the ramblings of my journey through life, following my passion and enjoying the adventure

Thursday, February 23, 2012

adzuki bean powder

Some more Asian inspired ingredients used in this batch, and used some finely ground Adzuki Bean powder for a mild scrub, gently exfoliating the skin. The powder is reported to have been used in Japanese skin regimes for centuries to enhance the complexion, drawing out impurities and promoting circulation.

The alluring earthy spicy fragrance comes from a blend of patchouli, amyris and sandalwood essential oils.

I love the lingering, sensual and inspiring to the senses fragrance it leaves on my skin. Then again, I am being biased, as I know it comes from my dwindling bottle of precious (read expensive) Sandalwood.

Warm greetings from Cape Town, South Africa.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

rice milk in handmade soap

Rice has traditionally been considered a source of beauty in Asian countries. Many of their beauty products have rice based ingredients added, from rice powder/flour to rice milk. As the folklore story goes, the female workers who spent many hours in the sun working the rice paddies, would use the water that was left over from washing the rice to bathe in and wash their faces.


Today, starch and oil from rice are extensively being used in cosmetics and hygiene products. Rice bran oil has gained a strong and loyal following with many soap makers, having a good source of Vitamin E and antioxidants and imparts a silky smoothness to soaps.

Liking the soaps that I have made where I have used rice bran oil up to 5% of oil weight, I was curious to see what rice water or milk would do in soap.  Steeping my brown rice in mineral water, stirring every now and again, I left it overnight to find a very thin textured, off white diluted liquid the next morning. Referred to as rice milk by some, and rice water by others, I decided to treat it as a milk and freeze it in ice trays, reckoning the starch from the rice would produce sugar which might make a 'very hot' undesirable lye mixture. It stank, it HEATED up, it caused me moments of frantic panic and scrambling for a second lot of ice cubes for the ice bath, all the while leaving me very sceptical that I would have a successful batch of soap, let alone that it would add anything to the soap.

Rice milk soap unmolded and cut.

Nice and white, lemon, bergamot and peppermint essential oils.

Rice milk soap after 8 week cure.

It's smooth and silky, creamy and lathers like crazy. The rice milk is an ingredient I really loved working with and will try it again (hopefully more prepared for the lye reaction) with an essential oil blend that will keep the 'milky white' look!

Greetings from Cape Town!