Frequently asked questions about Natural Soaps

 

Can I shampoo my hair with your soap?
Can I use your soap as a facial cleanser?
How long will my bar of soap last and will it lose its fragrance?
How can you incorporate fresh fruit and vegetables in your soaps without using a preservative?
Are your soaps safe to use on sensitive and hyper-sensitive skin and can they be used on babies and children?
What is the difference between your soap and the transparent glycerine soap that many companies have on offer, does your soap contain glycerine?
What are the different methods of soapmaking?
What is saponification and does your soap contain caustic soda?
Are your products suitable for vegetarian and vegan lifestyles?
Are your products or any of the ingredients tested on animals?
Are your products safety assessed and do they comply with legislation?
I have tried olive oil soap before and although it felt good on my skin afterwards, it did not lather very well, in fact I found it to be quite slimy. Is your soap like this?
Are your soaps pH balanced?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The main ingredient in our soap is olive oil that contains a large percentage of oleic fatty acid. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid. It has the formula C 18 H 34 O 2 (or CH 3 (CH 2 ) 7 CH=CH(CH 2 ) 7 COOH). Oleic acid comprises of approx 60%-80% of olive oil. What this means is that olive oil is a skin regenerator and a natural humectant, drawing moisture from the air, keeping the skin soft and supple. The resultant soap that olive oil produces when saponified is very mild and gentle. We then add a little Virgin Coconut oil that boosts the lather, making a rich, copious, incredible lather that is like a cold cream and leaves the skin conditioned and silky.

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Yes! Our soaps make fantastic solid shampoo bars. This is one of the things that gives us great satisfaction. It is absolutely horrifying to think of the millions of plastic bottles that are used to encase detergent based shampoos. These are based usually on a detergent called sodium laureth sulphate or sodium lauryl sulphate. They are harsh for the skin and have been banned in many countries because of their potential carcinogenic destructive effect for the body. Our soaps are a perfect package for washing the body in the shower or bath, also as a brilliant shampoo. Please note that you will need to wash your hair a few times to get rid of the congestion and residue that detergent shampoos leave. You will find after this that your hair is soft and full, most people don't even need to use a hair conditioner afterwards.

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Yes! Many people are afraid to wash their face with soap because it leaves them dry, tight and uncomfortable. The reason for this is that many soaps are harsh, they contain heavy fats, such as Palm which are comeogenic [block the pores]. We do not use Palm oil in our soap, it is usually used as a cheap filler in many soaps, it's also surrounded with much controversy because much of it is farmed from the rainforests and although some companies claim that they buy Palm from sustainable sources, this is a very dubious subject. Also many soaps contain artificial, synthetic chemical fragrances and dyes which are also left on the skin and create problems such as dry skin and allergies. All our soaps are fragranced with natural essential oils and coloured with plant based colours and natural clays. The lather is rich and creamy but is easily rinsed away, leaving the skin clean, fresh and conditioned.

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This depends on how often you use it, it is important that you allow it to drain well after use, on a soap-dish or drainer for example, and not leave it in water. Due to the way we blend and incorporate the essential oils into the soap, they are well anchored and will last for a very long time. We have bars in our stores that are 2 years old and still smell great.

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This is one secret that we cannot reveal, but after years of research and experimentation, we are one of the few companies who can do this without the fruit and vegetables going bad within the soap without the use of any preservatives.

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Olive oil makes the mildest and gentlest soap that is possible to create. It is possible, though rare, for an individual to develop an allergy, even to natural substances. This is the reason why we list all the ingredients in our soaps and also we produce a completely unfragranced, uncoloured bar from the first pressing of the olive for customers who want to use this type of soap.

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Nearly all of the transparent glycerine soap that is produced on the market today is detergent based, it is not true soap - it is a "syndet" bar i.e. syn = synthetic; det = detergent. This glycerine soap is produced by mixing a cocktail of chemicals, detergent and petrochemicals to produce a clear bar that looks attractive but can be very drying for the skin. The actual natural glycerine content of these soaps is good, but because of the inclusion of detergents needed to create the lather, the beneficial properties are cancelled out. This glycerine soap is bought in, ready made, simply melted, has fragrance and colour added to it and is poured into a mould. This is not soap !! It is important to note that in the traditional, cold kettle process method of soapmaking that we use, that vegetable glycerine is produced naturally during the saponification process.

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Basically, there are two methods of soap making, cold process and hot process. Quite simply, cold process method is a way to make soap without applying any extra heat. It is impossible to make really "cold" soap because soap is the end result of a process called "saponification" [see explanation earlier] where oils and fats are combined with an alkali, produce a salt [soap] as the final product. This type of chemical reaction is exothermic, in other words, it creates heat naturally with exterior influences. The alkali used for soap making is sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and a "lye solution" is the alkaline liquid made by dissolving pure NaOH in water. Because the soap heats up naturally during saponification, it does not reach the extreme temperatures that hot process soap making create artificially. The most important factor in our opinion for choosing a cold process method is that the delicate and precious fatty acids of the oils used in the recipe are kept intact. In the hot process method, the soap is "cooked", either in a double boiler or oven and the saponification process is forced to occur. The soap is boiled in some manufacturing processes for days [e.g. The Marseille method], so you can imagine, there is no goodness left in the end product. It can be compared to cooking vegetables, if you steam or stir fry vegetables gently, you benefit from the vitamins and minerals that they contain, if they are boiled ferociously for a long time, all the nutritive elements of the vegetables will have disappeared. The other method of soap making, which can't really fall into either of these categories, is when companies buy in soap "noodles", these are a ready made soap base, usually a mix of palm and coconut oils but also animal fats (tallow) are used. The noodles are melted, fragrance and colour are added and they are extruded into bars or various fancy moulds. Most modern commercial soap is processed at high temperatures in a vacuum, which speeds up saponification for faster product turnover. Commercial soaps are often harsh, leaving the skin dry and itchy - why? mainly because of the lack of glycerine. Glycerine is so valuable in other cosmetic and food applications that soap companies realised that they could make more money selling the by-product of soap than the soap itself. In order to compensate for it, and to make a longer lasting product, freshly cooked soap is extruded between chilled steel rollers, then shredded and chipped, plasticisers are added to make the bar hard and shiny, then perfumes and dyes are added to make it look attractive, along with preservatives so that it has a "forever" shelf life, then pressed back together under tremendous pressure, compacted into moulds and eventually packaged in pretty paper. This is commercially known as "milled soap". Often these soaps contain animal fats, look out on the label for "sodium tallowate" - this is lard [iuk] !!

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When oils are mixed with the alkali - caustic soda [sometimes called lye] a process called saponification takes place. Oils are composed of fatty acids that require a certain amount of an alkali to saponify them, or change them into soap. This is a crucial part of soap making and when formulated correctly and professionally, there is NO lye left in the finished soap. But . you cannot make soap without lye.
No lye - no soap !!

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Yes! All our soaps are suitable for vegetarians, some of the soaps are not suitable for vegans i.e. Greek Yogurt Berry Castile, Honey & Cinnamon Castile, Chocolate Castile as they contain some animal derived ingredients that are not acceptable for the vegan lifestyle e.g. dairy products, honey.

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Absolutely not !!!

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It is not legal to sell soap without these. All of our products are tested and are certified to current European legislation.

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No, our soap is not like this, because we add a small amount of Virgin Coconut oil to our recipe, to ensure that the lather is luxurious, creamy and abundant.

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Real soap, made by a skilled, professional soapmaker, has a pH of between 9 and 10. It is a complete fallacy that the skin must have pH balanced products, because it doesn't matter what you wash your face with, a healthy skin will re-balance itself naturally within an hour or two. The only way that the pH of soap can be lowered, is by adding chemical detergents [e.g. SLS - sodium lauryl sulphate] to it and that is why large commercial companies sell their so-called "soap" bars with a low neutral pH of around 7.5. These bars are not real soap and can be harmful and drying to the skin, creating problems such as allergies, eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.

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Andalucia Natural Soap Company S.L 2009