How I Make Ginger Oil

A few days ago I posted this picture on my instagram page @ninibodytreats.

It’s wet ginger pulp in case you are wondering and in spite of all the things it could have ended up being, my only intention was to turn it into aromatic oil for use in bath and body products. 

To make the oil, I thoroughly dry out the pulp before maceration. 

If I’m in a hurry, I use a small crocpot to gently steep the dried herb in oil (either a single oil or combination) on very low heat for over 6 hours. If I have time on my side, I steep the herb in oil in a glass jar for 6 weeks, shaking the bottle at least once a day.

The result is the most fragrant natural oil that can be used directly (depending on the ratio of herb to oil) or mixed with Shea or cocoabutter for a warming body butter. I also use it in lip balm. 

Hope this has been useful. I would like to hear about your herbal oil creations.

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Shelf Life of Handcrafted Creams & Lotions

This post was inspired by finding a jar of thick lotion I made for my sister last year in one of her cupboards. It was a fragrance free cocoabutter lotion made with a strong calendula tea. 

Why? Although everything looked smelled and felt okay, it had passed the ‘fresh by’ date on handcrafted lotion (with preservative) that I’m comfortable with and its not always that nasties growing in product is visible to the naked eye. Especially if you live in hot, sticky high humidity areas like I do. 

Unlike commercially produced lotions which are usually no more than chemicals that help preserve the emulsion for a very long time and under stressful conditions, handmade creams are not meant to last forever.

Also, unlike handcrafted soap which tends to get better with age (unless one or more of your oils go rancid) creams and lotions are best used up within 6 months. Some may last up to a year if kept in pump bottles away from direct heat, etc, but I would err on the side of 6 months and just make a fresh batch with active ingredients.

Curcumin Yogurt Citrus Peel Soap

Soaping with herbs and spices is a lot of fun – not to mention the extra skin benefits – and I always try to incorporate some in my soaps.

imageCurcumin Yogurt Citrus Peel Soap by NiniBodyTreats

This time, curcumin (turmeric) takes centre stage. This spice is touted to help naturally correct sun damage (amongst other things) and I decided to help it along with a lot of probiotic yogurt and citrus peel powder for gentle exfoliation.

Exfoliating soaps are better used directly on the skin, so I’ve used a recipe that makes satisfying bubbly lather.

This batch is soap 4 of 6 (I will blog about the set when they are are all ready) in my fragrance free soapy creations and it doesn’t dissapoint ❤ .

No Fragrance, Please

I’m increasingly coming in contact with people who do not care for or tolerate fragrance – even essential oils. Oh, yes…and colour. That’s also a no-no.

While I love Shea butter for its multiple healing qualities, some of the raw batches I was getting were a little to ‘smoky’ for my liking. Thankfully, I’ve now found TWO sources for low odour raw Shea butter {which I filter for debris} so I can now confidently make shea rich body butters *yay*

Also, after lots of trial I now have a couple of formulae for soaps (bar, spa, scrubs and liquid) that smell really nice without fragrance. Sometimes its the oil, other times its the botanical infusion, but the result is pleasant smelling soap without added fragrance.

I’m really excited about this and I will update with pictures. In the meantime, if you are on instagram, I will be posting a picture of ‘Virgin’, a pure white 100% virgin coconut oil spa salt bar with kaolin clay, coconut milk and nothing else 😀 Its really quite special ❤ #ninibodytreats

Natural Herbal Hair Gel

The past few months have been horrible to my natural hair as the dryness licked every drop of moisture from my hair and roots. No matter what I did to it, it still felt like bad hair day everyday!

Hair gel is one of those styling products that I’ve used to tame my tresses in the past but I really didn’t need another hair product stealing something from my already dry hair. And it does take A.LOT of gel to get a decent look. So of course I set to researching natural hair gel.

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Trying to capture the viscosity of the gel in a still picture

After lots of experimenting, I found the right thickening agent for me and instead of just making ordinary gel, I decided on an aqueous extract of a mix of herbs to target scalp health (very important to me), shine and growth.

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My hair 12 hours after using the gel to get my hair into a low bun

The result was a wonderfully herbal smelling gel that went on smoothly and didn’t dry in a crunchy way. I’ve also used this gel to style my little girls hair excellent results. The feel of the gel is more slick than commercial gel but that’s a very minor minus considering the good things its doing to our hair and scalp 😀

NiniBodyTreats is on Instagram…

…and how’s that a big deal? Well, I ‘swore’ off social media a couple of years ago and I didn’t want to get sucked in again.

A lady I met at the plastics market convinced me to give it a shot and its been fun and wearying as well…I mean how many hastags does one really need to get a picture noticed? For someone who has been content with people just stumbling on this blog (0 points for business sense), being on a platform where I have to say “#hey #please #please #look #at #my #photo…” gets a little too much 😀

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My reason for starting this soap making journey. She's always ready to help me any way she can. ❤ ❤

That said, if you would like to know what this beautiful little lady is holding in her hand, head on over to instagram and find me @ninibodytreats or #ninibodytreats 😀

Whipped Hair and Body Butter

I don’t often get the chance to make whipped body butter because I really don’t have any patience for the cleanup. If you have never heard of a whipped body butter, you are not alone 🙂 I’m surprised how often I’m asked to explain what it is.

Hard and soft oils are combined and whipped till its the consistency of frosting (depending on how hot it is where you are, in my experience)

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Whipping in progress. Picture courtest holosticsquid via Google

Its best to start whipping when the mixture is firm and cold but if that’s not possible, you can still impart beautiful fluffy melty texture to your whipped butter. It can be used all ovev the body and also in the hair based on the oils you add to the butters.

Here’s half of a very recent custom order I made. I can’t tell you exactly what’s in it because the client supplied the recipe. But I can tell you its goooooood.

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Custom order of whipped butter. Melty goodness ❤

Would you believe you are looking at just under 4kg of whipped butter?!! Thank you beautiful lady customer 😉 for the opportunity to serve your business.