Today many people are interested in cold processed soap, they want to make sure that they are washing their skin - the largest organ in the body - with substances that will nourish it, not harm it and also they want to protect the environment.
At the same time however, they are suspicious of modern soap-making methods, they wonder whether commercial products contain chemicals that could seep through their skin and harm their bodies. This is what's led to a growth of interest in cold processed soap.
To make soap, manufacturers have to carry out a chemical reaction called saponification. This process occurs when a fat - perhaps coconut or olive oil - comes into contact with a lye (and alkaline substance). When in contact, a chemical reaction called “curing” takes place that gives soap its classic waxy texture.
By itself, curing can take many weeks so commercial soap manufacturers will often add heat and other chemicals to speed up the reaction allowing them to get products out to market quicker.
However, it comes with some costs:
It’s not natural
It can damage the environment
It can affect how it interacts with your body
How the cold process works
The cold processed method is different, it relies on an all-natural processes to create soap. It begins by first mixing the lye and oil with water. The mixture is then put into moulds to form bars or blocks and then left to dry for around 24 hours. It is then placed into storage for the curing process to begin.
Curing usually takes between four and six weeks so it’s slower than traditional heat-cured soaps but it results in a firm, waxy bar that yields a superior experience.
At Clearstone, we believe in the power of cold processed soaps, that’s why we stock a vast array of them in our store.
But what makes them so much better than the regular commercial “hot processed” alternative?
Soaps are products chiefly made of materials derived from lye, oils and fats however, many commercial manufacturers try to cut costs by selling consumers products made of synthetic detergents. These detergents strip the skin of its natural oily moisture barrier, drying it out. What makes this even worse, many of these are also bad for the environment.
Our cold processed soaps however are naturally moisturising, that’s because they contain surplus fat that remains and is not used up in the reaction with the lye. So when you rub it on your body, you get both a cleansing and moisturising effect.
There are other problems with many over-the-counter soaps. Soaps bought over the counter are often packed with various filler and chemical ingredients, such as fragrances which can damage the skin. What’s more, rules allow them to avoid detailing what these chemicals actually are so you never really know what’s going into the products you use. This creates a situation where you don’t know whether they are safe for the environment or not.
Clearstone however offers a range of cold processed soap bars with excellent environmental credentials. The all-natural ingredients they contain break down without harming the environment or causing lasting pollutants.