Natural Soap Making
The art of natural soap making is all about combining the best natural ingredients with the regular process of soap making that has been practiced for centuries. Commercially manufactured "natural" soaps are hardly natural in any way, with essences being added in the name of "natural ingredients". When making soap at home, not only can you add your own ingredients to the process, you can also guarantee the quality of the ingredients as well as the characteristics of the soap based on the ingredients you add in.
For centuries, natural oils and ingredients have been used in the soap-making process and until the time that soap-making was a home-made thing, such essence-based, commercially-produced, unnatural varieties of soap were unheard of. People made soap with natural materials, using natural scents and smells and that is what you can do when you become a part of the natural soap making process in your own home.
Choosing your Natural Soap Making Ingredients
There are two basic kinds of ingredients you will use in natural soap making in your home. The first variety is part of the essential list of items you will need to make your soap. Without these, you will not be able to make soap of any kind, in your home. The second variety is the kind that adds a bit more to your soap in terms of fragrance and appearance. These aren't just for mere beautification, they are for that feeling of freshness that you demand from soaps.
Amongst the first set of ingredients, the key things you are likely to use include oils. These oils generally include the likes of olive oil or coconut oil or grape seed oil. Effectively, any oil can be used in the making process as long as they can mix together without catching fire during the heating process. However, using things like cooking oil isn't recommended because the final effect of these oils isn't really the kind you want to feel on your skin after a bath.
The other kinds of oil you can use include: Apricot kernel oil, canola oil, almond oil, cottonseed oil, hazelnut oil, lard, macadamia nut oil, jojoba oil, neem oil, palm oil, sesame seed oil and beef tallow, amongst others. Basically, the kind of oil you use will determine the kind of moisturising effect it will have on your skin. These oils leave traces on your skin, ensuring that you don't have to end up with the dryness that normally accompanies soap. The quality and overall duration of the moisturizing effect will depend on the oil you have used and the quantity in which you have used them.
Beautification Ingredients in Natural Soap Making
Coming to the second set of ingredients that are normally used in soap-making, we come to the list of additives that do nothing but add fragrances and colours to your soap. This aspect of soap-making gives you a lot more freedom because unlike natural oils that need to be added in a particular proportion, the addition of natural ingredients is completely up to you.
All you need to do is before the soap is laid to set and put away, you need to drop in your ingredients into the hot mixture, stir them around and just leave them be. There are certain ingredients like citrus fruit skins, flowers, etc. that might turn black due to the reaction with the lye. However, the thing about the natural soap making process is that you can choose to leave them in or take them out before the soap is laid out to set. In the first case, the resulting soap might have a stronger sense of smell and colour, but when using the soap, you are eventually going to reach the blackened piece of fruit skin or flower and that might put you off.
As a result, many people tend to sacrifice a little on the fragrance & colour front, instead choosing to remove these additions just before they put the soap out to rest. This is to prevent the natural ingredients from destroying the appearance of your soap. While these ingredients are completely harmless, you will find that the appeal of your soap might drop a bit once you have these elements in your soap - all changing colour.
The process of natural soap making is all about the kind of ingredients you choose and the quality of product you wish to create. If you are thinking about making soap at home for commercial sale, then you need to keep some aspects of natural soap making in mind because natural is always better. In fact, even if you are making soap for your own use, right in your own home, you are likely to find that not only will using natural ingredients give you a better final product, it will also give you the kind of peace of mind that only comes from sticking to a natural soap making process.