Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Monday, November 26, 2007

Prototype Vitamin Bar

I have finished creating my prototype vitamin bar. Several people had asked about testing it, so I decided to take my original recipe and add some more ingredients to boost it up.

Originally I had been making a pure vitamin bar--plain facial bar with vitamins A, C, D, E, B complex, and niacin added. I noticed it was making my skin smooth and clarified, even after the first use!

After some requests though, I decided to add more ingredients specifically for clearing up acne and balancing troubled skin.

The finished bar contains:

Lemongrass Essential Oil--antiseptic properties will clear infections, tones skin by tightening and closing pores, and helps to control excessive oil secretions. It also has a pleasingly sweet aroma(reminscent of lemon) which can have a calming effect to help relieve nervous tension and stress.

Geranium Essential Oil--used medicinally, particularly in aromatherapy, used for hormonal imbalance, for this reason geranium is often considered to be "female" oil. This ingredient was added because it is known that skin problems can be caused primarily by hormonal imbalances--puberty, PMS, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause particularly, as well as daily stress, are contributed to hormonal imbalance.

Neem Oil--is a vegetable oil pressed from the fruits and seeds of Neem (Azadirachta indica), an evergreen tree which is endemic to the Indian sub-continent and has been introduced to many other areas in the tropics. It is perhaps the most important of the commercially available products of Neem. The seeds, bark and leaves contain compounds with proven antiseptic, antiviral, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer and antifungal uses.

Aloe Vera Oil--Aloe vera has been used externally to treat various skin conditions such as cuts, burns and eczema. It is alleged that sap from Aloe vera eases pain and reduces inflammation. It is proven to be an excellent moisturizer in cosmetics.

Vitamin A--is often called the “skin normalizer” or “rejuvenating agent”. The primary benefit of vitamin A is its ability to normalize keratinization(horny layers) by regulating skin cell growth and differentiation. This results in
decreased roughness and decreased facial wrinkling.

Vitamin C--reduces redness, especially for those with skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and also excessive sun exposure. In addition, vitamin C has been
found to stimulate collagen synthesis and to reduce dark pigmentation of the skin (i.e. age spots). Therefore, vitamin C is also considered an anti-aging ingredient.

Vitamin D--Vitamin D is produced photochemically in the skin, and helps develop the presence and concentration of melanin, and important light filter in the skin.

Vitmain E--Because of its ability to quench free radicals the term “protector” has been used to describe the actions of vitamin E. Studies have shown that vitamin E reduces UV-induced erythema, edema, sunburn cell formation, and lipid peroxidation.
Clinical improvement in the visible signs of skin aging has been documented with
significant decrease in both skin wrinkling. This may be also be due to the excellent moisturizing effect of vitamin E.

B Complex(B1, B2, B3)--has been used for years in hair care products because it functions as a humectant that increases the water content of hair and improves its elasticity. B Complex can also attract water into the upper layer of the skin and is thus effective as a moisturizer and softener. It also enhances the regeneration of skin.

Niacin--a form of vitamin B3, has been shown to have antiinflammatory properties that result in improvement of acne.

Other all natural inactive ingredients: Coconut Oil and Vegetable Oil(saponified), Glycerin(kosher, of vegetable origin), Purified Water, Sorbitol (from berries, moisturizer), Sorbitan oleate (emulsifier), Soybean protein (conditioner), Titanium Dioxide (mineral whitener used in opaque soaps).

Overall, in theory, this bar should help maintain healthy skin, promote balance and clarity, as well as control acne and breakouts. This product is intended for those with mild to moderate skin problems. For moderate to severe problems, I can offer other products.

I made this soap in a one pound batch using my sample size tray mold. It yielded 15 bars, 1.5 ounces each. I already promised one person two bars, plus I am using one for myself. I have 12 bars left. Generally one bar will last a good two weeks or so, depending on how much and how often you use it.

I am offering my testers 50% off of the retail price, plus a 10% discount if you wish to purchase a full sized finished product. This cost will cover supplies and labor.

Retail price for these samples would be $1.50 apiece, but as a tester you will be offered it at .75 cents plus $1.25 for postage(.25 cents more per extra bar added).

I reccomend doing a trial of 30 days to get the full effects of using a new product. Results can be seen in weekly increments, but full effects will not be known until after a period of 30 days. Please let me know how long you can commit to this trial.

I will be setting up a survey to be taken during the course of the trial, I would appreciate it if all testers can commit to the survey to better help me in creating future products.

You may leave comments here, PM me on HC forums, or email me at for any details.

Thank you for your participation!

Sunday, November 25, 2007


I have been struggling with acne problems since I was only 11 years old. I am 22 now, so that is exactly 11 years. Puberty, PMS, pregnancy, and breastfeeding have all had their toll on my skin. Fluctuating hormones cause intense breakouts for me. I have several scars on my face that make-up can not even cover up.

I have had to try several different medications and products to try and control my acne. I have had success with some, but more times than anything, no results whatsoever or worse acne than I started with. I have taken anti-biotics, birth control, retin a, and other presribed drugs, as well as OTC astringents, lotions, creams, gels, washes, soaps, etc.

Recently, in the past few years, I have started to lead a more natural lifestyle. I have noticed that the more natural a product is, the better the results are(this goes for anything, from household cleansers to hygiene products). I also began making my own bath & beauty products around the same time. I decided to expiriment with different natural ingredients to clear my skin. Every time, the results have been fantastic! It is unbelievable how nature can be so perfect and have the very cure we are looking for.

That is why I am here now for you. To help you better understand your skin and share the knowledge I have learned from my journey through skincare.

Let's begin with the basics.


Acne is an inflammatory disease of the skin, caused by changes in the pilosebaceous units (skin structures consisting of a hair follicle and its associated sebaceous gland).

Acne develops as a result of blockages in follicles. Hyperkeratinization and formation of a plug of keratin and sebum (a microcomedo) is the earliest change. Enlargement of sebaceous glands and an increase in sebum production occur with increased androgen (DHEA-S) production at adrenarche. The microcomedo may enlarge to form an open comedo (blackhead) or closed comedo (whitehead). In these conditions the naturally occurring largely commensual bacteria Propionibacterium acnes can cause inflammation, leading to inflammatory lesions (papules, infected pustules, or nodules) in the dermis around the microcomedo or comedo, which results in redness and and may result in scarring or hyperpigmentation.



-Stress(increases levels of hormones)
-Poor Diet(i.e. one that is high in processed/refined foods, carbohydrates, refined sugars, caffeine, etc.)
-Lower levels of vitamins A & E
-Dead skin cells
-Over medication/irritation to the skin


-Lower levels of stress(practice relaxtion techniques)
-Good Diet
-Plenty of Water(minimum of eight 8 ounce glasses per day)
-Balanced skincare


Balanced skincare is a skin regime or routine that you will follow every day that does not irritate or over medicate your skin. Using harsh chemmicals and washing your skin often with a rough wash cloth or scrubby will not clear up or prevent acne, it will actually make it worse.

Inorder to take charge of your skin, you need to find what routine and products are best for you. I have found that washing my face twice daily helps greatly. I only use a gently exfoliating wash cloth, such as a micro fine terry cloth towel, to exfoliate and remove make-up. I use my own natural products to cleanse, clarify, restore, and prevent breakouts. Occasionally I will follow up with a tonic, but always add a light oil free moisturizer. For breakouts and troublesome areas, I will dab on tea tree oil or a tea tree oil blend.

Your individual routine will vary. I reccomend beginning with twice daily washing followed by a tonic, oil free moisturizer, and topical treatment when needed. You may eliminate the morning washing if you find it irritating or drying to your skin. It is essential to wash your face at least once a day though, especially if you wear make-up. Acne is caused by plugged pores, and by keeping your make-up on all night, you are not allowing your skin to breathe, thus causing acne. Remove make-up with plain soap and water--never use any commercial products. Also, use a tonic that is suited for your skin type, as well as an oil free moisturizer(to prevent clogging your pores), and topical treatment if needed. Generally, this routine works for most people.


There are four basic skin types:

Oily--excessive amounts of oil are produced by the skin, creating a "glow" or "slick" look and feel

Dry--dry, patchy areas of skin that are hard to keep moisturized

Combination--a combination of dry and oily skin.

Sensitive--skin that is easily irritated, particularly by OTC products and harsh essential oils.


I currently make the following products for facial care:

Simple Clarifying Complexion Bar--gentle organic oils are combined with the powerful acne fighting tea tree and neem oils. Reccomended for moderate to severe acne, oily skin, not reccomended for those with sensitive skin.

Soothing Rose Water Tonic--a blend of rose hydrosol, aloe vera, vegetable glycerin, and witch hazel to soothe and restore skin. Suitable for all skin types.

Calming Chamomile Soap--organic oils are mixed with real chamomile tea and leaves, excellent for those with sensitive skin.

New! v i t a m i n s Facial Bar--a blend of natural oils, vitamins A, C, D, E, and B complex, neem oil, lemongrass oil, and geranium oil. Provided balance and clarity. Currently in the works.

I also offer upon request pure Tea Tree Oil and Neem Oil(or a combination), in 8 ounce bottles only.


My products are labeled as to what skin type it is good for. Generally though, skincare is a trial and error process. I do promise though, to find the right product for YOU.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What's New

A glimpse at what will be stocking in the near future...

First, I have added three new categories to the site.

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I eliminated the "Yogi Organic Teas" category and replaced it with "For the Home". In that category you will find three sub-categories of "In the Pantry", "Home Fragrances", and "Natural Cleaning Products". I've moved the Yogi Teas I had left into "In the Pantry" but will also be filling it with some food mixes. If you have been to Holiday Lane then you might have seen the cocoa mixes I have for sale. I will also be including those on my site, in more versions. I am thinking of a PB Cup type right now and others.

I also have been making wax tarts.

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I have several fragrances available for them, 56 I believe.

Right now I am thinking more and more about my Black Friday stocking than anything. I have so many ideas running through my head for it, I just need to re-order lot's of supplies inorder to finish them. Hopefully on the first I can do that. I'm thinking of more children's book & soap sets, bath salts, bath scrub sets, holiday themed soaps, and more.

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Example of previous soap & children's book sets

Right now though it is very hot in my house. The AC is broken, and since we live in GA it is still 80* even thought it's almost November! Hopefully we either get the AC fixed or it starts to cool down. This temperature has been making me feel very lazy.

Well, I am working on a small project for a charity collab on Holiday Lane I better get back to that.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Long overdue for an update...

I started this blog last spring and originally intended to update frequently. As you can tell, that didn't happen! Life has certainly gotten busy for us. Since I last wrote, we have had a few exciting things happen. First, our second child was born July 3. His name is Nathan, and is currently almost 4 months old. He is a happy and snuggly baby, who likes to keep mommy busy and away from her work! ;-)

Secondly, we found out that we will be moving next year. Chris is pulling orders to go to a new unit at Ft. Leavenworth, KS. It will be fun. We used to live at Ft. Leonard Wood when we first got married, which is only a few hours away from Leavenworth. We have missed Ft. Wood ever since we left, so perhaps this will make us feel more at home. Plus, Chris's parents will only be a couple of hours away in IA. It will be nice to have family close by for a change! :-)

With the holiday season approaching fast, I have been working hard(or trying to rather) at making some new soaps and other goodies. Natural Madison has alos joined a new congo on Hyena Cart, Holiday Lane. There are about 40 or so vendors(the biggest congo to date on HC!) that are selling holiday and gift themed items. So far it has been a popular success!

Our next stocking is to be Nov. 4th at noon. It will be a small stocking as I am trying to put a lot of things aside for our BiG Black Friday sale. I will update more on that soon.

Anywho...just a small update after a looooong hiatus. I promise to update more often, now that I have figured out how to change the text back to English, and have a bit more time to devote to this blog. :-)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Help Support Our Troops!

On Monday, April 16th, at 12 Noon, we will be stocking Yellow Ribbon soaps at our store on hyena cart to help support the deploying troops to the Middle East. Each soap will cost $4 plus shipping, and 100% of the profits will go towards a care package for our soldiers.

As a military family ourself(my husband, his sister, and brother are all active duty, and his step brother is National Guard) we understand firsthand what it is like to be away from home. Simple things like toiletries are usually expensive for the soliders to buy at the PX(Post Exchange), and some personal favorites are hard to find, as stock is limited. These items are also not supplied by the military, as soldiers have to use their personal paycheck(also hard to access overseas for some) to foot the bill. A lot of times family members and friends will be designated to send care packages overseas to lift this burden from the troops, but for those who do not have family or friends to do so, they have to rely on their fellow comrade to "spot them" or try and make do with what they can get at the camp PX.

We would like to ease the soldiers' mind of this by sending them a care package. We are asking if you would like to help by purchasing a bar of our Yellow Ribbon soap. All of the funds received will go towards this care package, its contents and shipping.

We thank you for your support!

Thursday, April 5, 2007


April 6th, at 8PM we will be stocking as a guest vendor on something at Hyena Cart. We have made some new items as well as old favorites to sell.

You may visit something here:

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Who We Are

The Natural Madison family: Jennifer, Chris, and Madison(photo taken January 2006)
I often describe Natural Madison using the term "we" instead of "me" because I like to think of this as a family effort. Even though it was my idea to start this business, everyone in my family has a small part at one time or another.

First of all, there is me, the one who came up with the idea of an at home business. I am Jennifer, 21 years old, and married to a wonderful army man, Chris, with one crazy toddler boy, Madison, and another boy expected shortly this summer. I grew up in western Pennsylvania, I had what to me was a normal childhood. My mother instilled values into me and my older brother, the same ones she had when she grew up. We would plant several vegetable gardens every summer, with green beans, tomatoes, carrots, corn, peas, squash, pumpkins, etc. We also had a few blueberry bushes in our yard to pick from. My mother also loved flowers, so we had plenty of those around too. Everyone would help plant, weed, and harvest the garden. When I was younger, I would carry a chip basket and hold it for my mother to fill with our bounty.

In the kitchen of our rustic log home(that my dad and his family build), we would can and freeze all of our produce and more--my mother would scour produce stands and farmer's markets for fresh, seasonal produce to save for the winter. We would also go berry picking at a local farm, fresh strawberries and raspberries to be frozen for pies and made into jam. I would help my mother can peaches, tomatoes, green beans, and make salsa, tomato juice, spaghetti sauce, and pizza sauce. It was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun too.

I also did a lot of arts and crafts as a child. I was enrolled in art classes at the local art center at an early age, that is where I first learned the techniques about drawing, painting, and a little bit of sculpting. Later, I perfected my ways from high school classes as well as plenty of books. My grandmother taught me the basics of sewing, which I used quite a lot in high school to make my own purses, skirts, and other clothing. I also expirimented a lot with dyeing my own clothing, as well as bleaching and stonewashing techniques.

I got my first soapmaking kit when I was just 12 years old, it was a simple melt and pour kit, but I remembered it well when my husband left for his first deployment a few years ago--which is when I started to take soapmaking up as a serious hobby.

With all those things and more, I learned about a simpler, healthier way of living which has helped shape who I am today. I strive to keep the things my mother taught me alive, by gardening at home and preserving foods. I buy a lot of fresh foods and produce for my family to eat, use "greener" methods for cleaning and living, as well as a few things I picked up on my own like cloth diapering my children. Arts and crafts are still a very important aspect of my life, as it reflects not only in my business but my home as well. I try to make as many things I can myself, from paintings to pillows, curtains, and other decorative things.

The second important part of Natural Madison is my family, which would be my husband Chris(whom I've been married to for almost four years), and my three year old son, Madison(the namesake behind NM!). My husband plays a key role because he helps out a lot financially for supplies and other materials, as well as running packages to the post office during his lunch break at work, and sometimes helping me package items. My son Madison is a big inspiration for me. He loves to take baths, so he gets to test out all of my kid's products. He also wears a lot of my tie dyed and painted clothing. Often times too, he will give me his "opinion" on certain things I make, he loves smelling all of my soaps and potions.

I am very happy and thankful to be able to work from home, and to provide for my family by making natural and safe products for other families to use.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Welcome to the Natural Madison Blog

I decided to create a blog to record all of the details about Natural Madison, including updates, new products, product information, custom orders, etc. This a more "behind the scenes" look at everything that goes on at the Natural Madison headquarters!