Tag Archives: diy

Easy Whipped Shaving Soap

In one of my previous blog posts I shared how easy it is to make liquid hand soap out of a cold processed natural soap bar. Today’s recipe is just as easy and even takes less time.

DIY Shaving Soap from a bar of cold processed natural soap |2wome2cats|

You can buy special shaving soaps (or make your own cold processed one) but if you have lots of soap bars like I do and can’t use them up as fast as you’d like, this might be the perfect solution. Also a good way to pimp up a soap bar that you maybe didn’t like that much before. There is no need for alcohol or aggressive surfactants or paraffinic oils. If you take a look at the back of many commercial shaving creams you’ll see that they often include things you really don’t want on your skin. Natural cold processed soap bars are made from oils and are saponificated with NaOH and often are highly superfatted to prevent dry skin.

DIY Shaving Soap from a bar of cold processed natural soap |2wome2cats|

For this shaving soap I used a bar that I didn’t like that much on its own and added some coconut oil and pure aloe vera gel (for extra moisture) to the process. I you don’t have aloe vera gel or don’t want to use it you can just add an equal amount of water to the mixture.

Ingredients

50 g cold processed soap
100 ml water
50 ml pure aloe vera gel
1 tbsp coconut oil
a few drops essential oil (optional)

Grind the soap bar or chuck it in a food processor. The soap should be really fine, otherwise it won’t melt easily. Heat the water with the soap and oil in a medium sized saucepan on low heat until the soap has completely melted. You really need to stir a lot because of the small amount of water. Mine turned into a thick paste really quickly and the soap was dissolved almost immediately. Be careful not to let it burn! It might form little lumps at the bottom which may seem like unmelted soap. If you touch them, you’ll see that those lumps are actually more like a paste and it means the soap flakes have dissolved already. Stir in the aloe vera and keep it a little bit longer on the stove until everything is incorporated properly. Take it off the heat and set aside to let it cool down.

Unlike the liquid hand soap I have made, the shaving cream doesn’t need to gel up for a few days. I gave it a stir every few hours and it had set completely after a day. If you don’t stir it so frequently it might take a little bit longer. When the soap has set, whip it up by hand or with a mixer and add some essential oil if your soap wasn’t scented. It will be really smooth, creamy and easy to apply. Best is to keep it in a small tin in the bathroom.

Stef

DIY Shaving Soap from a bar of cold processed natural soap |2wome2cats|

DIY Shaving Soap from a bar of cold processed natural soap |2wome2cats|

Moisturizing Avocado Face Mask

2women2cats: Moisturizing Face Mask DIY

In the wintertime my skin often needs a bit more care, especially here in Finland. The changes of temperature (coming from the cold and going to a heated apartment) stress the skin and often leave it a bit dry. This selfmade avocado mask is a great treatment for dry winter skin. Avocado contains lots of unsaturated fats and vitamins and will make your skin soft and nourished. Honey and ghassoul clay are great against blemishes, the rose water and aloe vera will add extra moisture. If you suffer from super dry skin you can also add a mild oil like sesame or grapeseed.

If you have the chance, use the mask in the sauna. The heat and steam will open up the pores on your face. If you don’t have a sauna, put the mask on right after a shower.

2women2cats: Moisturizing Face Mask DIY

Ingredients

1 ripe avocado
1 tsp honey
2 tsp ghassoul clay
rose water
pure aloe vera gel

Puree the avocado or mash with a fork. Add the honey and clay and as much rose water and aloe vera gel as needed to make the mask smooth but not too thin. Apply to clean skin and leave it on for about 20 minutes. Wash off with lots of warm water.

Leftovers can be stored in a jar in the fridge. The mask will stay good for around 4 days.

Stef

2women2cats: Moisturizing Face Mask DIY

2women2cats: Moisturizing Face Mask DIY

2women2cats: Moisturizing Face Mask DIY

DIY Liquid Hand Soap

If you have read my last posts you know that I am into natural soaps and homemade cosmetics at the moment. I have to confess that I ordered another natural soap made with lots of sea salt and evening primrose oil against blemishes. Although its salt content is high, the bar is really soft and the smell is great. My face seems to like it a lot and I think it is due to the lack of olive oil.

2women2cats: DIY Liquid Hand Soap

But back to the topic of this post. Now, the problem is, that I have acquired quite a few soap bars by now and they don’t get used up that quickly. Also I should mention that there might be more natural soaps on my Christmas wish list but lets not talk about that. As our liquid hand soap reached its end, I wondered if it would be possible to make liquid hand soap out of one of the bars. I did some research on the Internet and found quite a few tutorials for liquid hand soap. Most of them either used normal soap (the kind I don’t want to use anymore) or some special liquid castile soap. So I thought I just give it a try with one of my natural soaps to see how it goes. The whole process took a few days (don’t worry, most of the time you don’t have to do anything) but in the end I had a nice creamy soap. It might be more expensive than buying a normal liquid one but there won’t be any alcohol or additives in it since the natural soaps are saponificated with oils and NaOH.

2women2cats: Natural soaps - Aleppo soap

For the recipe I used my big Aleppo bar with olive and laurel oil. Let’s get to work! You can easily double the amount if you want to.

Ingredients

60 g natural soap
600 ml water
1 tbsp coconut oil
essential oils (optional)

2women2cats: DIY Liquid Hand Soap

Grate the soap into small flakes and put it into a big pot with coconut oil and water. If you have soap rests you can also chop them up and put them in. Heat everything on the stove on medium heat and wait until all the soap had dissolved. This will take a while so you might want to grab a chair and read while stirring once in a while. You’ll need some patience but the soap will melt at some point. The small flakes might even melt instantly but bigger pieces will need a bit longer. I am not sure if it matters if the mixture boils or not but I kept it below boiling point just in case.

2women2cats: DIY Liquid Hand Soap

Once everything has melted take the pot from the heat, put a lid on and wait. Wait a long time. You can check it after 24 hours but I had to leave mine for 3/4 days (I lost count) before the whole thing gelled up completely. Stir the mixture once every day. At the beginning it will look like soap water. When I checked it after a day I thought actually thought this was a fail but I left it in the pot just to be sure. After the first disappointing look, it started to look different every time I checked. The bottom looked a bit slimy while the top was still soap water. After a few days it looked like jelly and that’s when you can continue with the next step.

2women2cats: DIY Liquid Hand Soap
Don’t worry, it will look more pleasant in the end.

Pour the jelly in a mixing bowl or in a food processor and add some drops of your favourite essential oil if you like. Don’t use too much! It also depends if the bar you used was already scented or not. Mix it with a hand mixer or the food processor until everything is creamy.

2women2cats: DIY Liquid Hand Soap

Liquid soap done! You can now pour it in your soap dispenser. I had too much for mine so I poured the rest in a glass bottle. After half a day mine started to separate into three layers in the dispenser and bottle. First I thought I had done a mistake with the recipe or it just didn’t work with natural soap after all. I poured the soap from the bottle back in the food processor (the bottom was really liquid and the top like jelly again), mixed it up once more and poured it back into the bottle. It didn’t separate again after that, so I decided to give the soap dispenser only a good shake to mix it up again and that seemed to do the trick already. No need for the food processor after all. So I don’t know if I hadn’t mixed it up properly the first time or why it had separated again but after that the soft creamy foam gelled up completely and has stayed like that since. So in case your soap might do the same (although I think it might have to do with the Aleppo bar I used), don’t give up and pour it away! You will just have to shake it up another time.

2women2cats: DIY Liquid Hand Soap

2women2cats: DIY Liquid Hand Soap

The liquid soap that I made was supposed to be for washing hands but actually you can also use it as a shower gel or even shampoo, depending on what kind of soap you used for the recipe. The Aleppo bar I had can be used on the body,  face or as a shampoo bar, so there aren’t any limitations to the liquid one either.

I think next time I will try to do a similar recipe with less water. I should get a thicker “whipped” soap that could be  used as a shaving soap.

Stef

Whipped Shea Butter

2women2cats: Whipped Shea Butter

As I have promised in my last post, here is the recipe for the whipped shea butter. As it was already snowing outside, it was about time for some nourishing body butter against dry and itchy skin. Whipped shea butter is also supposed to be good for atopic rashes, dry hair and can also be used in the face. It is really easy to make and kind of reminded me of making a ganache. You melt oils together and whip them to a shiny, soft cream. And that is really all to it!

The base recipe is made up of 75% hard oils and 25% liquid oils. You can choose whatever oils you like or have at home like olive-, sunflower- or rapeseed oil. For the hard oils I used, besides shea, some coconut fat and my liquid oil of choice was macadamia. Any kind of ethereal oils can be added to that if you want a different smell and to preserve it longer some vitamin E. Don’t worry if you don’t want to buy E vitamin just for that. Since there is nothing but oil in it will stay good for a long time. If you use coldpressed oils you can make a completely raw body butter. Shea starts melting pretty quickly and together with the coconut I had it completely melted at 37°C.

My recipe contains 100 g of oils in total which makes around 140 ml of whipped shea butter. You can easily double the recipe if you want to give it away as a gift but beware not to make too much. Only really little is needed on the skin.

2women2cats: Whipped Shea Butter

Ingredients

50 g shea butter
25 g coconut fat
25 g macadamia oil
a few drops of essential oil (I used honey oil)
E vitamin

Melt the shea and coconut together in a bowl in a hot water bath.

2women2cats: Whipped Shea Butter

2women2cats: Whipped Shea Butter

Let it cool down for around 20 minutes. After it has cooled down add the macadamia or oil of your choice, a few drops of the essential oil and 4 drops of the vitamin E. Let everything set in the fridge.

Once it has set you can start whipping the oils with a hand mixer. It will get white and shiny! Store the whipped shea butter in little tins or plastic jars.

2women2cats: Whipped Shea Butter

2women2cats: Whipped Shea Butter

2women2cats: Whipped Shea Butter

If you want to prevent bacteria from getting into it, you can use a spatula or spoon for taking it out. It will immediately melt on your skin! The butter will stay whipped so you don’t need to store it in the fridge but I guess it depends on how warm it gets where you live.

Stef

2women2cats: Whipped Shea Butter

 

 

(Mostly) DIY Christmas Decoration

I love holidays like Christmas, Easter and Midsummer’s Eve – you can eat lots of good food and decorate the house! Not that it feels that Christmas-y in here that much though. It has been quite a warm winter so far and we don’t even have snow and ice at the moment.

2 women 2 cats -- Blueberry twigs

This year we didn’t want to spend a lot of money to spend on decoration, so we decided to be creative. We got some twigs to put in our vases and I made some paper ornaments. Since we’re not planning on getting a Christmas tree at all we didn’t use that many of our old glass baubles. Last year’s tree died for some reason after a day and the amount of needles it dropped was unbelievable. We just found one in our bedroom the other day, almost a year later!

2 women 2 cats -- Christmas vases

2 women 2 cats -- Decoupage Christmas ornament

I got some styrofoam stars and balls from a crafts store and découpaged little strips of newspaper and pieces of an old book on them. The book page pieces were a pain in the ass – they were so thick they just wouldn’t stick. In the end I put a little bit of water on them to bend them more easily. Maybe next time I will use wheat paste or wallpaper paste, the kind that  is used for pâper maché.

2 women 2 cats -- Christmas wreath

I used the star ornaments also for a little Christmas wreath I made for the front door. The wreath itself is made from heather and blueberry twigs and everything is bound together with lots and lots of metal wire.

2 women 2 cats -- Old book ornaments

2 women 2 cats -- Old book ornaments

I made some paper ornaments for my Monstera as well, after all it’s almost big enough to be a Christmas tree! I used an old book with these again. It’s a perfect use for the ones that have ended up in your book case but you’ve never enjoyed that much – especially if you’re like me and just can’t throw away books.

2 women 2 cats -- Christmas Hyacinth

A must-have in my Christmas is also a hyacinth. I’ve heard it’s not used as much in other countries as a Christmas flower, but in here the amazing scent of a hyacinth is always associated with Christmas. Too bad the flower doesn’t last longer than a few weeks. If I had my way we would have fresh flowers every day in the apartment.

2 women 2 cats -- Christmas Hyacinth

Taking these pictures was really annoying by the way – it’s just too dark nowadays! The sun is up less than six hours a day and when it is up, it’s so low you can’t really see it behind the not-even-that-tall buildings. I could moan and vent for hours about the lack of sun and its negatives to Finnish people’s health, but what I’m really trying to say is that I should clearly get a tripod for winter time photography…

2 women 2 cats -- Heather in a vase

2 women 2 cats -- Mushroom bauble

The apartment might be ready for Christmas, but unfortunately I’m not. I still haven’t bought and made all the Christmas presents! Today I’m making some Finnish gingerbread cookies and next week it’s time to hurry-hurry-hurry with the rest.

2 women 2 cats -- Alternative Christmas tree
Our alternative Christmas tree

Tiia