What's your drive?
I love the alchemy of soap, the fascinating way in which nature's goodness is transformed through an exothermic reaction to produce soap that is 100% natural. This soap is a must have beauty product as it is super-kind to skin, protecting the epidermis with a layer of natural glycerine that helps to keep the skin hydrated all day long. Ideal for all the family and respectful of the planet too.
I adore the delight in creating soap art by using natural substances and plant extracts to unleash a stunning colour palette that transforms soap into something luxurious and beautiful, a pure moment of delight.
I'm passionate about teaching others the ancient art of cold-process soap-making; that's why I established the Centre de Formation SAF (Saponification a Froid which is french for cold-process soap making) where a range of dynamic courses are on offer at all levels.
You say your soap is natural but isn't Sodium Hydroxide a chemical?
One of the key elements of cold-process soap-making is the use of sodium hydroxide, an akaline chemical substance that reacts with acidic plant based oil and butters to create soap.
Without this alkali, soap can't be made and the trick is to ensure that no sodium hydroxide remains in the finished soap as it will be caustic and dangerous.
When formulating a recipe, a reduction between 5 and 8% is calculated to achieve a lower quantity of sodium hydroxide needed. What this means is that between 5 to 8% of the plant oils and butters used in the formula remain "free" and unsaponified. This reduction is called "super-fatting" and gives the finished soap super skin hydrating and nourishing properties. The exothermic reaction stops once all of the sodium hydroxide has been "consumed"
You talk about real soap so what's the difference between shop bought and yours ?
Great question ! When is a soap not a soap? When it is industrially processed from cheap vegetable oils, such as palm oil, and/or animal fats with added petro-chemical derived surfactants and other such poo.
These products, such as your shampoos, body washes and house-hold cleaning products are DETERGENTS and as such, they cannot, by law, be marketed as SOAP.
Heres an example : take the DOVE brand of "soap" from Unilever. Notice that on the box, this detergent is cunningly concealed as A BEAUTY CREME BAR. Now take a look at the ingredients listing (in latin) in a tiny font and you'll see some strange, unpronouncable product names that translate into chemical additives, many of which are petro-chemical based.
Detergents not only dry and damage the skin (and hair) sometimes leading to irritated and cracked skin and in extreme cases, dermatological issues such as acne.
Only soap, such as produced by small artisan soap makers through the traditional method of cold saponification, can be marketed as soap.
What's your view on organic ?
I'm not a fan or organic products and whilst many of my raw materials used in my soap formulations have organic provenance, I am not convinced that such materials are 100% organic and here's why:
Bees, insects and other small beasties cannot distinguish between organic and non-organic fields. They fly where they want, they crawl where they want. The potential for cross contamination during pollination is therefore high.
Rain falls on organic and non-organic fields. The run off from an non-organic field into an organic field cannot be prevented (unless you tell me otherwise) thus the running water has the potential to contaminate.
Many of my competitors offer 100% organic products and some have certification from organisations such as SLOW COSMETICS or NATURE et PROGRES to attest to such, for a fee.
You will have your own opinions about the organic movement, but I don't subscribe to the ideology (not yet, anyway) hence why I never promote my soap as having an organic provenance.