Why do you make soap the way you do?
At first it was because I was just starting out and to be perfectly honest, I was a little intimidated by the whole cold-process (lye-cooking) and I wanted to keep it simpIe. As I started creating the soap, I fell in love with all the molds, and all the different things you could make soap look like. As I got more involved, and got more soap molds, it sort of…snowballed! I loved being able to make small batches, I loved being able to do requests in a short amount of time, and I loved being able to make different sized and different shaped soaps. I'm still adding new designs and fragrances, so check in often!
Is your soap all natural or organic?
There is a huge difference between something being NATURAL and something being ORGANIC; unfortunately the two words are frequently misused to mean the same thing. Everything in the base of my soap is natural in that they are all compounds found in nature; however, they are not organic as in legally certified by the USDA to be organic. Unlike “organic,” there is no national standard or policy for what makes a product “natural.”I would caution anyone purchasing a soap that someone calls “organic” to please look for the Certified Organic label, which is a professional standard, and the certification must be validated and annually reissued. Many companies (and not just small home-based soap crafters) allege that they sell organic products but in fact are not officially certified. Without certification from the USDA, it is illegal to make the claim of “organic” and by doing so they are breaking a national policy.
What goes into your soap base?
Vegetable oils and glycerin, primarily. I like to use the goats milk base, which includes… goat’s milk. I list the ingredients in both my individual descriptions and on the soap label, but let me list them here and try to explain them a little bit more.
* Glycerine, which has been around and used in soaps at least since the 1850′s. The easy answer (without breaking out some chemistry diagrams) is that Glycerine/glycerin/glycol is what you get after the saponification process. Saponification is the process of making soap out of vegetable or animal fats combined with a strong base. Glycerine is a moisturizing agent, and is very dry-skin-friendly in that it is so moisturizing.
* Palm Oil is an edible plant oil extracted from the pulp of the fruit of the oil palm. It is a highly saturated fat and is almost solid at room temperature.
* Coconut Oil is another highly saturated fat, extracted from the pulp of matured coconuts.
* Safflower Oil helps smooth and moisturize skin. When applied directly to the skin, it can also reduce the visibility of lines and wrinkles, reduce eczema, and reduce inflammation and redness.
* Purified Water is pretty self-explanatory. Water, that has been through a purification process such as reverse osmosis, distilling, or some sort of filtration system.
* Sodium Hydroxide is the lye and caustic soda mix which is one reason why I started using pre-made bases instead of mixing it up inside my home. The mixing has already been done for me, the fumes contained by (I’m assuming) the company’s air filtration system. Without a strong base such as this, the saponification process can not occur.
* Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol commonly found in apples, peaches, and pears. It is often used in soaps andtoothpastes as a thickener and a humectant (humectants draw water from the air and thus make good moisturizing agents in things like soaps, conditioners, and lotions).
* Sorbitan oleate is an emulsifier, able to combine water and oil.
* Oat protein is a conditioner.
* Goat’s Milk has been celebrated for its moisturizing and skin-softening properties for centuries. Natural vitamins and minerals in fresh goat’s milk are easily absorbed into the skin, along with protein, healing rough skin and making you feel soft and rejuvenated when you rinse away the creamy lather.
* Titanium Dioxide is a mineral whitener used in opaque soaps. It is actually the world’s most widely used white pigment and is found in everything from soaps andtoothpastes to ceramic glazes, papers, medicines, and food.
Do you use fragrance oils or do you use essential oils?
For most of my soaps I prefer to use fragrance oils for a number of reasons. But first, the difference between the two: fragrance oils are a combination of natural and synthetic compounds; essential oils are liquid or resin distilled from different parts of plants. They both have their merits and I believe that in many cases it just boils down to personal preference.
Fragrance oils are much more affordable, which means that I can offer more choices when it comes to fragrances and I can keep my prices reasonable. Another reason that I like fragrance oils is the variety. Fragrance oils last longer than Essential Oils, which means I can buy larger quantities without worrying that my oil is going to go bad before I sell enough to use all of it
Essential Oils do have many extremely wonderful properties and I love to use them for their therapeutic and/or energetic properties. However, some folks might have issues with certain essential oils, especially if they are pregnant, breast feeding, or have asthma or epilepsy, and need to exercise caution.