Soap-making kit instructions

Eucalyptus & Loofah

This recipe has been made by Génie Soaps specifically for this Eucalyptus & Loofah Soap-Making Kit. There is no need to have made soap before. Making your own soap bars at home will take around an hour to make. The final product is going to smell like you’re at the spa and will be gently exfoliating on one side & really smooth on the other. Enjoy making your own soaps solo or with family and kids! 

Below, you’ll find what material you’ll need and your soap-making kit instructions. Have fun soap making! 

Please note that everything comes in the box pre-weighed, just follow the recipe and add the ingredients together.

Here is what you’ll need at home to make your own soap : 

  • Your Génie Soap-Making Kit
  • 1 microwave safe bowl (or even just a big mug)
  • 2 non-staining spoons (i.e. metal)
  • A microwave (or a double boiler – i.e. like you would use for melting chocolate)
  • A safe & clean place to work and make your soap! 

All ready to start soapmaking?

Step 1 : Layout all the ingredients and equipment of your soap-making kit together on a safe & clean working surface like a kitchen table or a kitchen counter. The essential oil blend can cause stains so make sure to cover your table 🙂

Layout all the ingredients and equipment of your soap-making kit on a safe & clean working surface

Step 2 : Place the melt-and-pour soap into your microwave safe bowl and melt the soap for 30 seconds at a time in the microwave (high power setting) until it’s completely melted (It should take 60-90 seconds in total). Stir in between. 

** Remember that the soap preparation is going to be hot once it’s out of the microwave so be careful handling it, especially if your children are helping. 

**the next steps need to be done without any delays between them, otherwise the soap will set – no need to rush, but this isn’t the time to take a phone call or get distracted! 🙂 (Tip: If the soap sets, simply put it back in the microwave for a few seconds). 

Step 3   : Carefully pour the essential oils blend in your melted soap and gently stir with your spoon. 

**You have to be careful when working with essential oils – if your skin comes in contact with them, wash generously with soap)

Step 4   : Now pour roughly a quarter of the melted soap into each of your moulds to make your first layer of soap (leaving half of the melted soap in your bowl). 

Step 5 : Add the nettle leaf powder to the remaining half of the melted soap still in your bowl, and mix using a spoon. It could take a few seconds to completely disperse the powder in the soap. When ready, it should look like this:

Melted soap mixed with nettle leaf powder
Melted soap mixed with nettle leaf powder
**Tip: Do this next step delicately –  for this second layer to be perfect, you don’t want to scrape the remnants of soap from the sides of the bowl if it’s already hardened (it would make lumps in your soaps). If it seems like the soap has hardened, put the bowl back in the microwave for 10-20s, stir and then pour the soap into the moulds.

Step 5 : Brilliant! We will now be able to make our second layer. First, make sure your soap is warm enough and hasn’t hardened (If your soap isn’t warm enough, you’ll end up with lumps and your loofah won’t press into the soap. Refer to previous tip to solve this!).

Then, take one of your spoons, hold it over the soap mould, and gently pour the coloured soap on top of the spoon to create the second layer of soap and avoid mixing the colours (see below for pictures!). 

Step 7 : Take your pieces of loofah and apply them on top of the soap, pressing lightly on them so they hide a little in your soap bars. 

Pressed loofah into soap
Press the loofah lightly into the melted soap
Voila! You’ve done the hardest bit of your soap-making kit! Now time to relax & leave the soap to harden and cool down for an hour. 

**Tip: when you’re cleaning up, add hot water to the bowls first, leave them for a couple of minutes. You’ll then find it really easy to remove the excess soap and put it in the bin – to avoid clogging the sink. Please don’t put the dirty bowl and spoons in the dishwasher before this previous step, it will create a big foamy mess in the kitchen!

Step 8 : After an hour has passed, time to delicately remove your soaps from the moulds and take a look! Almost done …

Step 9 :  Use the bamboo stick to make a hole in your soap bar (see picture below!). Then you can thread your biodegradable jute string through and tie a knot, leaving just enough space to insert your hand and wrist in the loop. (This is incredible, you will never drop your soap in the shower, proven!!!)

Step 10 : Leave your soap for a couple of hours and it’s ready to use in the shower! (See picture below for final result!) 

Final product
Final product!

Final product with wrist and hand in the soap loop

Brag about your new amazing bars on social media so we can see the results of your hard work! Please tag @geniesoaps on Facebook or Instagram! 

Happy washing! x

Soap-making kit instructions

Lemon & Poppy

This recipe has been made by Génie Soaps specifically for our Lemon & Poppy Soap-Making Kit. It’s designed for beginners and will take around an hour to make. The final product is going to look and smell like our ‘’Poppy Lemon’’ soap, will be gently exfoliating, and make a nice bubbly lather. Enjoy making this recipe kit with your family and kids!
Below, you’ll find what material you’ll need and all the soap-making kit instructions.

**Please note that everything comes in the box weighted, just follow our soap-making kit instructions and add the ingredients together.

Here is what you’ll need at home :

  • Your Génie Soap-making Kit
  • 3 microwave safe bowls (can be ceramic, plastic or glass bowl, a even a mug)
  • 2 non-staining spoons (i.e. metal)
  • A microwave (or a double boiler – i.e. like you would use for melting chocolate)
  • A safe & clean place to work and make your soap!

All ready to start making your own soap?

Step 1​: Layout all the ingredients and all the equipment together on a safe & clean working surface like a kitchen table or a kitchen counter. Some of the ingredients are staining (essential oil & turmeric), so you might want to cover your table.

Step 2 ​: Take the essential oils mix (handle with care) and the turmeric powder and mix all of it together in a small stain-proof (i.e. glass) bowl. With your spoon, you’re going to mix until the colour is perfectly blended. Then, put it aside.

Step 3​ : Now, place the amount of melt-and-pour soap base into a pyrex measuring bowl or a plastic bowl. Please make sure it’s microwave safe.

**the next steps need to be done without any delays between them, otherwise the soap will set – no need to rush, but this isn’t the time to take a phone call or get distracted from your soap-making kit!

Step 4​ : Melt the soap for 30 seconds at a time in the microwave (high power setting) until it’s completely melted (It should take 60-90 seconds in total). Stir in between.

** Remember that the soap preparation is going to be hot once it’s out of the microwave so be careful handling it, especially if your children are helping.

Step 5 ​: Pour about half of the melted soap base into a separate bowl and mix the poppy seeds into it using a spoon. Then pour this mix into the two soap moulds, half in each.

**Tip: Do this step delicately – for this layer to be perfect, you don’t want to scrape the remnants of soap from the sides of the bowl if it’s already hardened (it would make lumps in your soaps). Instead, put the bowl back in the microwave for 10-20s stir and then pour the remnants into the moulds.

Step 6​ : In the original bowl which contains the other half of the melted soap base, add the essential oil/turmeric mix you made earlier. Mix well until the color is perfectly uniform. Now pour this soap mix on top of the poppy seed mix in each mould (To avoid your second layer mixing with your first one, take one of your spoons and hold it just above the soap mould. Gently pour the coloured soap on top of the spoon so the soap delicately fills the mould).

Voila! You’ve done the hardest part of the soap-making kit! Now time to relax & leave the soap to harden and cool down for an hour.

**Tip: when you’re cleaning up, add hot water to the bowls first, leave them for a couple of minutes. You’ll then find it really easy to remove the excess soap and put it in the bin – to avoid clogging the sink.

Step 7 ​: After an hour has passed, time to delicately remove your soaps from the moulds and take a look!

Step 8​ : Now you can decorate your soap bars with the dried lemon and the jute string (see below for our example). Use your imagination! Add your name on the “Handmade by…” card if you’re gifting your soap 🙂

Your soap is ready to use right away – happy washing!

Maggie x

Final product of our Génie Soap-Making Kit | Lemon & Poppy
Final product of our Génie Soap-making Kit | Lemon & Poppy

The power of essentials oils

Essential oils are well-known by our society in 2020 due to their multiple virtues. Discovered in Ancient Egypt, this civilisation were cultivating plants for their oils and incorporating them into cosmetics and perfumes, whilst using them for healing and medicinal purposes too. Today, the popular benefits of pure essential oils are still recognised and they can be used for several matters like aromatherapy; fighting against stress, anxiety, depression, headaches or also topically on the skin; treating eczema, muscular pain or arthritis. (Please note that it’s very important never to use those oils directly on the skin without diluting it properly in a carrier oil, the steps to do are not in today’s blog but can be found easily online 🙂 ).

In this blog I’m going to explain how essential oils are made, how they differ from fragrance oils, and finally which essential oils we use here at Genie and why.

How is the essential oil made? 

Essential oil are extracted directly from the plant through different methods, all adapted to the specific plant or flower. The most popular way to extract the oil is steam distillation (other methods include mechanical processing or dry distillation). To summarise this process, the steam is injected through the plant material which allows it to release its aromatic molecules – these become a vapor.

Then, a coller is used to condense this vapor into liquid, which is formed of the essential oil, and floral waters. Finally, these are separated (they do not mix together) and we’re left with the plant’s essential oil ! 

The difference between essential oil and fragrance oil  

All fragrance oils are synthetically manufactured in a laboratory. These oils can imitate several scents that essential oils can’t be created for, like the popular ‘’Coconut’’ or ‘’Fresh linen’’ scents. Though they are popularly used in cosmetics because of their accessibility and lower cost, they don’t offer the same potential for health benefits as the essential oil. In Génie soaps, it’s important for us to use natural ingredients as much as possible so for that matter, we only use pure essential oil in our soap bar recipes

In Génie soaps, it’s important for us to use natural ingredients as much as possible so for that matter, we only use pure essential oil in our soap bar recipes. 

One of the other great benefits of having essential oils in our products is their antibacterial and anti-fungal effects. This means that they are a natural preservative of the soaps – so our products last longer and do no require the addition of other chemical preservatives which may irritate your skin or harm the environment.

But what about those health benefits ? 

There’s many reason to use essential oil in our routine and different ways to do it. In Génie soaps, we use the oils for it’s aromatherapy benefits. The oils do more than just adding a delicate scent to the soaps, they promote the wellbeing of our mind and body by stimulating areas of our limbic system which play a role in emotions, behaviours and memory. Depending on the essential oil you choose, benefits can go from reducing stress, agitation, anxiety to improve the quality of sleep, help in treating headaches and help fight bacteria and viruses.

Essential oils used in Génie soaps bar so far and their properties. 

Litsea : This essential oil has antioxidant properties and is thought to boost your level of energy. Because of its citric composition, it also helps get rid of the impurities on your skin.

Lemon : This is a “bad mood breaker”. Like the litsea, it’s going to re-energise your body and mind.

Lavender : This essential oil is the opposite of those above, it is used to relieve stress, put your mind to rest, relieve you from headache and help you to sleep.

Bergamot : It has power in reducing stress, anxiety and fatigue. It can also improve skin conditions like eczema.

Spearmint : With a minty and cooling effect, this oil is used to boost energy and leave your skin refreshed.

Orange sweet : This oil has a calming effect on the body and help with sleep issues related to stress. Also antibacterial, the oil itself helps fight bacteria and prevent infection. It also has a antioxidant power defending the skin from free radicals in the environment and helping boost collagen production.

Conclusion

So I hope this blog explained all you need to know about essential oils and why we use them in Genie products! If you’d like to read more, my references are below.

Love, M

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322503886_Essential_Oils_and_Their_Single_Compounds_in_Cosmetics-A_Critical_Review 

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-are-essential-oils#types

https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-aromatherapy#summary

https://www.decleor.com/en/oil-effects/melanin-inhibition/sweet-orange.html

Why soap is your best ally for fighting viruses

I’ve been recently wondering how we can protect our households from coronavirus. Browsing some articles, I found it really interesting to read that conventional soap is the best option to avoid catching any type of virus and in the same time, avoid its spread around you. Here are some fact about viruses, in simplified chemistry to help you understand why soap is a perfect ally to introduce multiple times a day to fight against it.

soap is the best, but do please use alcohol-based sanitiser when soap is not handy or practical

Professor Pall Thordarson

(The below is paraphrased from this fantastic article on The Guardian website, written by Professor of Chemistry, Pall Thordarson). 

  • A virus is a self-assembled nanoparticle with three key components: the ribonucleic acid (genetic code), proteins and lipids. The weakest link forming the virus particle is its wall, which is composed of lipids (fatty). Conventional soaps can easily disrupt these walls and destroy the virus particles – it does not require the harsh chemicals found in sanitizers (though, of course, these work too!).
  • If you don’t use soap, these virus nanoparticles can infect your cells. If they find their way to our lungs, they cause the classic coronavirus symptoms of cough, fever, and sometimes other symptoms like breathlessness, or a runny nose. 
  • When you’re infected by a virus, your cough and sneezes propel minuscule droplets into the air up to 2-10 metres (so please cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough!). These settle on dry surfaces like the floors and the furniture and are invisible, but because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not harmful. The virus can survive on these surfaces for a few days, so you need to wash your hands often with soap especially once you’ve touched any potentially infected surfaces such as a park bench, cash from a supermarket, or even the door-handle when visiting a local store for essential supplies.
  • The skin is the perfect home for viruses because of it’s epidermis rich in proteins and fatty acids. Unfortunately the virus is usually transferred from your hand to your face rather quickly, as apparently you touch your face about once every 2 to 5 minutes ! Once on your face and in your mouth or nose, you run a significant risk of contracting the infection. Break this cycle by making sure to frequently wash your hands – it’s the most effective prevention available!

What is the role of soap in hand-washing ? 

Water alone is not enough to get rid of viruses, though it does wash off some. Water combined with soap is the way to do it. In the constitution of every soap, you find fatty substances (lipids) similar to that found in the virus wall (see picture above). Water & soap combined have two effects; 

  1. detach the virus from the skin
  2. breaks the interactions of the protein, lipid and ribonucleic acid forming the wall of the virus particle. 

Soap vs. alcohol-based products 

The alcohol-based gel that you find in stores are effective in killing viruses because they contain a high-percentage alcohol solution that is toxic to the viruses, but when you use it on your hands, you usually don’t cover every corner of the hand skin and it becomes less effective. Another bad side of using those gel is that it’s very harsh on the skin and sometimes causes irritation and dryness. 

Soap is a great alternative – it does really work and is not associated with the irritation and dryness caused by alcohol based products. With a small amount of soap and water, you can cover both of your hands entirely and get rid of the viruses by not forgetting any corner and rinsing properly. The soap is also very soft for the skin compared to alcohol and does smell a lot better ! 

Happy washing !

This article was inspired by content from an article in the ‘’ The Guardian ‘’ written by Pall Thordarson, professor of chemistry at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, which can be found here; https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/12/science-soap-kills-coronavirus-alcohol-based-disinfectants

A little addition of shea butter for a lifetime of benefits

Shea butter is now part of a lot of cosmetics for many different reasons and it’s probably not the first time you’re hearing about this popular ingredient and its amazing properties. 

But what is it exactly ? 

Shea butter comes from the nuts of the ‘’shea tree’’, native to West Africa. This extracted fat from the nut has been used for many centuries on the skin because of its high concentration of vitamins and fatty acids. 

What are the benefits ?  

  • Linoleic, palmitic, stearic and oleic fatty acid are part of its formulation and help balance the natural oils on your skin and keep its pH neutral. Those properties helps the skin to stay moisturised by acting as a ‘’refatting’’ agent and restore the skin’s natural protective barrier – holding the moisture in and protecting it from dryness.  
  • Triglycerides found in the fatty part of the nut endow nourishing and conditioning qualities to the butter.
  • Vitamins A,E and F are antioxidants and helps the skin cells to grow healthily. The significant amount in shea butter protects your skin against environmental free radicals, slowing down premature aging. In other words, it’s acting as an anti-aging agent! 

How to use it ? 

Shea butter can be used locally on the skin by applying a small quantities and rubbing it in until it’s completely absorbed. It can also be applied to your hair as a leave-in conditioner. In Génie soaps, we use it in all of our handmade soaps to add moisturising and nourishing properties to them. 

Reference : https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/what-is-shea-butter

What’s the deal with oatmeal ?

We all know and love the traditional porridge that our mum used to make us on cold winter mornings, and we also enjoy oats in cookies or granolas on top of a yogurt. The thing with oats is that they are versatile, and can be used in skincare as well as in food. Used for centuries to reduce itchyness and calm down irritated skin, its benefits made it popular to create soap and different cosmetic formulation to keep your skin moisturized and to help dealing with dryness problem such as eczema and psoriasis. 

Here’s a few facts you may want to know about it : 

–      It is an amazing moisturizer. Because of the lipids and proteins it contains, oatmeal is a good humectant and has emollient properties. By using oatmeal soap everyday, you’re helping your skin staying soft, healthy and young. Tip : In the shower, start by washing your body and leave the lather on without rinsing while you’re washing your hair. The colloidal oatmeal in our soap is going to take action and moisturize your skin !

–      Oatmeal is anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant which makes it suitable for troubled and sensitive skin. By finely grounding the oat grains and boiling it, we obtain an extract full of vitamins, minerals and lipids called colloidal oatmeal. This is what we use in our soap ! TIP : Put a cup of colloidal oatmeal powder in your bath and get comfortable. Then use our minty lavender soap to add a calm and soothing effect to your ‘’Me time’’ and enjoy your aromatherapy session.