What is 'Real' Soap?


| 1/9/2019 10:36:00 AM


Goat Milk Soap

What is soap? Real soap, by definition? Let me nerd out for a second and explain: soap is a fatty acid salt. To make soap you must emulsify an alkaline solution {lye} with fats/oils {goat milk, coconut oil, olive oil etc.} to cause saponification. Saponification is just the chemical reaction between the alkali {lye} and the fats {oils}. Saponification results in the salts of fatty acids and a humectant, glycerin. Then you have REAL soap that works by mixing with water to create micelles {tiny spheres that grab dirt} to wash particles away. Sodium Hydroxide lye is used to make hard soap where Potassium Hydroxide lye is used to make liquid soap.

While ‘lye’ is a big scary word to many people, most aren’t aware that lye is actually made from wood ash. So while it can burn you and you do need to take safety precautions when working with lye, it is nice to know that this chemical does have natural origins. Through the saponification process, all of the caustic qualities of lye are eliminated.

Why should this matter to you? I get the question often regarding my goat milk soap "will this actually clean?" Not only will it give you a great cleansing, it will leave your skin in better condition and more hydrated when compared to commercial 'soap' from the store.  Why? The big name brands we all know from the store aren't soap at all, they are almost always detergents!

Goat Milk Soap



Detergents are made of synthetic cleaning agents, and tend to be a bit more harsh to hold up to hard water. They rarely contain natural oils or glycerin, or very little of it, and almost never use lye which is required for the chemical reaction. Detergents tend to strip away all traces of oil with synthetic lathering agents. While this may be beneficial if I’m in need of a harsh cleaning agent, it’s not what I want when I’m washing my face.

Speaking of washing your face, how many of you need a makeup remover in addition to your facial cleanser? As ‘detergents’ usually don’t contain oil, they have a hard time dissolving oils in makeup. Why? Because of the chemistry rule ‘like dissolves like’. The real soap contains oil, the makeup contains oil. Therefore, both being non-polar substances, the real soap will dissolve your makeup without requiring any additional solvents. They are ‘like’ each other. So to simplify- when I use real soap, not detergents, I wash with soap only and all traces of makeup are gone. Or face paint, or grease, or most any other type of hard to remove substances.

mogan john
1/15/2019 3:53:38 PM

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