I have to admit that out of all the clays on our land my most…
Nobody can rightly argue that hand crafted soap is the best soap ever. Many will advice on the different ingredient proportions to achieve the best soap but at the end we create lots of amazing variety of soaps that the industrial soap industry struggle to achieve. Most of the industrial soap is made from a handful of harsh chemicals and fragrances to help speed up the soap curing process and sometimes to soften or harden their cheap harsh oils and fats.
What makes me really sad is that many soap makers tend to copy these industrial soap makers and use many of their harsh chemicals and fragrances. I have a feeling that they do this not because its needed but because they think it makes their soap sound more professional.
At the end of the day for hand crafted soap all you need are 3 main ingredients which are oils or fats, water and lye or ash wood. Although lye is a harsh chemical it is usually made from salt. Other optional ingredients are colour, salts, quartz powders, plants powder or extracts and essential oils or fragrances. Wood ash of course would make nicer and milder soap but there is the potential of not being environmentally friendly if the wood used is not environmentally sustainable. The same for the oils best, to resource them from sustainable sources which have not damaged the environment.
Although the natural choice seems to be limited for making artisanal soap, we can really find an immense choice. For example instead of using artificial colours and fragrances which possibly can also be carcinogenic we can use lots of different pigments from clays, sands like quartz powder, wood ash, plant and flower pigments. Time can be used to cure the soap instead of using chemicals to fasten the curing process. Obviously when it comes to fragrance we have an unlimited choice of amazing natural essential oils which also help in healing the skin. For hardening the soap faster one amazing natural ingredient is salt. Many unprocessed and raw salts are also full of minerals that nourish the skin. When choosing the salt you will need to be vigilant since if the salt is washed the first to go in the wash water are all the trace elements.
So be creative and go natural with your amazing soap!