FACTS ABOUT SOAP
Soap is our passion and our livelihood. We would like here to clarify a few myths and also inform you about the mysteries of soap !
Soap is a cleansing agent made from the interaction of oils and fats [acids] with an alkali [sodium hydroxide] to produce a solid bar. Oils and fats for soap are compounds of glycerine and natural fatty acids [in general, fatty acids refer to any compound derived from the breakdown of fats]. When oils are mixed with an alkali, they form glycerine and the sodium salts of the fatty acids. Therefore all soap should theoretically have a natural glycerine content [although some large soap manufacturers remove this substance and sell it separately]. Our soaps have the glycerine content intact, this wonderful substance is a natural humectant and attracts moisture from the air, helping to keep skin soft and supple.
Many different oils, fats and butters are used in the manufacture of soap that have different beneficial fatty acids e.g. olive oil contains mainly oleic acid that produces small, mild and creamy bubbles, coconut oil contains nearly 50% lauric acid which makes big, fat, open, fluffy bubbles and sunflower contains mainly linoleic acid which produces big, open conditioning bubbles. So the skill of the soapmaker comes into practise with the combining of various oils and fats in the correct dilutions that are used to produce the best lather possible but keeping the soap mild, gentle - leaving a nice soothing after-feel on the skin [and not squeaky clean, feeling tight and rough as some soaps do].
Soap removes grease and dirt from the skin because some of its components are surfactants (surface-active agents). Surfactants have a molecular structure that acts as a connecting link between water and the dirt. This loosens the particles of dirt, stale make-up, grease etc. from the skin. One end of the molecule is hydrophilic (attracted to water), and the other is hydrophobic (attracted to substances that are not water soluble).
So, soap is a very effective cleanser, but it is much more! Some ingredients that you see on many popular soaps do not have any beneficial effects for the skin, in fact, they can cause problems such as allergies for many users e.g. parfume - you will see this on most soap ingredients listing. This is a chemical fragrance that is a man-made cocktail of chemicals, simply an aroma that has no therapeutic qualities and can be toxic and irritating for many skin types. In fact, over 70% of women claim to suffer from sensitive skin at some stage for various reasons.
Therefore the most important thing in our soaps is that they contain NO artificial, chemical fragrances only aromatherapy quality essential oils that do have beneficial therapeutic properties for the skin. In fact, all essential oils are gently antiseptic in their action and many are corrective for different skin problems, especially when there is an imbalance i.e. overly dry or overly greasy. We use a generous, effective dilution of professionally blended essential oils in all our products that not only smell delicious but have a positive, therapeutic effect for the skin. You will see and feel a huge difference when you use our natural, cold process soap in comparison to a commercial mass-made soap.
These are the ingredients of a famous "soap" bar that makes moisturising claims :-
White Beauty Bar
Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate - detergent.
Stearic Acid - wax.
Coconut Acid - coconut fatty acid.
Sodium Tallowate - animal fat.
Sodium Isethionate - detergent.
Sodium Stearate - a white powder derived from vegetable fat that is commonly used in soaps and cosmetics. It can also be used as a waterproofing and gelling agent. Sodium stearate is also commonly used as a cheap stabilizer in plastics. A potential allergen.
Cocamidopropyl Betaine - detergent.
Sodium Cocoate Or Sodium Palm Kernelate - coconut or palm kernel oils.
Fragrance - chemical aroma, a potential allergen.
Sodium Chloride - salt, used as a thickener.
Tetrasodium Etidronate - a chemical that is used as a water softener in soaps to prevent soap scum.
Tetrasodium EDTA - a synthetic preservative that can be irritating to the
BHT - a solid, white crystalline antioxidant that can be toxic for the kidneys
Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891) - white colouring.
But this is NOT a natural soap, as you can see it contains mainly chemical detergents, animal fat [yuk, who wants to wash with lard???], synthetic fragrances and preservatives.
Also, so many companies offer these types of bars and call their soap natural, but of course it is not. Soap correctly formulated has glorious, abundant lather, there is no need to boost the foam with chemicals !!
These are the two widely used ingredients in these synthetic detergent bars:
Propylene Glycol - a petrochemical
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Sodium Laureth Sulphate - harsh detergents
Alternatively, an example of our soap ingredients :-
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Organic fair-traded raw Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter
Castor bean oil
Aromatherapy quality essential oils
Fresh fruits & vegetables
Natural plant colours and clays
WHICH WOULD YOU PREFER !!!!!!!!???????
When oils are mixed with the alkali [sometimes called lye] a process called saponification takes place. Oils are composed of fatty acids as mentioned previously, require a certain amount of an alkali to saponify them, or change them into soap. This is a crucial part of soapmaking and when formulated correctly and professionally, there is NO lye left in the finished soap.
As an extra, we actually "superfat" all our soaps. This means that oils or fats have been left in the soap unconverted by the lye to allow some fat/oil to remain in its original form so that it forms an invisible, protective and conditioning layer on the skin. The purpose of superfatting the soap is to give it this more "moisturising" quality, making it milder for the skin.
When reading the INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) that is a legal requirement for all cosmetic products, it is difficult for the person who is not in this business or who does not manufacture personal care products, to understand the meaning of this labelling. It is a system that has been devised for waxes, oils, pigments, chemicals and other ingredients of soaps, toiletries and cosmetics based on scientific & Latin names of ingredients e.g.
When olive oil is saponified it is called Sodium Olivate.
When coconut oil is saponified it is called Sodium Cocoate.
When shea butter is saponified it is called Sodium Sheabutterate.
When castor oil is saponified it is called Sodium Castorate or Sodium Ricinoleate.
When sunflower oil is saponified it is called Sodium Sunflowerate.
When palm oil is saponified it is called Sodium Palmate.
When animal fat is saponified it is called Sodium Tallowate.
But we have a few extra surprises up our sleeve as well. We have found a way to include fresh fruits in our soaps without the use of preservatives and these add a lovely "something special" to the finished soap as well as providing interesting textures and looks. Also because we use a high percentage of conditioning oils, such as olive and sunflower, the soaps are highly conditioning and make fantastic bath & shower bars, but also they can be used as very effective shampoo and shave bars.
We also have a qualified, professional international aromatherapist working with the company who has over 30 years experience and this is why our soaps smell so good, it's all in the blending !! But more importantly, not only do they smell gorgeous they are really good for your skin. You will see a marked improvement in the quality and texture of your skin using a natural soap rather than it's synthetic detergent counterpart.