Here, at the Bottega Zero Waste School, we obsess over student success. Every month we celebrate a new Maker with a truly inspiring story. If you are not on our mailing list make sure you subscribe here for a chance to submit your story and be featured as one of our upcoming Maker of the Month!
Today I am delighted to introduce you to Chiara, a Soap Making for Zero Wasters Student and the person behind C’BEL Skincare ... read about her story below!
Skincare of two cities
Hello! My name is Chiara, I’m Italian, originally from a little town south of Rome, called Ariccia, but I live in Belgium, in Brussels since 2014. I studied political science in Rome and lived in Oslo and Vancouver for two semesters.
I met my partner in Brussels but he now lives in Berlin. So I’m also between these two cities. My formulations are born in both countries! I started to formulate in October 2020, during a strict lockdown in Brussels.
And oh boy! A new world has opened for me. It did not only help me overcome the isolating times, but it empowered me so much. Since then, I formulated hundreds of products and experimented with many ingredients.
My biggest motivation and inspiration is that I can really customise my products, to make them suitable to my skin type and needs. I like to keep my formulations clean and simple - because I truly believe that less is more. I love formulating organic skincare and soaps.
Now I’m enrolled in the soap making course for zero wasters at Bottega Zero Waste.
In March 2021, I opened my Instagram page where I share my formulations, information about interesting ingredients and inspirations for those interested in organic skincare. I hope to launch a small (or rather micro) business soon!
The power of knowledge
A big challenge was and still is learning about the ingredients. They all have different benefits but a successful product takes into account the skin needs too.
Combining great ingredients without a clear goal in mind does not make a great formulation. For example, a coconut soap can have fantastic cleansing properties but perhaps it is not suitable for those of us with very dry skin!
Shea butter is wonderful, but if not properly used, can make your product grainy. Essential oils are lovely, but their combination needs to be studied in advance. Knowledge is power!
The course with "Bottega Zero Waste" is helping me a lot. I also follow other reliable sources and experts to make sure that the choice of ingredients is always ideal for me, and for those using my products.
Want to formulate your own soap recipes?
I love a good scrub! So I came up with my very own scrubbing soap recipe. I experimented with different oils and exfoliating botanicals but my favorite one is a coffee and avocado soap.
I made it with Shea butter, coconut oil (for the hard oils), avocado oil, olive oil and sunflower seed oil (for the soft oils).
The avocado oil gives it a slight green colour, which I love! I added coffee grounds from my very own espresso machine, so they do not go to waste.
If you'd like to continue to follow Chiara's making journey, follow her on Instagram @cbelskincare!