Handmade Soap

Here’s a little background into the soap thats made at Green Laurels and some of the ingredients used.

Soap is made by mixing oils such as olive oil with caustic soda, which creates a salt, or as we know it, the soap. The oils that can be found in most households are fine to use, and each oil has different properties which is why a blend of different oils works well since they offer different benefits. A quick google search will allow you to see that olive oil for instance produces a mild and gentle soap, coconut oil is very cleansing and good for gentle exfoliation and castor oil creates a great lather and moisturising qualities.

Other ingredients are also added to the soap such as shea butter which is a great moisturiser, won’t clog pores and even provides some natural UV protection. Monoi de Tahiti oil is soothing and another great moisturiser, which also adds in a small way to the soap lather too.

There are other ingredients I avoid using such as palm oil. I believe most Palm oil is notoriously derived from the Palm trees that have been cut down from the Amazonian rain forests and I do not want to use ingredients that are harmful to the environment in this way.

So once the oils (acid) have been measured out, the hard oils are melted and added to the liquid oils.

At this stage a lye solution is added, this is a mixture of caustic soda (alkaline) dissolved in water. This is all you need for the soap, and it is combined with a hand blender. At this stage other ingredients can be added such as various coloured mica, any clays or essential oils. Once combined with the blender the solution starts to thicken and should be poured into the mould.

The mixture is then left for 12-24 hours for the soap to saponify (harden) in the mould where it can get quite warm as it goes through the chemical process and become firm.

Once its gone through the process, it is a hard long bar, but at this stage it is soft enough to be cut. So it is cut into bars and left to dry for approximately 3-4 weeks so the water content can evaporate and the soap gains its longevity when used.

All that’s left after this stage is to box and label it and put it on the shelf ready for purchase…

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