Monday, March 17, 2014

We Be Palm-Free

I don't like to get too political here, but we have always shied away from using palm oil in our products. Why? Please take a moment to read this article from Scientific American. There are literally dozens of other articles on the subject, but this one is concise and well-written.
(an excerpt) "Today palm oil production is the largest cause of deforestation in Indonesia and other equatorial countries with dwindling expanses of tropical rainforest. Indonesia’s endangered orangutan population, which depends upon the rainforest, has dwindled by as much as 50 percent in recent years."

50 Percent. You read that right. And it sucks. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Line Updates and Facial Madness!

I've been going a little nuts lately, since I started soaping with fresh fruits and vegetables. I changed the entire soap line in order to add some of these amazing beneficial soaps and I reformulated existing styles to reflect this, too. I am really excited with the changes, and I hope you are, as well. Check out the on-line store to see all that has been revised. I think you'll be pleased. We did have to remove a several soaps to make way for the new ones, but I think this has made the collection stronger.

The soaps have been organized into several categories: Nearly Natural Classics, 100% Natural, Made with Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Purees, Unscented. Soon, lip balms and body butters will be going through a similar makeover, so stay tuned. Check out all the new soaps here!

In the meantime, I have been experimenting with fresh fruit and vegetable facials and body scrubs. I am beginning to amass a bit of a collection of recipes, so I stared sharing them on Facebook and Twitter. Hmmm ... I ought to post them to Pinterest and Instagram, also. I'll put that on my to-do list!

In the meantime, please enjoy a few of them (below). I am in deep experimentation mode, so expect more soon!  You can print them out like recipe cards.

I am a big believer in home spun facial care. There are so many benefits! 
  • It's easy on your wallet. Like, really easy.
  • The ingredients are fresh, fresh, fresh! This means that all of those nutrients and vitamins and essential parts and pieces of the fruits and veggies get absorbed into your skin. No need to fuss with additives like, "extract of" and "essence of" that are overpriced and less than fresh. 
  • The recipes are beyond simple and quick. 
  • No funny preservatives or unpronounceable ingredients. Just the pure, simple items you add. Yourself. And most of these keep for a while in the refrigerator.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Getting Tropical!

Will post finished soap pictures tomorrow! By the way, here's how the last group turned out ;)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Wet Vegetable Soap

Avocado & Greek Yogurt

Cucumber, Mint & Coconut Milk

Tomato & Coconut Milk
Can't wait to cook these soaps and unmold them tomorrow. Stay tuned!

New Experiments!

We're on a roll! Today, we are going back in the lab with more fresh ingredients! We will post more pictures as we progress. This is quite invigorating!
Coconut Milk, Tomato, Avocado, Cucumber & Fresh Mint

Puree #1

Puree #2

Puree #3

Friday, February 14, 2014

I'm Bananas for This Soap!

Finished, cut banana chocolate soap. 100% Natural. No fragrance or dye.
I am really happy with the end result! This is totally inspiring me to experiment with more fruit and vegetable purees in soap!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Banana Chocolate Soap

It's an experimentation day here at Stella Marie! I am trying my hand at using fresh fruit purees in soap and it all begins today with an unscented banana chocolate soap! See pics and steps below. I am going to bake the soap using CPOP (Cold Process Oven Process), so I will have pics of the finished soap tomorrow. This is a 100% natural soap. Bananas are GREAT for your skin! Here are 39 reasons why, brought to you by                             
1. Break up 1 fresh banana.

2. Using a blender, food processor or mixer, blend the banana until it is smooth.

3. Puree! Yay!

4. Measure oils.

5. Add lye solution.

6. Stick blend oils + lye solution.

7. Measure cocoa powder. Dilute it in oil and liquify.

8. Add cocoa to a section of the raw soap.

9. Whisk cocoa in until blended.

10. Add fresh banana puree to the main section of raw soap.

11. Stick blend soap + banana puree.

12. Add sectioned off cocoa soap to banana soap.

13. Swirl together.

14. Pour into mold. I added a few teeny drops of cocoa/oil mixture to the top of the soap and swirled it a little for a decorative top.