Soap. That’s right soap. I find it to be fascinating! I love making it, love it’s history, and love the science. Over the years I have been asked many times what is soap? Where did it come from? Why is your soap different than from what I can buy in the store and many, many more! As such I have decided to do a series called The Dirt On Soap answering those and other questions. Sharing with you my knowledge and passion about soap may be just that random little bit of information that makes a weird conversation interjection work. I love interjecting conversation with random bits of knowledge. Let’s get started in this post about What Is Soap!
Inquiring Minds Want To Know: What is Soap?
Soap is a mixture of fat or oil, water, and an alkali, or basic salt. Yep three ingredients is all it takes. Soaps are mixtures of sodium or potassium salts and of fatty acids which can be derived from oils or fats by reacting them with an alkali (such as sodium or potassium hydroxide) at 80°–100 °C in a process known as saponification. Now some like it to have amazing scents, others are allergic to smell and want it plain, to those who don’t care as long as it gets them clean….. scent is 100% optional. Absolutely the best part of soap is making up your own formula/recipe combining many different fats or oils that contain different properties to make a customized purpose and scent. While finding the right balance of the ingredients is key to making awesome soap!
Ingredients Are Key
Oils & Fats
As mentioned above you can make soap with any fat or oil. These can be acquired from all over the world from plants, seeds, nuts and even from animals. Every culture has a way of making soap and have used ingredients readily available to them for as long as history is written. In today’s world we have access to thousands. Markedly each fat/oil has been studied and tested and has a list of the benefits and properties that make each one desirable. Although some oils date back to being used for soap before Christ and are still used today other oils are newly being discovered so there is always new oils to explore. I love learning about each oil and doing research and formulating with them!
There are two different types of alkaline salt commonly used in soap making. There is Sodium Hydroxide and Potassium Hydroxide as known commonly as Lye or Caustic Soda. For you inquiring minds sodium hydroxide, NaOH, is a compound of Na (Sodium), O (Oxygen) and H (Hydrogen). It is used to make Cold Process Soap otherwise known as Bar Soap.
Potassium Hydroxide is commonly known as Lye or Caustic Potash. You’ll find the scientific name is KOH and it is a compound of K (Postassium) O (Oxygen) and H (Hydrogen). This form of lye is used to produce your liquid soaps like Shampoo and Bodywash.
Water. Cool clear water. It is equally important as the oils/fats and the alkaline salt but it’s what’s in the water that truly makes the difference! But you are thinking water is water right?! A point often overlooked is that water contains trace elements. It is important to realize these because they make all the difference when combined with the oils, alkaline salt and scents you add. Specifically trace elements act as a buffer and for example one cause your soap to get too hot or not hot enough. These can be a pain! Besides, in the water and depending on where it is sourced, city water or ground, add some chemicals, like fluoride, chlorine, even pesticides, that you are even aware of to your products. Ummm…..ewwwww…..just sayin’. On the positive side though using filter water is always best practice to control just this.
To scent or not to scent that is the question. Surely each person has an opinion on scents they like and don’t like. Granted for those allergic to all smells the answer is “Don’t even think about it!”. From there people have such array of what smells they like. There are fruits, florals, woody, earthy, and spicy to name just a few of the descriptive words used to describe what smells you enjoy. In fact you can use essential oils or fragrance oils individually or in your own combination to make a unique scent that is all your own.
I love, Love, LOVE blending scents! Not all are worthy of using in my products. In fact some are really, really bad. Although when I do a good job and it comes together amazingly…wahooo! Blending is definitely trial and error but it let’s my creativity flow. As a matter of fact scents are very personal and you should be exploring them. Surprisingly every person has an undetectable “scent” call pheromones and different scents blend differently with your body’s chemistry. That is why some can wear let’s say vanilla and it smells amazing while others smell horrible.
Pure soap. That’s what we make! We do not use any chemicals, detergents or petroleum to make any of our products. Additionally all of them are made without parabens, phthalates and sulfates too. You will only find the highest quality of organic ingredients (some are all natural because they cannot be obtained organically, for example the lye.) in our soap. Because of this method and standard you can use our soap from your hairline to the soles of your feet and all the places in between! Our pH is 7.25 so it cleanses and doesn’t strip your skin reducing the need for additional moisturizers. We offer a wide variety of scents to choose from that include therapeutic grade essential oils, a blend of these, a high quality fragrance oil or a blend of an essential oil and fragrance oil.
Soap Is Simple
In conclusion you can see soap is pretty basic. Now how does soap work? Join us in our next post about How Does Soap Work in part 2 of our Get The Dirt On Soap series. Make sure you sign up for our blog so you don’t miss a beat!
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From my soapiery to you,
Oatmeal Honey: April 2016 Scent of the Month
We are excited to announce that our Oatmeal Honey Product Line is our scent of the month for April. This widely loved scent is available in a wide variety of the products we make. You can find it in our handcrafted soap, both in the standard bar size and quarter bar size, our hand and body lotion, in both sizes, and our body polish!
The fragrance we us is a blend of essential oils and fragrance oils. It is a heavenly blend that smell like Almonds and Cherries. In addition to the wonderful smell we use organic rolled oatmeal in our soap for that every use exfoliation! The oats make the exfoliation a little aggressive so be sure not to rub the actual bar on your face or use on babies or small children. It also lends it’s amazing properties to the soap for healthier skin too.
Benefits for Skin and Hair
Oats are amazing for your skin and hair! When it comes to your skin, oatmeal calms red irritated skin from rashes, dermatitis and eczema by helping reduce the itch and promote healing due to its deeply penetrating moisturizers and it’s naturally occurring anti-inflammatory. Having trouble with an uneven skin tone? Oatmeal has shown that its properties lend it to lightening the skin tone of your skin. This natural proteins help to as a natural skin protector against chemicals and UV rays. It is filled with vitamins and minerals like zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and A. Not only do these benefit your skin but are amazing for your hair. They all promote healthy hair growth and even helps in regeneration! Look for oats in your next shampoo to benefit from all of it’s amazing vitamins and minerals.
Savings for you
As we stated above Oatmeal Honey, in the full line, is on sale this month at 10% off! Click on the banner below to be redirected to all of the products in our store. I am sure you won’t be able to live with out any of them. Happy shopping!
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‘Til next time,
Cold Winter Weather Giving you Winter Skin?
Yikes! Can you believe we are already mid January? The new year is already on a roll and the cold has set in so chapped, dry skin and hair have begun. Whether you are enjoying this winter by being outside and participating in outdoor adventures or just making those walks/runs between your car, home or office winter is here and it is effecting your skin!I am getting calls, texts, emails and stopped on the street with questions on how to combat already chapped, dry skin and hair plus, how to prevent it!
It all comes down to the moisture content of your skin and hair is what I tell them. My first response is drink lots and LOTS of water so that your body can naturally flush the toxins and chemicals out of your body. After that let’s create deep retaining moisture so it gives a barrier against the harsh cold weather. Yes those up North have different conditions than those in the middle and southern states but the answer is the same! We offer a great line of products to help you combat Winter Skin so let’s break them down and explain what they can do for you and why they help.
Ingredients Are Key
Your skin is the largest organ your body has and we sometimes forget that so it is key that what you know what you put on your skin and why to get that healthy glowing appearance during any season.
It is always best to use only products that contain all natural ingredients so that what you are applying to your skin isn’t creating more of a problem (of course this is barring any allergies that one may have) through the use of harsh chemicals, synthetics and petroleum. Petroleum wicks away the Vitamins A & D from your skin which are vital nutrients needs to repair and replace damaged skin cells. When applying products with petroleum in them creates and endless cycle of dryness that can lead to chapped and even cracked skin.
There are many different levels of even natural ingredients so you want to ensure you aren’t using a “natural” ingredient that has actually been chemically stripped to produce it. It really defeats the purpose don’t you think? We use only the highest quality raw ingredients that have been thoroughly researched on the methods they use and where they come from. In return this gives us only the highest quality products we offer to you!
Meet My Hand & Body Lotion
Now let’s get down to what we have to help you! I would like to introduce you to my Hand & Body Lotion (it’s fabulous, just sayin’)! It is a rich cream where a little bit goes a long way, is easily absorbed by your skin, plus leaves your hands soft, supple and velvety smooth. Oh yes it is truly that good.
In private test marketing and from customer testimonials, I have had people tell me that they can wash their hands two to three times before they have to reapply. (individual results may vary) That is huge!
We use only the highest quality of all natural/organic based raw goods when making our Hand & Body Lotion. First we start off with using triple purified water that goes through a reverse osmosis water system to remove all of the heavy minerals and chemicals out of our water source. Our proprietary blend of oils offers up multiple levels of moisturizing benefits. We use Cocoa Butter, Sesame Seed Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, and Vegetable Glycerine and here is why……
Cocoa Butter is an oil that is naturally soothing to the skin and is readily absorbed. It is high in fatty acids, a natural source of antioxidants, Vitamin E and other vitamins and minerals. Because of these great properties it sooth, hydrates and balances the skin. Plus, it helps to keep skin supple helping guard against cracking because applying topically it creates a barrier between skin and the environment. We also use it because we have found that it has helped our clients with eczema and dermatitis, but again individual results will vary.
Sesame Seed Oil:
Sesame Oil is chalk full of many different vitamins and minerals. We love it in our lotion because of the Zinc, Vitamin B6, and Copper. Zinc is a mineral that is essential in producing collagen giving your skin more elasticity. It aids in repairing damaged tissues, soothing burns and aids in skin related issues. The Vitamin B6 helps maintain the overall condition of your skin and has been know in treating a number of different skin problems including eczema, dry skin and psoriasis. Copper plays a significant role in the synthesis of collagen and is also actively involved in the the production of elastin keeping the skin flexible, helps avoid sagging and having wrinkles, giving your skin a more youthful appearance.
Sweet Almond Oil:
Sweet Almond Oil a light oil that penetrates the skin and hair easily. Because it has emollient properties, it has the ability to rejuvenate, soften and condition the skin and by doing such improving the tone and complexion. It also protects from sun damage and signs of aging. It is high in fatty acids and contains vitamins A and E making it well suited for problem, dry and itchy skin.
Vegetable Glycerine is amazing humectant! What is a humectant you say? Well it draws moisture out of the air onto the skin but also acts as a barrier and keeps the moisture in as well. Glycerine is easily absorbed and deeply penetrates making it soft, smoothing the skin texture and plumping it for a younger look. It is a perfect ingredient to combat dry and irritated skin.
In addition to these amazing ingredients we finish off the production of our lotion by using Specialty Denatured Alcohol (SDA-40D), BTMS Emulsifying Wax, and Fragrance Oils, Essential Oils or adding none of the above for those of our customers with allergies or scent aversion.
The SDA-40D is our full spectrum anti-mold, yeast, bacterial, fungal and viral preservative. Ever get to much lotion out of your bottle and then scrape it back in to save for a later date? Well you have just contaminated the whole bottle with what might be hanging out on your hands, yes people we are talking about germs, chemicals, food, etc. This is why we use the SDA-40D, as it doesn’t allow fun things to be grown in the lotion. No one and I repeat NO ONE wants to have a living petri dish alive and growing little nasties (microbial) that they then would put on their skin. Yuck! Plus it dissipates in less than 30 seconds and we have tested our lotions for two years ensuring that if there are no outside contaminates are introduced we maintain a sterile formula.
We use BTMS Emulsifying Wax to combine our lovely ingredients for you. It is 100% derived from vegetables and is all natural.
Last are the Fragrance and Essential Oils we use for fragrance purposes. Our fragrance oils are of the highest quality and are certified to us to be paraben, phthalate, and formaldehyde free. As for the essential oils we use only therapeutic grade to ensure the benefits of each oil.
Get yours today!
Love what you read and see how we can help you with your winter skin and overall skin health and appearance? Well pop over to our store by clicking here where you will find our full line of our lotions. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook! Plus subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss out on all of our informative or just plain fun posts.
Catch you soon,
“It makes a big difference in your life when you stay positive.” – Ellen DeGeneres
My reference selection is too wide and arduous to post to this blog because it comes from many years of learning from books, lectures, personal experiences, magazine articles, published scientific papers, etc. But, that being said, I have found and have further investigated the research, that the livestrong.com website has posted on the bottom of all of their articles the resources with well notated references of their research that has a multitude of information.