Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Olive oil cleanse update and whipped soap

Well, its week 3 of the olive oil cleanse I've been using to try to reduce large, clogged pores. I feel as though I am at a stand-still. The first week I was seeing a very noticeable difference. Happily, the pores beside my nose are completely clear and much smaller in appearance, but the pores in my t-zone seem to have stopped shrinking and lightening up. I am not sure if this area will just take longer to heal since it has been a problem area for so long or if this is truly the end of my success.

I do plan to keep using the cleanse anyway, as I love my softened, less oily skin, and the benefits of the healing tea tree oil I added to my cleanse. It dries up fever blisters overnight if left on them, and seems to clear blemishes faster as well. I have only had one blemish since using this cleanse daily, and it was small and healed quickly. Whether it is the olive oil, the tea tree oil, or the combination of both, I don't care; it's an inexpensive, healthy system and it works for me. I read online about another lady who used it for a year and it eventually cleared all her pores completely, so check back in one year I guess!

I tried some more whipped soap making this week. Its so easy to do. Take your melt and pour soap base. Melt it and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add a few teaspoons of water and begin to whip it on low speed using an electric mixer (remember, once the bowl and the mixer's beaters have been exposed to soap-making fragrance oils, its best not to use them in food products again; I have extra supplies such as bowls and spoons used only for soap-making). Whip the soap until it is the consistency of frosting, adding a bit more water if needed. I find this is the trickiest part as once whipped, the soap cools fast and then you have a firm lump of whipped soap in your bowl. If that happens, start again by re-melting the bowl of soap in the microwave and whipping it...again. I had to do this quite a few times to get the consistency thick and frothy but easy to work with. I made one batch in coconut cream and another in lemon pucker. I dyed the lemon batch yellow and then layered the frothy whipped soap into my trusty Velveeta cheese keeper's lid, spraying a light layer of rubbing alcohol between each layer as I went. This dissolves any bubbles that have formed and helps adhere the layers together.

I placed a layer of the white soap on top and then used a spoon to shape it into drifts and mounds as it firmed up. I also added real sugar sprinkles to the top of the loaf. Some soap artisans spoon their soap "frosting" into icing bags and pipe it onto their creations, just as you would ice a cupcake. I am not that fast, yet. :)

This morning I realized I should've sprayed my mold with a light layer of cooking oil. No matter what I did the loaf didn't want to release easily. I even put the mold in the fridge for about 30 minutes to no avail. The soap log was stuck in the corners of the mold. I finally forced it out, willing to lose the ends if I had to. I did lose the corners and ended up having to chop a slice off each end to make the log look uniform. Oh cruel world, how I surely hate to take an end slice to try for myself... the agony, the torture, of trying out a delicious bar of handmade soap....however shall I stand it? *swoon*

Anyhoo, the resulting soap was cut into 2- inch thick slices that float like Ivory soap, smell very strongly of lemon with a hint of coconut, and look like a pastel parfait or mousse dessert.

Have fun with your crafting, and let me see what YOU like to do in your spare time,