Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Canada Day Maple Leaf Melt & Pour Soap

       Looking for a fun and easy craft to kick off this weekends holiday festivities? Look no further! This cool Canadian Maple Leaf soap only requires 4 ingredients and our Mold Market Maple Leaf Mold. Whether you're going to the celebration, or throwing it yourself, this is perfect for a party favor, hostess gift or just for your own Canada-themed Cleanliness!

This recipe makes 3 Maple Leaf Soaps

You will need:

15 ml Fragrance if desired


1.  Separate your melt and pour soap into 2 microwave-safe containers, one containing about the Low Sweat Clear and the other containing Low Sweat White . Melt one batch at a time starting with your clear soap in the microwave, in 30 second bursts.

2. Once your soap base is melted, add the ¼ tablespoon of Drama Queen Mica as well as your desired fragrance to the clear base only and stir vigorously to blend the powder and fragrance in fully.

We used Evergreen fragrance in the soap, which totally reminds us of a lush Canadian forest!

3. Begin by filling each of the cavities about 1/3 full with your red soap, then use up your white soap base by adding it to each mold on top of the red layer.

4.  Fill each mold to the top with one final layer of the red soap. The white soap will slowly float to the top, which should give you a gradient, ombre look about halfway down the soap.

5. Let the soap set for 12-24 hours before popping them out. You may want to allow a few weeks for curing to ensure a firm bar of soap but you can certainly use them the next day. 

There you have it! A wonderfully patriotic soap which you can feel proud or make and share.

Keep in mind when you're considering coming in-store to pick up supplies that we are closed over the long weekend! Our holiday hours are as follows:

Friday: 9:00-5:30
Saturday: CLOSED
Sunday: CLOSED
Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday: 9:00- 5:30

From all of us at Voyageur, we wish you a happy and safe long weekend.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Fresh Body Powder

Summer is finally here!  All of us at Voyageur are loving the bright sunshine streaming into our warehouse and the long, warm evenings.  There is, however, one major downside to working in a warehouse in summer.  It gets HOT.  We have multiple fans blowing at all times and still the inevitable gloss of sweat appears at our foreheads as the day progresses.  This is what drove us to formulating the recipe below for a refreshing body powder.  

Body powders are a combination of dry ingredients to help soothe irritation and absorb excess moisture.  Our formula is a blend of 3 powders:  Arrowroot, Natrasorb, and Corn Starch.  Arrowroot powder is a naturally occurring starch that was traditionally used by the Natives to heal wounds from poison arrows.  It is now used in many cosmetic and medicinal products. Natrasorb is tapioca starch that is modified to have a greater surface area to hold large percentages of oils.  It is very useful in bath powders as well as body powders where scent is desired, and leaves the skin feeling super soft.  Corn Starch is a demulcent and emollient used extensively in dusting powders, rash treatments, and baby products.  It forms a protective layer on the skin, keeping in moisture and leaving it feeling silky. 

Let's face it, sweat happens in the worst places and sometimes it's very helpful to have a little refresher mid-day!  Here's the formula:
1/2 cup Arrowroot Powder
1/4 cup Natrasorb 
1/4 cup Corn Starch


1.  Measure out the Natrasorb into a medium sized bowl.  Add 20-40 drops of essential oil of your choice.  We recommend ones like Tea Tree and Lavender that have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties to help eliminate any odour. 

2.  Mix the powder and essential oil thoroughly until no clumps remain, then add the Arrowroot and Corn Starch to the mixture.  

3.  Mix well until everything is combined, then package it into our HDPE Powder Shakers.  You can either spoon it in if you have a steady hand, or put the mixture into a zip lock back and cut the corner to release the powder a small amount at a time.  

4.  To seal the bottles firmly roll your hand over the cap until a clicking noise is heard and the cap is on tight.  

Apply the powder liberally when you need a fresh pick-me-up throughout the day!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Dreamy Whipped Argan and Mango Body Butter Recipe

We formulated this recipe last year and featured it in our fall Creams & Lotions class and were overwhelmed by the reaction!  This recipe was hands-down everybody's favourite from the class with its silky soft feel and luxurious texture.  It also helps to protect and heal dry and chapped skin without the oily feeling after applying.  We received so many requests for the formula we knew we had to share it on our blog!

This recipe features a few key components that make the finished product so successful:
  • Ritamulse, an Eco-Cert emulsifier capable of emulsifying high percentages of oils
  • Mango Butter and Cocoa Butter to help lay down a protective barrier to prevent moisture loss, and to help soften rough areas like elbows and knees
  • Allantoin, a natural skin protectant and moisturizer frequently used in baby products 
  • Dry-Flo, a modified tapioca starch which helps to absorb some of that "greasy" feeling frequently associated with heavy creams while still letting your skin absorb all the nutrients from the oils and butters
  • Argan Oil which helps to reduce inflammation and has a high content of Vitamin E
The formula for 560 grams (roughly 4 x 4 oz jars or 2 x 8 oz jars):

Part A:

8%                    Ritamulse                 45 grams
3%               Cetyl Alcohol           17 grams
5%                Mango Butter           28 grams
3%                    Argan Oil                 17 grams
9%             Apricot Kernel Oil        51 grams
5%                 Cocoa Butter               28 grams
2%                    Glycerin                 11 grams
5%              Aloe Vera Extract        28 grams
1%                 Allantoin               6 grams
2%                 Dimethicone             11 grams

Part B:

53%               Boiling Water            297 grams

Part C:

1%                   Phytokeratin              5 grams
1%                     Geogard                  5 grams

Part D:

2%                     Dry-Flo             11 grams


1.  In a large mixing bowl weigh out all the ingredients of Part A.  Tip: Make sure you start getting your water boiling as you're measuring out the ingredients so that it will be ready to add when you're done!

2. Once your water has boiled, add Part B to Part A, mixing well.  

3. At this point you will need some extra heat because of the high percentage of solid ingredients, so either put the mixture into a double boiler or microwave for short bursts of time until all solids are melted and no chunks remain.

4. Continue to whisk fairly vigorously for a few minutes, you'll start to see the texture change to a creamy, pudding-like consistency.

5. Take the temperature of the butter, you want to make sure it is LESS than 45 degrees Celsius.  

6. Once it has cooled to below 45 degrees, pop it back on the scale and weigh out the ingredients of Part C directly into the cream.  If the butter is higher than 45 degrees it could damage the vitamins, proteins, and preservatives that we're adding at this stage. 

7. Whisk well, then weigh the components of Part D into the container.  Make sure to sprinkle the Dry-Flo in evenly instead of dumping it all in one area. 

8. Whisk very gently so as to avoid a cloud of powder in your face!  Mix well until no clumps are visible.  

9. Now the fun part!  Get out your electric hand mixer, hand blender, or table top stand mixer.  Tip: If you are using the same stick blender you use for soap, it should be washed very thoroughly before using!  Whip your butter using the blender of your choice.  What this does is create tiny air bubbles, lending a lighter skin feel to the cream and also increasing its volume.  Continue whipping it until you get the desired consistency, keeping in mind the more you whip it the fluffier it will be and the more jars you will need to hold it!

10. Packaging a cream or lotion can be a daunting.  How are you supposed to get a thick, viscous cream into a bottle with a tiny neck?  Tip: We have found the easiest way when working with a lotion is to use a ziplock bag; just scoop the lotion into the bag, snip the corner and pipe the lotion into the bottle like you would icing on a cake.  This butter is a little easier to work with because it's so heavy, we just scooped it into the jars with a spoon.

This butter is perfect for summertime for so many reasons: many ladies agree shaving their legs becomes a must in summer and this butter is great for dry, razor-burned legs; for after getting home from camping and your skin seems to have turned to sandpaper; and after sun burns have healed it's wonderful for restoring lost moisture and protecting damaged skin.  We hope you like this formula as much as we do! 

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