What is Soap?
Soap is created when a chemical reaction between a “fatty acid” (vegetable oils or animal fats) and an alkali solution are combined. Fatty acids are a combination of vegetable oils and animal fats and the alkali solution is a combination of sodium or potassium hydroxide and water. There is no free lye remaining after the lye and the oils have reacted and created the final product soap.
The Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild defines soap as “the final product must foam and lather, be used for cleaning and be in a form commonly understood to be “soap”. Cold and hot process soaps are made by mixing oils, lye and water. “Melt and Pour” soap is made by the use of a commercially produced soap base which may or may not contain detergents. Both products qualify as “soap” for this organization. ”
Why Handmade Soap?
Handmade soap is exactly that; made by hand. The creator knows exactly what is being added to the soap. They are made with vegetable oil and/or animals fats for their skin care properties. The soapmaker will often include additives to the soap for their healing, exfoliating and esthetic properties. Though the soaps main function is to cleanse many of the ingredients added are included because of their benefits to the skin. The final product if further handcrafted by the creator with regards to packaging design.
The Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild defines handcrafted as “a soap is deemed to be “handcrafted” if a majority of the time, energy and processes used in its creation are “by hand”. In the case of cold or hot process soap the “by hand” part might be in the recipe, mixing, measuring and molding. When a soapmaker chooses to use a pre-prepared soap base, the “by hand” part might be in the artistic design, scent and color.”