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I have had eczema since I was a child and have constantly struggled to find products that would work for my sensitive skin. Later in my teenage years a dermatologist told me that the best I could do was to keep moisturizing my skin because there is no cure and no one is sure of the cause. As a result I began researching the ingredients that would most benefit my skin type and the ones to avoid when buying skin products.
I live in the Northeast and the winter of 2010 was quite harsh. My skin became so dry, cracked and itchy I decided to take hands on approach to my skin care needs. I started researching how different body products were made by reading different blogs, watching lots of videos and checking out books out of my local library. I was amazed at all the things I could make but decided to focus on body butters and soaps.
I mostly use the cold processed method of soap making. In the basic process I mix vegetable oils and butters with a sodium hydroxide solution. The solution is most often made with water but I also use other liquids such as goat’s milk, vegetable purees and fruit purees. Clays, herbs and minerals are then added for their color and their beneficial properties to the skin. The last ingredients I usually add are plant extracts, vitamin e and the fragrance or essential oil.
I get inspired a lot by different types of foods, mainly baked goods. Many of my soaps also contain edible ingredients such as beer, oatmeal, dehydrated orange slices and honey. I am planning on making a margarita themed soap that will contain Dead Sea salt and lime essential oil.
I also choose ingredients based on the properties I want my soaps to have. An example is the oatmeal milk and honey soaps I formulated for gentle cleansing and moisturizing. They contain fine ground oatmeal for gentle exfoliation and soothing inflammation, honey and goat’s milk for moisturizing the skin and oils including coconut, olive, vitamin e and shea butter.
Many times people will suggest I try a fragrance they love or an ingredient I have never thought of before. Other times I get inspired when people will ask if I have soaps the can use because they have a nut allergy or a specific need that have not been met with commercial products. I am constantly inspired by the online soap making community. It amazes me how creative, supportive and generous the people in the soap making community are. There is a constant learning environment where everyone shares insights on how to make our products and industry better.
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My name is Kristina and I'm the founder of Love Struck. Read about how Love Struck came to be, see how I make it happen or just read a random thought I just might have! Anything can happen at our blog & I wouldn't have it any other way! It's time to get Love Struck, and what better way to start than right here!