Questions and Answers On All Things Soap
HOW IS YOUR SOAP DIFFERENT THAN WHAT I CAN BUY IN THE STORE?
I make soap using the cold process method, which means that my ingredients stay close to room temperature or just a little warmer. My recipes start with luxurious oils and butters, then incorporate all kinds of fun ingredients, pigments, and fragrances. The sky really is the limit!
You will not find the type of soap I make at your drugstore. The cold process method of soap making creates glycerine, which is an ingredient that attracts moisture. Mass producers of soap often remove this ingredient, making the resulting bar less moisturizing than it could be. Mass produced bars are also typically made with synthetic detergents that can be harsh on skin, cleaning TOO well and leaving skin feeling itchy and dry. The glycerine created in my bars stays in my bars and makes for a gentler soap - it cleans without stripping your skin of moisture!
I will never claim that my soap will cure skin conditions. However, if you have tried mass-produced soap in the past and haven't enjoyed it, you may want to give my handcrafted small batch soap a try. Plus, the store will never offer you all the fun designs, colors, and luscious fragrances that my soap has!
IS SODIUM HYDROXIDE (LYE) SAFE TO USE IN SOAP?
Some people may be uncomfortable with the idea of using sodium hydroxide (lye) in soap, but the fact is, it is perfectly safe if you know how to handle it and are careful with your soap formulation. Sodium hydroxide isn't as scary as you think - and I'm not just saying that because I'm a chemistry geek! When combined with fats like olive oil and shea butter, a chemical reaction occurs that creates soap. Sodium hydroxide and fat are the two basic necessities for the reaction called saponification.
As an added precaution, I always superfat my soaps. That means I add more fat than is needed to transform all the sodium hydroxide in my recipe into soap. No sodium hydroxide remains after the chemical reaction occurs so your skin stays safe. As an added bonus, the extra skin-nourishing fat helps prevent your skin from drying out!
ARE YOUR INGREDIENTS VEGAN, VEGETARIAN, HUMANE, GLUTEN FREE, ORGANIC, MORALLY JUSTIFIED, LOCAL, AND/OR FAIR TRADE?
I source my ingredients in the most responsible way I can. For example, I only buy palm oil and palm kernel oil that has been certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). I use synthetic mica when I can, and when I can't, I use mined mica from a supplier that has tracked their supply chain as far as they are able. I love using honey in my soap, especially if I can support local beekeepers, but honey isn't a vegan product.
Although I have the best intentions, it is extremely difficult or impossible to make my soap qualify in all these categories. I have been fortunate enough to study science for years - both chemistry and environmental science. I use my educational background and desire to support local and small businesses to make a quality product you can feel good about using. I am proud of the products I make, and I will never make any fancy claims, use greenwashing, or deceive you about the ingredients in my soap.
HOW LONG DOES A BAR OF LATHER & LOOFAH SOAP LAST?
There are many variables that determine how long a bar of cold process soap lasts. How often you and your household use the soap, how soft or hard your water is, and how much you enjoy lathering up with the bar all contribute to longevity. When you receive your soap, it has already cured for 4-6 weeks to allow extra moisture to evaporate, making a harder and more long-lasting bar.
The best way to make your bar of soap last a long time is to allow it to dry out between uses in a draining soap dish that keeps the bar out of standing water. Letting your soap sit in water will cause it to become soft and wear away much more quickly.