HOW IS SOAP MADE?
Cold process soap is the traditional way of making soap, where by fats or oils are mixed with an alkali solution (lye) and left to cure into a hardened bar of soap.
DOES YOUR SOAP CONTAIN LYE?
Yes and no. Yes, all traditionally made soaps need to use an alkali solution (lye). But in a well formulated soap, after the saponifcation process is complete, there is NO LYE remaining in the finished product.
WHAT IS SAPONIFICATION?
Saponification is the chemical reaction between fats (animal or plant based) and an alkali solution (sodium hydroxide/lye). The result of this combination is soap.
HOW IS HANDMADE SOAP DIFFERENT FROM STORE BOUGHT?
Where do I start? Handmade soaps made by experienced soap makers are a world away from commercial soaps. My soaps contain top quality oils, essential oils, clays and other natural colourants. No nasty chemicals, no extracted glycerine, no corners cut. Each bar is handmade and handcut in small batches with pride and love.
WILL THE SOAP DRY OUT MY SKIN?
No. I use a superfat value of 7-8%, so there are plenty of free oils to leave your skin soft and hydrated.
WHAT IS SUPERFATTING?
Superfatting (SF) refers to the extra oils (free oils) that aren't bound up in the saponification process and so are free to moisturise your skin. The higher the SF value, the more free oils are floating around in your bar of soap. Too high a SF value and you will have a soft, gooey soap, so balance is the key.
DO YOU ADD GLYCERINE TO YOUR SOAP?
No. Glycerine is a natural bi-product of cold process soap making and so there is no need to add it. Commercial soap makers extract the glycerine from their soaps to on-sell as value added products (moisturising creams etc). THe result is a hard bar that strips the moisture from your skin and leaves you feeling dried out.
CAN I USE YOUR SOAP ON MY FACE AND BODY?
Absolutely! My soap is designed for exactly that. It makes a great shampoo, body wash and facial bar. See the question about shampoo below for more information.
CAN I USE SOAP AS SHAMPOO?
Yes. But beware that you may need to battle through a transition period. If you have been using traditional shampoos and conditioners with plastics and silicones in them, then these will need time to wash away before a natural soap will work properly. During this time your hair may feel oiler or drier than usual (depending on how your hair tends to be in the first place).
After washing your hair with natural soap you can use an acidic rinse to help condition and detangle. A simple recipe is 2 Tbsp vinegar (either apple cider or white wine) in 1L of water, rinsed over your hair after a wash. This can be adjusted to suit your hair type, but there is plenty of information online about all sorts of different hair rinses so get creative and try it out!
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask:)