A Note From Your Soap Maker

June 30th, 2015  |  No Comments

Hello and Welcome to ButterVine!

I have always thought the body will follow what you ask it to do. In this modern society we ask so much of ourselves, and there are so many demands on our time for both work and personal lives. A thoughtful approach to attend to our body’s needs can enable us to meet what is required to live our wildest dreams.

Throughout many years of striving to keep my body in top condition I’ve sought after and discovered effective ways to clear the hurdles presented by my particular needs. Everyone has a unique set of circumstances that drives their overall health, so each of us needs to find a highly specialized means of cultivating a resilient constitution.

However, there are some general guidelines we can use as a starting point that create a baseline foundation for safeguarding our stamina, emotional and physical energy, and the overall balance of the system that supports our existence. I’ve put them on a list you can print and hang conveniently to remind yourself of them, get the poster right here.

This is my short list of secrets, many of which are not so secret! But when you consider thoughtfully what they can do for you, you’ll see why I’ve included them as a foundation for ensuring my stamina, emotional resilience, sound sleep at night, and overall enduring health. If you’d like to know why they’re on my list, join us here to get a few emails a week which explain what I’ve learned about each in more detail.

Here are my springboard habits for a foundation of good health and beautiful skin:

1. Eat 1/2 cup of fresh Papaya every day.

2. Stop eating processed sugar. Cut all foods you eat that contain sugar out of your diet completely. Yes. You must.

3. Drink eight to ten 8oz glasses of water every day.

4. Replace caffeinated drinks and alcohol with green tea, juice, or water.

5. Do not smoke tobacco.

6. To moisturize skin from the inside, eat oils.

7. Use essential oils of tea tree and lavender twice a week to cleanse and restore skin from the outside.

8. Eat a variety of dark green leafy vegetables each meal.

9. Take as many yoga classes from as many different teachers as is needed for you to find a good instructor you can learn from. Practice at least three times a week, four is better. You will be amazed how this changes how your body performs for you and how it feels to live in it.

10. Learn what to eat to balance your body’s nutrition, endocrine system, and keep your organs at a high functioning level. Our lifestyles and personal physical dispositions affect what we each require. Tune up to your own needs to get this right.

I’ll be adding more as I continue to find ways to boost my body’s resilience, sharing what I know with those of like mind.

Sincerely,

Ann Stramer

Filed Under: Health and Beauty, Safe Cosmetics | Posted By Butter Vine

Met Lots of Wonderful People at the Tower Grove Farmer’s Market

May 7th, 2012  |  No Comments

What a beautiful setting for a farmer’s market. We arrived to set up at 6:20AM, and while waiting in line to unload at our market spot, everywhere around us were huge oak trees and fresh green grass damp with early morning rain.

The Crowd at Tower Grove Farmer's Market

Avid Shoppers at Tower Grove Farmer's Market

The Market is just a few minutes walk from the Tower Grove Lilly Ponds, and everyone arrives in the early morning while it’s still relatively cool in the humid summer. Here’s a shot of the Butter Vine booth, located near one entrance, luckily in the shade of a 60 foot Maple tree. We were able to leave our new Peppermint Body Butters out of the cooler for almost three hours before the hot sunshine forced us to put them on ice!

Butter Vine at Tower Grove Farmer's Market

Our Handmade Soaps at the Tower Grove Famer's Market Summer Season Opening


Stay tuned for more about our new shea butter and cocoa butter body butters! They’re still in development, but we’re confident they’ll have the highest amount of shea and cocoa butter you can find in a body butter.

Filed Under: Safe Cosmetics | Posted By Butter Vine

New Peppermint Tea Tree soap

May 7th, 2012  |  No Comments

Unmolded just in time for the Tower Grove Farmer’s Market opening weekend, the bright peppermint notes of this bar are complimented by refreshing Tea Tree, and lemony Naiouli essential oil.

Peppermint Tea Tree

Our First Peppermint Tea Tree Batch Just Out Of The Mold


One Butter Vine customer tried using a bar on his pet’s coat, because he thought the solid bar of soap would be easier to apply and work into the coat than liquid shampoo while his Golden Retriever was jumping around in the water. He found he was right! None of the soap went straight to the patio, and afterwards his dog’s coat was super soft and silky from the shea butter.

If your dog or cat would rather play, at best, than take a shower, this is the perfect bar to keep unwanted insects off their coats. Tea tree oil is well known as an effective natural repellant against insects, and the peppermint and naouli oils will leave your pet smelling fresh without harshly drying their skin.

Peppermint Soap Up Close

Dried Flowers On The Face Of Peppermint Tea Tree

Try it, and let us know what you think! We value our customers’ opinions, and want to know how your using the soap and what works or doesn’t.

Filed Under: Available Soaps, Essential Oils, Ingredients | Posted By Butter Vine

Come see us tomorrow at Jennifer’s Pharmacy and Soda Shoppe!

May 1st, 2012  |  No Comments

Drop in and see us if you’re in Clayton, MO tomorrow afternoon! We’ll be at Jennifer’s Pharmacy and Soda Shoppe in Clayton tomorrow, cutting free samples of your favorite handmade soaps from 11:30 to 1:00 pm.

lavender bay handmade soap

A sample sized slice of Lavender Bay Handmade soap

Jennifer’s is a great place to have a sandwich and a shake at their comfortable soda fountain, and if you have a sweet tooth, you won’t be disappointed by their freshly baked pies and cookies.

We’re excited to introduce our soaps to Jennifer’s Pharmacy and Soda Shoppe customers because natural health is so important to them. To learn more about this pharmacy, here’s a link to their website: Jennifer’s Pharmacy and Soda Shoppe.

Filed Under: Available Soaps | Posted By Butter Vine

Lime Chamomile: Onion Killer

April 9th, 2012  |  No Comments

Citrus oils are an effective way to remove unwanted cooking smells, such as onion or that wonderful salmon you’d rather eat than smell on your skin. We’ve just peeled back the paper liner from a new batch of Lime Chamomile, a customer favorite for the kitchen sink.

lime chamomile

Lime Chamomile Fresh From The Mold

Filed Under: Available Soaps, Soap Making | Posted By Butter Vine

Ginger Grapefruit

December 5th, 2011  |  No Comments

Handmade Ginger Grapefruit Soap

Ginger Grapefruit Hand and Body Soap

Ginger Grapefruit Hand and Body Soap


Soothing ginger, refreshing grapefruit! And a touch of clove to boost the antimicrobial cleansing of an already gentle soap. Excellent for all skin types, you may even notice you use less lotion with these soaps.

$6.95





In addition to skin loving olive, almond and avocado oils, each bar has a generous portion of highly moisturizing shea butter.



Ingredients: castor oil, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, olive oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, shea butter, aloe vera juice, juniper berries, calendula petals, essential oil of clove, ginger, grapefruit, tea tree, and natural preservative vitamin e oil.

Filed Under: Available Soaps, Ingredients | Posted By Butter Vine

Licorice

December 5th, 2011  |  No Comments

Handmade Licorice Soap

Handmade Licorice Hand and Body Soap


The scent of this bar is mostly licorice, but it also has naiouli, making it a great bar for shaving, and tea tree oil. Bamboo derived activated charcoal is an extra cleanser for acne. Excellent for all skin types, you may even notice you use less lotion with these soaps.

$6.95





In addition to skin loving olive, almond and avocado oils, each bar has a generous portion of highly moisturizing shea butter.



Ingredients: castor oil, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, olive oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, shea butter, aloe vera juice, activated charcoal, essential oil of fennel, naiouli, tea tree, and natural preservative vitamin e oil.

Filed Under: Available Soaps, Ingredients | Posted By Butter Vine

Bergamot Geranium

December 5th, 2011  |  No Comments

Handmade Bergamot Geranium Soap

Handmade Bergamot Geranium Hand and Body Soap


Subtle Tangerine and the mysterious undertones of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil finish with just a twang of pepper and earthy shea butter. Excellent for all skin types, you may even notice you use less lotion with these soaps.

$6.95





In addition to skin loving olive, almond and avocado oils, each bar has a generous portion of highly moisturizing shea butter.



Ingredients: castor oil, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, olive oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, shea butter, aloe vera juice, one rose bud, paprika, essential oil of tangerine and ylang ylang, and natural preservative vitamin e oil.

Filed Under: Available Soaps, Ingredients | Posted By Butter Vine

Peppermint Sandalwood

December 5th, 2011  |  No Comments

Handmade Peppermint Sandalwood Soap

Peppermint Sandalwood Hand and Body Soap

Peppermint Sandalwood Hand and Body Soap


Excellent for all skin types, you may even notice you use less lotion with these soaps.

$6.95





In addition to skin loving olive, almond and avocado oils, each bar has a generous portion of highly moisturizing shea butter.

Ingredients: castor oil, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, olive oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, shea butter, aloe vera juice, essential oil of sandalwood and nutmeg, and natural preservative vitamin e oil.

Filed Under: Available Soaps, Ingredients | Posted By Butter Vine

Lime Chamomile

December 5th, 2011  |  No Comments

Handmade Lime Chamomile Soap

Lime Chamomile Hand and Body Soap

Lime Chamomile Hand and Body Soap


Excellent for all skin types, you may even notice you use less lotion with these soaps.

$6.95





In addition to skin loving olive, almond and avocado oils, each bar has a generous portion of highly moisturizing shea butter.

Ingredients: castor oil, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, olive oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, shea butter, aloe vera juice, chamomile buds, essential oil of lime and bay, and natural preservative vitamin e oil.

Filed Under: Available Soaps, Ingredients | Posted By Butter Vine

Vanilla Oatmeal

December 5th, 2011  |  No Comments

Handmade Vanilla Oatmeal Soap

Vanilla Oatmeal Hand and Body Soap


Look forward to a dreamy bath with the rich caramel scent of vanilla and soothing oatmeal on your skin. Made with all natural plant oils, oatmeal gently exfoliates while moisturizing skin with the rich lather of unrefined shea butter and aloe vera juice.

$6.95





In addition to skin loving olive, almond and avocado oils, each bar has a generous portion of highly moisturizing shea butter. Excellent for all skin types, you may even notice you use less lotion with these soaps.


Ingredients:castor oil, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, olive oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, shea butter, aloe vera juice, oat flour, rose petals, vanilla beans, essential oil of geranium, and natural preservative vitamin e oil.

Filed Under: Available Soaps, Ingredients | Posted By Butter Vine

Lavender

December 5th, 2011  |  No Comments

Handmade Lavender Soap

Lavender Hand and Body Soap


With all natural moisturizing oils, pure essential oils of lavender. Viola and larkspur blossoms lend traces of their delicate petals to this time honored favorite scent. Excellent for all skin types, you may even notice you use less lotion with these soaps.

$6.95





In addition to skin loving olive, almond and avocado oils, each bar has a generous portion of highly moisturizing shea butter.



Ingredients: castor oil, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, olive oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, shea butter, aloe vera juice, one larkspur or viola flower, essential oil of lavender, and natural preservative vitamin e oil.

Filed Under: Available Soaps, Ingredients | Posted By Butter Vine

At Long Last! Our New Recipe Has Hit The Shop!

May 3rd, 2010  |  No Comments

We’ve patiently awaited the end of the curing process for our new soaps, and many of you with us! Take a look at our store buttervine.etsy.com to find most of your favorites, a few new scents, and some really big bars of soap!

As part of our new formula, we’re using unrefined shea butter, which is dramatically different than the shea butter of our earlier recipes. The heat process that naturally occurs as part of the chemical reaction taking place when the soap cures does affect the properties of the shea butter somewhat. But to maximize the benefits of the butter that carry over, we’ve used shea butter that hasn’t been refined to bleach and deodorize the raw shea butter product. The result is dramatically different from our earlier recipe, don’t be surprised if you notice right away how much more moisturized your skin feels.

Each of the new bars is well over 4.5 oz, some of them closer to 6. If you find them too bulky, a kitchen knife will cut the soap easily.

Filed Under: Ingredients, Safe Cosmetics | Posted By Butter Vine

Cutting And Curing

March 23rd, 2010  |  No Comments

After the soap has cooled for about 24 hours, the mold is unwrapped, turned upside down to rest on it’s top and shaken gently to release the soap. The paper lining is peeled away, and we get to see the pattern of the soap for the first time. Every batch is hand poured, and we never know quite how they’re going to look until the paper comes off! So there’s always a little suspense and excitement at this moment to see what the soap really looks like.

Our new Licorice soap, fresh from the mold before cutting


At this point, the bar is far from ready to use, but still warm and soft enough to hold a nice sharp edge when cut. Next the bloc is cut in strips depending on the size of the finished bars.

Warm soap that's just been turned out of the mold being cut into bars


Finally, after cutting the bars are moved to shelves where they’ll stand for eight weeks.

A new batch of Licorice is set out to cure for eight weeks


The length of time the soap is allowed to cure is extremely significant. Starting from about the time the soap reaches trace, the oils and lye are in process of a chemical reaction during which the lye and oil fat molecules break apart and rearrange themselves. Much of this reaction is said to take place during the first 24 – 48 hours after trace when the soap has been poured.

However, although the process of the chemical reaction slows, it does in fact take a full six to eight weeks to complete. Bars I’ve tested after five weeks of curing have still been drying to my skin, which otherwise become much milder after the remaining three weeks have passed. For this reason we leave our soap on the shelves to cure a full eight weeks.

During the curing process, exactly one quarter of the lye/oil mixture will be converted to glycerine, the rest will become soap.

For our recipes, we add an extra 5 to 7 percent of oils beyond the lye/oil mixture that will remain as moisturizing conditioners. This is known as superfatting, and together with the choice of oils in the bar and the time the soap is allowed to cure, it is the key to a mild but effective cleansing bar that offers superb skin conditioning.

If you’re excited to try this soap, look for bars to show up in our Etsy shop in mid to late April. Or email us
to order in advance. We’ll ship your order as soon as the soap has cured!

Filed Under: Soap Making | Posted By Butter Vine

What’s in a Butter Vine bar?

March 19th, 2010  |  No Comments

In addition to natural aromatic oils and botanical ingredients, each Butter Vine bar contains only plant oils such as palm, coconut, sunflower, rice bran, olive, castor, apricot and shea butter as well as plant extracts such as cucumber, oatmeal, corn flower and aloe vera juice to ensure the moisturizing quality of the bar. Plants oils also function as our soaps’ gentle but effective disinfectants, cleaning your skin with natural substances that refresh your senses, moisturize your skin and safely return to the earth’s environment.

Check the description of each bar in our Soap Selection to find out which moisturizers and exfoliants are present in each soap.

Pure Essential Oils

Our essential oils are distilled from plants without the addition of scent enhancing synthetic chemicals. We seek oils from meticulously conscientious distillers to ensure long lasting, refreshing aroma in every bar derived only from plants, trees and flowers.

In addition to their aromatheraputic benefits, the distillation process impacts the healing, disinfecting and antimicrobial properties of essential oils.  If you don’t want to miss out on the important role natural scents can play in your health and happiness, include our soaps in your personal care for the best organic skin care!

Botanical Exfoliants

Although the stems, leaves, seeds and flowers in our soaps add to their aesthetic beauty, we also use them for a little extra scrub traction. Many botanicals we use add color or contribute to the aromatherapeutic quality of the bar. Chamomile buds and rose petals are two favorites, as well as henna, lavender buds, cedar wood and calendula petals.

No Artificial Colorants Or Dyes

All the colors you see in Butter Vine soaps are derived from the essential oils used to scent the soap, the moisturizing oils, natural herb and spices, or the botanicals added to the soap for exfoliation.

Natural Preservatives and Fragrance

Rosemary oil extract is a natural preservative derived from the rosemary bush that keeps the oils in our soaps fresh, and also helps to keep natural and artificial light from fading the color of the bar. We also use Vitamin E Perservative Oil, which has all the benefits of Vitamin E, and none of the dangerous effects of synthetic perservatives. The color may yet fade if your soap is kept in direct sunlight.

The botanicals in your Butter Vine bars are protected from the air and by Rosemary Preservative Oil or Vitamin E Preservative Oil, but like all plants they wilt and discolor when soaking in water, so don’t abandon your Butter Vine soap to soak under a lilly pad! After you’ve basked, bubbled and recalibrated your senses, do drain the water from the soap dish to make your soap last!

Filed Under: Ingredients | Posted By Butter Vine

Making Butter Vine Soaps

March 19th, 2010  |  No Comments

We use the cold process method of soap making to produce our soaps. The base oils, which include olive oil, palm oil, coconut oil, shea butter, sweet almond oil, castor oil, and avocado oil, are heated and combined with a mixture of water and sodium hydroxide.  The amount of these oils is balanced with the quantity of sodium hydroxide so that during the saponification process, all of the sodium hydroxide will be converted to soap.  This insures the bar will be gentle on the skin and not harsh.

The natural chemicals of your skin form a protective barrier that is slightly acidic.  Soap itself is a base, so to create a soap that doesn’t destroy the natural protective chemicals produced by your skin, we balance our ingredients, and then add extra oils to guarantee there will be moisturizing oils in the soap after its curing process has finished.  This is also known as superfatting the soap.

Before the soap mixture is poured into molds, scent oils and botanicals are added to the mixture, as well as other plant derived conditioners for your skin such as aloe vera juice and cucumber.  Natural rosemary preservative oil or vitamin e preservative oil are added at this stage also.

The Curing Process

After the soap has been poured into molds and has cooled enough to retain it’s shape, the mold is loosened, and the soap cut and moved to shelves to complete it’s curing process.  This is an important period because it takes about four to six weeks for the oils and the sodium hydroxide to fully combine and produce the final bar of soap. Allowing the bar to cure sufficiently directly affects the chemical balance of the soap and will result in a gentle cleanser that disinfects your skin without drying.

Chemicals And Packaging

During this entire process of manufacturing the soap, there are no residual by products of which to discard or dispose. All the oils and ingredients used to make this exceptional product remain in the bar.

When the soap has reached it’s maximum curing period, we wrap each bar in a label that discloses all of its ingredients. We’re fortunate to have found a source for our label paper that is both a free trade product, and ecologically friendly. The paper is made in Nepal from the bark of a tree botanically known as Daphne Bhoula or Daphne Papyracea. After the bark is harvested as it is naturally shed from the tree, it grows back and the plant is not destroyed.

Filed Under: Soap Making | Posted By Butter Vine

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