So, who really cares what’s in their soap? Well, in the far distant past, soap was just soap…and we really didn’t think too much about it.
Then came NATURAL….ORGANIC……HANDMADE! We learned that many of the personal body care products we used each day….were NOT natural. They were, well, we really weren’t sure what they were.
Below are some excerpts fro a 1979 consumer bulletin from the U.S. FDA, Office of Cosmetics Fact Sheet written by Harold Hopkins: (yes, I save stuff like this!)
“The product you regard as soap may not be soap at all, but a synthetic detergent “beauty” or “bath” bar. These and similar names have been used by copywriters to spare the consumer the awful knowledge that she is not bathing herself with real soap. Some “soap” bars may consist of soap and synthetic detergent.”
Hopkins goes on to add that as long as no cosmetic claims are made…soap is beyond FDA regulation.
Other information I collected in trying to find out what made the best soap in the world….and how it was made…included a lot of industry info meant only for the trade. Being a soap company, I guess I was included and they sent me all the information I requested.
I learned that the SOAPMAKING INDUSTRY, as opposed to ARTISAN SOAPMAKING…was really concerned about whether or not so many chemicals had been added that the soap cracked, giving it a “random, unattractive” appearaance. There are also concerns with “bar formation, extrusion and mold release.”
That’s the BAD NEWS! I could go on and on……but Hey, Christmas is coming and why be negative?
Next the GOOD NEWS! You don’t need to use these products anymore. There are more and more small soapmakers, like us, around to give you THE REAL THING!!
Firstly, we don’t use either petrochemical detergents….or animal-based fats (the part of your soap that isn’t a detergent is usually tallow, the fat deposits removed from beef as it is ‘processed.’) UGH!!
We use exotic oils of Palm, Coconut, and Olive…the oils used for generations in France, Spain and Italy where the Art of Soapmaking flourished…..and also Soya if we can get it organic. If you see a soap listing ‘canola’ as its main ingredient, it is probably “Crisco.” Yes, many soap recipes now just call for Crisco shortening…an all-vegetable-based hydrogenated baking product.
If the soap ingredients (soapmakers are not required to list the ingredients, but we ALWAYS do) list vegetable oil as the main ingredient, or if ‘soap base’ is listed, it is probably soy or canola, not the more expensive oils.
We use the ‘cold process’ method to make soap….meaning we warm up the oils to around body temperature…to make our soap.
What is the “hot process”? It means putting together a bunch of chemicals and boiing them together, I think!
After our soap is saponified (turns into actual soap, with natural glycerine as a by-product) we pour it into molds. They are not stamped out on a machine..thus, we don’t need ‘mold release’ in our formula.
Because our soaps are poured in m mold, then cut, not made into chips and crushed by a machine, we don’t need to use chemicals as anti-cracking agents.
There are lots of other things we don’t put into our soaps…so, they are actually 100% natural soaps!!!
YES!!! Not a “beauty” or a “bath” bar…but a real live soap…simply…SOAP!
So, what’s the big difference??
Well, anyone with so-called sensitive skin can use our soaps. Most people with sensitive skin, like me, find that when they don’t use harsh chemicals on their skin, it is no longer ‘sensitive.’
Also, the natural glycerine (extracted and sold separately in commercial soaps) retained in our soap-making process is there, available to your skin. It’s what makes real handmade Artisan Soaps feel so creamy and moisturizing on the skin.
Check out our new line of Artisan Soaps! Try the exotic Buddha Bar, the spicy Malabar Coast, or the enticing Mai Tai with Lemongrrrass. No synthetic colors, no detergents, no alcohol, no synthetic fragrance or perfumes. Just good, clean SOAP!
We’ve found that once people get used to using real soap….they just can’t go back. It’s why I started making soap in the first place: after my first batch, I just couldn’t go back to the ‘other’ kind.
Have any questions about soap?? Either I or one of my expert soap friends may be able to help you.
Bye for now,