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The Truth about Handmade Soap, and it's No "Lye"

The other day when talking to a friend about handmade soap, I mentioned that an ingredient is lye.  He became quiet for a moment and looked confused.  Then he said, "Isn't that the caustic chemical used to make concrete?"  

I'm sure he isn't the first one to think something along those lines, so let's look at some of the facts. 

There is a huge difference between soap "made with lye" versus soap "containing lye".  The truth lies in the chemistry.  Soap is the result of a chemical reaction called saponification (sapo is Latin for soap) that occurs between lye and a fat or oil.  The result of the chemical reaction is glycerol (natural product of fat digestion) and a fatty acid salt, called "soap."  All the lye is consumed in the reaction.  So, although soap is made with lye, it doesn't contain lye.  

In fact, true bars of soap would not exist without lye as defined by the FDA.  Another question that may arise is 'Does this count as organic?'.  Lye is one of the allowable non-organic ingredients included in the USDA's organic standards.

Now that we know a little more about handmade soap, let's look at the commercial alternative.  Many products on the market today are not true soaps, just detergents masquerading as soaps.  The biggest flaw in commercial soaps is they remove that glycerol and thus the soap strips your skin of its natural oils and dries you out.  Some commercial soaps claim to have glycerin only to contain a synthetic form of it which is not healthy for your skin. Manufactures strive to lower costs and make soaps look and smell attractive to the detriment of the consumer by adding harsh chemicals, additives, preservatives, synthetic colors and fragrances.

Now that you've seen the full spectrum, let's look at the soaps from Healthy Harvest.  Our soaps come from simple natural ingredients that nourish and moisturize the skin made of Saponified Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.  The blend of oils creates a harder bar that lathers better, but still contains that high olive oil content which is so wonderful for those with sensitive skin. 

Our products are handmade by Muddy Mint in very small batches in Longmont, Colorado. The soap is cold process soap, which means the recipe is made from scratch with full control of all the ingredients. Each bar of soap cures for 4 to 6 weeks. This ensures that all the water has evaporated and leads to a harder bar of soap that will last longer.

Now that you have all the facts, love your healthy skin today!


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