Soap making methods...
Melt and pour method - This is a pre-made soap base which is melted into liquid. Then extras such as soap dye, essential oils, and herbs are added. The soap is poured into a mould and left to harden. Its ready the next day.
Hot process method - This method is similar to the cold process, but heat is used to speed up the saponification process. This method was historically used through the years with women making the soap over an open fire. The advantage to this is a quicker curing time. The disadvantages are getting it into the moulds and taking it out of the moulds.
Pre - batching method - also known as the milled method it involves shredding soap, re melting and then adding additional ingredients. It is quick and easy. It is essential to know how the soap shredded was made and by which process. This is used by many soap makers to redo a batch of soap that hasn’t turned out right.
Cold process - This process involves making a soap base from scratch. With this technique it is known exactly what ingredients go into the soap. This soap uses Lye (Sodium Hydroxide) and it produces a chemical reaction called saponification. This combines all the soap ingredients, oils, butters and essential oils. The soap cures for 6 weeks and during this time the Lye and water evaporate so it is not in your soap after the six weeks.
The Isle of Harris all natural soap company use the Cold process method in order to be able to use all natural and organic ingredients and have control of the temperature process. It allows us to use natural oils, butters, essential oils along with ingredients like sea salt, oatmeal, fresh coffee, and our personal favourite - organic honey.
Soap ash / in the air - This happens when the soap reacts to the carbon dioxide in the air during the initial saponification process. It is a covering on the soap which is harmless . Some soap makers spray 99% isopropyl alcohol on the soap to stop it. Some put it in distilled water to wash off and polish up. Some steam their soap to polish it up. I like my soap just as it is . Some of my soaps have soap ash just on the top which someone described as 'snow' which I loved . My Orange and olive oil has it all over which I see as a blanket around the soap to protect it until it is used.
Each batch of soap I make is entirely unique, which is why I love making soap . Each batch is special and I wouldn't have it any other way
A little note on Glycerin...
Glycerin is naturally produced during the soap making process. Glycerin is a natural skin softener and maintains moisture on the skin during the day. Many mass-produced soap companies take the glycerin out of their soaps to put into their creams and lotions. These soaps can sometimes make our skin dry and flaky.
Benefits of homemade Vs mass - produced...
It lathers so well and moisturizes the skin due to the butters, oils, and glycerine.
You will recognize all the ingredients and don’t have to google to find out what is written on your packaging.
The essential oils have healing benefits to you and your skin.
Natural and organic soaps benefit many skin conditions because of the natural ingredients.
There are no synthetic chemicals, fragrances, or detergents. Just as we should watch what goes into our body so should we look at what goes on to our body.
Why essential oils...
Artificial fragrances have no benefits to the skin and Isle of Harris all natural soap company wanted only organic, natural soap. That is why we decided to use essential oils, as they are natural, have healing properties & smell divine...
Lavender – calming
Orange - anti-inflammatory
Tea Tree – antibacterial
Lime - prevents signs of aging
Black pepper - calming and relaxing.