Each and every bar of our soap is made in the traditional cold-process method. A mixture of carefully selected vegetable oils & butters is combined with a diluted sodium hydroxide mixture to transform into natural soap and glycerin through the saponification process.
In commercial soap making, the natural glycerin is removed from the soap and used in lotions. As that process is a wee bit high tech for our suburban soap kitchen, the glycerin stays in and the soap feels amazing!
ALL of the sodium hydroxide molecules are used up in the saponification process and none remains in the final product. What does remain is a superfat (more oil molecules than NaOH molecules) of between about 7-8%. Another reason why natural bar soap is nothing like the mass produced commercial bars.
Our soaps, for the most part, contain a significant amount of Olive Oil - an extremely conditioning oil very high in oleic acid - and typically accompanied by the usual suspects around here: coconut oil (for cleansing), shea and cocoa butters (emollient, moisturizing), sunflower and rice bran oils (also conditioning, high in Vitamin E) and castor oil (for lather). We never use palm oil or animal fats in any of our soaps.
And then we customize the bars with all sorts of other goodies like skin-soothing botanicals, purifying clays, anti-inflammatory oat milk, antioxidant honey … just to name a few!
We are a SMALL batch soap kitchen. Like, 24 bars to a batch small!
Much care and attention is given to each bar. Once unmolded a day or two after pouring, they head to the awesome curing racks Mike built for the next several weeks. Most batches we consider fully & properly cured after about 6-8 weeks. Higher Olive Oil soaps cure for months and all Castile (100% Olive Oil) bars we cure for a minimum of a year.
Soap is a lot like fine wine or good cheese … a proper cure makes all the difference!