I started making handmade soap on a lark, its a long story. We have a farm, a barn, but no animals. I want animals, hubs does not. He has many allergies and I really can't blame him (sort of), he couldn't be in the barn with them, and he loves animals, especially goats. We also have a lot of WEEDS! So I had suggested many times, we should have some goats, to control the weeds etc, goats would have babies, there'd be milk! "What are you going to do with goat milk" he asks, "well I could make soap", I say. I was kidding (get it), but then I got thinking, handmade soap wouldn't be a bad idea, with all those allergies, hubs has itchy skin, especially in the winter. So knowing absolutely nothing about making soap, I scoured YouTube for videos, you know, just to see how it's done....well literally after watching one video about making goat milk soap, an obsession, a passion, was born. I bought books and read, and read more, watched more videos, you get the idea. All of that was 3 years ago, and there's been no stopping me! I had never used handmade soap before my own, and it was an epiphany, how did I not know about this? I quickly discovered the difference between handmade soap, and store bought 'bathing product', which by definition is detergent, not real soap at all. The significant difference between the two is glycerin, it is a natural by product of soap making that remains in handmade soap. Commercially manufactured 'bathing product' starts as real soap, but the glycerin is removed for it's own value, which leaves you with a drying, detergent. Surfactants are added to increases lather etc, as well as artificial fragrance and colour, the combination can be very irritating, and the chemicals are worrisome. The glycerin in handmade soap is a humectant, meaning it attracts moisture, so it helps to keep your skin soft and supple, as well as the fact handmade soap, when made correctly, should be very gentle, and can be very helpful for people with sensitive or problem skin.
I make 'cold process' soap, meaning, the old fashion way. Precise amounts of oils and lye (yes I said lye, you can't make soap without it) are combined, blended, other skin loving additives may be added, like oatmeal for example, and left to saponify, that's the scientific term to describe lye turning oil into soap. When this process is complete, the soap is now solid, is cut into bars and must cure for several weeks before it should be used. Making soap has taught me many things, but especially patience. There's no rushing the laws of nature, but a properly cured bar of soap, the older the better, is a thing of beauty in the shower, and your skin feels amazing! When used with a poof, nirvana! So while you may pay a little more for a great bar of handmade soap, once you try it you'll know it's worth every penny. And be forewarned, you'll never go back to store bought 'bathing product', your skin won't allow it!
Thanks for reading, bfn, xo
Well I have finally taken the plunge to start, 'the blog'. For awhile I've basically been using my Facebook business page as a blog, but I'm tired of being used and manipulated by Facebook's punitive algorithms, basically holding me and my whopping 154 'Likes' hostage, unless I pay to 'boost' as they like to call it, so my followers can actually see my posts. So here I am and enough about that, let's get going! I'm learning about this blogging thing as I go, so be patient with me.
I make soap, by hand, from scratch, the old fashioned way. It's called Cold Process soap making, meaning no external heat is applied during the process. Soap makes it's own heat, but that's a whole other blog post. Soap is made with oils, butters and lye. Yes that's sodium hydroxide, caustic soda, whatever you want to call it, but you can't make soap without it, no matter what you've read or heard. Another day, we'll talk about that.
I've been making soap for about 2 1/2 years now, and what can I say, I love it! Everything I do, I'm thinking about soap, what to make, how to make it, there's always something new to try. When I see pictures of certain food, i think it's soap, when in fact, it's a pretty, layered dessert of some sort! Inspiration for the next soap is everywhere. Every inanimate object is a potential mold. I could go on but you get the idea, it's a passion, an addiction, for which there is no rehab, thankfully.
I've made this passion (addiction) a business, which I intend to take as far as it will go. You know the expression, 'when you love your job, you'll never work a day in your life', no truer words were ever uttered :) By for now, and thanks, xo