Fats and Oils
Fats and oils might not seem luxurious, but they comprise the chemistry behind the soap, resulting in the final qualities of a bar’s cleansing ability, creaminess, bubbly lather, ability to condition the skin, and so on. They come in many varieties and work best in a specifically formulated combination to suit the intention of the soap. Some fats and oils I commonly use include: Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Castor Oil, Walnut Oil, Red Palm Butter, Hemp Oil, Sunflower Oil, Neem Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Lard, Beef Tallow, Duck Fat and Vegetable Shortening.
Botanicals are added as an infusion to specific oils selected for the recipe, to lend their natural properties, which may provide skin-healing, -soothing, -softening, anti-inflammation, rejuvenation, and/or relaxation, to the overall soap composition, however we make no cosmetic claims to this effect. Common infusions include Calendula Flowers, Elder Flowers, Oatmeal, Flax Seed, and Turmeric.
Additives feature a broad range of options for designing a soap bar including, natural clays and minerals, nourishing oatmeal, exfoliating seeds and salts, a host of butters like Shea and Cocoa, and even natural colorants and preservatives that can each add their own individual benefits to a recipe.
For example, Activated Charcoal is great for removing toxins and impurities from the skin. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can reduce acne, promote healing and slow down the aging process. Shea Butter is moisturizing and conditioning, rich in beneficial vitamins. Mineral Clays, like French Red Clay Powder and European Green Clay, can exfoliate skin and tighten pores. Sea Salts are also known to clean pores, remove toxins and balance the production of oil, leaving skin moisturized and renewed. Using natural mineral micas to add color to our soaps means there are no artificial chemicals for you to worry about. Our additives come from nature.
Liquids are combined with lye to create a chemical solution that perfectly reacts with the fats and oils, additives and fragrances to create a balanced soap bar. You can use almost any liquid to do this job, including distilled water, orange juice, goats milk, coconut milk, beer, coffee, tea… just about anything. For example, we use fresh pureed Florida tomatoes to create our Fishy Fingers odor-eliminating bar. Florida orange juice is used in our facial bar to reduce inflammation, detoxify pores and promote healthy skin. Local craft beer used in our beer bars adds skin-softening amino acids that moisturize and soothe the skin. Goats milk is rich with vitamins that are great for dry and sensitive skin and helps produce a rich creamy lather. A variety of herbal teas can be used to add their individual healing benefits, both in liquid form to make the lye solution and as an additive, using the dried grounds.
Chemically referred to as, Sodium Hydroxide, lye is the catalyst that causes all of the soap ingredients to transform from their individual states into a unified bar of soap, that after curing for 4 to 6 weeks, should look, function and smell as designed. True hand-crafted soap cannot be made without lye!
Ah! The “soul” of the soap, in my opinion. Our fragrance blends are composed of raw Essential Oils, not artificial fragrances, which means they smell beautifully for the life of the bar, and offer some therapeutic benefits associated with essential oil.
Some of our favorite E.O.s are Citrus: Lemon, Lemongrass, Litsea Cubeba, Bergamot, Grapefruit, and Sweet Orange. Sweet/Floral: Geranium, French Lavender, Ylang Ylang and Rose. Herbaceous: Tea Tree, Thyme, Rosemary and Eucalyptus.Warm/Earthy: Cedarwood, Frankincense, Black Pepper and Ginger. The E.O. properties are included in the overall design of the bar, and the possibilities are endless.