Why Handmade Soap?
It's really all about the process. Handcrafted cold process soap, like the kind that we make, retains the glycerin that is naturally produced in the process. Glycerin is a great thing to have in soap because it's a natural humectant, attracting moisture from the air to your skin, helping to keep it soft and supple.
Commercially manufactured "soaps" (which are often actually detergent bars) tend to be drying because the glycerin is removed and then sold as a by-product to companies that incorporate it into their lotions and skin creams. Most people find that by using handmade soap that still has its glycerin, they don't need to apply as much lotion anymore.
Also, chemicals added to commercial body bars to increase lathering and shelf-life can result in dry, itchy skin. Handmade soapmakers, instead, take the time to formulate soap that naturally lathers beautifully.
Yes, palm oil is a great addition to handmade soap. It contributes to the hardness of each soap bar, and gives a lovely creamy and conditioning lather.
But we are also aware of the social and environmental impacts of palm oil production and expansion in tropical rainforest ecosystems around the world.
We are committed to only using palm oil from certified sustainably grown sources. The palm oil used in our soap currently is grown in such a way that it does not contribute to rainforest destruction, nor does it impact orangutan habitat.
All of our soap is made using the “cold processed” method, a chemical reaction discovered by ancient peoples as far back as the Egyptians. They combined vegetable oils and animal fats with ashes and cooked it to make soap.
Today, we use this same basic principle, blending the finest quality vegetable oils and butters, along with pure sodium hydroxide, or lye. The lye actually reacts chemically with the fats, using itself up in the process.
The soap is then left to cure (like a fine wine or cheese) and, in the end, the lye is gone. All that’s left is gentle, handmade soap. It takes some planning and understanding of the process, but no specialized equipment.
Sirona Springs Handmade Soap is an ancient product but updated for today. Modern chemistry allows us to formulate and produce soap in small batches with consistent quality. The use of skin-loving oils and butters means that our soap is not only getting you clean, but also protecting your skin from over-drying.
Adding purified essential oils and perfume-grade fragrance oils increases the pleasure of a daily bath or shower.
Our sense of artisanship means that attention and care is given to everything we sell. Every formula has been tested (only on ourselves and other willing human subjects) and refined. And each soap bar is cut, weighed and packaged by hand.
So while we are able to use up-to-date methods and materials, our products still retain the best qualities of Old World artisanship.
Phthalates are a large class of chemicals used in many products, from plastics to nail polish to fragrance oils. Recently the European Union (and now the United States) has decided that it would be safer to ban the use of some phthalates in plastics that are meant for children.
These kinds of phthalates are not the kind used in fragrance oils, which are called DEP. In fact, the EU and the FDA has found that DEP is safe at the levels used in soap and other personal care products.
While all of our soaps are safe to use, we note on our website which of our soaps are free of phthalates as a service to our customers who may want to completely avoid these kinds of chemicals. We also offer soaps scented with essential oils and those which have no added fragrance at all. In this way, we hope to satisfy the needs of all our customers.
Handmade soap, by its nature, is different from mass-produced soap in several ways. First, while individual bars are cut from a larger batch, each bar is designed to look unique. The pictures shown on our website are good representations of our products, but your bars may not look exactly like the photos.
Second, because no synthetic preservatives are used in our soap, bars should be kept in a cool, dry place, and away from sunlight.
And finally, if kept dry between uses (not sitting in a puddle) handmade soap will last much longer in your bath or shower.
Some people find soap irritating to their skin. There can be many reasons for this and a medical professional is the best person to give advice on what is appropriate for your skin. We can tell you that our soap is made with skin-loving oils and butters, contains no detergents and is even available unscented. Be sure to check each bar's list of ingredients for any things that may be allergenic to you.