|When I told friends I was making soap, they arched an eyebrow and asked me if I realized that I could buy soap at the supermarket. But as a Chemical Engineer, what would you have me do as a hobby, refine used motor oil?|
way, what soap are you currently using? Chances are that it isn't soap
at all, but a detergent, filled with things you can't pronounce. Check
the label. It may say "body bar", "cleansing bar",
or "beauty bar", but if it doesn't say "soap", it's
probably detergent! Detergent bars will get you clean, no doubt about
it, if clean is all you crave. But can you tell the difference between
a love letter and junk mail? Between a Monet and those dogs playing poker?
For those of you who are serious about bathing (and you know who you are),
it's not enough for soap just to clean you and leave your skin soft. It
has to be an indulgence that elevates the daily routine a little.
|Making soap by hand allows the soapmaker the freedom to carefully select a blend of oils based on the characteristics each one will contribute. I use lots of olive oil for gentleness, coconut oil for fluffy lather and palm oil for a hard bar. I also use other oils for conditioning such as shea butter, mango butter and sweet almond oil.|
In addition, the process used to handcraft soap naturally produces
glycerin, a wonderful skin softener that is retained in the bars. Glycerin
is wonderful for your skin, because it attracts and hold moisture to
your skin. While all soapmaking processes produce glycerin, large manufacturers
of "corporate soap" often extract the glycerin, then turn
around and sell the glycerin to the cosmetics and lotion industry.
Can I wash my face with it?
A: Yes and no. Don't use soap containing any "scrubbies" on the delicate skin of your face or neck. This includes additives like corn meal, pumice, loofah, or herbs. While these may make wonderful gardener's soaps for the hands, or great exfoliating scrubs for the rest of your body, you don't want to damage your tender facial skin!
Will it last a long time?
A: Oh, the bane of soapcrafters everywhere! Often the number one compliment is about the scent. And the number one complaint...? That the soap doesn't last long enough! It all has to do with how you care for the soap. No, you don't have to treat it like a pampered pet, but do show it some respect! Don't leave it sitting in water, or let the shower constantly hit it. Handmade soap has no hardening chemicals to keep it from dissolving. Seem inconvenient? Well, maybe. But just think of all the chemicals you're not putting on your skin!
All soaps are 100% vegetable soaps, no animal products are ever used.
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