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Essential oils derive their substance directly from nature. Lemon oil comes from expressed rinds of fruit, rose essential oil is from petals of this lovely flower, and sandalwood comes from wood of Indian, Indonesian or Australian-grown tree. Essential oils can be reasonably priced at only a few dollars per ounce [citrus scents], to more than $350 for Bulgarian rose otto from Valley of Roses or a Ďmereí $197 for some skin healing Immortelle from island of Corsica. To use such expensive oils in a bar of soap isnít necessary. Pure essential oils are best used in a lotion or cream Ė so they can be absorbed into skin and not washed away.
Donít Add Fresh Fruit or Vegetables Tempting as it may be, refrain from adding that pureed avocado. Donít put in those dewy lavender or rose buds unless you want to see them turn brown before your eyes. A fresh slice of cucumber would look gorgeous suspended in a translucent bar of soap Ė until mold grows over it. Even if you sprinkle in Fruit Fresh or powdered benzoin, even if a book or online article instructs you to do so --- DONíT ADD FRESH FRUIT OR VEGETABLES. You can add dried herbs such as peppermint or rosemary, but expect them to turn brown within a few days or weeks. This is because glycerin soap contains up to 10% water. Water causes pretty dried lavender buds and green leaves to turn that color also.
Test, Test, Test No, you donít have to take a testónot even a quiz! You just have to be sure of what youíre doing in kitchen or soap room. You have to be comfortable making your soap before you sell even a single bar. Donít have your first batch be a complicated multi-color embed project. Start with a simple soap shape and use one color and one scent. You have to be certain that colors wonít run or fade. Will your fragrances hold up for more than a month? Does your soap sweat? Will that lovely white vanilla or coconut soap remain that color or will it turn chocolate brown in a matter of weeks?
You are first person to test your soaps. Then your family. Let a few friends, neighbors and coworkers in on your soaping hobby that may just turn into quite business. Anticipate questions from testers/potential customers. Know answers. Do this for at least six months, but a year is even better. Remember, you need to be happy with your products, as youíre now soapcrafter.
The Business of Soap When you plan to sell your handcrafted glycerin soap creations this entails naming more than each type of soap you make; youíll become a business owner. For more information on this large and important aspect, check out book ďHandmade for Profit!Ē by crafts industry expert Barbara Brabec.
Lisa Maliga is the owner of http://www.everythingshea.com and has been handcrafting glycerin soap since 1998. Her company, Everything Shea Aromatic Creations, offers a fragrant selection of designer shea butter glycerin soaps, exclusive Whipped Shea Butter, & unique SoapCakes to personalize for gifts or promotions. Whipped Shea butter is custom made and preservative free!