Thursday, October 9, 2008
Homemade, natural soap is a luxuriant pleasure to use. We make a large variety of soaps, with many ingredients grown right here on the farm. Some of our soaps are vegan soaps and are made from all vegetable oils. Other soaps are made from animal fats, which make them harder and longer lasting. We specialize in herbal, healing soaps made with oils, infused with herbs directly from our own herb garden.
We are gearing up to make soap that will be ready to purchase for Christmas and should be ready in mid November. Handmade soaps make great stocking stuffers or buy a dozen different bars as a special present. Soap is a gift that anyone would love, male or female, and is impersonal enough for the office party. We sometimes make special scents, like peppermint, for Christmas soaps.
To answer the question most asked by our customers. Yes, we use lye to make soap. To put it simply, without lye there's no soap - period. If the ingredients say "sodium", that's lye. Sodium hydroxide is lye and it is a natural ingredient made from hardwood leaves or ashes (we buy our's). The term "natural" has been mistakenly used to mean "good for you" when that is not necessarily the case. Lye is a "natural" ingredient that is dangerous and can cause sever burns if one is not careful enough in it's use. After it goes through the soap making process, it is no longer lye and is not at all harmful. The combination of lye and fat under very specific conditions, causes a chemical reaction called "saponification" which makes both the lye and fat into one item: soap. It is no longer lye or fat and doesn't contain either one. Superfatted soaps have some fats added in after they become soap. Glycerin is a byproduct of this chemical reaction. The glycerin is what makes homemade soap soothing and moisturizing.
Our homemade soaps contain all of the moisturizing natural glycerin produced by the soap making process. Most of the glycerine has been removed from commercial soaps and sold separately. Glycerine is used in the manufacture of weapons and explosives and is worth more than the soap. This is one reason why commercial soap dries your skin. Other reasons for this are the additives to preserve it's hardness in water, colour it, make it produce more lather, etc. etc. All of these additives are unnatural chemicals and are not gentle on your skin. So called commercial "glycerin" soaps have only a fraction of the glycerin added back into them during their manufacture, then boiled with alcohol to make them clear. None of this comes close to the soothing use of handmade soap in it's natural state.
An additional "plus" for homemade soap is it's benefit to the environment. It does not contain phosphates and is safe for the water supply - perfect for camping. It is also safe to use on pets.
Our herbal healing soaps contain thyme and oregano, among other things. Thyme and oregano are both antibiotic and anticeptic, which make them excellent healers of acne and other skin problems. Try the healing herbal soap for a few weeks and make up your own mind.
Another useful soap that we offer is Coffee, for hard to clean shop hands. Coffee soap will remove even gasoline smells from your hands.
We make foot soaps with a salt scrub instead of pumice. Salt will scrub off the dead skin while losing some of it's own sharp edges as well. This makes it a safer and much more gentle scrub for feet that are already in bad shape.
We make soaps with oatmeal for a facial scrub, sometimes with vanilla.
We also make beauty body bars that smell nice. Some have our own blend of scent called "Providence".
Posted by Sheryl at Providence Acres at 2:11 AM