Handmade soaps are made with natural products that are good for your skin.
Soap is Formed in a Simple Basic Chemical Reaction
Soap is a salt of a fatty acid. In order to make soap, fats and lye are combined in a process called saponification. You take some lye, some fat (animal or vegetable oils), heat it up, and PRESTO you have soap! This is over simplified, but you get soap at the end of the saponification process. Soap is made in a natural process that comes from combining natural ingredients.
Handmade soap is made of vegetable oils (sometimes animal fats too) and butters that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients that are essential to healthy skin. Read about the properties of some of our oils by clicking here.
An important fact is that real handmade soap contains glycerin. You won’t find any soaper out there extracting all the good products from their soap to make other products. On the contrary, handmade soapers work hard to find wonderful skin-loving ingredients to create more and more beneficial soaps for our ever important skin.
Is Lye Natural?
Some people are scared of soap made with lye (Sodium Hydroxide), but if lye wasn’t used you couldn’t make soap (you would just have a puddle of oils). And, there’s no lye left over after the saponification process—it’s been turned into soap! Lye is purchased by its chemical names: sodium hydroxide (NaOH) used for making hard soap, or potassium hydroxide (KOH) which is used for making liquid soaps.
Handmade Soap Is Made The Old-Fashioned Way
Traditionally, handmade soap is made one of two ways. Either Hot Process or Cold Process. Both end with the same result. The method we use at Saguaro Sunrise Soap is Cold Process. With this process Lye, (Sodium Hydroxide) is mixed with water, then blended together with oils (plant based).
Pure Essential oils are also added for their wonderful scents and skin loving properties. Depending on the type of soap being made other ingredients are added ranging from Chamomile Blossoms to natural Clay to Organic Zests.
The mixture is put into a mold and goes through a process called Saponification. This process takes about 24 hours. Once this step is completed all of the Lye is gone; it is safe and it is now soap. The soap is removed from the mold, hand cut into bars, and placed on a rack to further cure for an additional 3-4 weeks.
While it is a lengthly process, the end results are worth it. This method is in contrast to commercial bought soap. Commercial soap is formulated especially for large scale production in factories. They use harsh ingredients and chemicals including both; Sodium Isethionate (a foam enhancer) and Dipropylene Glycol (a chemical solvent). Handmade soaps are the better choice!
Why Do We Need to Use Soap?
Soap has been in use for thousands of years because it acts as a surfactant which helps to remove unwanted debris and dirt from our hands and bodies. Does it work? – Just try to get some greasy grime off of your hands after working in the yard on on your car. That greasy grime does not wash off very well with just water, but, use some soap along with the water and the magic of chemistry goes to work and the soap literally lifts the greasy oils off of your skin.
The beauty of handmade soap unlike many commercial soaps which are based on detergents is that the oils used in properly formulated handmade soap do not dry out or harm the skin. Handmade soaps are very nourishing to the skin. Is it important to wash with soap? Learn what the CDC has to say about this by clicking here.