Frequently Asked Questions
How is traditional soap made?
All traditional soaps are made by combining fats or oils with an alkali, such as sodium hydroxide lye. This induces a chemical reaction called saponification. First, the fats and oils are degraded into free fatty acids that then combine with the alkali to form crude soap. In this process both substances are chemically transformed when they mix together, creating soap and natural glycerin. All the lye – sodium hydroxide – is consumed in the reaction.
So, while soap is made with lye, LATHER, once in your hands, does not doesn’t contain any lye. We additionally add more oil than is required for the chemical reaction, further ensuring the neutralization of lye and adding to the soap’s moisturizing qualities. Including extra fats in the mixture is known as superfatting. The superfats in LATHER include organic olive oil, cocoa butter and babassu oil. These oils, in addition to pink clay, and regenerative essential oils make our bar very nourishing.
What is the pH of traditional soap?
All true soap has a pH of 9.5-10.5, so you may prefer to use our pH balanced PURIFY and CLEANSE on your face if you have dry skin. If you are already comfortable cleansing with a bar soap, this bar will be no more alkaline than others, and if anything it may be more nourishing.
If you are a bar lover but struggle with dry skin consider applying REFRESH mist head to toe post cleanse - this will help to prevent topical dehydration. Sealing in REFRESH with one of our oils or balms will add additional emollience and keep your skin smooth, soft and radiant.
What's the difference between hot and cold processed soap?
Hot process soap uses heat from an external source to accelerate saponification, the process by which fats and alkalis combine to create soap. While cold-process often uses heat early on to warm the base oils, once the oils and sodium hydroxide are mixed, heat from the process itself is relied on to finish saponification. Soap bars made using the hot process have a shorter cure time. Technically, it’s safe to use them once they are fully hardened - typically 24-48 hours.
Cold process however is done at room temperature. The saponified base is mixed with essential oils, and before it solidifies, it is poured into a block mold to set up and harden for 1-2 days. Once the soap solidifies, but while it’s still soft, it is removed from the mold and cut into bars. Then it has to undergo a curing process in a cool, dry place. The cure time for cold-process soap is 4-6 weeks, and then it’s ready to use.
With the cold process, soapmakers get harder, smoother soap bars that last longer in the shower and are gentler on the skin. LATHER is made using cold-process method. While a slower process, the result is a skin-compatible, nourishing bar.
Can LATHER be used on the face?
Yes, but because saponified oil soap bars have a higher pH we recommend following immediately with our pH balanced treatment products including REFRESH, RENEW and your preferred face oil.