My Journey to a Simpler Life

My journey in making essential body and bath products began after reading a book on apothecary and soap making from the 1700-1800’s.

I was thrilled to learn the many uses of plants for natural healing (internal & external), skin care benefits and natural fragrances. After reflecting on the years of purchasing retail products and trying to figure out what was in these products; I was sure that I wanted to make a change to a simpler and healthier lifestyle.

So, in making my own soaps, I recognized on the first use that my skin felt silky smooth. After researching this, I was surprised to find out that the natural occurring glycerin that forms in the cold process soaps is what I was feeling.

In the retail produced soaps, the makers take out the natural glycerin and put it into lotions that they sell. Artisan cold process soap making allows the barrier of the glycerin to lock in the moisture and protects our natural skin oils. Skin oils are not bad, dirt and germs that get in our pores are bad.

Don’t get me wrong, lotions are great and have many wonderful benefits – but to create a product that gives you a condition, to make you need to purchase another product to get rid of that condition – is just plain wrong.

The list of grievances goes on, even when the label says “natural” — shopper beware.

In today’s world of synthetic mass-produced personal care products, do we have a choice to get back to a simpler and healthier lifestyle?

I believe we do, and we have it within our hands to make the change!

To sum it up, the simpler the better and if you cannot understand the ingredients on the label, research a little since everything has a chemical makeup/name, for example: H2O!

So, after learning the how to’s of basic soap making, I began planting my garden with herbs, citrus plants, flowers, and trees to use for both teas, remedies, and body and bath products.

What a great experience to grow what you use and know that they do not have chemicals sprayed all over them to help them grow or fight bugs through a pesticide.

My garden consist of: Peppermint, Spearmint, Egyptian Mint, Lemon Balm (Melissa), Lemongrass, Comfrey, Chamomile, Patchouli, Rosemary, French Lavender, Lavender, Holy Basil, Basil, St. John Wort, Sage, Valerian, Thyme, Aloe, Ginger, Turmeric, Black Turmeric, Oregano, White/Yellow & Kahili Ginger, Calendula, Passion Fruit, Rose, Tuberose, Gardenia, Star Jasmin, Lily of the Valley, Night Blooming Jasmin, Cypress, Kukui Nut, Orange Mint, Lime, Bay Leaf, Hawaiian Mamaki Tea, Valerian, Lilikoi, Eucalyptus, Dwarf Ylang Ylang, Allspice and Lemon. Available nearby are: Sandalwood, Orange, Coffee and the Hawaiian Melaleuca “Bark Tree.”

These plants are used in several ways, for scents and skin care benefits; plus, herbal teas and for my other interest of apothecary!

My homemade soap uses Coconut Oil, Kukui Nut Oil, Infused Coffee Oil and Macadamia Nut Oil that are available locally; while Olive Oil, Canola Oil, Jojoba Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Castor Bean Flakes, Grapeseed Oil, Soy Oil, Avocado Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter and other exotic oils and butters are all purchased from the mainland and shipped to Hawaii.

A note: In shopping for my own ingredients and products, it is not always easy to know what the ingredients are, since they may be shown with their INCI name. (The International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients is based on scientific names and other Latin and English words.) This is why on our e-site we have a full description of what the ingredients are, plus what they are know for.

I’m hooked and love that I have simplified my life and I am able to pass on these some of these simple pleasures to you!

Join me at In the Garden Body & Bath Botanicals eCommerce Site!