Archive for February, 2008

Why is Glycerin Important?

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

Glycerin is a humectant.  One molecule of glycerin is created for every three molecules of soap. Commercial soap makers remove the glycerin from their soap and sell it to the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. With Soap Alchemy’s Natural, Hand Crafted Soap however, all of the naturally occurring glycerin remains in the soap.

Our Soap Alchemy Soap is naturally softer as well.  You may be able to “dent” the soap with your finger.  You will notice that when our soap is freh it will draw moisture from the air into small beads that will make the soap bar’s surface wet.  Both of these traits indicate that the soap has a high glycerin content.

What does Glycerin do for your skin, well it helps keep more moisture on your skin and that’s a good thing!

Lye in Soap?? WHAT?

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

Did you know when Hand Crafted Soap is properly made and cured, the soap no longer contains lye?  The chemical reaction has converted the alkali (lye), water and oils and fats into saponified oils and fats and glycerin, resulting in a mild, pure Hand Crafted Soap.

All soap is made with lye, or more correctly Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH). Sodium Hydroxide is a very strong alkali, about pH 14. Although we don’t normally think of it, Olive Oil, and other vegetable and animal oils, are technically considered acids.  Well, to be precise, they are triglycerides.  That is 1 glyceride and 3 fatty acids, hence tri-glyceride.  Here are the details of soap making and the process called Saponification.  When you take a strong alkali, Sodium Hydroxide and mix it with the fatty acids, you end up with a Sodium Salt of that fatty acid, what we all call soap.  As long as the amount of lye is balanced to the fatty acid, no extra lye will exist once all of the chemical reactions complete!

Can you make soap without using lye?  No, sorry about that.  Its a chemical reaction and that is the way it works.  Often a label might list Sodium Olivate, which means the saponified olive oil, which is from mixing lye and olive oil. They are listing the result of the reaction, not the ingredients that went into the reaction.  So, yes, all soap is made with lye.

By the way, you do need to use water in the reaction.  Water caused the NaOH, lye, Sodium Hydroxide, to dissociate, sort of break apart.  The Na, Sodium, floats around in the water and the OH floats around in the water.  With out the water, that wouldn’t happen.  Its in that state that the chemical reaction occurs, converting the triglyceride, into soap.  The end result is glycerin and sodium salts of fatty acids.  Isn’t that cool?  Its chemistry!

Basic Castile Soaps Great for the Whole Body

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

Made with a base of Soybean, Olive, Palm, Palm Kernel, Cocoa Seed Butter and a touch of Jojoba Oil, The Soap Alchemist at Soap Alchemy has created a line of soap with a simple, yet healthy, clean feeling. Great for you entire body, hands, face and hair.  Basic Castile Soaps … Simple and Clean.

At Soap Alchemy, we use only the best vegetable oils and essential oils when formulating our soaps. Nothing goes into a batch of soap that we wouldn’t want to put on our bodies. No Synthetic Fragrances. No Added Coloring. If it isn’t necessary to making a great bar of soap. you won’t find in in any of our soaps. The Basic Castile Line is Certified Vegan and is currently offered in the following great varieties: Unscented, Lemon Zest, Ginger, Patchouli, Lemon Eucalyptus, Rose, Rosemary, Lavender, Crushed Grape Seed with Citrus, Foloral Citrus, Cedar, Unscented Oatmeal, Mint Oatmeal, Peppermint Oatmeal, Lavender Oatmeal and Vanilla Oatmeal.