The “soap” that you buy at the grocery store usually isn’t really soap at all. It’s actually the end product of combining processed chemicals and petroleum-based ingredients and then stripping out the beneficial glycerin in order to sell it back to you as lotion. What you are actually paying for is detergent and this can mean trouble for your skin.
I began making soap over 19 years ago when my children were babies. At that time I made it simply for our family to use, in an effort to limit the amount of chemicals we were exposing ourselves to on a daily basis. Prior to that I always purchased handmade soap from the markets, but the expense of it, and sheer curiosity, made me want to learn the process. So I researched, botched a few batches, and eventually got the process down to a science!
I make handmade soap in small, five pound batches to ensure a quality product using natural, vegetable-based oils. The process I use is called cold-process soap making and is performed by adding quality oils such as olive, palm and coconut oils to a mixture of an alkali (lye or “sodium hydroxide”) and distilled water. The combination creates a natural chemical reaction (called saponification) that creates soap.
But wait – isn’t lye caustic? Well, yes, it is, in its natural state. In fact, it is necessary for me to take precautions to protect my skin and eyes while working with lye. Once the chemical reaction takes place, however, the lye is completely gone and soothing, moisturizing glycerin has been created. The simple fact is – soap cannot be created without lye. No lye, no soap!
Each of my soaps is made with love, hand cut and cured from 3 to 4 weeks before being brought to market. The curing process allows the soap to lose any excess moisture and become a harder, milder and longer lasting bar. They are then packaged and labeled. I take great pride in my soaps, so much so that they are hard to part with! I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy making them…