Our company has set out on a quest to educate consumers on the soap making process, its ingredients and how the finished product (the soap) benefits the skin. Soap benefits? you may ask, yes soap can add benefits to the skin to keep your hydrated, clean and moisturized.
No Lye No Soap!
First lets talk about soap. Soap is made from mixing a blend of oils with sodium hydroxide (lye) in order to formulate a bar that offers its cleansing benefits. The chemical reaction of making soap is called saponification, this just means that the process is complete and that the lye and oil molecules have combined and chemically changed into soap and glycerin. Because glycerin is a natural humectant it draws moisture from the air and onto your skin, causing the beautiful moisturizing properties.
The most two popular and widely used ways of making soap is called the cold process method and the hot process method, both are extremely different but beautiful in its own way. I will explain the differences below. At Kmoni Cosmetics we used the Hot process method of creating soap. Oh the Joy! but the tedious.
The hot process method essentially means that the soap is being cooked or directly heated in order to speed up the saponification process by cooking the lye and oil mixture together. Sounds easy right? well not so much, because the process is being intentionally heated to speed up the saponification process, it requires a ton of technique, patience and watching. This soap making process can become a big volcano soapy mess if its not attended too. However the benefits of utilizing this process is astonishing. Unlike cold process soap, once the soap is cooked and fully saponified, there is no traces of lye present and only needs a cure time of a few days to a week for the bar to fully harden. The texture and appearance of hot process soap is usually slightly thicker more rustic in appearance with often times beautiful ridges on the top to accentuate their process.
Cold process however is allows the lye to be neutralized without any outside sources of heat, called “curing”. During this time it allows for more of a gradual saponification of usually about 4-6 weeks for it to bind and become soap. As the soap “cures” the lye present is used to break down the oils into their cleansing chains, as the water slowly evaporates. The end result of cold process is usually a beautiful smooth firm bar of soap.
The benefits of using handcrafted natural soap is astonishing. For an example, our company researched various plant based oils and how they benefit the skin. Different oils offer different benefits, but what we realized is that we wanted a well rounded bar, with a rich lather and moisturizing properties. Many of our soaps contain what we call the trio blend of oils, this include palm oil, coconut oil and olive oil. Our oil blend helps provide a harder bar of soap with moisturizing skin loving benefits. They are non drying and helps aid in a deeper clean. We love this trio.
Both techniques are amazing and their own way, and seasoned soapers have their preference!