Friday, July 16, 2010

What is Soap?

What really is "soap"?

You would be surprised how many people really "think" they know the answer to that question. LOL I must admit...before I started researching and reading, reading, reading...I thought that I was really using good soap, when actually they were just "moisturizing or cleansing bars". Go figure! Why not read the label of your soap and see what it says. Many commercial manufactures use strong fragrances to cover up the harsh chemical smell of their "soap" (I guess that's why some of them smell so good) Handmade/crafted soap smells so much milder and better though.

Only when a product has been created through saponification can it be called soap. Saponification  is the chemical process that occurs when fats/oils are mixed with distilled water and sodium hydroxide (lye) to create soap & glycerin. The root word "sapo" is Latin for soap and the Italian word "sapone" means soap. There are many ways and a variety of oils, butters, fragrances, and additive combinations used to make soap, but the basic formula will always be the same:  fats or oils, distilled water, and sodium hydroxide (lye).

Oils, butters, distilled water, and lye ready to slow cook in this batch.

One of the joys I've found in soap making is creating my own unique recipe. It's time consuming but so much fun! Each oil and butter has specific properties to aid in producing a well balanced soap recipe. The combination I use depends on how I want my unique bar of soap to turn out! Sometimes the recipe doesn't work out so good on the 1st try and sometimes it's just like with a recipe I may experiment with in the kitchen to cook....just fine tune it (add a little more of this or that) and try again, that's all.  

I write everything down like it's a master plan or something! Well, I guess it IS my master plan...and I guard my recipes with my life! lol (I'm exaggerating ok ) But seriously I don't give out recipes that have taken me a long time to create...just buy the bar of soap it's so much easier :-)

My mom used to always go to the whole foods market and buy handmade soap and I would be like "you're going to spend $5 on one bar of soap when you could get a whole pack for that??!!" How soon did I learn that it was so much better & nourishing for my skin with such a creamy fluffy lather. My skin is so worth it -- and yours is too! Try a bar of handmade soap and you're guaranteed to fall in love! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

 White Tea and Ginger Bar (Finished and cut)

"Cherry Almond"

"Oatmeal, Milk & Honey" made with local SC honey

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