Tag Archives: body care

How to Make Soap | Cold Process Soap Making

How to Make Soap | Cold Process Soap Making

Learn how to make soap at home!  Soap making is an art. It is fun and rewarding to make soap and the result is a wonderful natural body care product. Soap can be used for personal use, to give as gifts, or to sell. Cold Process Soap is the traditional way that soap has been made for many years.

What is Soap?

Soap is made from three basic ingredients; oils (fats), lye and water. All soap is made with a caustic soda such as lye. In order for it to be soap, caustic soda must be used, if not, it is not soap. The caustic soda such as lye is not present after the soap has cured.

Cold Process Soap creates natural soap unlike most “melt and pour soaps” as they usually contain glycerin and other synthetic ingredients. These synthetic ingredients can often be harsh and drying on the skin. Cold Process soap is made by mixing oils with lye which creates a chemical reaction, called saponification, which creates soap.

Lye Safety

Many people shy aware from making soap due to concerns about handling lye (sodium hydroxide). Lye is very caustic and needs to be handled with care. It can be fatal if swallowed and will burn the skin on contact. Children and pets should never have access to lye. With this said, by taking simple safety precautions, one can work with lye safely and create amazing, natural, cold process soap.

Curing Soap

Once soap has been made and poured into molds, it will need time to cure, typically 4-6 weeks. Curing allows the extra moisture in the soap to evaporate which produces a harder and longer-lasting bar. Curing also helps to neutralize any residual lye.

Resources to Make Soap

Are you interested in making your own soap? At Joan Morais Naturals, we offer a Cold Process Soap Making Online Course.

In this online course, you will learn all about making natural, homemade soap, including how to color naturally, adding in herbs, clays, oatmeals, etc., and how to naturally scent the soap using essential oils and botanical extracts. Lye safety is discussed, as well as materials needed, how to cure your soap, and resources on where to purchase ingredients and materials.

The class includes a 37 minute video on the soap making process, which you can watch over and over again. You will also receive our ebook on How to Make Soap along with 2 bonus ebooks on How to Make Swirled Lavender Cold Process Soap and How to Make Pot Swirled Soap.

Make Soapmake soap

Have you made soap before? We would love to hear about your soap making experiences in the comments!

Spring Skin Care | Refresh, Renew and Revive Your Skin

spring skin careSpring Skin Care | Refresh, Renew and Revive Your Skin

Now that it’s Spring, it’s time to think about changing up your skin care routine. In winter, our skin becomes very dry and moisturizing is key. Our skin is always changing so for our spring skin care, it’s important to reassess what our skin needs for the current season. Spring is all about refreshing, renewing, and reviving our skin. Read on for some tips for spring skin care. Watch Joan’s video on fresh skin care here.


In winter, our skin becomes duller and dryer. A gentle exfoliate is great for spring to revive your skin and brighten up your complexion. Exfoliating removes the top layer of dead skin cells and encourages cell regeneration by allowing new skin cells to come forth. You only need to exfoliate a few times a week and make sure that you are using one that is gentle on your face. Grains are excellent to use as an exfoliate. Oats are great for all skin types and are very soothing and moisturizing. Make your own oat flour by grinding oats in a blender or food processor.

Easy, DIY Oat Exfoliant

1 tbsp of Oat flour

1 drop essential oil (pick your favorite essential oil for skin care)

Combine oat flour and essential oil into a small bowl or in the palm of your hand. Add in a little water or your favorite hydrosol/flower essence and mix to make a thick paste. Gently massage onto your face and rinse off with warm water. This is great to use in the shower- just keep a small jar of grains for easy use.


Toners are excellent to add into your spring skin care routine as they soothe, hydrate and refresh your skin. There are so many ways to make a simple toner by using hydrosols/flower essences and herbal extracts.


Typically in spring our natural oils in our skin start to come back into balance after a dry winter and we no longer need the deep moisturizing from winter. However, a good, light moisturizer is still important to keep your skin hydrated and glowing.

Fresh Skin Care

Spring is a great time to make your own fresh skin care, like the Easy, DIY Oat Exfoliant above. Many fresh ingredients in your kitchen can easily be used to cleanse, exfoliate, tone and moisturize your skin.

Watch the video with Joan on some of her tips and secrets for fresh skin care

from the recently revised ebook, Fresh Skin Care From the Kitchen and Garden, has over 25 recipes using fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, plant oils, and plant-based milks and yogurts.

Other Skin Care Resources

Check out our other ebooks with resources on making your own skin care products:

How to Make Your Own Natural Facial Products

How to Make 47 Herbal Extracts for Body, Hair, Skin

Aromatherapy: Essential Oils for Body, Hair, Skin

How to Make Flower Essences for Body, Hair, Skin

cupuacu butter

Ingredient Spotlight | Cupuacu Butter

cupuacu butterIngredient Spotlight | Cupuacu Butter

Our ingredient spotlight today is on cupuacu butter. Have you heard of cupuacu butter?  Cupuacu butter is from the cupuacu tree that grows in the Amazon rainforest by cold-pressing the seeds of the fruit. It is related to the cacao tree and has been used to make white chocolate. It is also very nourishing and a soft emollient when used in body care products.

Nourishing & Anti-Aging

Cupuacu butter is high in antoxidants, essential fatty acids, and phytosterols, a compound found in plants, that has been found to have anti-aging properties and is highly nourishing. Cupuacu butter can be used to treat dry and damaged skin as it encourages new collagen production. Cupuacu butter is also very hydrating and is able to retain water in your skin.

Vegan & Cruelty-Free Beauty

Cupuacu butter is a great vegan/plant-based alternative to lanolin. Lanolin comes from the glands of wool-bearing animals (mainly sheep) and is often used in body care products meant for deep nourishment. Cupuacu butter actually provides superior skin hydration compared to lanolin and it does not cause skin irritation that many receive as a result from using products containing lanolin. On another note, many consumers are wanting products that are vegan and cruelty-free when it comes to animal treatment. In fact, Google highlights vegan skin care as an important trend with searches for it growing over 80% each year! Learn more about vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics here.

Uses of Cupuacu Butter in Body Care Products

We use cupuacu butter in several of the formulas in the Professional Natural Skin Care Product Making Course; Camu Camu Cream, Cupuacu Body Butter.  These are some of our favorite formulas that are highly moisturizing. The uses of cupuacu butter in body care products is endless! With it’s nourishing, smoothing and anti-aging properties, cupuacu butter can be used in a variety of products including:

  • Lip balm
  • Body butter/balm
  • Leave-in Hair Conditioner
  • Anti-Aging Skin Toner
  • Sun protectant
  • Anti-inflammatory

Cupuacu Butter Resources

When purchasing ingredients for skin and hair care products, it is important you are getting a high quality product that is responsibly sourced.

At Joan Morais Naturals we recommend the following supplier:

Essential Wholesale

Interested in making your own natural skin and hair care products using cupuacu butter and other specialty natural ingredients? Check out the online courses

flower essences

All About Flower Essences | Make Your Own Flower Essences

flower essencesAll About Flower Essences | Make Your Own Flower Essences

Happy Spring! The arrival of spring brings us increasingly warmer and brighter days and a promise of summer. Spring is a perfect time to plant new seeds (both figuratively and literally), start new projects, and take action! Spring also brings with it a beautiful natural landscape of flowers. In this blog post we will be exploring flower essences- what are they, how to connect with and utilize the power of flowers in your body, hair, and skin care products, and additional resources for making and purchasing flower essences.

Flower Essences

“Food nourishes the body, but flowers heal the soul. ” -old proverb

Flower essences are made from a flowering plant that are used therapeutically to benefit mood and emotional wellbeing. Flower essences are very safe and can be used by children, elderly and animals. Every flower has a different healing property. Flower essences affect us in very subtle and gentle ways by working on an energetic and vibrational level. The energy of the healing property of the flower that is being used (for example- calmness) is amplified while opposing energy (worry or fear) is lessened. Sometimes flower essences work immediately and other times they may take days or weeks as they slowly work with your energy.

Flower Essences for Body, Hair and Skin

Flower essences are a great addition to add into your body, hair and skin care products. Here are some flowers that are great to use in body, hair and skin care products:

Gardenia Flower is luxurious and all about affluence. Luxury and affluence are the result of focus and appreciation for the fine details in art and living. Use gardenia flower to add life and luxury to most body, hair and skin care products.

Rose Flower embodies love and harmony. Everyone needs more love and rose gives a love boost to you. Use rose for all skin and hair types especially neglected skin and hair.

Violet Flower is a tiny delicate purple flower. Violet is wise and wants to remind us everything is valued on earth regardless of the size. Use for someone that does not realize their worth and think that they are too small and nobody notices them. Use violet for mature skin and hair and baby skin and hair.

Flower Essence Room Spray and Body Mist

A flower essence room spray and body mist is a great way to uplift mood, boost immunity and create balance. A few drops of essential oil can be added for a scent. Flower essence room sprays and body mists are great to use for everyone, including children, elderly and pets!

Flower Essence Room Spray

4 ounces distilled water

28 drops flower essence

Add all ingredients into bottle with a spray mister. Use within one month.

Flower Essence Body Mist

2 ounces distilled water

14 drops flower essence

Add all ingredients into bottle with a spray mister. Use within two weeks.


flower essences

Make Your Own Flower Essences: Check out our ebook that was just released- How to Make Flower Essences for Body, Hair, Skin  In this ebook you will learn all about making your own flower essences, including 39 flower essences you can use in body, hair and skin care.

Flower Essences for Purchase: Bach Flower Essences are very well known and can be found in most natural health/grocery stores.

vegan skin care

Vegan | Plant-Based | Cruelty-Free Hair & Skin Care Products

vegan skin careVegan | Plant-Based | Cruelty-Free Hair & Skin Care Products

Google Beauty Trends reports that Vegan Skin Care is an important trend to watch with searches for Vegan Skin Care growing over 83% each year. What does it mean for a skin care product to be vegan? In this post we explore the term vegan, vegetarian and cruelty-free for hair and skin care products.


Vegan, also known as plant-based, products contain no ingredient from any animal or processed with animal products. This includes honey, beeswax and white sugar produced through animal bone char. Many ingredients from animal flesh are contained in products labeled as vegan because of lack of education.


Vegetarian products may include milk, whey, casein, eggs, honey, beeswax, secretions from the civet cat, lanolin from sheep wool and musk oil from musk deer. Many animal by-product ingredients from the slaughter of animals are contained in products labeled as vegetarian because of lack of education.


Animal-based products are from animals that are killed in order to use the ingredient or used as a by-product. These include tallow (oil from the fat of the cow and pig), emu oil, gelatin, stearic acid (animal derived) and fish scales. Many cosmetics contain animal products especially pig oil and it is not disclosed on the ingredient list. Other ingredients are colorants in make-up from crushed female beetles, gelatin from cow’s skin, tendons, ligaments and bones, keratin and collagen from animals’ horns, hooves, feathers and hair and animal derived hyaluronic acid from the rooster’s comb.


A product may be made of only vegan/plant-based ingredients, however it may still test on animals. Many cosmetics are still tested on animals and these tests can be very painful, cause suffering and even death. Rabbits, mice, rats, and guinea pigs are often used to test cosmetics on to see if they have an allergic reaction. After the external testing, the animal is killed and dissected to examine the effects to their internal organs. A product that is labeled cruelty-free means that no animals were harmed or killed in the making of the product including testing. Animal-testing is out-dated and there is much better technology available that causes no harm to animals.

Vegan Cosmetics also known as Plant-Based Cosmetics

Consumers should know what is in their cosmetics. Many cosmetics contain pig oil, cow skin, hoofs, etc. For a list of common animal-based products read this post. The consumer should know if an ingredient is made from the by product of the slaughter of an animal and if that product contains ingredients from an animal. The cosmetic industry is starting to take note of this and many brands are including a vegan label on their product. However, there is still no regulations or requirements regarding the labeling animal-based ingredients or animal testing in cosmetics. We encourage everyone to know what is in their skin, hair care, and makeup products. If it is not directly labeled as vegan or the ingredient list is not on the product, look up the company online and contact them directly if you cannot find out or are unsure.

What are your thoughts? Is it important to you for cosmetic products to be labeled vegan, vegetarian or animal-based? Do you make natural hair and skin care products? If so, are these products vegan and cruelty-free? We’d love to hear from you in our comments.

At Joan Morais Naturals we are committed in only using vegan/plant-based ingredients that are cruelty-free. All of our formulations are vegan/plant-based and cruelty-free.  


List of companies that DO test on animals. 

List of companies that DO NOT test on animals.

Read about ways you can make a difference as a consumer.