Part I: Perfecting the art of DIY soaps, beauty products

Esme ulland-joy, 10

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first of a two-part column by 10-year-old Esme Ulland-Joy.

I have always liked science and chemistry, but until my last birthday when I turned 9 I really didn’t know how much I liked it. It started with an old Christmas catalog. I was looking through the catalog longing for Christmas when I got to the section on science. It had a ton of really cool looking kits and projects, but the one that caught my eye was a soap-making kit.

In the advertisements for the kits, it showed kids in lab coats making soap. It looked really cool and since my birthday was coming up I asked my parents if I could have it for my birthday. I actually ended up getting a different soap kit, but it was still awesome. I got the one from Kiss Naturals. It included a soap mold, glycerin, pigment, and scent. I used it a lot and it was really fun. After I got the hang of it, which was pretty much after one use, I started not to care where the instructions went … they are probably in some recycling factory or a landfill now. Hopefully, they are in a recycling factory because it’s better for the environment.

Then my grandma came to visit. For my birthday she took me on a trip to Michaels, which is probably my favorite store ever. I got a lot of small craft supplies, but I also got a bath bomb kit. When I got home and opened the kit to look at it, I started freaking out because there was no glitter. Hey, glitter is important, except for the fact that it is plastic and ends up where we don’t want plastic. I figured out like two weeks later that the glitter was at the bottom (thank goodness!!).

A week or so after my birthday I got another birthday present from my uncle and his family, and it just happened to be a bath bomb and a soap kit. So I was pretty much stocked up on bath bomb and soap ingredients. The soap kit from Kiss Naturals was a bit easier because the molds were made of silicone and that made it much easier to take the soap out and better for the environment than the plastic molds from the other kit. I got pretty good at soap making, but the bath bombs were hard to perfect.

Then, I got yet another birthday present, this time from my aunt Missy. It was a Harry Potter crafting book. It was perfect for me because Harry Potter and crafting are two of my most favorite things ever (I finished all the Harry Potter books in second grade). One of the crafts in the book was a butterbeer lip balm using chocolate chips to flavor it. The idea of using chocolate chips to flavor lip balm intrigued me. I had a crafting birthday party and we used the chocolate chip lip balm method to make the tastiest lip balms ever.

So by then, I knew how to make three baths and body products: lip balm, bath bombs and soap. I started learning a lot of things online or with books I got. I discovered a really cool magazine called Willow and Sage and it is full of DIY bath and body products. I taught myself to make sugar scrub, lotion, bath soaks and more. I had to experiment a lot because I didn’t have a ton of supplies. I started to improvise. For example, since I didn’t have cocoa butter I decided to make lotion without it. The lotion was oilier though, so I discovered that since my lotion got a bit stiffer after a week or so, I decided to whip it with a hand mixer. When I was done it was a perfect consistency.

Editor’s note: Esme Ulland-Joy, is 10 and is in the fifth grade at Sandy Knoll Elementary School. Esme loves ballet, reading and science.