Lora's Beauty Website

For handcrafted soap visit the online store or the Etsy Store!

Lora's artisan soaps, an affordable luxury.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Unhealthy Skin Care Ingredients

I've mentioned previously in my blog about the unhealthy skin care ingredients added to many personal care products you buy in the store. Today I ran across another article discussing this.

The fact that many personal care products are unregulated shouldn't be a surprise, however, many of the ingredients added to these products have been linked to health concerns including birth defects, asthma, and cancer. This is exacerbated by the fact that many women use up to 10 personal care products a day.

When you have the time, read this article.

Then check out Lora's Beauty for skin and hair care products that use only natural ingredients such as olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, kokum butter, and beeswax.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Look for Lora's Beauty @ the Bend Bike Show!

If you happen to be in Bend, Oregon at the Oregon Handmade Bike Show next weekend, look for Lora's Skin&Saddle Sore Salve at the Radfinishes bike booth! The salve will be for sale at the event. Made with sunflower oil, avocado oil, and vitamin E oil this a truly healing salve without sulfates. Perfect for any skin irritation from dry skin and chapped lips, to skin rashes and saddle sores.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Links for better skin, hair, and health

Changing to natural, organic, non-petroleum based products really do work...

For your hair:

Lora's Beauty Beer Bar Shampoo is a great all-natural choice for cleaning your scalp and conditioning your hair however often you want. Only the finest organic vegetable oils and beer are used in creating it!

For your child's skin:

No harsh detergents are used in Lora's all-natural, moisturizing soaps. Great choices for a child's skin are the super-fatted Cocoa Butter Soap or the very mild Calendula Soap.

I also found a good link to a list of ingredients you should never find in your body or hair care products and are never found in any Lora's Beauty product:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pocket Washcloths Now Available

100% cotton washcloths contain a small opening to slip your favorite bar of Lora's Beauty soap in or the bits and pieces of bars not yet used up. Washcloths are a great way to exfoliate the skin, particularly the face. They remove dead skin cells and excess oil and are great in clearing up even the most stubborn acne. These washcloths are specially handmade for Lora's Beauty using a light weight cotton with a small loop to hang the washcloth to dry between uses. Machine washable.
September Special: Purchase 4 or more bars of Lora's Beauty soap and receive a free Pocket Washcloth! Order from the online store.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Coming Soon To Lora's Beauty: Washcloths!

Photo by flydime

I've heard from a few people (ironically, all men) who find some of the herbs added to soaps too scratchy. Naturally my first reaction is to say "Man up. Get used to it, beauty hurts". I've never actually said this to them but I admit, I've thought it. Well, my mom has come up with a great idea and we are trying it out right now. Are you ready for it...it's washcloths!

She came up with the idea of creating a washcloth that had a pocket in it to slip a bar of soap in, or the multiple pieces of soap that you're always left with when you've used the majority of the bar. Now, I realize this probably isn't a new idea, however I'm envisioning the cloths I'll have her make will be of natural, organic cotton and have a string so one can hang them up to allow the bar to fully dry between uses. These will be machine washable as well.

Using washcloths are great for a person's skin and complexion. They are a great way to exfoliate the skin and remove excess oils.

Look for these pocket washcloths in the online store soon!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New and Improved Product Photos

Lora's updating the photos on the online store. Pictured below are the Beer Bar Shampoo, Lotion Bar Roll On, Soothing Face Balm, and Body Butter photos. Check out Lora's website for all the new product photos!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Water

I bought a new book a few weeks ago on soap making. I'm always interested in reading up on the craft and, well, who doesn't need a new book every now and then anyway?

This book had a page devoted to the water used in making soap. This is the water that's mixed with the lye. In some parts of the world the water is extremely hard containing too much magnesium and calcium ion. These additional minerals will consume part of your lye solution. As a work around to this problem, the authors suggested using rain water from a collection system.

I have rain barrels at my house and have collected rain water for years. I use the rain water to water plants in the summer. After the rain water runs off the roof and down the gutters to the barrel it can be quite dirty, containing particles of anything it came on contact with on the roof. I wouldn't want to use this water in my soap. I have always used tap water to mix my lye solution and have never had a problem. I decided to dig a little deeper into our tap water in Portland, Oregon.

I have a friend who insists he doesn't like water. I always thought that weird. Who wouldn't like water and why? Well, he grew up in North Carolina and, according to him, the water there tasted awful. Portland's water has always been excellent and drinking it straight from the tap is common. In fact, most of the tap water in Portland is collected rain water in what's called the Bull Run Watershed on Mt Hood.

"Water runs off in the watershed through streams and rivers into the Bull Run River or Bull Run's reservoirs. From there it goes into the treatment facility in Bull Run where the "raw" water is treated with chlorine to produce drinking water.

Closer to Portland, ammonia is added to the water. Combined with the chlorine, adding ammonia completes a process called chloramination. This simple treatment process ensures that water throughout the water system meets the disinfection requirements of federal and state drinking water regulations." -- http://www.portlandonline.com/water/index.cfm?c=48904

Portland's water consequently is very soft, naturally. In this case, I guess I've been lucky since I never gave the water much thought in my soap making process.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Large batch of soap

I received a fairly large order for some soap over the weekend. I've been trying to figure out a better, more efficient method of making my soap. Not changing it in anyway, but increasing production and decreasing labor costs. Last night I had the first opportunity to try out one of many ideas I've toyed with. I tripled my soap recipe. I have read in numerous books and blogs that as long as you can do the math, you can increase or decrease the size of your soap batches. I put that to the test last night and it looks like my math was good! This soap will now cure for a day then I'll need to grate it for hand milling. My normal method of hand grating the soap worked a lot better before I tripled the recipe! I'm now trying to think of a more efficient way to grate it without dumping a lot of money into a machine--which I may do eventually. For now, I think my best bet is to enlist the labor of my teen-age son!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Website update

I've been playing around with the look of the website. Trying to make it more sophisticated. What do you think? Did I achieve it?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Body Butter Moisturizing Tip

I always use my Body Butter after showering each night. I love the way the butter moisturizes my skin and leaves it feeling really soft. What I don't like though, is that if I go directly to bed after applying the body butter my sheets get greasy. I just picked up this great tip from the internet regarding this: Try applying the body butter in the shower after you cleanse then rinse off. The oils soak into skin, trapping moisture but the water washes away the excess leaving skin dewy and baby soft.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Back from vacation

After a great trip to Italy, I've returned with some new ideas for products. First up is a lemon soap! Look for it in the online store in about a month.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


As I have mentioned on my website, I will be gone visiting Italy from July 2 - July 16th. All orders placed during this time will be filled and mailed by July 18th. Any order placed before June 30th will be mailed before I leave.

I'm hoping to come back with some great new ideas for products, scents, and herbs.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Lora's Beauty Brochure pdf

In the past, I have been asked for a brochure of products found at Lora's Beauty. I have now put together a brochure which I will include in orders and I've made available here for downloading.

Thank you for your requests!

Lora's Beauty Brochure.pdf

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Soap Making Machines

I was cruising around the internet and found this. Sure beats my pitcher, pot, and spatula...I guess.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How Soaps and Detergents Clean

People use artisan, handmade soap rather than bars of detergent they buy at the grocery store, for many reasons. Some like the look, smell, or moisturizing effects of the handmade soap. Some people's skin is irritated by the petroleum products found in the bars at the grocery store. Rarely does the chemical process of how soaps and detergents clean enter into the decision making process, however different the two may be.

Soaps are made by combining oils and lye together via a chemical process called saponification. Soap is an excellent cleanser because it acts as an emulsifying agent. It's able to combine one liquid with another immiscible liquid. This allows it to take oil (which attracts dirt) that doesn't usually mix with water, to suspend to the water and be washed off.

Detergents, on the other hand, are surfactants which are produced from petrochemicals. Surfactants lower the surface tension of water making it 'wetter' and less likely to stick to itself and more likely to combine with grease and oils to be washed off.

Both soaps and detergents need a little agitation (a sponge, washcloth, or a washing machine's agitator) in order to complete the cleaning process.

When it comes to cleaning, both soaps and detergents get the job done via different methods.

More information regarding the chemical process used by soaps and detergents can be found here:


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Best Soap For...

I'm often asked what's the best soap for dry skin or acne or rashes? The truth is, all Lora's Beauty soaps are great for skin regardless of it's particular disorder. By nature of the oils used and the process they are made, all Lora's soaps are very mild. Some of the additives Lora uses, however, may be more beneficial to certain skin types than others.

I have put together the following list to help answer the question:

What's the Best Type of Soap For...?

Dry Skin

Cocoa Butter Vanilla. An extra 1 ½ ounces of cocoa butter is added to the already oil and butter rich soap to make this a great soap for dry skin.

Lemon Verbena. Great for all types of skin irritations including dry skin.

Milk&Cranberry. Cranberries are rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, B, C, and E. Cranberry oil is absorbed easily through the skin, acts as a superb moisturizer, and helps to relieve itchy, scaly, irritated skin.

Calendula. A wonderful, mild skin softening soap.

Marshmallow Root. Increases the skin’s moisture levels by inhibiting connective tissue degeneration.


Honey Safflower. Safflower petals discourage cell proliferation and encourage cell death, which may make safflower petals useful in treating psoriasis, rashes, and eczema.

Lemon Verbena. Lemon verbena tones, firms and refreshes. It’s great for sensitive skin prone to rashes.

Calendula. Calendula has long been used to soothe skin irritations from bug bites to rashes. Calendula is also said to have antifungal properties.

Cilantro Lime. Cilantro is a powerful, natural cleansing agent. It is also beneficial as a natural anti-septic and anti-fungal agent for skin disorders like fungal infections and eczema.

Milk&Cranberry. Cranberries are rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, B, C, and E. Cranberry oil is absorbed easily through the skin, acts as a superb moisturizer, and helps to relieve itchy, scaly, irritated skin. Cranberries are great for everything from acne and rashes to wrinkles.

Cinnamon, Milk&Honey. Cinnamon is beneficial in skin care products because of its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.


Lemon Verbena. lemon verbena tones, firms and refreshes. It’s great for sensitive skin prone to acne.

Milk&Cranberry. Cranberries are rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, B, C, and E. Cranberry oil is absorbed easily through the skin, acts as a superb moisturizer, and helps to relieve itchy, scaly, irritated skin. Cranberries are great for everything from acne and rashes to wrinkles.


Raspberry&Milk. The oil from raspberry seeds is rich in Vitamin E, Omega-3 fatty acids and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 25-50.

Milk&Cranberry. Cranberries are rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, B, C, and E. Cranberry oil is absorbed easily through the skin, acts as a superb moisturizer, and helps to relieve itchy, scaly, irritated skin. Cranberries are great for everything from acne and rashes to wrinkles.

Lavender Hibiscus. The hibiscus plant improves skin flexibility and elasticity, as well as creates higher moisture levels in the skin.

Marshmallow Root. Marshmallow root helps to minimize skin inflammatory processes and is therefore also useful for fighting any skin degeneration and aging.

Oily Skin

Cinnamon, Milk&Honey. Cinnamon is beneficial in skin care products because of its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties and is mildly astringent.

Baby’s Skin

Cocoa Butter Vanilla. Cocoa Butter is added to make the bar more moisturizing and softening. No rough additives that would scratch a baby’s skin.

Calendula. A very mild, skin soothing bar.

Men’s Skin

Honey Safflower. Safflower threads make this soap particularly good for sensitive skin prone to rashes. Has a great anise scent. Not too flowery.

Cinnamon Milk&Honey. The cinnamon and honey together can help with inflammation. Cinnamon is also beneficial in skin care products because of its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Works great for oily skin or skin that’s prone to sweating.

Cilantro Lime. Cilantro is a powerful, natural cleansing agent. It is also beneficial as a natural anti-septic and anti-fungal agent for skin disorders like fungal infections and eczema.

Types of Soaps

All the soaps at Lora's Beauty are made via the cold-process soap-making technique. This process involves combining lye and animal fats (or vegetable oils) and water through a process called saponification.

Lora's soaps are then rebatched or hand-milled. Rebatching involves grating the cold-processed soap like you would grate a block of cheese. The grated soap is then melted with milk at a low temperature. Rebatching soap allows for better integration with essential oils and herbal additives that would normally be damaged by the lye when applied directly to cold-processed soap. Rebatching also provides a finer, longer lasting bar.

Rebatching or hand-milled soap differs from a soap that is French-milled. French-milled soap is a commercial method of milling soap. It involves running soap base through stainless steel rollers. Hot and cold water is alternatively run through the rollers.

Store bought soap is most likely not soap at all but detergent. Soap, by definition, involves combining oils and lye through saponification. Detergents, on the other hand, contain petroleum distillants rather than fats or oils.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

More Choices

Lora's Beauty now offers two types of Beer Bar Shampoo. You can now select either a bar made with a Porter beer or a bar made with an Amber Ale beer. Both beers are rich in hops and malts. The B vitamins, the proteins found in malt and hops, are said to repair damaged hair and boost overall body. Meanwhile, the maltose and sucrose sugars in beer tighten the hair’s cuticles for enhanced shine. The Porter Beer Bar is darker than the Amber Ale bar but both are excellent for your hair!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bath Teas and Salts

Another suggestion from a Lora's Beauty customer has resulted in three choices for your bath!

Bath Teas and Salts
Lora's bath teas now come in three varieties. For those who prefer bath salts, you can now get tea bags filled with Dead Sea Salts and Epsom Salts, great for relaxing tired muscles. Also available are teas made of an herbal mixture of chamomile, jasmine, and yucca root, great relaxing and skin softening herbs. Can't make up your mind? Get mixed tea bags, made of salts and herbs! All three varieties come in a relaxing citrus/outdoor scent.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May 17th is Lora's Beauty 1 year Anniversary

May 17th is the 1 year anniversary of Lora's Beauty! $5 off all orders over $30. Offer starts at 7pm May 17th and expires May 22!

Monday, May 16, 2011

New Idea From a Customer

I just heard a great idea from a regular customer. She has extremely dry skin. She says she uses the Dry Oil Body Spray along with the Body Butter. She puts some Body Butter in her hand then sprays some of the oil on it and rubs it into her skin. It works great for those really dry areas on the body!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More Anniversary Month Specials

Continuing with the Lora's Beauty one year anniversary celebration, Lora's offering another special for the week of May 10 - May 16th.

Each $15 order (not including shipping) will receive a free pack of Salt Bombs for your bath! Offer good May 10- May 16.

These bombs are fun, skin softening, and fragrant. Drop one in your bath and watch the fizzing that ensues. 3 bombs; good for 3 baths.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Time for Sunscreen

There's a great article in the Oregonian today that reiterates the importance of using sunscreen. Most importantly the article points out the best ingredients a sunscreen should contain and what ingredients it shouldn't.
"Controversial ingredients. Some (not all) researchers have raised red flags about two absorbable sunscreen ingredients: oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate (a form of vitamin A). Both are found in hundreds of sunscreens. The concerns? Oxybenzone, which has been used in sunscreens as a partial UVA/UVB shield since 1978, has been called a hormone disruptor that mimics the effects of estrogen in lab studies. Retinyl palmitate has triggered genetic mutations when exposed to sunlight in the lab.

In other words, one or both might have a cancer connection. The dangers of these ingredients have been disputed by the American Academy of Dermatology and others. We think: Until the research is clear, we're sticking with sunscreens that use nanoparticulated zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to block UVA/UVB rays. "

Lora's Beauty Sunscreen contains zinc oxide and none of the "controversial ingredients". It's also priced tens of dollars less than drugstore or department store sunscreens.

Check out the full article here then check out Lora's Beauty.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lora's Beauty Anniversary!

May 17th is Lora's Beauty 1 year anniversary! To celebrate Lora's offering specials each week in May. This week's special is a free Lotion Bar Roll On for every $20 purchase (not including shipping)! Check out Lora's Beauty every week this month to save on all your natural, handmade, organic beauty care needs!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Travelling with Lora's Beauty

I just recently have complete two trips. My mom, sister, and I went to Vancouver BC for an extended weekend of shopping, relaxing, and eating. Last week I was in Las Vegas for a conference. For both these trips I packed Lora's Beauty products and breezed through security.

The Beer Bar Shampoo is not a liquid so there's no need to place it in a special bottle then pull it out for security checks. It also contains plenty of quality oils so it can double as a conditioner. The Body Butter and Skin and Saddle Sore Salve also are not liquids so security checks are not necessary. There's plenty of product to last an extended vacation too (unlike special sample sizes other companies sell that only last me a couple of days!)

For your next trip, think of Lora's Beauty products! Sail through security checks, and pack enough product for your entire trip!

Happy trails.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rosemary and Chamomile Hair Rinse Conditioner

A great way to condition your hair after shampooing is Lora's Rosemary and Chamomile Hair Rinse. This rinse will return your hair to it's natural ph. The chamomile will bring our your hair's natural highlights and enhance the overall color. Just apply the rinse to hair and leave the rinse on after shampooing and towel dry. For best results use within a month or refrigerate. Now available in the online store!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

New Soap Available

Calendula soap and the Lavender Hibiscus Soap are now available at Lora's Beauty! Great new beauty and bath bars as well as being gentle enough to use as a facial soap.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Spring is in the air...

In preparation for Spring, yes it's coming even if it did snow yesterday, Lora's been making MORE SOAP!

A hibiscus/lavender bar is currently curing as is a calendula bar.

The hibiscus plant improves skin flexibility and elasticity, as well as creates higher moisture levels in the skin. the hibiscus/lavender bar will be a great facial or body bar for more youthful looking skin.

Calendula has long been used to soothe skin irritations from bug bites to rashes. It's a very mild bar that has great skin softening qualities. Another great facial bar!

Look for these new soaps in the online store in about a month.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

More Great Things @ Lora's Beauty

Lora's Beauty online store now allows for customers to pick their own scents. Lora's Body Butter, Salt Body Scrub, and Sugar Body Scrub now come in four different fragrances: Hawaiian, Peppermint, Cinnamon, and Vanilla. Go ahead and mix and match or stick with one scent and layer it for maximum impact; It's your choice!

Soap Saver Dish. A perfect dish for Lora's soaps. Provides plenty of air to the bar so the soap won't sit in water allowing your soap to last longer.

Lora's Lotion Bar Roll-on. Lora's great Lotion Bar in a roll-up container. This bar is made with real beeswax, shea butter and sunflower oil. Beeswax works to lock in moisture, which fosters cells and protects skin from damaging environmental factors. Beeswax effectively softens your skin and creates a long-lasting protective coating against the elements. Great for lips and body! 1.75 oz

Find all these great products and choices in the online store!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Milk&Cranberry Soap and Heart Shaped

Lora's Beauty now has available in the online store a milk&cranberry soap. Cranberries are the new miracle food and they're great in soaps!
Also new are heart shaped soaps. Just in time for Valentine's Day and perfect for any day. The same wonderful ingredients of all Lora's soaps, now in heart shape. Great for gifts or just decorative soaps!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Another reason to feel good about Lora's Beauty

Here's another reason to feel great about your Lora's Beauty order.... Not only is it handmade with only the best, natural ingredients, but it's also delivered to the post office by either bike or foot! That's right, no petroleum products are used in Lora's products or in getting them to the post office! Lora's doing her part to make you and the environment more beautiful! Pictured is one of Lora's delivery bikes.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Spray Dry Body Oil

Spray Dry Body Oil
Another great solution to dry skin; Lora's Spray Dry Body Oil. This oil contains sunflower and jojoba oil. Both oils are great moisturizers containing ample amounts of healthy vitamins. They also are great oils for helping the skin retain moisture. Lora's Spray Dry Body Oil works great as an after shower or bath moisturizer, just spray on while the skin is still damp. Also works great as a massage oil, never leaving the skin too oily. Find it in the online store!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Soap, soap, and more soap!

It's been a busy week here a Lora's Beauty. I've got 3 varieties of soap curing. More cinnamon&honey (some special heart shaped ones!), more cocoa butter cream, and a new milk&cranberry (some heart shaped as well)! I've been reading up on the skin benefits of cranberries and can't wait to get the milk&cranberry soap in the online store!

I'm also currently testing the dry oil body spray. I made some up last night and used it. So far so good! This will probably be in the online store next week.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year and Some New Products

In case you didn't know, and I'm sure you did, we are 3 days into 2011 and I'm already thinking of some new products I'd like to launch this year.

First up: Spray body oil. Winter is in full force here in the Northwest. The high tempature is expected to reach 30 degrees today but factoring in the wind chill, we should be around 15 degrees! It's also very dry. A body oil spray to use after bathing or showering and while the skin is still damp seems like a great defense to the harsh winter weather. Look for this in the online store winter of 2011.

Hair sculpting balm. I just purchased some of this the other day; $15 for a small container!!! Needless to say I'll be testing out recipes and getting this in the online store before I need to buy any more.

Henna Weekly Hair Conditioner. I haven't forgot about an all natural hair conditioner. I'm still testing out recipes and perfecting them. I'm getting close to something that I feel can carry the Lora's Beauty name. Look for this in the online store in 2011 as well.