Soap, what makes it soap...
The two main ingredients that produce soap are oils and the alkaline solution aka sodium hydroxide mixed in water. Sodium hydroxide (lye) used by itself is a harsh caustic compound, but when the two agents are mixed together a reaction call sponification occurs. The result of saponification is soap. The sodium hydroxide dissipates during saponification and there is no lye left after a few days. The soap bars "air cure" from 4 to 6 weeks allowing them to harden and air out.
All cp soap is formulated this way. If it's not made with water, sodium hydroxide and oil, it is not soap.
Why does my soap look and feel so good?
The process of soaping is a science, meaning water and oil must be weighted out to exact measurements. Temperatures should be at a certain range. High end handcrafted artisan soap must be thought out, tested (over and over and over) then verified; 19 years of practice.
Cold process is the method I use. There are other methods of making soap but I like this way because it allows the soap to process/cure in a natural way. The longer the soap cures, the more it lathers.
Various oils, percentage of superfat and additives all bring distinctive characteristics to soap. I compose a blend of oils and additives suited for the type of soap I am trying to achieve (sensitive skin, for babies, facial, spa or soap for the entire body.
Adding extra oil(s) to your batch produces a moisturizing soap bar. I prefer to use superior oils and butters (Sweet Almond, Rice Brand Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, etc.) while superfatting because it adds luxury to the soap. It also adds moisture to the skin without inhibiting the amount of lather the bar produces.
The list is endless and it depends on what outcome you are trying to achieve by adding various elements such as aloe vera, avocado, Brazilian clays, buttermilk, coconut milk, goats milk, colloidal oatmeal, dried flowers, black walnut hull, (exfoliant), herbs, honey, hemp oil, neem oil, lavender, rose buds, sea salt, various teas, tussah silk, etc. The list goes on and on...
I only use organic essential oils and/or fragrance oils in my scented soaps.
I prefer to use natural colorants such as alfafa powder, alkanet root(red), beet root powder(red), curry power(yellow), bamboo activated charcoal(black), Brazilian clays (various colors). Hungarian paprika(orange), kelp powder, indingo powder (dark blue), madder root, nettle leaf(green), organic cocoa powder (makes a rich brown), spirulina powder(dark green), turmeric powder( gold & orange), If I am making a soap that requires a distinct color I use oxides, mica's, (made of natural earth minerals that have been purified and pulverized into fine powers). These colorants are skin safe and can be used in soap and cosmetics.
All of my ingredients are handpicked from reputable merchants in the industry; I have purchased from these merchants for over 19 years.
The final product is soap. Made from scratch with love.