Cocoa Butter

At Realize Beauty HQ we get to work with some wonderful ingredients and this, natural coco butter has to be one of my favourite base ingredients as it looks good enough to eat! 

Cocoa butter comes from the cacao bean and is often seen on cosmetic labels as theobroma cacao.  It is often used as part of the oil phase of a product as its rich, creamy and slightly waxy nature give it a protective and nourishing skin feel. It is also prized for its naturally high antioxidant properties meaning that it is unlikely to cause many problems with regard to formula stability.

The melting point of around 38C makes it a safe wax for curious kids to experiment making lip balms and creams with – many such as beeswax don’t melt until around 65C and that’s why we’ve started using it in our Cosmetic Kitchen workshops (which are as scientific as they are fun)!

Finally this good-enough-to-eat butter comes with a beautiful milky chocolate aroma which blends well with either vanilla oleoresin, sandalwood or benzoin resin to give your finished product the most wonderful natural aroma.

We get ours from New Directions who stock an organic and a standard version. I believe that you can also get this as fair trade certified so what’s stopping you?   There is some more information on how cocoa butter is grown and harvested here.

The Hand Made Skin Revival

Do we have science fatigue yet?  Are you a little bit over hearing about nano-particles,  free-radicals, delivery systems and pH balance?  Well we may have something here for you!

I love all of that stuff but if you just popped down to the chemist for something to protect you from the winter chill or  summer burn the enforced chemistry lesson can leave you feeling a bit pale and clammy.  

So, is it time to revive the good-old days?  Austraroma think so.

Austraroma are experts in the art of ‘slow cosmetics’. Everything in the range is hand-made using  traditional manufacturing processes including a saponification reaction that takes around a month to complete!  The soaps, face packs and moisturising products are all based on natural ingredients which are blended to perfection by Tatiana in her Sydney based workshop. This artisan approach to cosmetic manufacture is gaining in popularity as more and more people want as few steps as possible between the plant and the cosmetic pot. So what’s cooking?

My favourite is the Honey and Propolis all-purpose balm which smells divine thanks to a dash of cinnamon.  Propolis is a prized ingredient in ancient skin care due to its waxy nature and anti-oxidant properties and honey is a brilliant cure-all for skin. The cinnamon gives the balm a tingly warm feeling when applied that gets the blood flowing – a natural circulation booster.

In addition to that I am in love with Magic Hands which exfolliates with coffee, sea salt, clay and natural oils to leave your hands feeling silky soft and fresh. The extra bonus with this product is the long-lasting moisturising effects thanks to the macadamia and jojoba oils plus Shea butter and phytowaxes.  Truly beautiful.

A hand-made range requires a hands-on approach to selling and Tatiana has […]

Congratulations to our Little Angels Cosmetic Kitchen Winner

Our kids Cosmetic Kitchen parties were the subject of a November promotion held by Little Angel Magazine and today we found out the identity of the lucky winner.  We can’t wait to be part of her 7th Birthday celebrations to be held later next month. 

Realize Beauty and our partners Fizzics Education are passionate about spreading our love of good science to everyone.  Our cosmetic kitchen allows children to explore science in a fun and hands-on way while  learning a bit more about their own bodies!  Our recipes are natural and fun and concentrate on making personal care  enjoyable, entertaining and scientific rather than being all about ‘making-up’.

Kids love to get their hands dirty and our Cosmetic Kitchen gives us the perfect opportunity to let their creativity run wild while creating the perfect clean-up products.   Why not invite us to your next party? 

 Our presenters are professional science communicators, fully insured and cleared for working with children.

Cosmetic Kitchen and New Tang Dynasty TV

Yesterday our Cosmetic Kitchen workshop was filmed by satellite TV station “New Tang Dynasty” for their lifestyle program. We had a great time and soon forgot that the cameras were rolling. The only comment from me would be “come back Stevie English, my hair needs some star treatment”!

Our Cosmetic Kitchen travels. For more details click here or call us on 0434 022 856

The Home Bake – Ten Tips For Cosmetic Success.

Creating your own cosmetics is a great way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon  but to ensure that you don’t suffer for your art there are a few things to consider. Respect the art and  your safety!

1) Cleanliness rules. Just like when you are cooking for your family, make sure you start off with a fresh and clean workspace, with clean utensils AND clean packaging. Insure that no food surrounds your preparation area!

2) Sterilize. Make sure that you wash your hands with an antibacterial solution or alcoholic wipe. You can sterilize pots and packaging in boiling water or by using a bit of baby bottle sterilizing solution.   If you start off with bugs in the system, your beautiful and natural cosmetics will soon become a bacteria playground.

3) Ingredients. Your raw materials will all have different shelf lives. These will be stated on the packs when you buy the products.  Most carrier oils (Jojoba, Macadamia etc) will last for maybe 2-3 years with careful storage, clays will last for years longer if they are kept dry but herbal extracts may only last 6 months.  Check the ingredients before you use them.

4) Cooking Tips. Are your products going to be hot?   Where will you put them to cool? How far do you have to walk with your hot oil? It may sound ridiculous but I have been caught out with boiling hot oil and a litre of slipy soap solution before and no bench space to put it! Be especially careful if you are creating products with your kids!

5) Suitability for Purpose.   Another one that sounds obvious until it catches you out.  Before starting think about what you are making and how you will use it. […]

Getting up Close and Personal

This week I have been putting together some slides for our Cosmetic Kitchen events and thought I would share some of the shots with you! These images were taken on a 200x zoom digital microscope to show the skin and hair close up! If you want to see what yours looks like why not book one of our kitchen parties today – more details under our events section.

Quite often people become motivated to make their own cosmetic and personal care products because they have suffered a number of allergic reactions to potions and lotions that have been purchased commercially.  While I am neither a dermatologist or an allergy specialist I can sympathize with the desire to simplify ones skincare routine – surely, the less we put onto our skin the less chance of reaction.  That rational may well stack up and there are many people who have been tested and found to be allergic to one chemical or another, however that is only part of the story. The skin, is only one part of the thing  that is us. It often becomes irritated and sore as a consequence of what is going on inside our bodies – be it the mind, one of our other organs or an invader (virus, bacteria or fungi).

I have always suffered from eczema and in later life acne and have often looked for that miracle product to soothe or cure me without considering “me” as a whole. At Realize Beauty we take the view that your skin and hair are both parts of the whole puzzle that makes you you! Therefore, what we do to our skin and hair and what we think about them relates back to us […]

Recipe: Make Your Own Heel Balm

Summer is coming for us Aussies which can only mean one thing. Thong time! If your feet aren’t looking too sweet why not try making your own heel balm before donning the sandals.

* We love Niulife Extra Virgin Coconut Oil as it is 100% certified Organic and Fair Trade. Check it out here.