Frequently Asked Questions About Handmade Soap
What's the big deal with handmade soap?
What makes this soap better than what you can get at the grocery store?
First and foremost, this is real soap. Most of what you buy in the grocery store is made from detergents. Detergents clean by stripping the oils out of your clothes, or off your dishes, or off you! You get clean but your skin is left very dry. With our soaps, whether you choose the ones with high quality fragrance oils and FDA approved colors added, or the all natural soaps which are scented only with essential oils and have no colorants added, your skin will feel clean, soft and healthy. We never add preservatives or harsh chemicals, and our products are as good for the environment as for your skin.
How is soap made?
Our soaps are made by the cold process method. The 3 basic oils used by all soapmakers are olive oil, palm oil and coconut oil. Other oils can be added for lathering, extra moisturizing, and other skin benefits. The oils(which are acidic)are combined with a sodium hydroxide(lye) solution(a strong base). After vigorous mixing a chemical reaction, called saponification occurs, and the mixture starts to get thick. It is then poured into a wooden mold, cover with blankets to keep the chemical reaction going, and left for 24 hours. It is then cut into bars and allowed to cure for at least three weeks. During this cure time the soap gets milder and harder, which makes it last longer. A byproduct of the soapmaking reaction is glycerin, which remains in handmade soaps and also helps moisturize by drawing moisture from the air to your skin.
Why is there sodium hydroxide (lye) in the soap?
You can't make real soap without it. But there is no sodium hydroxide in the finished product. It only takes three ingredients to make soap - fatty acids (which come from the oils such as coconut, olive, or palm oil), water, and a strong base (in this case sodium hydroxide). When these ingredients are mixed, a chemical reaction takes place which produces soap. Every good soap recipe includes more oil than will react with the lye - for two reasons. First, because it provides extra moisturizers for your skin, and second, to make sure there is no lye left in the final bars.
Why use goats milk in soap?
Goats milk has vitamins and minerals to nourish your skin and it has lipids that help seal in moisture. Soaps made with goats milk are close to the same pH level as our skin and are therefore more gentle. And goats milk soap has a rich creamy lather that is just the best!
What is natural soap?
There is no strict definition for the word "natural" by the U.S.Government for soaps or anything else for that matter, and because of this soapmakers differ slightly in what they label natural. Almost all of us consider fragrance oils to be not natural, but opinions about colorants are divided. Colorants range from dyes to minerals to plant material. So it's really up to you, the customer, to decide what you want. Are you looking for a soap that's made from good quality, skin loving coconut, olive, and palm oil instead of things like sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate (I can't even pronouce it!), and you don't mind a little good smelling perfume and a drop or two of artificial color? Then almost all handmade soaps are right for you. But some customers, perhaps with very sensitive skin or allergies, want 100% natural soaps. The key is to read the ingredients. Every website that sells soap should list the ingredients on the web page and indicate clearly what is articial and what is 100% natural. If they don't do this, don't buy from them!
Should I use soap on my face?
Women are often told not to wash their face with soap. The important word here is "soap". When most people think of soap they think of the commercially available bars
that have detergents in them. Most of these can't even label themselves as soap. Even the ones that are truly soap have had the glycerin removed to be sold seperately or used
to manufacture lotions and cosmetics. A quality handmade soap with all the natural glycerin in it and added moisturizers like shea and cocoa butter is great for your face.
What soap should I use for eczema?
Handmade 100% natural unscented soaps with ground oatmeal are a good choice for dry, red, itchy skin. A bath is better than a shower, and don't make it too hot because really hot water tends to
dry the skin. Ground oatmeal actually binds to the skin and holds moisture there, helping the skin absorb the water. After the bath use the towel to pat the skin dry instead of rubing because this will help to keep
the protective layer in place.