I wanted to find a soap that might help me with my psoriasis, and was not having much luck so I decided to have a go at making my own. Now I am letting my artistic side have fun.
All of my soap is made by combining oils such as olive oil, palm oil, coconut oil and butters like shea and cocoa, with sodium hydroxide or lye and water to cause them to become saponified. When the oils and lye have reacted fully they are no longer oils and lye but become soap.
When I cold process soap, I mix the ingredients together then pour the soap into moulds and leave them to set.
When I hot process soap, I use the same recipe as the cold process but ‘cook’ the soap until it has been through the full saponification process. Hot process becomes very thick and cannot be poured into a mould like cold process can be and because of this it gives it a more rough and rustic look than cold process does. Although they are both beautiful soaps to use they do look a bit different.
I now use a recipe that has Shea butter in it for almost all of my soaps. Shea butter is mainly unsaponifiable, and so remains as Shea butter in the soap. I add Shea butter to my soaps because it is such a good moisturiser for the skin. I use olive oil because of it’s gentleness when made into soap. I add coconut and palm oil to my soaps because they make very good bubbles. I just add other ingredients to the scented and coloured soaps. It has taken me quite some time to perfect my recipe and I am very happy with it.
My psoriasis has long gone and that was through a combination of no longer using anything that has sls (sodium lauryl sulphate) or sles (sodium laureth sulphate) and also from using my own body butter. Although sls and sles are fine for some people to use I am just not one of them, and I would recommend to anybody that has skin issues to try it out for themselves.
sls and sles were originally made to clean diesel engines with and when there was a shortage of fats and oils during the second world war, these detergents were used in place of soap. For me gone are the days when I could not pass a door frame or sit in a chair without scratching my back against them!