So many people are used to the commercial soaps in the stores that natural soaps can be a bit of a change for them. It's like people being used to Wonder Bread trying to switch to a loaf of homemade sourdough. It's different. Very different.
What's so different about my natural soaps from commercial soaps?
1. It is harder to scent natural soaps and keep them natural. I use natural, oil-based fragrances, herbs and essential oils to scent my soaps. But you can't use too much or else it can be irritating to the skin. Unlike heavily, chemically fragranced commercial soaps, the scent doesn't really stay on the body, either. But, as a friend of mine's soap-making grandmother used to say, "soap is supposed to take stink off your body, not put it on!"
2. Natural soaps aren't as hard. It's the chemicals in the commercial soaps that harden them, and cheapen them, and make them last longer. It's also the chemicals that strip our skin of all the goodness it needs to be healthy.
3. Natural soaps leave a different feel to the skin. I don't know about you, but I grew up in the era of oil is BAD for skin, especially oily and acne-ridden skin. I was told the only way to get rid of my acne and oil was to avoid oil, to strip my skin and cover it in caustic chemicals to dry everything out. I just ended up with dry, peeling, acne-ridden skin that turned into an oil slick on top of the dry, peeling skin. Commercial soaps strip the skin and leave nothing but chemical warfare behind. Natural soaps cleanse the skin and leave nourishing nutrients behind through the oils used in the saponification process. You can feel the difference.
4. Natural soaps cost more. Yeah, unfortunately, they do. But like the Wonder Bread/Homemade Sour Dough bread example, it really is apples and oranges. The highly nourishing ingredients I use in my soaps don't come cheap. Organic coconut oil is the largest expense, but the most vital ingredient, I think. Organic coconut oil is not only extremely skin-nourishing, but it helps create hardness and rich lather to a soap. Are you paying for commercial chemicals, or God-created nourishment?
I am considering a line of less expensive natural soaps for the budget concious, but it is hard to compromise on what fats I could use and still get a natural, nourishing soap.
So, yes, natural soaps are not like store soaps. Like a loaf of fresh, homemade bread out of the oven, they are better!
The season of a difficult pregnancy and a year with a newborn baby and first time homeschooling has passed and I have reopened Seasons Soapworks with a new line of all natural soaps! Check out my etsy shop at:
While all eyes were on Irene heading for NYC and Long Island, no one imagined what Irene would do to Upstate New York, Vermont and Northern NJ! I've posted some pictures of the devastation. Below the pictures I'll write about an opportunity for you to help through Seasons Soapworks.
This is the home of the brother of a friend of ours. The water nearly completely covered his home and swept away or destroyed everything. The rush of the waters blew out his front and back windows/doors and washed away his belongings.
This is Old Fort Johnson. There was 5 feet of standing water inside the first floor. Thankfully, they moved the artifacts out of harm's way.
This is Lock 10 on the Mohawk River just east of Amsterdam. The lock is badly damaged and the south bank where the lock houses were is nothing but a sink hole now.
This is Guy Park Manor, built in the late 18th century.
Seasons Soapworks has collected rain water from Hurricane Irene (not roof run off) and is making soaps from it. The soaps will be sold to raise money for my local friends who suffered damages and losses from the flooding. 100% of the profits from the soaps will go to the following people:
Ms.C's house was flooded almost to the first floor, the basement completely flooded out. They suffered some property loss, too, but thankfully they are one of the lucky ones who's house still stands. She has 2 young children.
Mr.N is the one in the first picture who's house was destroyed.
Ms.L is a friend of mine who lives not too far from her. Her rental home was still surrounded by water 2 days afterwards. She lost most of her personal property and one of her two cats. She is displaced and now owns two changes of clothing to her name.
I will also gladly collect any monetary donations through my paypal at email@example.com. You can specify in the notes to whom or where you'd like the funds to go. Please put Hurricane Irene in the note, so I can clearly see that this is a donation.
I will collect gift cards (Walmart is the most common store around here, but we also have a Target, Price Chopper, Lowes and Home Depot). These gift cards will go directly to these 3 people. You can specify to whom, if you wish. You can send gift cards to:
c/o Kateri Scott
321 Swart Hill Rd.
Amsterdam, NY 12010
Thank you for your kindness and considerations. Please pray for those who've lost so much.
I will be making soap from my sister's breast milk soon. Apparently, mother's milk put into soap is good for your baby's skin. It makes sense. Breast milk is great for rashes, cradle cap and other such infant issues.
However, I do understand that there are mixed emotions about making soap out of breast milk.
On one hand, it can be beneficial and personal for mother and baby to have that option at bathtime. Something natural, and as close to mom as possible for baby to bathe in can be comforting and healthful.
On the other hand, others may feel that breast milk is best served INSIDE baby rather than outside and any extra "liquid gold" should be given to mothers who cannot breast feed.
Granted, it only takes 4 ounces of breast milk to make 6 bars of soap. Still, I understand that breast milk is not a thing to waste. But is it wasteful to use on baby in the bath? It depends on your personal feelings and I TOTALLY RESPECT both sides of the issue.
I would NEVER collect breast milk to sell for profit as a novelty soap. I repeat: NEVER!! To me, that is a blatant waste , an ethical nightmare, and a terrible way to profit. However, I am kicking around the idea of offering to make breast milk soap for mothers who do want it for their baby's bath. Personal use only! Your breast milk for your use.
The soap would be made from organic unrefined coconut oil, sweet almond oil and extra virgin olive oil and only as much food grade sodium hydroxide as needed for saponification.
Would this be something mothers would be interested in? Or do you think it crosses a line?
I value your opinion, but please keep comments civil, understanding and respectful. I know full well that this is a hot button issue.
Remember in my Waste Not blog post, I talked about the batch of soap that didn't harden properly? I wish I knew what I did wrong because I want to repeat the error! Not only does it make a great liquid hand soap, but I made a wood floor cleaner out of it, too! I took half a cake of the soap and smooshed it into an empty bottle. I added water enough to dilute it quite a bit so that it can squirt out. I added some olive oil and for scent, some vanilla extract. Now, I can't wait to wash my hardwood floors!
Most commercial soaps are meant for only one thing. So you have to buy a bar (or liquid) for your hands, another for your face, another for your body, shampoo for your hair and shaving cream for your legs. While my soaps can be body-part-specific, they don't have to be. The peppermint infusion soap is great for tired feet. The rosewater soap makes a great facial soap. Why, this morning, I grabbed a bar of goat's milk lavender flower soap and literally washed myself head to toe with it. I used it as a shampoo, a facial scrub, a body wash, and even for shaving! Soft, smooth, no nicks or burn, tangles or dry skin!