Monthly Chats | Autumn Soaps and Personal Achievments

Shop Talk | The beginning of September was all about making all of the soap for my autumn release in October.

I had planned and planned and hoarded all of my essential oils and soap ingredients so that I would be fully stocked up for all of my holiday soaps.

It’s been a busy month of taking product photos and preparing listings ahead of time since I like the holidays to be as stress free as possible so this month has been all about preparation.

 

Slow Moments | Though taking product photos is part of my job and can be pretty time consuming and exhausting, I have found a love of photography through it.

I put on some music, lay out my white background and get myself into a rhythm that usually lasts for hours.

It is a unique way of me doing something that I enjoy doing but also something that is productive.

 

Thoughts | This month has been considerably productive for me despite roof repairs going on in my house and a laptop that likes to make up its own rules.

I have finished my line of Autumn soaps and have prepared ahead of time for my Winter collection as well and seem to be getting the hang of more in-depth, weekly planning.

Among all of those things I also received my diploma for my second natural health consultant course which has taken me a little over a year to finish.

But one thing that I have realized this month is that I am not very good at celebrating my own success.

I can see what I have accomplished and I often even promise myself a small celebration once I have reached a goal but once I am at that point I have a habit of brushing it off and setting my goal even higher. With the same promise to reward myself once it is accomplished.

This is a cycle that I have now clearly realized that I have created.

I consider my motivation and self-discipline to be some of my best attributes but they can also trip me up sometimes and turn me into someone who cannot acknowledge their own success.

And that is something that I desperately need to work on and if any of you suffer from the same mindset then I hope that you can recognize that as well and start to give yourself a pat on the back occasionally.

 

 

My Favorite Flower Toner

I have been making my own toners for quite some time now and have tried out many different variations but always seem to drift back to one specific recipe.

If you are not familiar with what exactly a toner is but want to try it out it is probably one of the most user-friendly bits of skin care to make on your own.

A toner is simply an astringent liquid that is applied to the skin to improve complexion and to battle oilyness.

Two astringent liquids that I use for my toners are apple cider vinegar and witch hazel, both being very easily accessible, but today’s recipe only calls for witch hazel.

Recipe |

– 1 cup of Witch Hazel

– 1/2 Tsp. Lavender Buds

– 1 Tsp. Calendula Flowers

– 1 Tsp. Chamomile Flowers

Pour your witch hazel into a sealable container and add in your flowers to begin the infusion process.

You can either put the flowers directly into the container or you can put them into a tea bag or fabric satchel to avoid having to stain the flowers out later.

Let the witch hazel infuse for three to five days, shaking the container occasionally and within a day or two your infusion should be the color of chamomile tea.

Once you are happy with it strain out the flowers or remove the bag they are in and pour into a spray or dropper bottle for easy use.

This toner is my favorite specifically for its simple and easy to find ingredients that are soothing and anti-inflammatory to any skin type.

Skin Care Basics | Plant Milks

Today’s topic is on the exciting benefits of using plant milks in your skincare routines.

Animal milks also have their individual benefits for your skin but since I avoid using all animal derived products, besides honey, in my skincare and soaps, I will only be talking about the benefits of plant derived milks.

Coconut Milk | Now coconut milk is my favorite plant milk to work with since it is so naturally moisturizing and indulgent when applied to your skincare.

It contains high levels of vitamin C which aids in your skin remaining flexible which helps to prevent skin sagging and wrinkles.

As you would imagine, coconut milk is also one of the most moisturizing plant milks with its rich consistency and natural oil and fat content.

This is the plant milk that I use the most in my soap making since it is amazingly moisturizing when added to soap and creates a luxurious, whipped cream like lather.

 

Almond Milk | Since almond milk is made with almonds and water it is naturally very hydrating when applied to the skin and works well with all skin types.

Almonds contain high amounts of vitamin E which helps to protect your skin from sun exposure and sun damage, it even helps to sooth sunburns.

Almond milk has a handful of hair friendly vitamins such as A, D, and B1 as well as many more which work together to condition and nourish hair strands and scalp.

 

Oat Milk | Oat milk is another plant milk that I often add to soap recipes to not only add a moisturizing component but to also make it more sensitive skin friendly.

Everyone is aware that oats are a wonderful option for those with sensitive skin or skin conditions and the same rule applies to oat milk.

It is anti-inflammatory and soothing to all skin types and can treat rashes, itching, and scaly skin.

Oats are known for their ability to lighten skin tone as well as smooth out bumpy skin and tone uneven skin pigments.

One of the best things about oat milk is that it is simple and cost effective to make from scratch which allows you to have full control over the ingredients that go into the oat milk.

Why Buy Handmade Products ( When You Could Make It Yourself )

As many of you probably know by now, I own my own business where I make and sell soap.

There is an incredibly large selection of people who own their own businesses and sale their handmade goods and it is a number that is continually growing as people pursue their self employed dreams.

Now as someone who enjoys making things of all varieties I can understand people’s hesitancy to buy handmade products because I also am prone to asking myself, why buy something that I can make myself.

That being said the holidays are coming up fast and if your like me, you have already begun to start searching for those perfect Christmas presents before everything begins to sell out and the post offices begin to jam up.

Since starting my own business I have found a new appreciation for other handmade businesses and have already begun to search for presents from them rather than other commercial brand names.

And I hope that after reading this blog post on why you should too, that you will have changed your mind.

Eco Friendly | It shouldn’t come as a massive shock that buying from smaller, handmade businesses is a more eco friendly choice.

Even those shops that might not necessarily choose recyclable packaging or green materials still make a larger difference with the environment than bigger brands do.

Their items are not made with production machines or in large warehouses and more often than not, there is a much smaller amount of resources wasted.

And you will often be receiving better quality as well which means that you will get more use out of the items that you buy.

Treating Yourself | There are a lot of things that we buy as a treat for ourselves even though we could technically make those things ourselves.

The same rule goes for when you are purchasing handmade items. Sure you could probably make 90% of the things that, that person sells but you will have to buy the supplies and put aside the time and by the time your done, you will most likely be more relieved than excited that its done.

There is just something much more exciting about placing the order for something that you want and having it arrive in the mail rather than slaving over it yourself.

After all, you aren’t really treating yourself if what you are making becomes a chore rather than a pleasure.

Supporting Someone’s Dream | This is by far what I would consider to be the most important reason for buying from a small, handmade business and that is because you are supporting someone’s dream.

Lets face it, starting your own business is scary and hard and back breaking. The work never really ends and you never know quite what that pay check at the end of the month will look like.

People don’t start selling their handmade products because it’s an easy job or even very rewarding most of the time. They start their own business because they love what they do and they have a dream of having a job that is also their passion.

When you choose to buy from a small business you aren’t just giving yourself or someone you know a gift, you are giving that business owner a gift as well.

The gift of your support.

 

 

 

Skin Care Basics | Tea Tree Oil

A few weeks back I wrote a blog post on a few essential oils that are good for your skin and I briefly mentioned tea tree oil.

Tea tree oil is by far my most beloved and most used essential oil and is the one that I have also been using the longest out of any essential oils.

I believe whole heartedly in this oil’s ability to help everyone’s skin in some way which is why I decided to write a more in-depth post on its benefits.

Acne | Tea tree oil is both antibacterial and antifungal which makes it a wonderful option for those who suffer from mild to sever acne.

It is much more moisturizing than most acne treatments while also being drying enough to nip problematic acne in the bud.

Tea tree oil will even help you with the scars that acne leaves behind which makes it a wonderful, all in one product for acne sufferers who don’t want to be left with yet another skin care problem to conquer.

Anti-Inflammatory | If you have problems with sensitive skin or skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis than tea tree oil is a good skin care option for you as well.

It’s anti-inflammatory properties makes it a fast healing oil for skin conditions that create itching or irritation. It even works to heal cuts and mild infections.

Tea tree oil works to quickly reduce any redness and irritation as well as to quickly heal any growing pimples or blemishes. For these reasons, many people use tea tree oil as a spot treatment.

Hair | Not only is tea tree oil beneficial for skin but it also has many positive hair qualities.

It works to unclog hair follicles which allows for faster and thicker hair growth as well as eliminating dandruff and an irritated and itchy scalp. It even acts as a solution for removing lice.

As with all other essential oils, it is important to exercise precaution when using tea tree oil since it is highly concentrated and could cause irritation.

Tea tree oil is also considered toxic if taken internally so always keep it away from your mouth and eyes and do a patch test on your skin to eliminate the possibility of any kind of irritation or allergic reaction.

 

September 4th Soap Release

September’s soap release is very much just an odd compilement of the soaps that didn’t quite cure on time to be released in August.

With the holidays coming up I have been on a strict no soap making diet for the last few weeks in order to stock up on ingredients so this month’s new selection is more around the amount of soaps that I plan on introducing from now on.

If your curious about the details of any of the soaps listed here then you can hop on over to the Tangerine and Me Etsy shop where I have a much more, in-depth description of each new product.

For the time being all new soaps being released will be limited additions only, so if one catches your fancy make sure you buy it since it might not be restocked!

 

September Releases |

Unscented Shea Soap

Chamomile Castile Soap Balls

Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey Soap Balls

Lavender Vanilla Soap Balls

Weekly Chats | Holiday Soap Planning and Reading

Shop Talk | This week, or more like this month, has been all about getting into a stable work flow when it comes to the Tangerine and Me soap shop.

Instead of adding new soap listings randomly throughout the month like I was before, I have now started to create release dates for each month were I will be releasing groups of new products into the shop.

One thing that I am quickly learning about running your own business is that you must be on top of everything at all times. No slacking or loitering allowed!

Another exciting thing that I have been working tirelessly on is a holiday soap series. Though it may seem pretty early to be thinking about the holidays, soap takes at least four weeks to cure which means that you need to seriously plan ahead in order to have products ready on time.

Overall, I’ve been doing much more soap planning than actual soap making lately and though I do enjoy it, I’m looking forward to making soap again soon.

 

Slow Moments | Slow moments are still quite scarce since any spare time I have usually ends up with me falling asleep at some random part of the house.

Taking time for myself is something that I love to do but is also quite hard for me to allow myself, especially when you are someone who struggles with fatigue.

I am very easily tired which means that any energy I have is usually carefully planned to be spent doing something productive. I find it hard to simply take that time for myself when I know how rare a good day really is.

That, however, is something that I am aware of and am always working on since I know just how important it is to give ourselves a mental break as well as a physical one.

 

Thoughts | I’ve recently taken up reading once again after taking almost a two year break of hardly ever picking up a book.

I used to be a big reader when I was still in school and it always had a way of inspiring me to write more.

It amazes me at how easily I had forgotten how precious my reading time really was to me. I had forgotten the beauty of drowning in a good book and reading for hours without the slightest desire to stop.

Everyone finds inspiration in their own ways but I have always found it in books. In the characters, the writing style, and even the authors themselves.

This week especially, I have made the extra effort to have an hour of reading time every morning before I start my day.

It isn’t productive or in any way useful which makes it a perfect moment of self care, as a small but beloved gift to myself.

Overnight Oil Hair Treatment

 

When it comes to taking care of myself my hair usually ends up falling to the bottom of the list since I prefer to throw it up into a bun and forget about it altogether.

Recently, however, I have been trying to make the extra effort to do a deep conditioning or an oil hair treatment a few nights out of the month.

They are fast and simple with only a few ingredients and a few spare minutes to apply then go to sleep and let the magic happen.

Recipe |

– 4 oz. Olive Oil

– 2 Drops Lavender Oil

– 3 Drops Peppermint Oil

 4 Drops Rosemary Oil

 

This amount of oil should last for many hair treatment and should be stored in a glass bottle since essential oils eat away at any plastic materials.

For this hair treatment I decided to reach for olive oil because of its heartiness as well as the fact that it is a kitchen staple for most.

As for the essential oils, rosemary is a very well know treatment for thick hair growth. Peppermint cleanses as well as promotes hair growth and gives the scalp a pleasant, tingling feeling. Lavender also promotes hair growth, as well as having a deep conditioning effect on both a dry and oily hair and scalp.

This hair treatment is incredibly moisturizing and helps with hair growth but most of all it smells amazing and is the perfect scent combination for a relaxing transition to nighttime.

Apply no more than one to two tablespoons to scalp and massage as well as disperse evenly through hair. Put your hair up and either cover your pillow or hair to avoid making a mess while sleeping and wash out thoroughly in the morning.

This oil can also be used to moisturize and smooth out hair by applying a few drops and massaging it through your hair as a daily hair serum.

If you are interested in researching further about natural hair care and ways to treat hair loss check out this resourceful article.

August 10th Soap Release

This month has quite a hefty list of soaps to be released since I did a lot of experimenting during July.

There is an unplanned theme of citrus laced through this month’s soap options which makes them perfect for a summer treat for yourself.

If your curious about the details of any of the soaps listed here make sure you go and check out the Etsy shop where I give a more in depth description of each product and it’s qualities. You can find the link here.

All of the soaps being released for the time being are going to be limited additions until I can decide on a list of soaps that will be regulars in the shop. So if one catches your fancy make sure you buy it since it might not be restocked!

 

August Releases |

Ginger Tea Soap

Chamomile Castile Soap

Lemon Mint Herbal Soap

Lime and Sea Salt Soap

Calendula and Kaolin Clay Soap

Skin Care Basics | Honey

Honey is the only animal made ingredient that I include in my soap making and skin care routine, mainly because I think that it is very important to support local bee keepers to keep our little friends pollinating.

I include honey in several of my soap recipes which always adds that extra luxurious flare to an otherwise average skin care product.

Break Outs | One thing that honey is well known for is its antibacterial properties.

Often times any kind of skin break out or acne can be treated by removing the excess build up of bacteria on the skin. There are plenty of commercially made antibacterial cleansers and soaps for skin but none of them are as sweet and gentle as honey is.

It’s calming abilities also make it a good option for a less intense, over night spot treatment that will allow you to wake up to less inflamed break outs.

Hydrating | Honey is a natural humectant which is a long word that simply means that it draws moisture from the air into the skin.

That extra benefit is what makes honey a fantastic option for those who suffer from dry or sensitive skin that is in need of a little extra hydration.

Honey is a good ingredient for those who are looking for moisturizing face and hair masks.

Anti Aging | The antioxidants in honey make it a great ingredient to include in a more mature skin care routine.

The purpose of antioxidants is to protect your skin for the harsh chemicals and climate as well as to improve the appearance of skin. Honey is a harmless and natural way of providing that extra boost to dry, tired skin that might not be getting enough antioxidants on its own.

It is important to keep in mind that there are numerous different kinds of honey and that not all are made equal.

Manuka honey is widely praised for its strong antibacterial abilities while a honey made from a specific plant, such as orange blossoms, will have different benefits for your skin.

One common rule to always follow when picking out your honey is to choose locally made or from a trust worthy company and to always choose raw and unfiltered since many benefits are lost in the purifying process.