Also known as “handmade soap” or “homemade soap”, handcrafted soap is a blend of both science and art. By combining the scientific knowledge of the last 150 years and the artistic creativity of the soapmaker, each bar is safe, luxurious and unique.
There are several types of handcrafted soap. The actual soap can be made from scratch by the cold or hot process methods or the soap maker might utilize a ready-made soap base.
The cold process method of making soap from scratch consists of mixing sodium hydroxide (lye) with water and then combining the lye-water with one or more oils until the mixture reaches a thin, pudding like consistency in a process called tracing. At this point, you mix in colorants, essential oils, herbs, spices and pour the traced soap into molds.
Either fragrance oils or plant-based essential oils are typically added for scent. For color or texture, soapmakers often use cosmetic-grade pigments or dyes, botanicals, herbs, spices or other natural ingredients. For those with sensitivities, many soap makers also make “simple soap” with no additives or scent.
Handcrafted soap comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Soap is liquid when first made, and is then poured into molds to harden. The mold used determines the final shape of the bar, whether molded individually in uniquely shaped molds, or into “loaf” or “bar” molds which are subsequently cut into individual soap bars. Once the soap has hardened (usually in two to three days), it is popped out of the molds. It will continue to dry and cure for four to six weeks. As the soap cures, excess water evaporates and the lye and oil continue to react making the soap milder and leaving you with a skin-loving product.