Did you know that each bar of soap that you see in my store has taken at least 6 weeks from start to finish? Traditional cold process soap making is truly a labour of love and a game of patience. Many of the soaps that I make can actually take an additional four to six weeks if they contain infused oils. Infused oils are made when you add a raw ingredient, such as botanicals or root powders to a light oil, they can be made using a hot oil process or a cold oil process. I prefer cold oil infusion over hot oil infusions, as I just believe that this is the more natural and gentler way to infuse the goodness of botanicals into my oils. For example, in my Chamomile Swirl body bar I use an oil infusion of dried chamomile flowers into one of the oils that is contained in my recipe, in this particular bar I also use organic chamomile tea instead of distilled water. Oil infusions not only impart the properties of the herb but can be used to colour the soap as well.
Each recipe is carefully thought out and then additives and fragrances are selected to best compliment the oils, butters and other ingredients that are contained in the initial recipe. Once I have finalised a recipe I can then batch it up, this is perhaps the shortest part of the whole process, once the soap is molded, then it goes through a gel phase, and can then be removed from the molds. This part often varies, dependent on the ingredients that are contained in the recipe. Some ingredients, such as milks, honey, witch hazel extract, salt and other additives can either cause the soap to harden quickly or remain quite soft. So unmolding can vary from a couple of hours to a few days. The soap bars are then cut before they are placed on the drying rack to cure for a minimum of six weeks. Some of my bars are left even longer, for example my salt bars are often on the drying rack for at least ten weeks.
When adding a fragrance to my soap I use only 100% natural, and where possible organic essential oils, sometimes the only fragrance I give a bar is the natural scent of the oils and butters that are contained in the recipe. I will often try to match the colour of my bars to compliment the scent of my soap. I am just starting to experiment more with blending my essential oils to give a fuller more complex aroma, I hope to have a few of these available in the new year. I also leave certain bars unscented, especially if I have formulated them to be for more sensitive skin types.
All my body and facial bars are made using the traditional cold process method that has been used for centuries. Using this method I can make beautiful natural bars that can be sensitive, cleansing, exfoliating, moisturising, clearing and even lightening to the skin. My facial bars are all very carefully formulated to cater to specific skin types and conditions, ranging from dry to oily, sensitive, problematic, ageing and normal. By including or excluding differing base ingredients in combination with varying additives I am able to create products that are not only natural and gentle to the skin, but are effective in dealing with many issues that we all experience with our skin.
My shaving and shampoo bars are not formulated the same as the body and facial bars, but use different methods. My shaving bars are made using a hot cold process method, which is a bit of a contradiction I know. This method makes a bar that is a lot softer and produces a rich moisturising lather, it also is a method that takes a lot more time and concentration to ensure that the end results turn out right. But, as with my body and facial bars, the ingredients are plant based and natural, the essential oils I choose for my shaving bars are aimed at the preferences of the male population and tend to be woody, earthy scents. My shampoo bars do not fall into the cold process method at all, so I will not go into the making of them here, but may save them for a future post.
I hope that this post has given you a little more insight into how my body and facial bars are made and the time and care that I dedicate to the making of all my products. I would like to remind you that the main focus and goals behind my brand and products is to offer an alternative to the chemical based skincare and to show you the sustainable options that are zero waste and more importantly plastic free.