The Magic Ingredient
We know you want the best for your health and wellbeing. Did you know there are more benefits to using handmade soap than just the cleansing aspect? But before we get to that …
When shopping for food, you look for organic, locally grown produce and carefully check ingredients on boxes of dry goods. What about attention and care of your skin — our largest organ? Most of us have been using the same soap for years. When ticking soap off our grocery list, we probably habitually reach for our go-to bar of soap without checking the ingredients. Soap is soap — right?!?
Commercially made soap contains chemicals, hardening agents, synthetic lathering agents and cheap chemically derived fragrances that are harsh and drying to your skin. The first three ingredients in a popular commercial bar of soap are sodium lauroyl isethionate, stearic acid, lauric acid. Handmade soap by comparison contains only oils, water, lye and naturally occurring glycerin, all of which are moisturizing and gentle to your skin. When using handmade soap, you’re essentially feeding your skin healthy oils and glycerin, which attracts moisture from the air and keeps your skin hydrated.
If you look at the last ingredients in a bar of handmade soap, you’ll often see a list or blend of essential oils (the magical ingredient included) — oils derived from the distillation of plants that retain the natural fragrance or essence of the plant.
When first taking a whiff of a bar of our lavender soap, you’re actually taking in the collective aroma of half a bush of lavender flowers. To fragrance a full batch of our soap, it takes 29 bushes of distilled lavender flowers.
When essential oils are inhaled they may stimulate your sense of smell, have medicinal effects when absorbed, or be beneficial for various health issues. They can actually be a very powerful healing tool when used properly in the right amounts, effecting everything from inflammation to your moods to your appetite and more. For instance the lavender essential oil we use in our Lavender soap promotes relaxation and treats anxiety, fungal infections, allergies, depression, insomnia, and eczema.
It is important to remember that essential oils are extremely concentrated and not meant to be used directly on your skin. You can make a dilution of 2 to 3 drops of lavender essential oil to at least 2 teaspoons melted coconut oil. Keep a container of diluted lavender oil handy to apply to your face to unclog pores and reduce inflammation after washing, or to prevent wrinkles. Or apply that same dilution to burns a few times a day to help alleviate pain and swelling. Better yet, combine a quarter cup of aloe vera juice, 2 tablespoons of distilled water, 10 to 12 drops of lavender oil and jojoba oil in a glass spray bottle, shake and spray onto your sunburn, or create a sanctuary in your home with a few spritz’s to bring a sense of calm. This is just scratching the surface of the myriad of uses, combinations and attributes of essential oils. Look for future blogs to read about the healing properties of many of our other soap blends.
The next time you shop for your bar of soap and see the magic ingredient - essential oils - you’ll know that your soap not only cleanses you, but feeds and nourishes your skin, mind, body, and spirit.