this product we make is a practical–indeed, lifesaving product is gratifying and excuses what I spend in supplies. . . right? I like knowing what I make is a practical and usable luxury.

Let us consider the variety. We make bars, we make liquid and cream, we use colors of all sorts and endless techniques. Don’t get me started on fragrance. I’m quite sure I could make a different batch every day, yet never exhaust the possibilities.

As if that isn’t enough, let us consider the creativity of soapmaking. Plotting and carrying out the soap best expressing our imagination, our feelings, our needs and our desire to please others is both consuming and satisfying. I see new ideas more frequently than I would have thought possible. Soapmakers are a creative bunch!

Speaking of creativity, the Soap Design issue is coming soon. Look for it in your mailboxes on May 1st. We are offering four gorgeous design tutorials by talented soapmakers just like you. We are sure you will love to follow and try them for yourselves, but be sure to take a photo when you do! Did I hear someone say something about a contest?

Until next time, may your days be filled with bubbles and wax.

Beth Byrne, for the Saponifier

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K. Tarbox <![CDATA[How to Make Soap Without Lye]]> http://saponifier.com/?p=196 2015-02-27T08:39:34Z 2015-02-27T08:14:20Z So, you’re afraid to make soap bars because you don’t want to handle lye, aka caustic soda, sodium hydroxide. Either that, or you were warned of the evils of lye in handmade soap. Yet you want to make something like the beautiful photos you see of handmade soap that smells wonderful and treats your skin…

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So, you’re afraid to make soap bars because you don’t want to handle lye, aka caustic soda, sodium hydroxide. Either that, or you were warned of the evils of lye in handmade soap. Yet you want to make something like the beautiful photos you see of handmade soap that smells wonderful and treats your skin like gold, and you are looking for directions for making it.

Just one problem. You cannot make real soap without using lye. Why? Because soap is the result of mixing oil (fatty acids) with alkali. A chemical reaction takes place and voila, you get soap. In fact, the FDA defines soap, in part as, “the bulk of the nonvolatile matter in the product consists of an alkali salt of fatty acids and the product’s detergent properties are due to the alkali-fatty acid compounds,. . .” Read it for yourself here.

If you’re worried about lye, keep in mind people have been using soap since ancient times to clean themselves. Moreover, famous soaps such as Marseille and Aleppo have been known for their skin qualities for almost as long.

All the lye is reacted in a correctly made soap, so you need not worry about harming your skin. As a matter of fact, some of the soap you purchase in the store is likely made in part, of real soap. Most are synthetic detergents; others are part soap and part synthetic detergent.

Still don’t want to handle lye? Purchase soap base where the manufacturer has already used sodium hydroxide so you can make soap without using it yourself. Look for melt and pour base at Glory Bee or Mold Market.

You can also purchase already made soap, called soap noodles or shreds, and add your own colors and scents. They were made with lye, but it is reacted so you don’t have to work with it.

If, after reading this, you’d like to learn to make soap using lye, perhaps you’d like to attend classes such as: Bath Alchemy Lab or Blue Ridge Soap Shed. Another option is to find a teacher through the HSCG (Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild) or our events and classes page.

As you can see, if you do not care to handle lye, you can find other products to use. Make no mistake, however, lye is essential in making real soap.

Until next time, may your days be filled with bubbles and wax.

Beth Byrne for the Saponifier

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K. Tarbox <![CDATA[You Know You’re a Soapmaker When…]]> http://181.224.153.87/~saponifi/?p=168 2015-02-01T11:17:17Z 2015-01-30T11:16:43Z Yes, it’s been done before, but play along, just for fun. You know you’re a soapmaker when. . . You dream of swirls. Trace has a whole new meaning. You buy things merely because you suspect the packaging would make a great mold. The hardware store suddenly holds new interest, and it has nothing to…

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Yes, it’s been done before, but play along, just for fun.

You know you’re a soapmaker when. . .
You dream of swirls.
Trace has a whole new meaning.
You buy things merely because you suspect the packaging would make a great mold.
The hardware store suddenly holds new interest, and it has nothing to do with home repair or improvement.
You know what “saponify” means.
You understand the difference between eo’s and fo’s.
Your kitchen has been robbed of equipment you’ve relegated to soapmaking.
You accumulate an ever-increasing number of amber colored bottles, each with a scent you just HAD to have.
You purchase food, herbs and spices that will never be tasted.
You shake your head knowingly when you hear the term, “syndet.”
You jump out of bed in the morning to see if your soap is ready to cut.
You look for color combinations and designs all around you, not for fashion’s sake, but for your next batch of soap.

Your turn! Add it in the comments area.
Until next time, may your days be filled with bubbles and wax.
Beth Byrne for the Saponifier

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K. Tarbox <![CDATA[Valentine’s or Anti-Valentine’s?]]> http://181.224.153.87/~saponifi/?p=30 2015-01-26T01:42:35Z 2015-01-26T01:42:35Z If you haven’t already, I imagine you are celebrating the close of 2014 in your own way and looking forward to what 2015 will bring. I can almost guess that your mind is already turning to Valentine’s Day. Do you love it or do you despise it? Does your mind instantly think of red hearts,…

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If you haven’t already, I imagine you are celebrating the close of 2014 in your own way and looking forward to what 2015 will bring.

I can almost guess that your mind is already turning to Valentine’s Day. Do you love it or do you despise it? Does your mind instantly think of red hearts, rose petals and lace, or are you one of those who would just as soon use a bow and arrow on Cupid? Either way, this holiday is coming down the pike and we need to think about our product line or gifts for lovers, family and friends.

I know some who capitalize on the day and go all out creating products and fixing up gift baskets filled with romantically scented soap, lotions and candles, featuring pink and red heart-shaped everything. Their creations are a tribute to femininity. Others take a more conservative approach by promoting products from their usual line–their romantic or floral scented products and those colored appropriately, ensuring they won’t be left with product after Valentine’s Day. Hobbyists are fortunate to have the option of doing whatever they like, and they do, creating lovely items that they and their recipients enjoy.

Something you may not have thought of, but should consider, is anti-Valentine’s Day. This movement is in direct contrast to the extreme pink, passion and price of Valentine’s Day, appealing to those whose romantic lives have not been the thing of fairy tales, as well as those who balk at societal expectations of giving expensive gifts with overly romantic greeting cards because the day has been deemed the day to do so. What this day means to you is another market to sell to or another person to please with your understanding of his or her feelings. This issue of the Saponifier features a clever anti-Valentine’s Day soap tutorial by Erica Pence that you’ll enjoy making, or it may inspire you to create something of your own. A novel approach like this may be just the ticket to pleasing everyone.

What? You have not yet subscribed to the Saponifier?

Until next time, may all your days be filled with bubbles and wax.

Beth Byrne, from the Saponifier

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K. Tarbox <![CDATA[Good News for Home Cosmetic Makers!]]> http://181.224.153.87/~saponifi/?p=27 2015-01-26T01:44:04Z 2015-01-10T00:01:44Z It’s been a thorn in the side of home soap and cosmetic manufacturers for years–the FDA’s requirement that the address of the manufacturing facility be included on packaging labeling. After a drawn out process, the HSCG was recently notified of good news for those hesitant to include that information on their packaging. If the business…

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It’s been a thorn in the side of home soap and cosmetic manufacturers for years–the FDA’s requirement that the address of the manufacturing facility be included on packaging labeling.

After a drawn out process, the HSCG was recently notified of good news for those hesitant to include that information on their packaging. If the business lists their address in a city or phone directory, it does not have to be printed on labels. You knew that? Read on, there is more. The FDA updated their information to include the directory may be an online type, of no or little cost to the business.

Read more about it here: http://www.soapguild.org/blog/2015/01/fda-responds-po-box-petition/

Until next time, may your days be filled with bubbles and wax.

Beth Byrne, for the Saponifier

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K. Tarbox <![CDATA[To Scent or Not to Scent, Part ll]]> http://181.224.153.87/~saponifi/?p=39 2015-01-26T03:15:31Z 2014-11-02T00:45:23Z Essential oils require much more knowledge than fragrance oils and thus, more due diligence before using them. Is the scent skin safe? Is the percentage rate limited? Will it survive cold process soap? Is it permissible for soap but not for bath or leave-on products? Will it work in candles? All of these factors must…

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Essential oils require much more knowledge than fragrance oils and thus, more due diligence before using them.

Is the scent skin safe? Is the percentage rate limited? Will it survive cold process soap? Is it permissible for soap but not for bath or leave-on products? Will it work in candles? All of these factors must be known before one can safely use essential oils in candles or skincare products and thus, require the user to do research on each oil he hopes to use. Be sure to seek out reputable sources of information regarding essential oils. Unfortunately, too much misinformation is found out there that is inadvisable, if not dangerous. One of my favorite non-vendor sites for reliable essential oil information is www.aromaweb.com.

How much fragrance oil should I use? The answer is simple. First of all, check with the vendor for proper usage rates for your product. That not being possible, the rule of thumb for cold process soap is .7 oz. per pound of soapmaking oils. For instance, if you are making a two pound batch of soap and have measured out two pounds of oils, you will use about 1.4 oz. of fragrance oil. You may safely go up to 1 oz. per pound if necessary, and some scents will perform beautifully at .5 oz. per pound. Hot process will require less scent than cold process soap. Most other products use less scent than soap. Start at .5 or 1% and add a bit more if necessary. This works for most anything outside of cold or hot process soap. Be careful if making cp soap, however, because not all fragrance oils are suitable. Some rice or accelerate, which can be tolerated, but others seize like a motor without oil and require emergency measures to deal with. Save yourself the hassle and inquire about your oils prior to using them in cp and make sure of their usage in other products you intend to make, as well. Note: some fragrance oils, such as those you find in craft stores are not suitable for cold process soap at all; they are meant for potpourri and body products. Additionally, some are sold for use in candles and potpourri, not for products meant to be used on the skin.

As you can see, fragrance oils are much simpler to use than essential oils, provided you check the usage information; but don’t let that be an obstacle to using these wonderful, natural gifts of nature! Just be sure to thoroughly research any oil you care to use and use them properly.

Want to know whether your colleagues use more fragrance oil or essential oil? Check out the Raves for Faves issue just released today! Need a subscription? http://saponifier.com/subscriptions/

Until next time, may your days be filled with bubbles and wax.

Beth Byrne for the Saponifier

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