Soap Sudz

As much as I love old beat up stuff.. I have to draw the line at my skin. As I get older, I refuse to have my skin get older with me. I learned many years ago to get out of the sun and take better care of my skin because I refused to look my age. I accidently learned how nice hand-made soap and lotions were for your skin.. and I have never looked back. My mother had purchased a bar of cold process soap for me and I had it sitting in a dish because it was decorative. Well, I ran out of soap and was forced to use the decorative bar. WHAT a difference in my skin. I was hooked and on a path of learning to make my own.

 Hand-made soap does not tend to dry your skin and you can even use it to wash your hair. Chemicals added to commercial products to increase and stabilize lather are not found in hand made products. They will initially feel a bit different on first use, but you will be loving the feel of your skin. If your skin tends towards an oily side, use soaps that have clays in them. The clay absorbs the skin’s oil and the clay leaves a silky smoothness behind. Adding things like goat milk and oatmeal also affects the final bar and the properties it brings to your skin. 

 Because of the time it takes to make these products andthe expense of oils like olive , they are more expensive than a bar of soap you purchase at the grocery store.. but believe me.. you are worth it. Give up one coffee a day and splurge on a hand-made bar of soap for a special treat. Cold process soap involves combining oils and butters with lye to create a new product ~ soap. By choosing oils and butters by the properties they bring to the finished soap, you can create bars that have great lather or are very moisturizing.

Castile soaps, made with 100% Olive Oil are the most moisturizing for your skin. Using a high Olive Oil content in any soap will increase the bar of soaps conditioning value for your skin. This oil is good for dry skin and creates a long-lasting, non-drying mild bar of soap with creamy lather. No other soap making oil contributes its unique set of characteristics. It retains moisture to the skin by forming a breathable layer but does not block the skin’s natural functions while performing its own.

Another favorite oil for me to use in soap making is Grapeseed. This oil is rich in vitamins, minerals, and other essential fatty acids which help strengthen tissue cells. This oil helps preserve the natural moisture of the skin and is great for damaged or aging skin. You will find I also like to add this oil to butters and lotions as well.

To get a nice, rich lather in a bar of soap I use coconut oil. This oil will produce a bar of soap that will lather in the hardest water and even sea water if the bar is made of a high percentage of this oil. This is a light and penetrating oil that when used in soaps makes lots of rich, creamy lather that will not clog pores and is readily absorbed into the skin. To see other oils used in soap making and their properties check out THIS PAGE on our web site.

Hand-made soaps are a process. Because of the lye, care must be take with their creation. And to be sure all the lye is use by the soap oils to become soap, calculations determining how much lye is needed have to be figured. When we create our soaps, we do what is called super fatting. We calculate the oils needed to convert the lye and have 5% of the oils that remain unreacted with the lye.. a safety margin and extra conditioning factor for the soap.

The required lye is measured into water and it immediately heats up to over boiling. This must cool down as you melt your solid oils and butters. Again, each oil has to measure exactly to the formula specifications. When everything is about 100 degrees, the lye solution can be combined with the oils and mixing then begins. Some recipes blend into soap in about 5 minutes, some take several hours.. and a few can make instant soap. Not a fun thing to put into a mold. It can easily take half a day to make a batch of soap.

Our soaps are ready to unmold the next day. They will air dry another day or two before we cut them and put them away to dry for 6-8 weeks. This is a cure time for them. Water evaporates from them and they become more solid and hard. I have used a week old bar in the shower with no harm.. they just tend to go quicker because of their softness.

After they drying process our soaps are then shrink wrapped and labeled. We hope to get in the back and get more of our soaps made this month. Soap making is not easy to do when the shop is busy because of all the measuring, and when the batch starts to turn to soap, it has to be poured immediately. When we do get some made I will have some small pieces that I will offer as samples. I have used hand-made soaps and body products for over 10 years now.. and because it has made such a big difference in my skin I want to encourage others to experience it as well.

Published in: on March 13, 2010 at 1:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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