Are you curious what ingredients go into our hand crafted goatmilk soaps? In this post, we will take a look at our key ingredients and what qualities they bring to our soaps.
Prefer to watch a video? Most of this information was included in this video on our Facebook page:
While some of our soaps have other additives (like oatmeal or coffee grinds), I’m going to focus on the base oils that show up in almost all of our soaps.
Most of us are familiar with olive oil, a yellowish liquid at room temperature. There are quite a few types of olive oil available, some coming from the olive tree and others coming from the olive fruit. We use pomace olive oil, which comes from the pulp of the fruit.
Olive oil tends to make soap soft and gentle. We love the gentleness it brings to the lather, but pair it with some other “hard” oils to give a sturdy bar of soap. Olive oil is also a source of vitamins C and E.
Coconut oil is a soft, solid at room temperature but can be easily melted to form a clear liquid. It is considered a “hard” oil and helps bring sturdiness to the soap. Coconut oil is high in lauric acid (a natural fatty acid) that brings cleansing power and a bubbly lather to the soap.
There are two types of palm oil: palm oil and palm kernel oil. Palm oil (which we use) comes from the fruit of the tree, while palm kernel oil comes from the nut of the tree.
Much like coconut oil, palm oil is considered a “hard” oil. It is a solid at room temperature and brings a hardness to the bar. Coconut and palm oil together are very cleansing, and a perfect pair for the gentleness of the olive oil.
The final oil in our soapmaking blend is castor oil, a “soft” oil that is an amber colored liquid at room temperature. Castor oil helps soaps to dissolve in water and gives them an amazing lather.
The soapmaking process requires fats (the oils listed above) to be combined with lye, or sodium hydroxide. Lye is a solid crystal that needs to be dissolved in something prior to combining with the oils. Many homemade soap recipes involve dissolving the lye in water. For most of our soaps, we choose to replace the water with goatmilk.
Goatmilk is pretty amazing stuff – full of vitamins (A, D, and B6) and fatty acids. This blend of fatty acids helps to hold moisture in to your skin and creates a soft lather.
Plus our goatmilk comes from a local farm – Bearadise Farm in Macclesfield, NC. Our kids love visiting with the goats. We use goatmilk in almost all of our soaps. The one exception is our pine tar bar, which is not a goatmilk soap.
The aroma of our soap comes from either essential or fragrance oils. Our “All Natural” bars use only essential oils, while our other bars use fragrance oils.
Fun fact – the color of our bars usually comes from the essential/fragrance oils. Compare our Burly Bar to our Christmas Cabin. The only difference between these two bars is the fragrance.
We are somewhat of minimalists when it comes to our soaps. We choose not to add the dyes and micas that give some homemade soaps their vivid colors. Instead, we focus on additives that will bring comfort and purpose to the bar.
Some of our additives are intended to be soothing, like oatmeal. Others, like charcoal, are chosen because they absorb oils from the skin or serve as an exfoliate.
We hope that this will offer you some insight into the bar of soap we offer. The blend of oils and additives is specially designed for a sturdy bar that is cleansing, yet gentle.
Finally, let’s not forget what Marie taught us. The most important ingredient is the love.