The Handcrafted Natural Soap Difference
This is real soap…purely! The so-called "soap" sitting on your grocer’s shelf isn’t soap at all. Even some of the ones claiming to be beauty bars have the same detergent in them used in laundry and floor cleaning products-YUCK! They do a good job of stripping through dirt and oil, but not good for skin. Picture an alligator. Does your skin ever feel like that? Handcrafted soap also contains natural –occurring glycerin to moisturize—Ivory doesn’t even have this !
Just how is it made? Happy to tell ya! When an alkali is mixed with fat at just the right temperature a wonderful reaction happens-saponification. This is just a fancy way to say "soap is made". Just like the good ‘ol days? Not quite. I don’t scrape ashes off the fire, and I don’t use old animal fat-or any animal fat for that matter. I do use some wonderful vegetable oils(organic when possible) including skin-nourishing rice bran oil, lathering and bubble-producing organic palm and organic coconut oils, and wonderfully moisturizing organic unrefined fairly traded shea butter, and cocoa butter. In fact, all our soaps with the exception of the Super Natural Bar contain shea butter-and you WILL feel the difference! Using shea butter means the soap is super-fatted. Super fat is bad for your insides, but GREAT for your outsides. No need to count calories here, girls(and guys)! I also add other nutrients including pure and natural plant essential oils, herbs, botanicals, clays, and sometimes colorants and high quality fragrance oils. After mixing to a certain consistency, the soap is covered and left to rest for 24 hours to continue the heating and saponification process. After which the soap is cut and left to dry for 3-8 weeks. Yes, another ingredient-it is called "time", but definitely worth the wait.
The Scoop on Skin Products
First, let’s talk about how important our skin is. Our skin serves a more important function than just in appearance. It is our body’s largest organ and is responsible for regulating body temperature and acts as a barrier against disease. In order to keep the bad things out and the good things in, it needs to be nourished. Hydration is the most important thing we can do for all of our organs, including our largest organ, the skin. A healthy diet is also recommended, but not enough to protect it from the external elements. It takes only a few minutes every day to give our skin what it needs.
So what should we do everyday?
• Cleanse: Plain old soap (handcrafted of course) is the best for this. It removes dirt without stripping your skin of the natural oils that commercial beauty bars do, which are made with detergent. Handcrafted soap is best because it contains the naturally occurring glycerin, which helps moisturize the skin. Commercial bars do not contain glycerin. They take it out of the soap and sell it to make more profit.
• Moisturize: Moisturize your face and body immediately after cleansing. This helps trap the natural moisture in the skin. Oil is a simple, but effective moisturizer for the skin. After a shower, spread or spray an after bath oil over your wet skin and then pat dry.
• Exfoliate: To keep the skin soft and smooth and free of blemishes, exfoliate one to three times a week to remove the dead skin cells that clog your pores. Moisturize after, unless you use one of our scrubs. Our scrubs contain just enough oils and shea butter to moisturize without feeling greasy. Be gentle to your face, and use appropriate scrubs for the face. Our facial masques work wonderfully as facial scrubs. Using a masque once a week revs up your skin care regimen, and can add a wonderful glow to your skin.
So now that you know what to do, what do you use? There are so many products on the market to choose from! Most products contain synthetic chemical ingredients that are harmful to you and the environment. The following are a few ingredients to watch out for and never use. They are harsh cleaning compounds that use petroleum chemicals called nitro amines which are cancer-forming. The DEA’s, MEA’s, TEA’s, cocoyl sarosine, sodium lauryl sulfate, benzo-phenones cause hives and skin reactions, carbomers is a vinyl polymer, decyl alcohol comes from petroleum, daizo-lidinyl urea is a pesticide and may release formaldehyde, different preservatives called parabens can cause allergic reactions. PEG can damage kidneys in large doses. WE DO NOT USE THESE HARMFUL INGREDIENTS!
Read labels and decide for yourself. I know this can be confusing because even "natural" products contain either ingredients you cannot pronounce, or so many ingredients it makes your head spin. Natural products have become very trendy, claiming to use exotic ingredients that promise almost magical results. These products are probably just fine, but the more ingredients, especially the real expensive ones, the more costly a product is.
We believe that most results can be achieved very simply. We do make some products though that contain very expensive ingredients. These are the specialty products that use ingredients that are specific for certain skin types and skin problems. These are usually essential oils and herbs that are more expensive, but necessary. For example, if you look at rose essential oil (about $8,000./pound), you will find it to be much more expensive than lavender essential oil (about $60.00./pound). This is because it takes much more material to make rose essential oil. It takes 2,000 lbs of rose petals to make 1 lb of rose essential oil. Fortunately rose is used mostly for certain skin types and facial applications like cell rejuvenation and a little goes a long way, but still more expensive than using lavender in a product. Not to say that lavender isn’t good for what it is used for! Lavender is a staple in our home and used for many things. Lavender is great for burns, wounds and skin infections, it hastens the healing of skin cells, slows wrinkles, suitable for all complexions, it is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, antiseptic and just an all around great oil. It has reputed therapeutic properties to relieve stress and depression, and is among the safest of essential oils, even for babies and during pregnancy.
It is up to you to read labels and decide for yourself, but we ultimately believe that simplicity is the best ingredient.