- Simply Soap
- Decorative & Glycerin Soaps
- Specialty Items
- SOAP SUDS
Welcome to Skinsations Handmade Soap and Bath Products!
I first tried soap casting, or glycerin
soap making in 1999 as a rainy day project with my young son. I
have always loved scented soaps and bath products, but have sensitive
skin and often had allergic reactions. I also was wary of the list
of unpronounceable ingredients on most of the products offered in
stores. I found that I could use handmade soaps and glycerin soap
without any problems. As time went on, I did more research and began making my own soap from scratch. I found that I really enjoyed the process, working with the fragrances and colors and creating beautiful, yet useful soaps. I also added other products such as lip balms, body butters and milk baths to the product line. All recipes are my own creation and the result of many hours of trial, error and research.
Q. What is soap?
A. Chemically speaking, soap is the sodium (or potassium) salt of a fatty acid. When a fatty acid (fats such as tallow or live oil), is mixed with an alkali (a substance that corrodes, such as lye) the fat splits into 2 parts- fatty acid and glycerin. The sodium part of the lye joins with the fatty acid to become soap. This process is known as saponification. Simply put~ Oils + Lye = Soap. You can not make soap (of any kind) without lye (sodium hydroxide) or potassium hydroxide (used to make liquid soaps). However, once the chemical reaction takes place the lye is no longer present in its alkaline form. As a matter of fact, it has now turned into something very pleasant and wonderful.
History of soap:
Soap making can be traced back to as early as 2800
B.C.. The first evidence of commercial soap making can be found
in ancient Rome. The ancient Celts also were know for making soap.
This early soap was likely made from goat tallow and wood causticized
wood ash and was used mainly for cleaning textiles such as wool
and cotton. While public baths were popular in Rome, soap was not
used for personal cleansing. During the Dark Ages, the making and
use of soap fell off drastically and wasn't fully revived until
around the 13th Century when France joined Italy and Spain in the
production of soap. Due to its availability olive oils were used
in the southern regions while to the north, beef tallow was more
commonly used. Colonists in the New World found it easier to make
their own soap than to have it imported. Soap was usually made once
a year at butchering time to utilize the animal fats and ashes that
had been gathered from the hearth. This soap was generally a very
soft soap, stored in barrels. Lye was made by running rain water
through wood ash and was tested by dropping an egg in. Depending
on if the egg sank or floated indicated whether or not the lye was
strong enough or too strong. It was difficult to get good results
and this soap was often very harsh. Salt was a rare and expensive
commodity, but if available could be added to the soap to make it
harder. Since then, soap making has evolved. Instead of wood ash,
we have sodium hydroxide (lye) or potassium hydroxide (used to make
liquid soap) and have formulas that tell us the proper ratios of
oils to lye to get consistent results. We also have a wider variety
of oils and fats, as well as exotic butters to choose from. Most
commercially made soaps today are actually detergents, or petroleum
based rather than animal or vegetable based.