Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bubble Bath Struggle

I can make bath bomb (or bath fizzy) very easily and it works perfectly in the tub every single time.  But I really want some pizzazz to this, up a level to something more luxurious, or should I say fun?!   What kind of a bath is it without some bubble?!  However, I think I struggled to find the perfect combination of ingredients that holds the shape I want it to look.  The easiest rout is to make a dough and roll it into something like a sushi roll then cut it into pieces like what Lush does to their patent product Bubble Bar.  But as restless as I am, I would not be satisfied with an easy way out.  I had a vision of a bubble cube!

Oh~ only if I knew what I got myself into... It all sounded easy, no problem if I use silicone mold.  The problem is the binding agent.  This is a product somewhere in between a bath fizzy and a bubble bar.  It is a bubble bath bomb, meaning it fizzes to help dissolve in water easier but it also produces bubble.  If you have used a bath bomb or bath fizzy before you would know any liquid would set off the fizz action.  How to produce a perfect cube with sharp corners is my hardest challenge.
1st try: I used witch hazel spray, the same method as I bind bath bomb, and as you can see from the photo, a big 2" cube did not hold well.
2nd try: I used a synthetic liquid form of surfactant.  This one went well, but it got wet and started to behave a little like bread dough, hard to unmold.  It took a whole day to harden before I can attempt to take it out in one piece!
3rd try: To speed up the lengthen process, I attempted to freeze and hot air dry the cube.  Well, it all went well until the cubes were out of the freezer defrosting.  The moisture the frozen cubes attracted set off the fizz...  Not bad, just not the smooth texture I visioned.

My conclusion, maybe I should just be patient, stick with the 24 hour drying time and not fight with the nature of this recipe.  I tried my best to formulated to use mostly natural ingredients but in this case I still need to use a synthetic surfactant as a wet binding agent.  Here's the list of my ingredients:
Baking soda
Sodium laurel sulfoacetate
(a natural surfactant derived from coconut & palm oil)
Citric acid
Mango butter
Goat milk powder
Cocamide DEA
(this is the synthetic surfactant)
Polysorbate 80
(to emulsify mango butter to disperse into water)

Now, the best thing about this experiment is that I got to be my own guinea pig!  Um... bubble bath...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The 200 Post!

This is the 200 post!!
Let's see it again after another 100 posts what the analysis of wordle says this time:
Ah~  Of course the word 'soap' is still the biggest!

Monday, October 1, 2012

First Encounter with Vanilla Oleoresin 20X

If you are a soap maker you would know most of the time we use vanilla fragrance, which is fake and synthetically created in a lab to imitate the natural scent, for our soaping creation.  Why?  You might ask if you are not a soap maker.  It is because natural vanilla extract does not survive saponification.  But, I'm talking about an expensive concentrate, 20X means distilled to have 20 times the strength compared to regular extract.  I'm excited to get a hold of this as this is not cheap!  Before I can put my nose up to an actual bottle of this all I knew was that people have been bragging about how warm and yummy it smells like and exactly like the real extract you would use to bake.  Well, I'm not a baker, growing up in Taiwan as a Chinese means not costumed to using oven, why bake when there's a bakery on almost every few blocks?!  Naturally I had no idea what a real vanilla extract would smell like, all I knew about vanilla was the synthetic imitation.  And this, does not smell like the fake vanilla I've known in my entire life!  Is that good or bad?!  Anyway, it is very brown, very thick, and would not mix with any essential oil or fragrance oil, in other words, not oil soluble.  Since this still contains lot of vanillin, it'll oxidize and brown the soap still.  This is my all essential oil version of Spiced Orange Cream, a blend of sweet orange 15X, vanilla oleoresin 20X, cassia, fennel, and benzoin.
I purposely left the top unscented so it can stay as white as possible.
Some said if there's a lot of vanillin the browning effect will bleed over and eventually brown the unscented portion.  Well, it has been more than 4 weeks now and I'm proud to say it didn't at all!
By the way, the brown tiny speckles are the banana seeds, I used fresh banana together with butter milk for this yummy creation!