Author Archives: Lynn S

Body Scrubs: A Sweet Way to Uncover Your Glow!

brownsugarscrub-580x869How would you like to try a simple, effective way to get baby soft, touchable skin without breaking your beauty budget?  Why not exfoliate your skin with a body scrub!  It’s a great way to gently uncover those beautiful new skin cells naturally and to benefit from the wonderful therapeutic aromas. Every high-end spa and salon will have body scrubs for manicures, pedicures, massages and more.  Who couldn’t use a break on the cost of keeping your skin looking its best?  Sugar and salt are the most common types of body scrubs on the market, so let’s look at these and other ingredients that do a great job:

  • Brown Sugar Scrubs are the most gentle choice for delicate facial skin.  If you are new to using scrubs or have skin sensitivities, this is a good place to start.  Brown sugar has natural alpha hydroxy acid which help to break down dirt and dead skin cells.  The aroma of brown sugar scrubs is warm and delicious.
  • Granulated Sugar has a similar texture to brown sugar but can be a finer grain. Sugar tends to be the most common form of body scrub because it is economical, it also won’t sting freshly shaved skin.  Granulated sugar also works great for gently exfoliating facial skin and your entire body.  Again, apart from the obvious benefits from gentle exfoliation, the aroma therapeutic qualities abound depending on what scent you choose.
  • Salt scrubs are generally more abrasive and are excellent for removing dead skin, callouses and toxins.  Try a course salt foot scrub for reinvigorating your tired legs and get sandal-ready feet.  Use a fine salt scrub for removing toxins on acne-prone skin. Dead Sea salt has a whole host of minerals that are thought to help with eczema, psoriasis, muscle fatigue and soreness, and can be either course or fine.
  • Corn Meal makes an amazing, gentle exfoliate for oily, acne-prone or after-workout cleansing because it mops up and absorbs grease and dirt really well.  I love using corn meal scrubs after gardening or camping were you might get extra dirty.  Its larger grains might seem course, but they are still gentle and effective.
  • Loofah is a natural sponge and when dried is quite scratchy, but when ground up and added to a salt or sugar scrubs gives additional loveliness to any scrub.  Ground loofah can also be used as the main ingredient in a body scrub and is another good choice for hands, feet and callouses.
  • Seeds and Ground Coffee are some other choices for extra heavy duty cleansing and exfoliation.  I love ground coffee sugar scrub as a hand cleanser next to the sink to get rid of cooking odors like garlic, onion and fish.
  • We will soon be carrying a whole line of emulsified body scrubs on our website, so stay tuned for the approaching roll-out of our new products.  This type of body scrub leaves your skin feeling moisturized like you just put lotion on your skin.

Find Us At Fairport Canal Days June 7 and 8, 2014

Looking for some outdoor fun this weekend?  Why not visit the historic village of Fairport, New York for the 37th Fairport Canal Days!  This festival  draws thousands to the canalside town and features more than 200 artisans, 40 food vendors and almost 100 local merchants.  This three day event kicks off with a chicken barbecue… Continue Reading

4 Amazing Benefits of Hops in Skin Care

                                                Recently, in one of our soap making classes, a student described how he was brewing his own beer and wondered if he could use his beer in soap making.  He was on to something a bit more complicated than our introduction class could handle, but we did make a goat’s milk soap with… Continue Reading

Bloomin’ Lilac and the March Soap Challenge

I really love this months’ drop swirl technique and no one does it better than Celine Blacow from Iamhandmade.  I’ve spent hours on YouTube watching Celine’s videos, along with her sidekick Titch Holland, as they create delightful and delicious looking goodies…er, um, soap.  It’s almost as yummy as watching a master pastry chef. Amy Warden,… Continue Reading

Impressive Reasons to Love Hemp Lotion

Serious hydration for seriously dry skin! New to The Soap Hag,  is a  unique “power-house” moisturizer called Hemp Lite Body Lotion. At festivals last year, we tested the waters to see if people would be receptive to a Hemp product because of the oils’ natural ties to the marijuana plant.  We were pleasantly surprised to… Continue Reading

Jewelweed Soap-Hit the Road Rash!

The Jewelweed plant has been used for centuries in North America as an effective, natural remedy against plant-producing rashes, acne and eczema.  The juicy leaves and stems from Jewelweed, produce compounds that counteract the harmful chemicals that induce the insane itch and long-lasting rash of poison ivy and other nasty plants.  Here in Upstate New… Continue Reading

Soap Club Challenge~The Holly Swirl was Just Peachy

This month’s soap challenge, sponsored by Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks, was just plain fun and really worth doing a few  times. The color pairing is endless so I let my scent lead the inspiration for color on my first effort.  The fragrance used was Peach Bellini from Wholesale Supplies Plus.  I used a… Continue Reading

Sea Side Peacock Swirl-International Soap Challenge

The June 2013 International Soap Challenge brought The Peacock Swirl technique, a beautiful design with four colors and the freedom to create a unique representation from nature. Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks introduced a  “new” concept of dividing our soap batter into two separate layers, and scenting only the bottom layer.  Fragrance and essential… Continue Reading

Regal Bay Rum Mica Swirl Soap Challenge Week 3

Week three of the Great Cakes Soapworks Soap Challenge was much easier than the first two, I thought, but still fun.  The potential to be creative with multiple mica colors and designs is endless and of course we don”t need to relegate mica to only  toppings.  My little imagination is overflowing with ideas for the… Continue Reading

Castaway Cay Disappearing Without a Trace~Challenge Week 2

Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks has been hosting a four-week Soap Challenge, and this weeks experiment was called Elemental Swirl.  This challenge is a technique of  ITP,  or in the pot swirling, using a layer of warm tones and another layer of cool tones separated by a thin layer of mica.   The inspiration for… Continue Reading

What’s All The Buzz About Beeswax In Skin Care

Last week we promised to continue the discussion about the wonderful products that honey bees bring to natural skin care.  We encouraged those with a pioneer spirit to try a honey-based facial mask recipe and let us know what you thought.  Here’s a picture of Emily from Seattle, Washington and one of her Honey and… Continue Reading

What’s All The Buzz About Honey Bee Products in Skin Care

You already know that honey is beyond yummy to eat, but did you know that honey bees have helped us achieve healthier skin for thousands of years?  Honey has antimicrobial properties, which means it doesn’t spoil, and it also means that the antibacterial qualities in this golden goodness can be use to tame acne and… Continue Reading

Finding Neem Oil

After making another batch of Wild Geranium Clarifying Facial Bar, I decided to do some more digging into an interesting ingredient in our formula.  Neem oil comes from an evergreen tree which is part of the mahogany family, and is native to India, Africa and other hot, dry climates.  Neem has been coined “the village… Continue Reading

3 Reasons Why Pumpkin is Not Just Your Average Veggie

Excitement is in the air as the nights cool down and the days shorten, here in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region in Upstate New York.   Grape harvesting has started as well as many other crops of late summer and fall.  We couldn’t wait to pull out the Spiced Pumpkin Pie soap recipe and get… Continue Reading

Menthol: A Cool Reason to Use Peppermint in Skin Care

Peppermint essential oil has been studied extensively for its many benefits, from relieving indigestion,  headaches, and muscle aches to repelling insects.  For this discussion, we are going to be looking at its remarkable cooling effects on the skin. Peppermint essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves of the plant and has a chemical called… Continue Reading

How Do You Deal With Oily Skin in the Summer?

A question I frequently get asked is, “How do you get the pink dots into the Dot’s Honey and Lemongrass Soap?”  The picture below includes pink soap sticks, in the center foreground. We make these ahead and cure a week or so prior to making this variety of soap.  These slices are cut and the corners… Continue Reading

5 Reasons You Need All-Natural Soaps

June is the season around the Finger Lakes Region for graduation parties and recently while talking to someone at a party, I was delivered a pointed question which indeed deserves a thoughtful response.  One mom asked “why should I buy your natural soaps?  What makes them any different from Ivory or Dove?”  Here are some… Continue Reading

The Patchouli Halo

Patchouli Rose Soap available for purchase here. Have you ever taken a whiff of something and had a flood of memories come rushing through your mind?  After vending at a couple of different events recently, it was educating to me, to listen to customers as they commented over our products.  The displays allow you to… Continue Reading

Aloe Vera and Skin Care

Most of us in the northern hemisphere, and especially here in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of New York, are now enjoying some warmer weather.  Here at The Soap Hag, we have been tending to our honey bee hives and herb garden.  We’ve been using aloe vera to calm bee stings, minor scratches from brush removal… Continue Reading

Cold Process Soap Making Part 1

In the spring, back a few years ago, my neighbor showed me around his expanding apiary.  At the time he had 11 hives filled to the brim with honey bees and a modest roadside stand that was open and stocked with honey.  I had a growing fascination with bees and their amazing culture, but this… Continue Reading

Cold Process Soap Making Part 2

In our previous post, we gave you a broad flyover soap making, but today the focus will be on how and why we choose the ingredients that go into our recipes.  Handmade soaps made in small batches, have the unique position of providing a superior quality from that which has been commercially produced.  We can… Continue Reading

Fear Not! Unpronounceable Names

Essential oils have been mankind’s first medicine.  We can site 188 references to these special oils in the Bible for use as anointing, healing, costly gift giving, perfumes and others.  You may be familiar with frankincense, myrrh, rosemary, hyssop, spikenard and cinnamon, but every essential oil is a chemistry factory loaded with constituents that we… Continue Reading