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Soul of the Desert


Gentle Foaming Facial Wash Recipe

I make most of my own cosmetics, including shampoo, conditioner, lotions, insect repellent (just add lavender essential oil to lotion) and soaps. The recipe below is my favorite facial wash recipe. I used the minimum of ingredients. You can fancy it up with a lot of things by replacing some of the chamomile tea, but this one works really well for me so I stick with it. Many of the ingredients are easy to buy at the grocery, but the preservatives and cleansers have to be purchased at a specialty store or online. When there is water in a product, or in this case tea, you will need a preservative. Bacteria and fungus love water.

All of these recipes are done by weight, and my recipes are listed by percentages, which you can then convert to grams/ounces as you prefer. I use grams because it’s easy to convert. For example, 81 percent water would be 81 grams if you intend to make 100 grams of a formula. One hundred grams is not a lot, but you can double, triple and so on once you know you like a recipe. This recipe is very thin because I didn’t add thickeners so it requires a foaming bottle for easiest application.

On low heat just melt–do not cook–the following ingredients: (A crockpot works well–just put ingredients in, turn on low, cover and wait for everything to melt. Stir occasionally. You can also use a small toaster oven):

81% brewed chamomile tea (soothing for skin)
10% SCI – Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (very mild cleanser)
5% cocamidopropyl betaine (very mild cleanser. If you want even more bubbles, you would up the percentage here and subtract out some tea)
3 percent glycerin (humectant)

After everything above is melted and gently mixed (do not mix vigorously. It’s a cleanser so it will bubble all over the place!) let it cool down. Then add the following:

.5 percent liquid Germal Plus (preservative) or .5% optiphen plus
.5 percent essential oil (for fragrance. I like grapefruit essential oil in this wash).

You do not want to cook off your essential oils or preservatives. They must be added to the end when the solution is cooled under about 120 degrees. If you add preservatives when the mixture is too hot, it destroys the preservative.

If you want to thicken this recipe, I recommend subbing out some of the tea and putting in up to 2 percent crothix or reformulating to make this soap with a carbomer thickener (carbomer has its own tricks and requires a neutralizer so it’s a more complex recipe, but carbomer is dependable). Crothix works pretty well with this recipe, but finding the right percentage can be tricky and I don’t like it because it thickens over time (so it can get clumpy two weeks later). It’s not a necessary ingredient, and for me it’s just easier (and cheaper) to dispense the above in a foaming bottle. This is a very mild cleanser that leaves a very nice skin feel.

Make Your Own Deodorant

As you know, I make my own lotions, soaps and shampoos. I haven’t found a good deodorant recipe yet. The key for the recipe that works for us is: Epsom Salts and baking soda and you’ll be good to go (other ingredients in my bar: beeswax (helps harden the bar), arrowroot, kaolin clay (thickener), coconut oil, and cetyl alcohol–to harden the bar.) Melt everything in a pan. You can use any essential oil, but don’t put it in until the mix is cooling. I prefer grapefruit or lavender/geranium.

Here is a recipe book today that has several recipes!

33 Easy DIY Deodorant Recipes

If you like potions and lotions and fiction characters who make them, you might like: Under Witch Moon.

Posted: October 25, 2015
Filed in Lotions, Melt and Pour Soap, Mineral Make-up, Shampoo

Print Copies of Fairy Bite

Okay, those of you who ordered a print copy of Fairy Bite: I’ll send out copies this week. If anyone missed out and wants to order a print copy, Amazon has them now and other retailers will have the copies up in the next two or three days. If you need a signed copy, contact me. They are 10 dollars, which includes shipping. I also have a few copies of my other books available if you need a signed copy of one of those–email me. I don’t plan on doing another print run this year so now would be a very good time to order signed copies if you need them this year!

In other news, here is my latest batch of shampoo. I’ll be working on the little labels today. 🙂 The ones bottled are lavender scented, while the larger bottled hasn’t been scented yet. The other scent I work with a lot is citrus. I don’t scent my shampoos heavily. This batch is a shampoo and light conditioner in one and is my favorite recipe. Lots of lather and lots of shine. There’s rosemary and chamomile for scalp health and panthenol for hair health!

Posted: May 7, 2017
Filed in Books and Stories, Shampoo

Shampoo Recipe

Okay, it’s not my regular posting day, but I wanted to get this basic shampoo recipe posted because I follow a lot of shampoo forums. This recipe is fairly advanced and it requires purchasing ingredients from an online supplier. My favorite supplier is SaveOnCitric.

There are some other good supply places, but you may have to shop around to find the best prices. Bramble Berry is a very good supplier for the sulfoacetate and has the best customer support in the industry. They will not only answer order questions, they will try to answer formula questions as well (for soap–for shampoo, well, that’s outside their normal area). Also available on Amazon.

Read through the entire recipe before starting and plan accordingly. Many of the ingredients have to sit and hydrate before you mix them together. Wear protective gear as you would with soap making–gloves, an apron and glasses. Some of the ingredients have very high pH or low pH and you don’t want to burn your skin. You do not want to breathe in the powders either. Really the only powder that can be extremely fine and poof up is the sulfoacetate–be aware of it and don’t let it scatter.

You will need several bowls and a scale. Do not use aluminum as it can react with ingredients. Use glass or stainless steel. Use bowls that can be heated.

This recipe is a shampoo and conditioner in one. I love it. It leaves my hair soft and curly.

Ingredients and Phases:

Phase A:

31.2 % distilled water or chamomile tea (I often use rosemary and chamomile tea–COOLED completely)
.8 % Carbomer 940 (this is a thickener and helps the ingredients stay mixed–basically a gell ingredient)

Combine while mixing — hydrate one hour. See full instructions at the end.

Phase B

27% distilled water
.25 % Guar Conditioner (this is a conditioning ingredient to protect the strands. Makes hair easy to comb)
1% Panthenol (this is vitamin b5. It adds body to hair. If you have too much body or curly hair, you can leave out.)

Dissolve panthenol in water and then add guar while mixing. Hydrate 1/2 hour. See full instructions at the end.

Phase C
15% Sulfoacetate/Sulfosuccinate Blend – Sulfoacetate is a surfactant for bubbles. Sulfosuccinate is a very mild cleanser used it baby wash and shampoos. I also make a face wash/eye wash using sulfosuccinate.
5 % Sulfoacetate
14% Cocamidopopyl Betaine – this is a very mild cleanser and buffers the other sulfoacetate

Combine and make sure everything dissolves. Do not use high mixing or you will cause all kinds of bubbles.

Phase D
2% dimethicone – This is a silicone. It makes the hair shiny and easy to comb. I love this stuff. You can leave it out.
2% hydrolyzed wheat (or silk or soy or oats) This is a wonderful conditioning agent. It’s very expensive, but it is basically attracted to damaged hair/split ends and coats them (Lightly–this isn’t going to build up. It fills in the cracks so to speak).
Germall Plus – ANYTHING with water and oils requires a preservative of some kind or it will grow mold and/or bacteria.
.8% Terasodium EDTA – this is to keep hard water from working against the shampoo. It also offsets the acidic pH of the Carbomer.


1. Combine A with fast mixing (drizzle the carbomer in the water slowly while mixing so it doesn’t clump). Mix WELL. Hydrate for one hour. That means let it sit and stir often so that everything is well hydrated. You do not want this clumpy.
2. Dissolve Panthenol in water.
3. Slowly pour Guar into the water. Mix well. Hydrate for half an hour.
3. Measure out phase C and make sure everything dissolves. If you have the pellet form of the Sulfoacetate, you may need to apply heat (put the bowl in the oven or in a crockpot on low until everything is melted). Do not over stir this–it will bubble! Do not over heat or it can start bubbling.
4. Combine A and B when hydrated.
5. Combine C and add to the A/B mix. Stir slowly.
6. Add phase D and stir.

Test the pH to make sure it’s between about 5 and 7. I use pH strips, nothing fancy. You may need to add a little bit of water to get the shampoo to the consistency you like.

If you decide to leave out the panthenol or the dimethicone, always make sure your recipe totals 100 percent–so add in water to make up for the difference.

The reason for the percentages is because everything must be weighed. I use a scale that measures in grams because the conversion is very easy. For 30 percent water–that would be 30 grams. If you want to double the recipe, you double each of the ingredients accordingly. I usually try a recipe at about double until I am certain I like the result. The recipe above, as is, would make about a travel-sized shampoo, maybe around 4 ounces.

I know this will be of limited interest to my normal blog followers, but I’ve been promising to post this for a while because I participate on a couple of shampoo blogs so here it is!!!

If you are interested in learning more about shampoos, lotions and the like, the best blog out there is: Switfcraftmonkey She has written several books, but I believe they are only available from her site and are in PDF form. Here is one on Shampoos. She is a wonderful and generous source of information and recipes.

The Dimethicone can be purchased on Ebay or ingredientstodiefor, or Amazon. I have used dimethicone 350 and 1000. They are both successful in the above recipe. has some of the supplies as well. I have used them and been satisfied with their service.

If you like potions and lotions and fiction characters who make them, you might like: Under Witch Moon.

Soaping and Shampoo Supplies

I’m sure you’re all wondering where I buy my supplies for making soap and shampoo. I get a lot of stuff from Chemistry Connection on Amazon — Micas citric acid for bath bombs and soap/shampoo supplies. They also have great supplies for lotion making.

If you make mineral makeup, eye shadow, bath bombs, soap, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap–it’s the best place, with the best prices on almost every single ingredient, and I love their quality. Just go to Amazon and search for Chemistry Connection and the ingredients you need!

Some Things I Made

Some pictures of my latest batches of homemade hot process soap and my latest shampoo. Click the pix for larger views!

Fairy Kissed light conditioning shampoo in citrus.

My good friend (nicknamed Snoopy) made this WONDERFUL little display dish for me. How cute is it???? She is made of awesome. The soaps are lemonade, orange citrus and lavender.

The soaps all packaged and ready to ship to their new home!

Next up we have a helper for when I made the baby blankets. Yup, The Convict is sleeping on the job! Worse, he’s sleeping on the material…

36 by 36 baby blanket in flannel.

36 by oh, maybe 35 because of an error, baby blanket in flannel.

Spiffy Tags for Soap and Shampoo

I’d like to thank y’all for the soap, shampoo and lotion orders! The tags didn’t come in time for all the orders, but I had these tags made. The ingredients are listed on the back of the tag. I do small sticker labels for the front, but the ingredient stickers were simply too expensive to print–they also aren’t waterproof, so I invented these spiffy tags instead! Click for larger pictures.