WHY I LOVE HANDMADE SOAP
An increasing number of people are taking an interest in what they consume, not only as food but what is absorbed via their skin, which is our body's largest organ. Whether cooking food or creating body products, I place a high value on quality ingredients as well as the process of creating from scratch. Many commercial soaps contain animal fats, detergents, chemicals and other skin irritants. In contrast, my soaps contain only skin-loving plant-based oils and butters, resulting in a silky moisturising soap that is a sensory delight!
I love to use a variety of mostly edible ingredients in my soaps, including (but not limited to!): olive oil, coconut oil, sustainable palm oil, rice bran oil, castor oil, canola oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil, jojoba, shea butter, cocoa butter, honey, coffee, clays, mica, essential oils, fragrances, herbs, spices and flowers.
My soaps are made by the Cold Process method where fats are combined with an alkali solution (caustic soda or lye) to convert them into soap via the saponification process. When the ingredients are all combined, the mixture can look quite like cake batter. It is then poured into moulds and left to set over the next day or two. After cutting into slices, the soap is left to cure for a minimum of 4 weeks before it is ready to use. Like many good things in life, they take time!
If you see "handmade" soap that does not use caustic soda, it will have been made from pre-made melt and pour bases, which are factory-produced in bulk. These generally have more desirable ingredients than commercial soaps, and provide a quicker finished product than the cold process method, however you don't have complete choice of all the ingredients, and the look and feel is different. I think of it a bit like cooking from a cake mix versus from scratch.