Nini Original African Black Soap

Back when I was a wee lass I used native black soap because I had to. Even then I used to tinker with it because I wanted a soap bar that I could use directly on my skin. Fast forward a few decades and I’ve finally done it…well, sorta.

Where I’m from, black soap is made with Palm (/Kernel) Oil and Shea Butter, in addition to burnt plantain skin and cocoa pods. The resulting brown and black crumbly soap is always surprisingly gentle on the skin.

Personally I’ve never been interested in making black soap from scratch so that’s not what this is about (sorry!)
My inner TinkerNini led me in 2 directions: cold/hot process and a clay blend.

For cold and hot process, I used a recipe with PKO, Palm Oil, Shea and Cocoa butter (90%) and softened black soap and camwood at 10% of the recipe. My PKO had been infusing orange peel for a couple of weeks and I also added orange peel powder into the soap batter. My great grandma would have protested but I added kaolin clay and honey also.

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Hot process Nini Original ABS. I know, Funmi, i have to work on my pictures šŸ˜€

Here it is, a gently exfoliating black soap I can hold šŸ˜€ This soap is not fragranced and leaves a warm bathroom smelling smoky (in a good way šŸ˜€ ) As much as soap can, it leaves touchably smooth skin behind. Which got me thinking of a baby (or super sensitive skin) soap like Castile with 10% ABS instead of just a swirl like I made a while ago…

The second route needed a little more elbow grease and I will blog about that another day.

New Soaper Feature: Elyon Beauty Soap

Ehis is a busy full-time working mum. She was already making liquid detergent when we met but she was eager to learn all about natural skin bathing soap. One of her girls had been encouraging her to learn for a while and it was she that coined the name Elyon Beauty Soap. ā¤

As she was already familiar with making lye solution, we could get stuck into the art and beauty of soapmaking.

I think what amazed her the most is how different quality oils and botanical additives come together to form the creamiest, mildest, bubbly cleansing soap.

In her own words:
"I like the hands on teaching,I like the follow up,I like you assisting to help me buy the equipment,I like my new bathing soap,I like you telling me all I need to know so I don't make terrible error etc"

When all was measured and mixed, poured, designed and stored away, here's a picture of our clean up area.

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What neat little soapers we were šŸ˜€

Turmeric Soap from Zincha Naturals

Turmeric, in addition to being a tasty spice, is much reported as an excellent skin exfoliator and helps with acne and the general health of the skin. Its even widely used to help fade acne scarring.

This hunk of turmeric soap is made by Edith at Zincha Naturals and in addition to the powdered turmeric, she amped up this soap’s benefits with turmeric (essential) oil and yogurt. According to the information she sent me,

It’s an excellent exfoliating agent and can help defeat the signs of aging. Also takes care of scars and inflammation. When mixed with yogurt/raw milk/ water can lighten stretch marks. Effective in the treatment of acne due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. In combination with other ingredients is effective in reducing fine lines and wrinkles

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Hot process Tumeric soap from Edith at Zincha Handmade Soap

Because I’m a rustic looking soap lover, I really really like how her soap’s turned out. If you’d like your own personal creamy hunk of turmeric goodness, you can hook up with her on Facebook here

Chocolate Orange Soap

Orange peel powder is so fragrant, it almost totally overtook the natural fragrance of the virgin coconut oil I infused it in within the first day.

I soaped the infused oil with 20% Shea butter and a full tablespoon of unsifted orange peel powder, dark unsweetened cacao powder, honey and kaolin clay.

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I left this soap unfragraned to see how the orange smell would come through and at the end, I threw in some soap shreds I had made a few days prior just for visual interest. Next time I may make orange shreds in keeping with the chocolate orange theme.

I couldn’t wait to get this soap unmoulded and kept sniffing it as I walked by šŸ˜€ The orange doesn’t hit you in the face but its there…nice and subtle, waiting to be activated with warm water. The orange peel grounds make for very gentle exfoliation so this is one to use directly on the skin.

This is a keeper, perfect for people who don’t want or can’t handle fragrance in their bath products.

Orange Peel Powder

Oranges. Evokes the nicest images. A sunny day, tasty refreshing drinks, happy cheerful people. Gently scrubby soap, fragrant skin scrubs and lotions.

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Freshly ground, sun dried orange peel powder

Orange peel powder is said to be antioxidant, fighty those free radicals that age our skins. What’s not to like? šŸ˜€

Orange peel powder is easy enough to make – dry peelings of oranges (just the peel, not the white fibrous part) and blend in a dry mill. Store in an airtight container or get crafting immediately.

Infusions: infuse your orange peel powder with your favourite oil in a sunny spot for a few weeks for a potent orange oil for hair and skin use.

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Orange infusing in sunflower oil for an upcoming lotion and scrub project.

What’s best about this infusion is that the infused orange peel can be used mixed with ground sugar, salt or even coffee grounds for an invigorating scrub.

For banishing blemishes or keeping acne at bay, a paste of orange peel powder and yogurt/ milk/ honey massaged into the skin and left on for 15 minutes before thoroughly washing off does a great job naturally.

This orange peel powder also features in a BO busting pit scrub recipe I developed for a dear teenager along with a natural deodorant.

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Not very attractive but its effective šŸ˜€

I’m a big fan of what we can achieve with natural produce and orange peel ticks all the boxes.

Benefits of Using Handcrafted Bath and Body Products

Happy New Year!!!

I thought I’d kickstart this year’s blogging with a reflection on why I make my own soap n stuff and what the benefits are if you Dont already buy/make.

Personally I like to what stuff is made of and how its made. My husband calls me an ‘artist’ and maybe I am. I get a thrill out of creating stuff and do mental cartwheels when I get feedback from people who have benefited from them.

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Handcrafted soap by ninibodytreats

So what are some of these benefits?

#1. Chemicals. In the beginning of soap, only the necessary ingredients were used – water, ash and oils. The water and ash were used to turn oil into soap. The ash was from plant matter (wood, vegetable peels, etc). As big producers took over keeping the teeming masses squeaky clean, chemicals and fillers were added to give the ‘soap’ indefinite shelf life and to stretch profit. Profit mostly.
Now with more skin and chemical exposure issues being recorded than ever, there’s a growing demand for soap with pronounceable ingredients šŸ˜€

#2. Customisation. Dry, Normal, Combination or Oily, one of the luxuries of making fresh small batches of soap and body products is that you can customise what to make to your skin type, using botanical additives that would usually render commercial products unaffordable for most.

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Rose Cream, made with real rose tea

#3. Closeness. Once products level their warehouses, most companies can’t determine how their products are handled and stored. Unscrupulous store owners have been known to change expiry dates to keep products on their shelves for longer. Buying handmade body products from a maker local to you means you are getting fresh active product that hasn’t been handled by more than two people – the maker and you. (Depending on the scale of operations of course).

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Natural Deodourant that detoxed my pits šŸ˜€

#4. Community. Most handcrafted body products makers are micro businesses run by women. Buying handmade keeps us productive and doing what we love.

Theres so much more to say, but I think you get it ;).

Have a prosperous 2016 folks!