The use and manufacture of soap started as long ago as 2200BC in Babylonia. Today the handmade soap process essentially remains the same.
A traditional cold pressed soap is made by combining fats or oils together with lye, a solution of caustic soda dissolved in water. The fats and oils used may be derived from animal or vegetable sources.
Lavinia's collection of soaps are manufactured with high quality vegetable oils. We use coconut oil, palm oil (sourced from ethical palm oil plantations that practice responsible and sustainable palm oil production) and olive oil. Ingredients such as essential oils or fragrances, natural clays, honey, flowers and oatmeal may be added to create our individual soaps.
The soap making process is called saponification, in which the glycerol and fatty acid components of the oil are acted upon by lye to make a mixture of soap and glycerin. Lye is a solution of caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) dissolved in water. Once the soap has been saponified and matured, no caustic agents will remain. This process ensures the glycerin is retained unlike certain commercial soaps. Retaining the glycerin makes a softer, milder soap which is emollient and moisturising to the skin. The bubbles from such soap are small and fine but plentiful.
One of the benefits of a traditional cold pressed soap is that there is usually an excess of oil or fat used in the process of saponification. This leads to an effect called “superfatting”. This along with the retained glycerin creates a soap that is far more skin friendly and has better moisturising properties.
Our cold pressed soaps are cured for a minimum of 4 weeks and up to 8 weeks. This method produces a white hard soap, which hardens further as it ages. All cold pressed soaps are long lasting if they are allowed to dry between uses. If left in a dish with water this soap will dissolve quite quickly due to the retained glycerin content. Storing cold pressed soap in a soap rack is ideal.
The benefits of natural glycerin rich soaps, are many. Cold pressed soap may act as a humectant, drawing moisture from the air to your skin. It is ideal for those with sensitive and delicate skin, it does not strip the skin of natural beneficial oils.
Cold pressed soaps are a bathing treat, creamy on the skin and delicious to use. The return to traditional soap making methods is certainly a positive step for your well-being. Don't you deserve soap that is