Despite the presence of industrial soaps, natural soaps made by hand, i.e. by cold saponification, have many advantages for the skin. This type of cleansing care is used as a complement to the other care products of the daily beauty ritual. Focus on the steps to take to preserve it properly.
What Is Cold Process Soap?
Saponification is a simple chemical reaction between a fatty substance, vegetable oils and butters in our case, and an alkaline substance, soda (sodium hydroxide) for solid soaps and potash (potassium hydroxide) for pasty and liquid soaps. This reaction will lead to the release of two elements, glycerin and soap:
Fat (oils, butters, fats) + strong base (soda or potash) = soap + glycerin
This soap making process can be done hot, by associating external heat to the process, or cold, that is to say at room temperature or lower. At Typology, we have chosen to proceed with cold saponification in order to preserve as much as possible the properties of the oils used. By definition, cold saponified soap (C.S.S.) is an artisanal soap, obtained without the intervention of an external heat source, and whose manufacture is based on the conservation of the oils it contains. Moreover, this type of natural soap is most often "supergreasy", either thanks to the addition of vegetable oil at the end of the process, or thanks to the reduction of soda, which means that there will remain a potion of unsaponified oils in the finished soap. This "super-greasing" will make the soap softer and the unsaponified oils will provide nourishing and softening properties to the skin. At Typology, we practice an 8% soda withdrawal from the oil's saponification number (the amount of soda needed for the oil and soda to be fully consumed) which varies from oil to oil, even for oils of the same nature.
Fat (oils, butters, fats) + strong base (soda or potash) = soap + naturally present glycerin + excess of non-saponifiable vegetable oil (over-greasing).
How To Store a Cold-Saponified Superfatted Soap?
If the cold process soap has not been used yet, it should be stored in a dry place, away from light, humidity and heat. In fact, it keeps very well for months or even years. However, it is advised, as far as possible, to use it in the year of its production. Indeed, even if it can in principle be preserved for a longer period of time, this natural soap is a product devoid of texture agent and chemical preservative. Moreover, with time, the odor released by the essential oils fades. This does not change the quantity of your soap.
Once started, cold process soap is often criticized for seeming more fragile than traditional soaps. Indeed, because it is superfatted, cold process soap softens much faster if it does not dry properly. Nevertheless, there are tricks to prolong the life and preserve the qualities of your soap. When you start to use it, it is important to encourage its drying between uses. We recommend placing it on a perforated soap dish, which allows water to drain and the soap to dry. Also, store it away from splashing water. Also, don't leave the soap soaked in water. Running the soap under water to get it wet and then washing it is a bad habit.