It’s Caramel Apple Season! 

Running out of stock is a good problem to have. These Caramel Apple soaps are flying off the shelves and we need to say a big thank you to everyone for the support and love! 

Happy Autumn! 


How We Make Our Soaps Smell So Damn Good

Have you ever noticed the way that people at farmers markets and craft fairs sniff everything? From candles to fresh produce, its so interesting and a little funny how we all use our sense of smell to inspect things; this holds especially  true for soaps. 

At Lodge Creek Soap Co., we make unscented soaps for our customers who prefer a fragrance-free cleanser, but more often than not, the soaps that smell are the soaps that sell. 

Our latest nose pleaser was titled “Green Smoothie” because that’s exactly what it smells like: fresh green fruits & veggies, clean, sweet, but not too sweet, and sort of healthy. It almost makes you wanna do yoga. 

Sometimes, when we’re designing a soap, we use fragrance and essential oils to match the colors, shapes, textures, or themes of the soap. Other times, we throw planning out the window and just use whatever we have on hand to see what happens. 

During an experiment with some new fragrances like caramel apple, pumpkin and brown sugar, we accidentally whipped up a batch of fall colored glycerin soap. 

It’s always fun to find new fragrances or blend essential oils and try them out. The only thing that ever spoils the fun is when we make cold process soap and the scent totally fades before it’s even done curing. If you’re a soap maker, you know my pain. 

The way that we, at Lodge Creek, make our fragrances stick is simple: kaolin clay! While other clays like bentonite or even Brazilian clay will help, we’ve found that adding a couple of teaspoons of kaolin really absorbs and holds on to those fantastic aromas.  

For customers, this is a bonus because kaolin is all natural and great for fighting body odor, so they get their money’s worth when they buy handmade soaps that leave a lingering scent even after its rinsed off. 

If you make your own soaps or other bath/body products, what ingredients do you use to help those products hang onto sweet smells? 

What’s in Lodge Creek Soap Part 3: Sodium Hydroxide 

Of course you don’t want to put lye on your skin. Good grief, neither do I. Sodium hydroxide (NaOH), or lye, is an essential ingredient in all true soaps and it’s just not possible to make soap without it. 

Luckily, we, at Lodge Creek, are well educated in the chemistry of soap making. 

here’s some triglycerides chemistry for ya’

Sodium hydroxide + triglycerides = soap. It’s a fairly simple equation and we use it to customize our recipes so that we can create luxury soaps for all different types of skin. The way we do that is by cautiously mixing small amounts of lye in distilled water and then adding that mixture to our plant-based oils and butters and voilà! – we get soap. 

There’s no lye left in the finished product because of a chemical process called saponification

If you’re interested in making your own soap at home, we recommend thoroughly researching sodium hydroxide and learning as much as you possibly can before you try it out. It’s not as scary as it sounds as long as you always use safety precautions. Respect the lye! 

What’s in Lodge Creek Soap Part 2: Coconut Oil

coconut oil and coconut milk soap

Coconut oil offers a terrific combination of cleansing, firming and skin-loving properties to our soap recipes. We use it in a variety of other bath and beauty projects such as scrubs and body butters as well. It has become increasingly popular in the past few years – it’s all over Pinterest – and a lot of people use coconut oil as a skin and hair moisturizer.

Coconut oil is harvested from the seeds of the coconut tree (cocos nucifera) and is primarily cultivated from Southeast Asia and the Philippines. It’s made up of various fatty acids, including saturated and non-saturated. In particular, coconut oil contains a large amount of lauric and myristic saturated acids. The unique fatty acid composition of coconut oil gives it fantastic cleansing properties.

Coconut oil is such a great cleanser, in fact, that it can strip the skin of moisture, so we carefully balance ours with other oils and plant butters. When we combine just the right percentages of coconut and other oils, we can produce creamy, bubbly soaps that are not only cleansing, but moisturizing, too. 

Our last batch of this summer’s soaps, pictured above in its mold, still curing & almost ready to be sliced, is a great example of a coconut oil recipe. We combined it with other plant oils, plus rich mango butter and it’s turning out to be gorgeous. We’re anxious to start our fall and holiday soaps using coconut oil in just about every recipe, so stay tuned! 

What’s in Lodge Creek Soap Part 1: Avocado Oil

Avocado oil, with its nutritional value and high smoke point, is most commonly used for cooking, but did you know it’s also a fantastic additive in a wide variety of bath and beauty products? 

It’s processed sort of like olive oil. First, the skin and seed are removed. Then, the oil is extracted from the creamy green pulp. Non-refined avocado oil can appear dark green and has a natural smell, while refined avocado oil is fairly light in both color and scent.

Avocado oil has recently become famous for its moisturizing properties; it’s rich in vitamins A, B, D and E and it absorbs easily into the skin, making it perfect for lotions, balms, massage oils and more.

We often use avocado oil in our soaps because we find it to be such a mild and gentle cleanser. It creates a smooth, medium lather and with its high content of oleic acids, it makes a great skin conditioner. 

Even more, avocado is fun! We can add so many different ingredients and fragrances like mint and cilantro or cucumber and rosemary… The possibilities are endless. 

Vaseline (or Oil Rig Residue): How to Make Your Own Petroleum Free Version

In 1859, Robert Chesebrough went to an oilfield in Pennsylvania and collected petroleum residue from oil rig pumps. He used this  to create petroleum jelly, otherwise known as Vaseline. 

Working at Lodge Creek Soap Co., I already knew that petroleum can be found in commercial soaps which is one of the zillion reasons why handmade soap is exponentially better. It’s easy to avoid petroleum altogether when it comes to handcrafting soap; we simply never use it. 

But then I was inspired to research petroleum even further when our little baby developed his first bad diaper rash (a symptom of teething) and his skin became awfully raw and red. His bottom looked terrible and it broke my heart.  

Zinc oxide wasn’t quite going the distance, so we asked for advice and searched online. Can you guess what was the most recommended product? Yep. Good old Vaseline. Problem is, I don’t own any; after everything I’ve learned about petroleum jelly, why would I? 

Cancer causing oil pump slop? No thanks. I don’t want that stuff anywhere near my kids. Vaseline doesn’t moisturize and can actually prevent your skin from getting rid of toxins. In some countries, it’s heavily regulated and even banned from skincare products. 

Vaseline was the go-to ointment when we were little kids, before consumers knew how harmful it could be. Since it’s not an option now, we found ourselves in the same place that led us into the soap making business: the kitchen. 

The following is the recipe we came up with and have been using for homemade petroleum free “Vaseline”.

As always, we encourage you to research the way that we did, to tweak the recipe to fit your budget and lifestyle, and to ask your doctor before using it on your kids. 

Ingredients and Equipment:

  • Glass jar (a regular Mason jar is perfect if you have one)
  • Stainless steel kitchen spoon 
  • Double boiler 
  • 1/3 cup beeswax pastilles (or candelilla if you’re vegan)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil or Shea butter

To make it: 

  • Melt the beeswax in your double boiler over medium-low heat. 
  • Remove from heat and immediately add the oil or butter and allow it to melt into the beeswax naturally.
  • Stir well until it reaches the consistency of regular Vaseline and pour the mixture into your glass jar. 

Let it cool completely before use. Obviously. Store it, covered, in a cool, dry place like a bathroom cabinet or baby’s diaper change area. 

Apply your homemade “Vaseline” to baby’s cute little booty as thickly or thinly as you’re comfortable with and with each diaper change. I slathered it on generously at night & within 2 nights, our son’s rash was gone. 

What else have you tried on diaper rashes? Did it work? 

*Notes: Although honey is not safe for use with babies 12 months old and younger, beeswax has not been found to be harmful. Beeswax is used in many commercial baby products and even in some nipple creams designed for nursing mothers. It’s still important, however, that you speak with your pediatrician before using this recipe. 

Easy Homemade Facial Scrubs Part 3

Oatmeal has been used in the skincare arena for ages in products ranging from moisturizers and lotions to bath soaks. It’s incredibly soothing which is why it’s a staple for babies and people with sensitive skin. 

As an exfoliant, it’s terrific because you can customize the texture. When you use a food processor or coffee grinder to pulverize it, you can make it as gentle or as scrubby as you like. 

This scrub is so ridiculously simple, it doesn’t really need a blog post, but I’m doing it anyways: grab some old fashioned oatmeal at your local grocery store, throw it in a coffee grinder or food processor and stir a tablespoon of it into 2 tablespoons of milk (we use cashew milk). 

Because this scrub is so gentle, you can leave it on your skin for as long as you like to allow the oatmeal to really sink in and soothe. Otherwise, simply massage it onto the skin for 1 to 2 minutes and that’s just as beneficial. 

Easy Homemade Facial Scrubs Part 2

organic, grated cucumber with baking soda

Cucumber is often used to fix puffy eyes and dark circles, to soothe sunburns and irritations, and as a toner. Cucumber is rich in silica – an organic mineral that strengthens the skin by protecting the connective tissues. It’s hydrating and it’s outstanding for tightening and toning, making large pores appear smaller. Baking soda is a natural way to maintain healthy ph balance, to very gently exfoliate, and to brighten overall skin tone. 

For this recipe, grind 1/3  of an organic cucumber and mix in 1 tsp of baking soda. Apply this scrub with clean fingers and massage your skin in circular motions. These ingredients are gentle enough that you can leave it on for 2 – 5 minutes for even more calming and toning. Rinse well with cold water to boost the toning and tightening effect, then follow with a mask or toner and moisturizer.

Tip: slice the rest of that cucumber and put it in your ice water with a splash of lime or a bit of cilantro for a refreshing way to stay hydrated. Better yet, save two slices for your eyes. Sit back and relax with cucumbers on your closed eyes for a few minutes & sip your cucumber water…mini spa treatment right at home! 

Easy Homemade Facial Scrubs Part 1

raw honey, organic coconut flakes, organic ground cinnamon

This post is part 1 of a 6 part series in which we’ll discuss how to make your own facial scrubs. We’ll cover scrubs for every skin type and we’ll talk about why we chose each ingredient. 
As you probably already know, regular exfoliation is very important. Just the motion & pressure of your fingers massaging your face is beneficial, but by actually removing dead cells from the skin’s surface, you stimulate the blood and glandular flow. This helps with rejuvenation, oxygenation, and detoxification. Exfoliating once or twice a week is a must as part of any skincare regime, regardless of your skin type. 

The first exfoliant we have is a sweet one. It looks & smells like a dessert rather than something you’d slather on your face. Honey has been used in skincare for ages; its a fantastic, natural antimicrobial, it neutralizes free radicals (one of the main causes for premature aging), it has antibacterial properties, and it’s one of nature’s sweetest humectants, meaning it helps to maintain a balanced level of moisture. Coconut flakes are a great addition to scrubs for those of you with sensitive skin because they’re so flexible and soft. Cinnamon, like honey, possesses antimicrobial properties and it’s great for stimulating blood flow. Be careful not to use too much because it can be irritating in large amounts and it should not be left on the skin like a mask. 

For this scrub, use 2 tbsp of raw honey, stir in 1 tbsp of organic coconut flakes and just a dash of organic cinnamon. Apply this scrub with your fingers and exfoliate for no longer than a minute after cleansing. Rinse well, then follow with your mask or toner and moisturizer. 

Pretty simple, right? In part 2, we’ll post an even easier recipe for a soothing, cooling cucumber based scrub. 

DIY Rosewater 

Rosewater is exactly what it says: roses + water. For something so simple, it’s mind-blowing how expensive it can be for just a tiny, little bottle. 

Some manufacturers add other botanical extracts like cucumber, dulse, or calendula. While those are all wonderful for the skin – and I highly encourage you to use them if you have them – they’re not absolutely necessary, so don’t spend your whole paycheck on 8 ounces of something you don’t really need. 

To make your own rosewater at home, you’ll need about six or seven roses and distilled water. It’s important to use distilled water rather than purified, spring, or tap because distilled water doesn’t have extra minerals in it that will affect the pH balance of the end product. 

Simply pluck the petals from the stems and rinse them under lukewarm water to remove any residue. (There is minimal residue on organic roses so try to buy them if you can find them; rinse super thoroughly if you can’t). 

Place the petals in a large pot and add just enough distilled water to cover them. Simmer on medium-low for 20 to 30 minutes or until the petals have lost their color and turned a light pink. 

Pour the mixture through a strainer into a glass jar and cover it to let it cool. Portion out enough of your rosewater to fill a small spray bottle and store the rest in your fridge for refills. 

 Apply the rosewater by lightly misting your face and keep your spray bottle in your bathroom/medicine cabinet between uses. 

Like this article? Follow my blog for weekly tips and there how to’s. Don’t forget to check out Lodge Creek Soap Co. for homemade and all natural skin care products and soaps.