Lavender Infused Aloe Vera Lotion

Heal and soothe skin damage with our lovely lavender infused aloe vera lotion. As you may know the aloe plant heals cracks, dryness, and other skin struggles. Though you may not know that adding lavender buds and essential oils to an aloe vera liquid creates the ultimate healing solution.

What You’ll Need:

1 oz Kukui Nut Oil
1 oz Fractionated Coconut Oil
0.4 oz Jojoba Oil
1.2 oz Matcha Green Tea Butter
0.9 oz Stearic Acid
1.1 oz Emulsifying Wax
22 oz Aloe Vera Liquid
1 cup Dried Lavender Buds
0.2 oz Carrot Extract
0.2 oz Optiphen
1 mL Lavender Fine Essential Oil
1 mL Cedarwood Essential Oil

Hardware:

Scale
Large Jar (1)
Heat-Safe container (2)
Stainless Steel Whisk
Stick Blender
1 Cup Measuring Cup
Silicone Spatula
4 oz Bottles with Black Caps (5)

**If you are not local, you can get all of this and more at brambleberry.com! They will ship directly to you!**

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DIRECTIONS:

ALOE INFUSION PREP:

In a large enough jar weigh out 22 ounces of aloe vera liquid. Then add 1 cup of dried lavender buds to the aloe vera and stir until all the buds are completely submerged.  Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and set aside for one week.  We like to stir our mixture daily to ensure an even infusion.

 

EQUIPMENT PREP:

 Disinfect your utensils by dipping them in a 5% bleach water solution and allowing to dry. This includes mixing containers, your stick blender, and any spoons or spatulas that may come in contact with your lotion. Your products must be as free as possible of germs, bacteria, and microbes.

 

ONE: In a heat-safe container, combine the kukui nut oil, fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, stearic acid
and emulsifying wax. Heat the container in the microwave in 30-second bursts until the waxes have fully
melted and the mixture is about 165° F.

 

TWO: Add your matcha green tea butter to your hot oil and wax mixture.
Then stir in the butter until completely dissolved.

THREE: Pour 16 ounces of the lavender infused aloe vera liquid into a second heat-safe container.
Heat in the microwave to about 160° F.

FOUR: Check the temperatures of both containers. Each should be about 140-150° F. Once they are at the
correct temperature, pour the oils and wax into the water and begin pulsing the stick blender. Blend the
mixture for 60-90 seconds, making sure the oil and water are fully emulsified. Be careful to “burp” your
stick blender by tamping it on the bottom of the container to release bubbles – you don’t want bubbles
trapped in your lotion.

FIVE: Continue stick blending until the temperature drops to about 130° F. Add the carrot extract, optiphen,
lavender fine essential oil, and the cedarwood essential oil and use the stick blender to blend for about 1-2 minutes more.

SIX: Carefully pour the lotion into bottles. Let the bottles sit overnight without a cap (otherwise condensation
can form inside the bottle). Once completely cooled, place the caps on the bottles and enjoy!

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Aloe Cold Process

Our cold process tutorial this month uses Aloe Vera Liquid instead of water because we love alternative liquids! Aloe Vera Liquid is wonderfully soothing and moisturizing in cold process. We definitely had fun playing with colors to achieve this beautiful green ombre. Clover & Aloe is the perfect soft fragrance to compliment these gorgeous green colors, and it behaves amazingly with no acceleration or trace. Keep reading to find out more about how to make this beautiful soap!

What You’ll Need:

11 oz Coconut Oil
11 oz Palm Oil
5 oz Olive Oil
3 oz Kokum Butter
3 oz Castor Oil
3 oz Kukui Nut Oil

12 oz Aloe Vera Liquid
5.14 oz Lye

2.1 oz Clover & Aloe FO
Chrome Green Oxide
Titanium Dioxide

Hardware:

Scale
4 cup glass Pyrex
Small glass bowl
12 cup glass Pyrex
Stainless steel whisk
Ramekin or Dixie cup (3)
Measuring spoons
Mini Mixer
Silicone Spatula
Small container to measure fragrance
Spoon (4)
Easy Pour (3)

**If you are not local, you can get all of this and more at Bramble Berry! They will ship directly to you!**

If you’ve never made Cold Process soap before, stop here! I highly recommend checking out Bramble Berry’s FREE four part SoapQueen.tv series on Cold Process Soapmaking, especially the episode on lye safety. And if you’d rather do some reading, Bramble Berry carries a wide range of books on the topic, including Anne-Marie’s newest book, Pure Soapmaking. You can also checkout the digital downloads for that instant gratification factor.

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DIRECTIONS:

COLOR PREP:

In a small ramekin or dixie cup, measure out 1/2 tsp Titanium Dioxide and add about 2 tbs of any fixed oil (we chose Apricot Kernel Oil). Then combine using Bramble Berry’s mini mixer.
In a separate small ramekin, measure 1/2 tsp Titanium Dioxide and just a pinch of Chrome Green Oxide and disperse in oil using the same method.
In a third small ramekin, measure 1/8 tsp Chrome Green Oxide and 3/4 tsp of Titanium Dioxide and disperse.
In a fourth small ramekin, measure 1/2 tsp Chrome Green Oxide and disperse.

OTHER PREP:

Weigh out 2.1 oz Clover & Aloe FO into a small container and set aside.

Mark all three of your easy pour containers between the 300 mL and 400 mL line.

Begin by organizing your area so that everything is ready to go. Place your ramekins of Green Chrome Oxide next to your easy pour in order of darkest to lightest. We will be coloring the remaining soap batter in the glass pyrex white, so have your white ramekin ready.

LYE PREP:

Measure 12 oz of Aloe Vera Liquid into one 4 cup glass Pyrex, and 5.14 oz of lye into a small glass bowl (or Pyrex). Make sure you are in a well-ventilated area, and you are wearing long sleeves, gloves, and goggles. Carefully add the lye to the Aloe Vera Liquid while gently stirring with a stainless steel whisk until the lye has completely dissolved. The Aloe lye will turn yellow and then orange. Allow the lye to cool to around 115 degrees by either labeling and setting aside, or by placing into a designated freezer. We recommend using Bramble Berry’s Infrared Thermometer. These are amazing because they are so easy to use and you don’t have to worry about getting your thermometer covered in lye water!

While the lye is cooling, weigh and combine your oils (making sure you are PRECISE!) and then microwave on 45 second bursts until the oils are around 115 degrees.

Once both the lye solution and the oils are around 115 degrees (between 10 degrees of each other) you can begin soaping!

Place the stick blender into the oils at an angle and burp the blender by gently knocking the stick blender on the bottom of the Pyrex. Pour the lye solution down the arm of the stick blender and start mixing until you have reached a thin trace. Check for trace often, as once trace has been reached it will begin to thicken quickly.

Once you have reached a thin trace, pour the soap batter into the designated easy pour containers to the line. You will have some leftover in the glass Pyrex which you will be coloring white.

Add your ramekins of color to their specified easy pour container. Color the remaining soap batter with the Titanium Dioxide (completely white) ramekin.

Divide the fragrance between the four layers (you can eyeball this).

Pour the darkest green layer into the tall 12″ Silicone Loaf Mold. Leave some of the soap in the easy pour for the top of the soap! Bang the mold on the counter to help the soap layer completely flatten out.

Pour the next darkest green layer on top of the first. If your soap is really thin, you may want to use a spatula to help prevent the second layer from breaking through the first. Our soap had thickened considerably by this point, so we did not need to do this. Bang the mold on the counter.

Repeat the last step with the lightest green layer and finally with the white layer.

Pour the remaining dark green batter in a line on the top of the soap. You may need to flatten it slightly with a spoon if it is too thick.

Using a skewer, swirl the top in a figure 8 pattern.

Spray with rubbing alcohol and cover to promote gel phase. Wait 3-4 days to cut. The soap will be extra soft because of the tall 12″ silicone loaf. You may want to pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes or so before attempting to unmold.

Allow your soap to cure for 4-6 weeks.

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Don’t forget for the month of July take 15% off all ALOE products here in-store at Otion!

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Clover & Aloe Shaving Cream

Continuing on with Aloe month, this wonderfully moisturizing shaving cream is the perfect addition for Aloe lovers! This amazing shaving cream is packed full of incredible ingredients such as Kokum Butter and Coconut Oil, making it so moisturizing you don’t even need to apply a lotion after shaving! Bentonite Clay helps create the perfect slip, and Natural Castile Soap ensures you are getting clean while you shave! And of course the addition of Aloe Extract makes it soothing for those days where you’ve had just a bit too much sun. It works great as a facial shaving cream as well, just reduce the amount of fragrance! Keep reading to find out more about this incredible project!

What You’ll Need:

5 oz Coconut Oil
4 oz Kokum Butter
2 oz Rice Bran Oil
1.5 oz Natural Castile Liquid Soap Base
1 oz Bentonite Clay
2 mL Optiphen
2 mL Aloe Extract
3 mL Clover & Aloe FO

**Not local? You can get all of this and more at Bramble Berry! And they will ship directly to you!**
(3) 4 oz Bail Jars
Temp Gun
Easy Pour
Scale
Stirring Utensil

Directions:

In an easy pour container, weigh out 5 oz of hot Coconut Oil.

In small chunks add 4 oz of Kokum Butter and stir until dissolved. You may need to microwave for an extra 20 seconds or so to accomplish this.

Once Kokum Butter has completely melted, add 2 oz of Rice Bran Oil and 1.5 oz of Natural Castile Liquid Soap Base and stir.

Add 1 oz Bentonite Clay and stir until clumps are completely gone. This may take a few minutes. You can run into issues of separation if not mixed properly, so when you think you’re done keep mixing for a couple extra minutes!

Add 2 mL Optiphen and 2 mL Aloe Extract and stir well.

Add 3 mL Clover & Aloe fragrance oil and mix VERY well. If you are making a facial shaving cream, we recommend only adding about half the fragrance.

Place your easy pour in the freezer and check on it every 5 minutes or so, stirring well and checking the temperature until it reaches 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you have reached 65 degrees, give it one last good stir and pour between three 4 oz plastic bail jars.

Enjoy your wonderfully moisturizing shaving cream!

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Don’t forget, for the month of July take 15% off all ALOE products here in-store at Otion!

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Soothing Aloe Vera Peppermint Spray

What’s a better way to help soothe a sunburn than Aloe? Peppermint E.O. of course! Peppermint essential oil is thought to be soothing and cooling. Hungarian Lavender blends wonderfully with Peppermint, and adds an extra touch of healing. This spray works wonders to help soothe and calm minor sunburns. For us Washingtonians who so rarely see the sun, it is a much needed addition to our cosmetic arsenal!

What You’ll Need:

10 oz Aloe Vera Liquid
2 oz Cucumber Water
3 mL Optiphen ND
10 drops Peppermint 2nd Dist. E.O.
5 drops Hungarian Lavender E.O.

Hardware:

(3) 4 oz Blue Glass Spray Bottles **Available only at Otion**
Waterproof Labels
Scale
Pyrex
Droppers (3)
Funnel (optional)

*Not local? You can get all of this and more at Bramble Berry! Plus they will ship directly to you!*

Directions:

Weigh out 10 oz Aloe Vera Liquid into a glass pyrex.

Add 2 oz Cucumber Water.

Using a dropper, add 3 mL Optiphen ND to prevent bacteria growth.

Using a clean dropper, add 10 drops of Peppermint E.O. for a cooling effect. You can add more if you would like it to be stronger.

Using a clean dropper, add 5 drops of Hungarian Lavender E.O. for an additional soothing touch. You can add more if you like.

Mix well.

Pour into 4 oz Blue Glass Spray Bottles. You can use a funnel or carefully pour straight from the Pyrex.

If you would like to add a label, print on waterproof labels and attach as shown.

NOTE: The labels we used are not suitable for resale. If you are interested in selling and want to know more about how to properly label your items, check out this Soap and Cosmetic Labeling book that we offer.

To use, spray generously to sunburns 3-4 times a day to help soothe irritated skin.

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Love Aloe for sunburns, but thinking you want to try something a little different? Check out this Soap Queen blog on Skin Soothing Aloe Cubes!

Don’t forget, for the month of July take 15% off all ALOE products here in-store at Otion!

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Aloe Cactus Flower Melt & Pour

Aloe Final

It is finally warm and beautiful here in Bellingham! But with the wonderful sunshine comes sunburns, especially for us local PNWers 🙁 That’s why we decided to dedicate a whole month to the wonderfully healing aloe plant! This rejuvenating plant helps soothe dry, sunburned skin. Our first blog of the month utilizes Aloe M&P, a particularly soothing melt and pour soap with an amazing lather. We also decided to try out one of Bramble Berry’s newest fragrances, Cactus Flower! This super sweet-smelling fragrance is perfect for this fun summery project!

What You’ll Need:

3 lbs Aloe M&P
1/8 tsp Coral Mica
1/4 tsp Kermit Green Mica
1/4 tsp Forest Green Jojoba Beads
12 mL Cactus Flower FO

***You can get all of this and more at Bramble Berry! And they will ship directly to you!***

10″ Silicone Loaf Mold
Temp Gun
2 cup Glass Pyrex
4 cup Glass Pyrex
Dropper
Measuring spoons (1/8 tsp & 1/4 tsp)
Stirring utensil

Directions:

Melt 16 oz of Aloe M&P in a microwave-safe container (we used a 2 cup glass pyrex) on one-minute bursts, stirring in between bursts.

When completely  melted, add 1/8 tsp of Coral Mica and mix well. You can disperse the mica in alcohol or glycerin first to help incorporate the mica, but it is not necessary.
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Add 4 mL Cactus Flower FO and mix well.

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Tilt the 10″ silicone loaf mold to one side using the mica jars as shown below.

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Slowly pour the coral mica M&P into the loaf mold and spray with rubbing alcohol.

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Allow to thicken enough to layer (about 30 min).

Melt 32 oz of Aloe M&P in microwave using the same method as above (we used a 4 cup glass pyrex).

Add 1/4 tsp of Kermit Green Mica and mix well.pic7

Add 8 mL of Cactus Flower FO and mix well.

Add 1/4 tsp of Forest Green Jojoba beads and mix well (we scooped two 1/8 tsp, as shown in the picture).pic8

The soap needs to be around 130 degrees Fahrenheit for jojoba beads to suspend properly.

Spray the Coral layer with rubbing alcohol to help the layers stick.

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Pour the Kermit Green layer with the 10″ silicone loaf mold sitting flat on the table.

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Spray with rubbing alcohol and let harden at room temperature (about three hours).

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Unmold carefully by burping the sides of the silicone loaf and allowing the soap to fall out.

Aloe Final 2

Enjoy your adorable Summer-y soap!

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Not sure how to do layers but want to try this project? Check out this Soap Queen blog on a gorgeous layered soap inspired by the PNW!

Don’t forget, for the month of July take 15% off all Aloe-related products here in-store at Otion!

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Vanilla Coffee Cupcakes

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How could we not wrap up Coffee Month without some celebratory cupcakes? We decided to combine melt and pour AND cold process to make this delectable soap treat. We love how the discoloration of the Vanilla fragrance oil gave our frosting this unique swirl design. This is definitely a tricky technique, but once you get it down it yields wonderful results that are good enough to eat! These cupcakes make the perfect birthday gift-but be sure to warn the person receiving them that they are actually soap!

What You’ll Need:

Melt & Pour Bottoms:

42 oz Goat Milk M&P
13 mL Vanilla Select FO
13 mL Vanilla Color Stabilizer
Large glass pyrex
Fork
Scale
Silicone cupcake mold (2)
Rubbing alcohol

Cold Process Frosting:

2 oz Coconut Oil
3 oz Pure Olive Oil
3 oz Palm Kernel Flakes
9 oz Palm Oil
.4 oz Vanilla Select FO

2.43 oz Sodium Hydroxide
5.61 oz Distilled Water

1-2 tbs Coffee Grounds
1-2 tbs Whole Coffee Beans

1M Frosting Tip
Frosting Bag
Hand Mixer
Silicone Spatula
Temp gun
Scale
Glass pyrex (3)

**If you are not local, you can get most all of this and more at Bramble Berry! They will ship directly to you!**

Cupcake Bottom Instructions:

Weigh out 42 oz Goat Milk melt and pour soap. Melt in microwave on two minute bursts. Be sure to mix well in between bursts.pic1

Add 13 mL of Vanilla Select FO & 13 mL Vanilla Color Stabilizer and mix well.

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Carefully pour into cupcake molds and spray with alcohol.

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Let harden at room temperature or pop into freezer. If popping in freezer be careful! Wait until they have hardened a bit (15-20 min) before carefully sliding a cutting board under the cupcake tray to move to the freezer. If they wrinkle on top a little it’s no big deal! The frosting will cover this.

After the soap has completely hardened, unmold.

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Frosting Instructions:

COLOR/FRAGRANCE PREP:

We will be using the discoloration of a Vanilla fragrance to be coloring half of our frosting. Weigh out .4 oz of Vanilla Select FO and set aside.

LYE PREP:

Make sure you have gloves, goggles and long sleeves on before beginning to process the lye. Measure 5.61 oz distilled water into one glass container, and 2.43 oz lye into another. Carefully add the lye to the water and gently stir with a stainless steel whisk until solution is clear. Allow the lye to cool to around 65 degrees Fahrenheit by placing into a designated freezer. We recommend using Bramble Berry’s Infrared Thermometer. These are amazing because they are so easy to use and you don’t have to worry about getting your thermometer covered in lye water!

While the lye is cooling, weigh out all the fixed oils (and the Palm Kernel Flakes) in a large glass Pyrex bowl.

For this technique we want our lye and our oils significantly cooler than usual. We want our lye to be around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and our oils around 70 degrees before combining.

Once the oils have cooled to around 70 degrees, begin whipping with a hand mixer. They will be gelatinous and opaque before mixing with the hand mixer. Whip JUST THE OILS into a soft consistency using a hand mixer.

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Slowly pour a small amount of the lye into the whipped oils, and use a spoon or spatula to incorporate. Be careful not to splash any of the lye water. This soapmaking process is a lot more laid back that normal cold process because you have much more time to work with your soap. Take your time adding the lye! Spoon the lye into the oils and then mix with the hand mixer.

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Once the lye has been incorporated into the oils (this can take a few minutes), turn the hand mixer or stand mixer on low. Scrape any batter that has splattered on the side of the container and then turn the mixer to a medium setting. Continue to whip for several minutes.

Continue mixing until you have achieved a frosting-like consistency. A good test is to lift the mixer out of the soap and if it keeps a peak, it is ready. This process can take between 20 and 30 minutes. Sometimes the soap will actually increase in temperature because of the lye reaction, so testing the temperature regularly and popping the mixture into the freezer for a few minutes can help this process.

Once the soap has reached the frosting-like consistency, split the frosting in half and add the Vanilla Select to one half. Mix the fragrance in well with a spatula or whisk. You can also give it a quick mix with the hand mixer. The Vanilla Select will discolor the frosting, so we are only fragrancing half of the frosting to create a swirled design.

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Cut off about a half inch from the tip of the frosting bag and push the tip through. Scoop the frostings into opposite sides of the bag until full. You will have some frosting left over, and will need to fill the bag again during the frosting process.

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Squeeze out some of the frosting to burp any air pockets that may be in the bag.

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Squeeze a dollop of frosting onto the middle of the cupcake bottoms.

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Pipe the frosting around the dollop of frosting in a circular motion until you have reached a peak.

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Sprinkle with coffee grounds and top with a couple of whole coffee beans.

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This recipe yields anywhere from 10-13 cupcakes, depending on how tall you make your frosting. We were able to make 11.

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Your soap will start to discolor after about three days. Let soap cure for 4-6 weeks before use. Enjoy your soapy cupcake treats!

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Don’t forget, for the month of June take 15% off all Vanilla Fragrances here in-store at Otion!

And for the month of July take 15% off all Aloe-related products!

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