February 2019 Soap Challenge and SZN News

IMG_0814Hello everyone and thank you for joining us on our blog page.

Life has been kind of crazy for us at Skin Zen over the last year with changes to our focus market.  Things moved very fast as we changed our internal processes to gear up for the new business goals and challenges we faced.  Our increase in production is a direct result of our new Marketing Manager and Director who joined us in 2018, and we are pleased to welcome Shanelle and Dan Mayerhofer on our team. Shanelle and Dan have already implemented great ideas within the company and boosted our business and clientele tremendously since joining our team.  Looking forward to greater things to come for 2019!

It has been several months since I have had the time to make a new soap, so I decided to use the February 2019 Soap Challenge by Amy Warden from Great Cakes Soapworks and dedicate my weekend to creating a new custom soap for a wholesale order (one of five new wholesale orders!)  I am so grateful that Amy was able to bring the challenges back for the inspiration these events provide to soapers which push us to grow and experiment while making our products.

This month the challenge is Glycerin Rivers design and is inspired by soapmaker Clara Lindberg from Auntie Clara’s Handcrafted Cosmetics and her blog posts on glycerin rivers.  I have created glycerin rivers on previous challenges (here and here) but they were not intentional.  When I created the first soap with glycerin rivers I liked the effect they gave my soap, and I thought they complemented the design perfectly (January 2016 Soap Challenge blog for the Circling Taiwan Swirl.

Glycerin rivers are not actually glycerin but are non-pigmented (clear) “rivers” or a crackle-like sections running through your bar. These “rivers” run along side or surround the pigmented sections in your soap. Rivers (or Glivers as Clara likes to call them) must meet specific criteria when found in your soaps:  (a) colored with pigment such as Titanium Dioxide, rather than with mica or lake colorants; and (b) when heat was added to the soap for a gel phase.  Rivers can also be caused when you have a high sugar content in your soap, or some fragrance oils can cause overheating and rivers.  Glycerin rivers cure at a different rate than the “smooth” portions of your bar, causing an uneven or ridged look between the pigmented and non-pigmented sections. I believe the addition of rivers in some bars adds to the overall design which is what we are trying to accomplish with this challenge.

My first attempt to create rivers in my soap is the only soap I made that actually had rivers in the bars. I used my standard moisturizing soap recipe with 38% water.  The colors used were Pink Vibrance Mica, Green Neon Fluorescent Pigment, Neon Orange Fluorescent Pigment (mixed in water), and Titanium Dioxide  mixed with water all from Nurture Soap.

The design was made using a hanger swirl.  I placed the wooden loaf on a heating pad and covered the loaf with several towels. Unfortunately the heating pad I pulled out had a default two-hour timer and auto shut off so I had to keep a timer on to turn the heating pad back on every two hours for six hours which was very frustrating. The loaf was left covered over night without the heat once I went to bed.

Unfortunately I ran out of time to make a better “river” soap but I do love how this one turned out with the clear rivers in the white and between the colors adding additional depth to the soap.

2019-02-24_12-50-022019-02-24_12-53-11b

4 thoughts on “February 2019 Soap Challenge and SZN News

  1. It’s a beautiful soap, Danielle! I’m in total agreement that the glycerin rivers just enhance and give depth to the hanger swirl which is so lovely already. I’m also very happy to hear about your business growth over the past year!! Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

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