Thursday, February 2, 2012

What Exactly Is That?

Do you ever go shopping for food or beauty products & being the health conscious person you are, flip the product over to look at the ingredients & think "what on earth is that"? I know I do. The product can say all-natural or organic, but I still can't read the ingredient label & even when I can, I don't know what all the ingredients are for or why they're used.

Well let me explain.

When you're selling cosmetics you're required by the FDA to include an ingredient label on your product.

You have to list your ingredients in descending order meaning the first ingredient on the list is what's mostly in the product. So for my soap, water is the first ingredient on the list because water is the main component of my soap.

You also have to list your ingredients INCI name which is the official name of the ingredient & it's usually in Latin. So when I put water on my label it has to look like this: Water {Aqua}. Now some product manufacturers only put the INCI names & so you can't really even read the ingredients unless you're familiar with cosmetic ingredients or Latin. Ummm, no.

So today, I want to take some time to explain the ingredients I use in my new formula so that you know exactly what each on is & why it's in there.

Lavender Chamomile Soap Ingredients

Aqua {Water}, Olea Europaea Fruite {Organic Olive} Oil, Cocos Nucifera {Organic Coconut} Oil, Potassium Hydroxide*, {Sodium Borate} Borax, Glycerin, Sulfated Ricinus Communis {Castor} Oil, Chamaemelum Nobile {Chamomile} Flower, Lavandula Angustifolia {Lavender} Flower, Lavandula Angustifolia {Lavender} Essential Oil

Of course the herbs & essential oils will change depending upon which soap you use. Anyway, below are what the ingredients are for.

Ingredient Breakdown

The coconut oil, olive oil & potassium hydroxide make up the actual soap. You start with the oil & when you add the potassium hydroxide {lye} to it, it turns into soap. Once the soap is made I add water to it to make it into a liquid soap. At this point it's super thin so I add in borax which is a natural thickener as well as a neutralizer. You have to use a neutralizer in soap in order to bring the pH down so that it's not too acidic or too alkaline. It needs to clean well & for my soap, it needs to be mild because it's primarily for babies. So pH matters. {I'll explain how I test my pH below.} Once the soap has thickened up, I add the glycerin & the castor oil. These two things not only make the soap more moisturizing, but they make it even milder for babies skin.

So there you have it. You now know what each ingredient is & what it's used for.

The Issue of pH

Potassium Hydroxide is a must for soap {or sodium hydroxide, it depends on the kind of soap you're making}. Anyway, you have to have it to make the actual soap. Potassium Hydroxide is alkaline & so you have to add in a neutralizer to your finished soap so that it's not so alkaline but instead balanced a bit more. Most soap makers use either citric acid, boric acid, or borax. {Find out why I use borax below.} The combination of the potassium hydroxide & the borax will bring the soap to a more neutral pH that makes it less irritating to the skin & eyes & helps it to clean better.

The way I test my soaps pH is by using a chemical called phenolphthalein. I take a small sample of my soap & mix in the right amount of borax to neutralize it. Then I add in my phenolphthalein solution & if it does what it's supposed to, then I know the pH is neutral & my soap is good to go. Now phenolphthalein is not added to the entire batch of soap. It's only used to test my sample. No chemicals are in my soap!!

Why I Use Borax

I use borax in my soap instead of citric or boric acid because it does so many great things for liquid soap. It thickens it, neutralizes it, enhances it's foaming properties, softens hard water, doesn't throw the soap out of solution since it's not an acid & also acts as a preservative... a natural one! How great is all that?

In Conclusion

So after all of this, I hope you understand why I use what I use for my soap & that you're comfortable with it & you trust it more. The next step is trying it our for yourself right here - Baby Swank Naturals Baby Wash & Shampoo. It comes in 2 oz. sample sizes & 8 oz. full sizes. Enjoy! I know we do!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Shop Update


Wow! Let's talk about my new shop!

I told you about my plans for a new Etsy shop in my 2012 goals post a couple weeks back & about how I was going to keep you updated on it. Well here are my update plans.

I want to launch my new shop mid-March. Is that going to happen? I'm not sure. You see, I'm still trying to get into a good routine with my new little man & I haven't settled on anything yet.

As you may know, I also coach other creative business owners, moms in particular, to grab hold of their dreams & make them happen & let me tell you... I am soooo busy with that right now that between coaching & my kiddos I've not had much time to work on my new shop! It's terrible but wonderful at the same time.

I am chugging along though. My goal for January is to get my website up & lookin' all snazzy & that's getting there. My goal for February is to get a good amount of blog posts over on that site & to begin to transfer Baby Swank items to the new shop. And lastly, my goal for March is to actually launch the new shop.

Will that happen? Yes, it will definitely happen, but I'm not sure if it will happen on time or not. We'll see!

Like I said, my goal for this month is to get my website looking the way I want it too & it's getting there. I've worked with an illustrator on some graphics & I think I'm good there. Right now I'm working with a web designer on getting some things done that I can't figure out how to do myself. So, hopefully all of that will be done by the end of this month & I'll be good to go come February!

Can't wait to show it to you all!

xo, Meagan