Soap! What is it really.
Soap is formed from a chemical reaction between oils and lye. The reaction is called saponification. (This is how our soaps are made anyway). It’s then left to set for about a few weeks. Our soaps are made such that the lye mostly exhausted. This is good.
HOWEVER…Commercial soap is usually produced from tallow (beef fat) and other fats (waste fat), waste cooking oil etc plus a variety of synthetic chemicals which are added to produce the desired lather, texture and hardness of the finished bar. The mixture is boiled at high temperatures with the caustic solution until the process of saponification takes place. The soap base is then extruded into noodles. Colour and synthetic smells are then added to the soap noodles, mixed and then compressed into a nice shiny bar that looks so nice and uniform in a nice wrapper. Of course, in the squishing process, more additives are needed to prevent the soap from sticking to the rollers of the milling machine. And VOILA! Your have nice cheap rubbish soap. Of course, this soap costs next to nothing to make but, with all the marketing and beautiful models to brainwash you into thinking it’s the best of the best, the cost goes up.
A side product of the saponification process is glycerine. During the manufacture of commercial soaps, glycerine is either washed away with the other waste products, or it is separated out(by a process called salting) and sold on to the cosmetics, food or explosives industries. This is an enormous loss to the user of the soap – glycerine is a natural moisturiser for the skin, and the removal of glycerine during the commercial production of soap is one of the reasons why commercial soaps can often be so drying to the skin… besides the fact that it’s loaded with chemicals you DO NOT want on your skin.
In our cold-process soap making method, (a painfully slow but, the right way to do it) the basic mixture of vegetable butters, oils, milk, lye, water, natural nutrients, essential or phthalate free certified fragrance oils are used. Only gentle warming is used to melt the butters and oils at the start of the process and glycerine is left in the soap as the saponification reaction takes place. This means that our handmade soaps retain all the glycerine, making for a superior and gentle bar of soap.