Did you know that in order to be called “soap” there has to be lye in the recipe? No lye, no soap! You can call it a beauty bar but you can’t call it soap unless lye and water have been blended with oils. The magic that happens when oils and lye come together and create soap is called…get ready for it…it’s one of my most favorite words to say…saponification. I love the way those six syllables roll off the tongue!
One of the side effects of saponification is the creation of glycerin. A bar of soap naturally contains up to 30% glycerin. But Chris, you say, if that were true, why does my store-bought soap seem to dry my skin so badly? The answer is simple and not too surprising. Glycerin is valuable. Glycerin can be found in foods, in pharmaceuticals, and in personal care items. There is glycerin in hundreds of items on your grocers shelves right now, including the item you’re probably most familiar with…glycerin soap. To meet the demand for glycerin, and because it is so profitable, commercial soap-makers pull that moisturizing-magic out of their soaps and sell it separately. Then they hand you a rock (the glycerin-less bar of soap) and say, “Here, get clean and stay moisturized with this.” Or, worse yet, they replace the glycerin with cheap alternatives meant to mimic glycerin. Either way, most commercial soaps leave your skin feeling miserable.
Natural, hand-crafted soaps, on the other hand, leave your skin feeling clean and moisturized. My soap (a blend of olive, coconut and palm oils) is a particularly good recipe. It’s gentle on your skin, lathers like crazy, and makes believers out of people on a regular basis! I don’t mean to brag, but there are people out there who would rather stay dirty than use anything other than my soap (okay, so I exaggerate…but only slightly).
I encourage you to use real soap, made by a real soap-maker, preferably YOU! In just over 2 hours, here at the studio, you can learn the secrets of making soap and leave with 36 bars that you make yourself. Thirty six bars of real soap, with real botanicals, scented with real essential oils!
Homemade, handcrafted, REAL soap…definitely one of life’s luxuriously simple things!