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  1. ilonaliss

    good wire cutter in the UK - recommendations?

    Thanks for reporting back, Tara! I actually considered getting the same wire cutter but decided against it because I already have a million silicone moulds. Having read your review, I'm glad I didn't buy it! I have looked on Etsy, and there are some reasonably priced single-wire cutters there...
  2. ilonaliss

    good wire cutter in the UK - recommendations?

    I finally made a semi-decent looking gradient soap. I was pretty happy with it until I took my kitchen knife to it and now I have 6 wonky bars that won't even stand up straight. I am a hobbyist so I should probably save my money but unfortunately the perfectionist in me cries every time the look...
  3. ilonaliss

    Making cp soap with goat milk containing penicillin

    I get the impression that the OP wants the CP process to destroy the penicillin. Is the milk from antibiotic-treated goats?
  4. ilonaliss

    Best preservatives for cold processed/lye based soaps

    I was actually wondering if I should combine citric acid and sodium gluconate in my next batch. I made one soap with 2% citric acid so far and still have some weeks to let that cure and test, and sodium gluconate just arrived in the post. I have very hard water and was tempted to use citric acid...
  5. ilonaliss

    what is the PH to be maintained for soap?

    Hi. The pH of lye-based soap can vary from 8 to 12 and the high pH is the very thing that makes it soap. The "top grade soaps" your friend is referring to are not really soap, but synthetic detergents (or mixtures of synthetic detergents and real soap) that clean the skin using surfactants...
  6. ilonaliss

    Coconut fragrance oil - UK

    I used the "non discolouring" coconut FO from The Soap Kitchen. It performed fairly well in soap- there was some acceleration but I think its more to do with the unholy amount of TD I added. I should add that this FO doesnt really smell like coconut in the finished soap and the bars came out...
  7. ilonaliss

    Hilarious “fancy soap”!

    hahaha this made my day!
  8. ilonaliss

    Help! My soap is drying me out!

    Welcome to the forum :) Aside from too short a curing time, some people find soaps with a high percentage of olive oil drying. You could try subbing rice bran oil for the olive to see how your skin likes it. Here's a modification of your formula that you could try (run through SoapCalc to check...
  9. ilonaliss

    Making a massage bar in memory of my Dad

    Oooh, I just realised that the site I linked is US-based (the prices are showing in pounds which made me think they were in the UK), so there might be steep shipping charges. The micas on MMI could work for your purposes! Excited to see how you get on :)
  10. ilonaliss

    Making a massage bar in memory of my Dad

    Thanks for reporting back! It looks like the bars are coming along nicely :) I love your ideas for Heart and Mind bars- very creative. LUSH put calcium sodium borosilicate and tin oxide (colour 77861) in Shimmy Shimmy. I found this pigment, which has both: Gold Dust It might be worth a try?
  11. ilonaliss

    Stearic Acid Spots? Or Something Else

    I also think stearic spots. The "swirl" looks quite cool if I'm honest :)
  12. ilonaliss

    Soap crumbling and breaking

    I also think that you left it too long before cutting. From my experience, the window of opportunity with high-olive loaves is quite short before they become too hard and crumble. If you put the 50 ml of batter in a cavity mold then it most likely didn't gel and that's why it's softer than the...
  13. ilonaliss

    Making shampoo & conditioners

    Check out Humblebee and Me- Marie's recipes for liquid and solid shampoos and conditioners are a great starting point. Bear in mind that it might take a lot of experimentation with different formulations to find one that your hair likes. Basic formulations available online may not work for...
  14. ilonaliss

    Making a massage bar in memory of my Dad

    You're welcome. I am sure your bars will be a hit! All it takes is a bit of experimentation- make small batches until you get the proportions right. If the bars are too greasy for your liking, you can try adding a bit of arrowroot or cornstarch to the next batch. While adding starch to lotion...
  15. ilonaliss

    Making a massage bar in memory of my Dad

    Welcome to the forum :) Adding beeswax will firm them up. This is my recipe and I store the bars at room temperature, even in the summer (I live in London where summer temps rarely exceed 27 C): 25 g raw cocoa butter 15 g beeswax 30 g babassu oil (you could experiment with subbing mango butter...
  16. ilonaliss

    Chia gel in soap

    thanks for your reply @cmzaha - I know how to make chia gel, but was wondering how best to incorporate it into CP soap. The "chia gel" that Marina adds looks smooth and liquidy, so I don't think it's simply gelled chia seeds. Maybe using chia seeds in CP soap is not as common as I thought it was..
  17. ilonaliss

    Chia gel in soap

    I just came across a Youtuber putting "chia gel" in soap, presumably to enhance the skin feel of the bars: (how amazing is her soap design?!) Does anyone know what the chia gel actually is? It doesn't look lumpy to me, so could it simply be chia seeds gelled in water, then blended up and strained?
  18. ilonaliss

    Activated charcoal

    I agree with @TashaBird re it being a bit drying. I also think that many people like AC for its mildly exfoliating properties, which can improve skin texture.
  19. ilonaliss

    Understanding crumbly soap

    I know this is an old thread, but I just had a crumbly loaf. I usually put SL in my soaps but the last two batches used sea salt instead and both were crumbly at the edges when I cut them. I poured both at thick trace. Coincidence?
  20. ilonaliss

    Soy Wax Use in Soap

    ooooh I see! that makes sense