Category Archives: Breastmilk Soap

[Review] Breast Milk Soap Making Workshop with SoapLah

Many of us have formed friendships with ladies with similar EDD during our pregnancy through forums or Facebook groups. And many times, we are wondering what meaningful activities can we have at our gatherings…

We were invited by SoapLah to try out a breast milk making workshop and we got our hands working!

SoapLah is a simple set up. They are dedicated to bringing affordable natural skincare to everyone. Their place isn’t some fancy set up, but the trainers were friendly and we had a great time.

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Their simple set up, a room inside this Bright Sea Air-Con Engineering.

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Cozy room and informative presentation

There’s a lot of terminology to learn in soap making but I shall not spoil the fun. SoapLah has beautiful PowerPoint presentations to teach you what you need to know!

The place is a little small so the max at each workshop is 6 pax. They are not able to bring the workshop to you due to regulations as soap making is required to be in an industrial area with certain criteria to meet. But, it is totally worth heading over. Carpark is not an issue (can park on same level) and the bus stop is pretty nearby if you are not driving.

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Very hardworking students!

Soap making requires some detailed calculation. If you are too lazy to work your brains (so rare to get time off from the kids right), you can use their standard formula. However, the fun of making your own soap is being able to customise to your likes and needs.

 

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Large variety of quality ingredients provided

I was impressed the moment they opened up their secret cabinet. The variety of oils we can use was crazy! So much variety that we started getting dizzy because we couldn’t decide!

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Measuring the individual ingredients was an art too. We had to be ultra careful in order not to waste our breast milk!

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For Safety: All Geared Up!

As we were working with lye (a necessary ingredient in soap making but once the soap has cured, it is totally of no effect to us when we use the soap), we had to gear up for safety.
Goggles – Checked
Masks – Checked
Aprons – Checked
Gloves – Checked

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SoapLah uses a slightly different method from another workshop I attended. To speed things up and ensure a smooth mixture, they use liquid lye with crystals instead of crystals only. As liquid lye will interact faster with the frozen breast milk and heat it up due to the chemical reaction, we had to place the mixture in ice and monitor the temperature very carefully. It was thrilling and nerve wrecking for us, but the trainers were superb and very helpful.

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While we beat the mixture to get a smooth consistency, we were having loads of fun chatting!

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We each chose our own preferred essential oils and powders to add to our breast milk soap. This is the fun of soap making! Different oils and powders have different purposes. I made this with Ahjussi in mind so I wanted something anti bacterial for him as his workplace is quite dirty. A nice shower with my breast milk soap makes him come alive again and he loves it!

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All the different colours due to different oils and powders added! And the trainers told us that the colours may change again after curing! The final product is really a mystery!

Curing takes quite a while because they need to ensure that the lye has totally saponificated (very scientific term). That will mean that the pH level is no longer alkaline. SoapLah is a trusted team, they checked and ensured the soaps were safe before packaging and informing us to collect them.

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And they were right about the colour of the final product! There were 3 greenish ones in the mold but only 2 really obvious greenish ones in the final product we collected!

And also, as every one’s breast milk differs, even using the same oils and portions, the soap can turn out different due to individual’s breast milk. Some are thicker (whiter), some are more creamy yellow, some are more translucent.

This is the beauty of breast milk soap!

 

If you are not breastfeeding anymore but you want to try making soaps which are NATURAL and good for your skin, do contact SoapLah!

You can shop at their online store www.soaplah.com and take your time to browse through the selection available! They’ve also listed their workshops, so do sign up! If you are forming your own private group, do drop them an email and they will get back to you.

 

Thank you to SoapLah once again for giving us a chance to do this review and we loved it very much!

Benefits of breast milk soap:
(1) Natural ingredients
(2) Good for everyone’s skin
(3) Naturally moisturising
(4) Customise to your needs and liking

Benefits of attending a workshop to make your own soap:
(1) You can see for yourself what goes into your soap!
(2) Learn more about your skincare!
(3) Customise your soap for your needs and liking!
SoapLah’s Contact
Email: soaplah@gmail.com
Location: 5 Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park 2A (Tech II) [Detailed address will be given when you sign up for workshops]

If you wish for them to make your breast milk instead soap instead of attending the workshop… Prices start at $54 per 10 pieces of 90g (around 900g of soap).

Mummy Audrey
Mother of 3 and made a crazy amount of breast milk soaps with various vendors

[Review] Breast Milk Making Workshop with Soap Ministry

Soap Ministry generously sponsored a giveaway on Mummies’ Voices earlier posts and 2 lucky mummies got to attend a Breast Milk Soap Making workshop!

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Mummy Priscilla (Left) and Jerelyn (Right) with their frozen breast milk before we start!

 

What is soap making?
Soap making is using natural oils to make soap. Natural soap is highly sought after as it is soap in its purest form, without unnecessary chemicals. Making full use of nature’s best gifts to clean our skin allows our skin to remain supple and healthy.

There are a few different types of soap making such as melt-and-pour and cold process. For breast milk soap making, cold process method is used as melt-and-pour method does not allow much liquid to be added to the soap. In cold process method, usually around 20-40% of the soap is made of breast milk (depending on exact recipe).

Breast Milk Soap?
In the cold process soap making, water is also needed to be added to the natural oils. In place of water, breast milk can be used.
Breast milk has natural anti-bodies, enzymes and many other undiscovered goodies in it. By adding breast milk into soap, we can harness the natural goodness of the oils and breast milk for our skin.

Who needs breast milk soap?
Breast milk soap is great for the ENTIRE FAMILY!
Depending on the oils used, it can be made for generic use or specific uses. Popular recipes are those for eczema sufferers as common commercial soaps are too harsh for their sensitive skin.

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Safety briefing and introduction to soap making

 

Now, we were all super excited about the workshop and thought it will be super easy. Put oils, add breast milk, whip whip and viola!!!

However, we were in for a surprise!

Soap making is AN ART. It requires so much knowledge which we could barely squeeze into our brains in such a short time. However, Diana from Soap Ministry was so patient and animated with her explanation that we understood quickly and enjoyed the session very much!

In Singapore, you can’t make soap at home by regulations set to protect the general public. Lye, which is necessary for soap making, is considered a controlled substance in Singapore and only licensed businesses are allowed to import/stock/use them. Even the location in which they are allowed to store/use lye is controlled too.
As such, cold process soap making is only offered at Soap Ministry’s Head Office at Pioneer Point.

Different oils have different purposes for our skin. They also have varying properties. These properties need to be carefully considered during the soap making process as it will affect the final product. If you use an oil which is ‘soft’, you may end up with a gooey bar of soap instead of a solid bar of soap! It’s a fine balance and even the amount of lye & liquid required need to be carefully calculated to decimal points!

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It’s not easy! Loads of calculation and thinking goes into the soap making process!

Calculating and recalculating to get a good recipe which they prefer really took up a lot of time!

Diana’s helpful staff stepped in to check the calculations to ensure that the recipes created by Priscilla and Jerelyn will work. Otherwise, their breast milk and efforts will go to waste!

So they started carefully…. Noticed Jerelyn’s baby missing? Auntie Audrey was carrying him so that mummy can work on the soap. If you are keen to join the workshop, do arrange for a caregiver so that baby stays far away from the lye.

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Carefully measuring after calculations.

 

Another though part was mixing the FROZEN breast milk and the crystal lye.

As the chemical reaction when lye touches a liquid produces heat and may overheat the breast milk, frozen breast milk is used. This ensures that the breast milk will not over heat and destroy all the goodness inside!

It was very tough having to poke and mix the lye into the frozen bits of breast milk.

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And after that, the lye & breast milk mixture had to be added carefully to the oils.

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Done mixing! It was TEDIOUS!

The most memorable part of cold process soap making was the whisking required! Imagine whisking non stop for 30++ minutes to get the mixture right!

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Pouring carefully into the mold & keeping them safely.

From the briefing to completing the soap took us a whooping 5 hours!
It’s definitely not simple and this is why breast milk soap making services are pricey.

And the soap isn’t ready at the end of the session! It has to harden in the mold for a few days, then taken out to slice. After slicing, it has to be aired to allow the lye to cure properly so that the soap will become safe for use.

Soap Ministry is dedicated to safety and they set minimum timelines for the curing process and check carefully before they release the soaps to customers.

It typically takes 8 to 10 weeks to cure in a cool dry place. Soap Ministry has a lovely area designed for this and they are very meticulous with labeling. Don’t worry about getting your soaps mixed up!

Check out this short video on our session at Soap Ministry!

Audrey BM Soap

Mummy Audrey’s Breast Milk Soap from Soap Ministry

Jerelyn

Mummy Jerelyn’s Breast Milk Soap from Soap Ministry

Priscilla

Mummy Priscilla’s Breast Milk Soap from Soap Ministry

 

Now… the true test will be using the soaps ourselves (this is the reason why this post is here so late when we did the workshop a few months back)…

Personally, the kids are all using the breast milk soap. Myself included.
Comparing with other soap makers, I like the ones made by Soap Ministry (details in another post coming soon).

Mummy Priscilla has also told me that she likes the soap and they are happy with the soap. The ones that she made in the workshop are a little more mushy than the standard formula ones she ordered from Soap Ministry (made by their staff after our workshop). I guess this is the difference between recipe designed by the experts and us. :p

Mummy Jerelyn also likes the soap very much and said that just rubbing a little on the skin was enough to clean baby well.

Anyway… While the mummies were busy with their soaps during the workshop, I walked around and chanced on these…

Shampoo

Shampoo Bars!

I’m sure most mummies face the same issues as me… HAIR LOSS!
Mine was pretty serious so I was a little on the desperate side. And I saw these!

I bought all 3 types to rotate as I have oily hair, I have hair loss and I do want my hair to GROW back!
After 2 months of using these, my hair loss did lesson significantly and I’m having baby hair growing back already!

But, bar shampoo aren’t the same as commercial shampoo. They do leave the hair dry. You will need to use conditioner separately. I decided to use coconut oil as conditioner as I heard that it helps with hair growth too.

 

CONCLUSION

Breast milk soaps are GREAT! And the workshop was superbly fun! I think it’ll be a very fun mummy gathering activity!

Do contact Soap Ministry for more information on their workshops.
Melt & Pour soaps are suitable as a family activity with the kids. You can bring along their fave small toy and hide them in the soap to encourage them to use the soap!
After attending their workshops, they also allow you to head back to make more soaps on your own! Simply pay rent (it’s a small sum & includes washing up service) & pay for the ingredients used, and you can make more soaps on your own!

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Hope you enjoyed reading about our adventure at Soap Ministry!

Mummy Audrey
Mother of 3
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[Review + Giveaway] Breast Milk Soap Makers in Singapore {PART 1}

I’m very thankful to be an over-producer. With my first child 8 years ago, I was crying daily during confinement due to inability to produce enough breast milk for my boy. Thankfully, I was ‘crazy’ enough to want to prove to those who didn’t believe that my A cup breasts could produce good quality breast milk enough to feed my son. I tried everything everyone suggested and got my supply up to meet his demands by the end of my confinement. So mummies who are struggling, don’t worry! Don’t let the stress get to you. Give whatever you can produce. One drop is better than no drop.

Now, I’m 100% latching my third child and still producing excess which I pump out twice a day to relief engorgement. The excess is given to my 2 older boys twice daily and balance kept frozen. Some have been donated away to make space.

Now, we all know the benefits of drinking breast milk. But benefits of breast milk in soaps?
Although there are no scientific journals on this that I could find to substantiate the claims that breast milk soap is good, many of us have tried breast milk baths for our babies. Usually, it is using up excess or ‘expired’ breast milk for baby’s bath time, as we were all unwilling to throw away breast milk which we spent so much time and energy in expressing and storing.
Through these breast milk baths or some mummies even doing breast milk feet soaks, we’ve all realised that it does make a difference. I found my skin smoother after a good soak in warm breast milk. I found my 8 year old boy’s eczema clearing up after applying breast milk-laced cream (I mixed a little breast milk with his cream as I found it too thick to apply well on his raw reddish skin and he will freak out if he founds out there is breast milk in his cream). Well, baby’s skin has always been soft and smooth, so I’m not too sure if the breast milk bath worked for 3.5 months old Meimei.

I’ve actually tried making breastmilk soap myself some time ago. However, I faced quite a lot of challenges like finding raw materials (lye is not available off the shelf in Singapore). Melt & Pour bases were available but not suitable for adding in large volumes of breast milk. Those successful bars of soap didn’t manage to keep for long (1 month only). So… Just pay people to make them, lah!

With my frozen stash, I set out to make some breast milk soap for our own use. After asking around, I found these 3 breast milk soap makers.

BMSoap_SM1Soap Ministry

BMSoap_shifu1Soap Shifu

BMSoap_AJAJ.Handmade.MY

After spending some time contacting these 3 soap makers the past few days, this is the information I’ve gathered.

BMSoap1

Based on my experience interacting with these 3 soap makers so far, my opinions are as follows:
Soap Ministry:
(Via Phone)
My main enquiry was simply on how to drop off the breast milk as all other information about their soap was easily available online. It was extremely straightforward to place an order: Simply walk in to any of their 2 outlets during opening hours and you can get your order settled on the spot. They accept Cash, Nets & Credit Cards at their Liang Court outlet. You will need to call them to inform them before heading down with your frozen breast milk.
Pricing is reasonable (after comparing the ingredients used) and there’s an option for smaller quantity if you are not able to produce that much excess breast milk to make into soap.
It seems like each bar of soap will contain more breast milk goodness as compared to the other 2 soap makers (Ratio is 1:2 compared to 1:3 for the other 2 soap makers).

Soap Shifu:
(Via Email)
Responses are always quick. The first 2 replies contained most of the information needed. However, it was quite a hassle to arrange a meet up as I have 2 older boys with enrichment classes, we live rushing around from home to enrichment centres to work to grandparents’ place. We managed to arrange for our own express courier to deliver the breast milk over (requirement is that it must reach her in frozen solid state).
Pricing is the cheapest per KG if the basic formulation is chosen. Good for mummies on tight budget.

AJ.Handmade.MY:
(Via Facebook Private Message)
Responses are slow. Messages are pretty long but information is quite scattered all over and difficult for me to trace back to read again.
I’m not able to arrange meet up to pass the breast milk due to the order schedule. I’ve been placed on the batch waiting list for November 2015. I will try to arrange again when it is my turn to order.
Pricing is not open and transparent. There is no fixed price list. I was only sent different formulations and asked to choose without knowing the price. Later in the discussion, I was also asked to top up for colouring (I’m not too sure if I’m able to opt for no colouring as I did not get a reply after that).

How to ensure your breast milk is still frozen while transporting it to the soap maker?BMSOAP_FTGI used Fridge To Go to store the milk to keep it frozen. Mine is an old model from 8 years ago. The newer models are better with removable panels now.
My breast milk is stored in Baby Joy Thermal Sensor Breast Milk Bags from Korea. I normally use Baby Joy Breast Milk Bags (no thermal sensor – CHEAPER!) but we ran out of them at home so we just used the thermal sensor ones we had at home.

We froze the FTG overnight in the freezer and took it out just before leaving the house. Journey from Punggol to Liang Court was around 1 hour (battle the kids and buckling the kids in took a lot of time). The frozen milk were still solid and totally frozen when we arrived, so all was good!

A little more information on Soap Making:
Main types of soap making methods: Melt & Pour and Cold Process

I’ve personally tried Melt & Pour method using good quality concentrated glycerine blocks from USA but the outcome is not desirable. You can only add in a small amount of liquids and by the time you cook everything, you might as well not add any breast milk.

The Cold Process method is more suited for breast milk soap. However, it requires lye (sodium hydroxide). Lye is an important part of Cold Process soap making. It is however, a strong chemical and has potential risks with improper handling. This is also the reason why soaps need a ‘curing period’ before they are safe for use. If I’m not wrong, lye is only sold to registered businesses with proper facilities for storing it. It is not easily available in stores like how other parents can get their lye easily in USA. This makes it even harder for us to DIY breast milk soap in Singapore.

I also saw that Soap Ministry has workshops for DIY Soap Making. A quick check with the staff revealed that you need to take one of their basic courses (Option 1 or 2) first, then you can sign up for the breast milk soap making course (Option 7).
Another plus point on taking the course is that you can always head back to make more soap later on! They have a Timeslot Session where you only pay $10/hour to use their space and equipment to make your own soap. Of course, materials will need to be purchased from them but isn’t it convenient? I’m going to keep this in mind and sign up for it when I have more time.

BMSoap_SM2

I’m looking forward to receiving my soap bars so that I can try them out and update everyone on the outcome.

This is Part 1 of my review.
Part 2 will be updated once the soap bars are ready for collection.

Audrey Wong Profile

Mummy Audrey
Mother of 3 children & Owner of TLO.com.sg


Note from Mummies’ Voices:

Special Giveaway by Soap Ministry!
Soap Ministry is set out on consumer education and they’ve graciously agreed to sponsor a workshop on Cold Process Soap Making for TWO mummies!
How to win:
(1) Like our Facebook Page www.facebook.com/mummiesvoices
(2) Like Soap Ministry’s Facebook Page www.facebook.com/SoapMinistrySG
(3) Comment in this blog post on why you wish to win this workshop
T&C:
(1) Winners will be chosen at random by Mummies’ Voices.
(2) Details of the workshop (date & time) will be arranged with Soap Ministry once winners have been contacted.
(3) Winners will be selected and announced on 15 October 2015.