Have you ever asked yourself, “how good is my soap?” Not just how good the advertisements say it is, but how good is it really? Many companies claim that their products contain all natural ingredients, which may not be false. However, what nutrients do those “natural” products offer? Have you ever stopped to consider how certain soaps obtain their color? Is that neon pink soap that you love really all natural, or was that fluorescent color created by man-made ingredients? There are some key items to consider when choosing the right natural or organic soap. We’ve used our due diligence to create a list of all the things you should look out for when choosing a soap that’s right for you.
What To Look For When Choosing The Right Organic Soap
What Is The Soap Base Made Of?
The most important item to consider when choosing a soap is what the core ingredients are. A key ingredient that you should stay away from is palm oil. Palm oil is used often in cooking as well as in various beauty products. Although it’s used by many, palm oil is not sustainable which is why we don’t use it in any of our handmade soap. Due to palm oil’s popularity, many rainforests have been destroyed in efforts to collect this product. At From Earth, we opt to use oils such as coconut, olive and also shea butter in our soaps.
Is it Cold Pressed?
Coldpressed soap offers the most in terms of nutrients. It is arguably the best method of soap making. Coldpressed soap contains ingredients that are carefully extracted to ensure all of the nutrients remain intact. This process is time-consuming, which is why many companies chose not to use it. We, however, feel that the end result is worth the extra time it takes to prepare it.
Does My Soap Also Contain Cold-pressed, Organic oil?
As mentioned, choosing products that use ingredients that were cold-pressed is key in choosing a good natural soap. We know the benefits of using quality ingredients. All of our Australian made soaps are created with only organic cold pressed oils. When choosing a soap, picking a product with organic ingredients is just as important. Organic plants aren’t treated with harmful pesticides and chemicals. Non-organic plants get sprayed with many pesticides and sadly, many of these chemicals do not simply get washed away when we clean our produce. These harmful chemicals often times end up being ingested or applied to our face and skin when we use products that don’t contain organic ingredients.
How Was The Soap Colored? Is it Natural or Artificial?
Many soap manufacturers will offer consumers eye-catching, brightly colored products. While these products are very appealing to the eye, we must consider where these colors or dyes come from. Many soaps that claim to be completely natural will often use artificial colors. Due to the fact that we do not know what these colors are made of, it would be wise to steer clear of products using them. In all of our handmade soap, we opt to use natural methods of coloring. We use natural ingredients such as herbs, clays, dried roots, and other botanicals to color our soap made in Australia.
Is The Fragrance Really All Natural?
Many companies make their soaps using artificial fragrances that are made from tons of chemicals. For example, I’m certain many of you have seen or perhaps have even used a “coconut scented” soap or body wash. Well, I hate to be the one to burst your bubble, but there is no natural coconut fragrance. Coconut is not manufactured into an essential oil. The only way to enjoy the natural scent of coconut would be to use it in its unrefined state. We use much of the latter in many of our body butters. Unfortunately, you can not smell this scent in a soap.
To err on the side of caution, opt for soaps made with essential oils and if possible make sure they’re organic. All of our soaps are made from pure essential oils that are great for your skin, body and also mind. True essential oils are not only natural, but they are also longer lasting than artificial fragrances. Many manmade fragrances are unbalanced and can sometimes give you a headache or annoy your senses. On the contrary, with our products, you can smell the difference. Rather than possibly giving you a headache, our natural fragrances might actually provide relief to headaches or other ailments.
All of the natural fragrances used by From Earth are made from potent oils that have been distilled from only natural sources such as lavender, peppermint, and rose geranium.
Cold-Pressed vs. Hot Processed
Hot process soap making
There are 2 methods in which you can make soap. The two methods of soap making are hot process and cold process. The majority of manufacturers choose to use hot processing to create their products. With this method, manufacturers are able to create soap from scratch and have it ready to ship as soon as the next day. Now, in theory, the latter sounds like a no-brainer, however, there is a downside to hot process soap making. Hot process soap making involves heating oils to a temperature above 80 degrees. At this temperature, all of the vitamins and nutrients are destroyed and precious oils are robbed of all their benefits.
Cold process soap making
At From Earth, we only use cold process soap making. However, before beginning the soap making process it is important to consider the type of oil being used. In order to really get all the benefits from cold process soap making, it is also ideal to use cold pressed oils. If cold pressed oils aren’t used then the product won’t really do you any good; considering the fact that all of the essential nutrients have already been boiled away. On the contrary, our Australian made soap will always, only contain “the good stuff.”
When making soap via cold processing it’s imperative to keep the temperature of the oil below 70 degrees. As previously stated, this is vital in order to maintain all of the good nutrients in the oils. The next step is to mix your oil with a combination of lye and water. This combination allows the ingredients to bond together. The last step is allowing the mixture to cure for approximately 4-6 weeks. During this time the soap will harden and the lye (caustic soda) will evaporate out of the soap. It’s also important for us to measure the pH levels of the soap as they cure. Measuring the pH is done to ensure that the soap is ready for use.
Okay, It’s Natural, But Will It Lather?
Contrary to what some may assume, natural ingredients can provide just as much lather as other manmade items. Some of the best lather of our soap made in Australia are made with coconut oil. Coconut oil creates a lovely, moisturizing lather that doesn’t feel rubbery on the skin.