Gifts From Nature Soaps

Welcome to Gifts from Nature Soaps made by Nic.

I started producing soaps over a year ago, as part of my quest to detoxify my home, to reduce harmful influences that may be impacting the health and wellness of my family. Both of my parents died of cancer despite no history of breast or bowel cancer in the family. I’ve always questioned why they became so ill, was it just bad luck or did something in their lives contribute to this?

Was it the food they ate or how they cooked it, think about the microwave craze of the 80’s? Back then and still today, organic was and is a luxury!  Mum had a limited joy of cooking, Dad was very experimental, raisins and muesli in his lasagne! They both embraced the microwave, Dad even poached eggs in it! Was it the glass of wine at the end of the day, the chemicals in their cleaning products or their early adoption of the mobile phone? Mum was one of the first people I knew who used a mobile phone for work, it was the size of a brick, so large that it sat in the baby seat of the shopping trolley!

Dad was a technology addict, he would have definitely updated his phone whenever he could and he would have loved posting photos and awful jokes on social media. I’ll never forget his excitement with the arrival of the Commodore 64’s flight simulator. And then there was stress… a captain of a nuclear submarine, the Cold War and a changing family.

Whatever it was, I will never know, but when stress started taking over my life, it was time to do something about it. I decided to take some drastic steps to re balance my life and reduce the risk of history repeating itself for me and my young family.

My goals were to:

  • Reduce the amount of plastics we used as a family
  • Stop using chemicals in our cleaning products
  • Ground myself. I used to live in a flat in London, I felt removed from nature and yearned to grow my own flowers and vegetables
  • Learn more about the healing properties of plants and essential oils
  • Regain the joy I experienced when foraging for chanterelle mushrooms in Scotland
  • Do something creative
  • Do something that was beneficial for my family and others

And so the day came. I went on a wonderful soap making course, enrolled as a doTERRA wellness advocate, moved out of the flat in London and built a shed in our garden in Hampshire. I’ve never looked back.

All my soaps are made as naturally as possible. I use 100% therapeutic grade essential oils, using botanicals from my garden. Friends supply me with beeswax from their hives and I print my own labels using recyclable or recycled materials in my packaging.

With my passion for blending oils, using botanicals for my soap and giving  friends natural health remedies, I’m convinced I would have been burnt at the stake for witchcraft if we were still in Medieval times! Thankfully times have changed!

Please email me for information at info@giftsfromnature.co.uk, with all my love, Nic. xxx

P.S.  I’m still on the quest to make shampoo and conditioner bars and will keep you up to date with my progress!

How my natural soaps are made?

My soap is traditionally crafted by hand using the cold process technique. Soap has been made this way for centuries. The first recorded instance being the ancient Babylonians back in 2800BC. In those days they made their soap by combining animal fats (acid) and fire ash (alkali). Today we use vegetable oils and butters combined with lye (sodium hydroxide), this is then scented with essential oils and poured into moulds. Once the soap has rested for 24 hours, the blocks of soap are cut and the bars are cured for 4-6 weeks to complete the saponification process.

What butters and fats are in my soaps and how do they benefit the skin?

Mango Butter – from the kernels of the fruit of the mango tree. A light non greasy moisturiser which being noncomedogenic does not clog pores. It is very popular in lotions and creams designed for dry skin conditions such as psoriasis and dermatitis.  The antioxidant properties are perfect for repairing damaged skin. It is alleged to help to prevent wrinkles, heal scars and acne and to soothe sunburn.

Cocoa Butter – from the seeds of Theobroma Cocoa which have been refined and deodorised. Cocoa butter adds hardness to the soap bar. It is a great moisturiser and in Africa has been used for centuries to protect the skin from sun damage.  It is rich in antioxidants such as oleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. These substances will allow the creation of a layer of skin tensors and protection against free radicals.

Olive Oil (Pomace) – according to the International Olive Council, Pomace Oil is a by-product after processing which still contains a variable percentage of oil and water depending on the pressing. So it is not top-grade Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but a lower graded oil which is absolutely ideal for Cold Process soap making , not one to use for salad dressings! Pomace Oil contains three major antioxidants vitamin E, polyphenols and phytosterols. Olive oil attracts external moisture and holds it in the skin forming a breathable barrier without affecting the skin’s natural function.

Coconut Oil – solid Coconut Oil is one of the key ingredients in Cold Process soap making. It produces an excellent hard bar that will last longer than soft bars. Soap made from coconut oil will give a rich lather. It contains antifungal, antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti- bacterial agents so reducing the spread of germs.  It is used for soothing dryness and irritation making it perfect for treating common skin disorders such as eczema or psoriasis.

What are essential oils?

  • Pure natural extracts created by plants that are 50-70 times more powerful than herbs
  • Natures defence mechanism for plants and cells
  • Small, light molecules that are steam distilled or pressed from plants
  • Safe, effective, affordable alternatives to synthetic remedies
  • Highly concentrated blends of natural substances that have been used for thousands of years
  • They have profound health benefits, including antiseptic properties, an ability to lessen pain, ease feelings of depression, enhance memory and decrease inflammation

Why do we use essential oils in soap?

In today’s world of artificially high healthcare cost and artificial drugs, millions of people are returning to nature to find relief from everyday health concerns. While plants have been used for over a millennia to fight disease and to help ease pain and discomfort, individuals are increasingly beginning to rediscover some of the amazing health benefits of pure, natural essential oils. Essential oils are made from the roots, bark, leaves, stems, flowers, seeds and sap of plants, trees, bushes and herbs and they are highly concentrated.

Essential oils that are 100% pure have wonderful therapeutic (corrective) benefits. I only use 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils in my soaps.

Because essential oils penetrate the cell wall, they are very effective when applied to the skin. When the essential oil is applied to the feet, the oil enters the blood stream within 30 seconds. They can be applied directly to the area in need. If you are using essential oils on the skin, you should use a base carrier like Fractionated Coconut Oil which dilutes the strength of the oil. It is important to follow application guidelines when applying topically.

Using oils for emotions?

Because the sense of smell is so closely tied to the centres of the brain that deal with emotions, inhaling the aroma of an essential oil is one of the most powerful ways to affect emotions. When we smell a scent, odour molecules enter the nose, travelling up receptor sites. One of those is the limbic system or emotional part of the brain. The limbic system is connected to the parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress and hormone balance. It is this connection between smells and the nervous system that explains why essential oils have such a psychological and physiological effect.