Sunday, August 18, 2013

Are homemade lye soaps safe for your skin? Is there such a thing as a " lye free " soap as some claim?

 Why Use Lye in Homemade Soap?

If lye is a toxic poison, is it safe to use it in homemade soap?

First off, it's impossible to make true homemade soap without lye.  If you've heard otherwise, you've heard false information.  Our olive oil soaps are made with a high quality food grade lye (sodium hydroxide), not drain cleaner picked up from the local hardware store as some soaps are made.  There is a lot of misconception out there that somehow the lye (sodium hydroxide) is still left in homemade soap and that somehow home made soaps are dangerous.  If soap was made properly, there will not be any lye leftover and won't be caustic.  There is no such thing as true soap made without lye.  When the lye water and oils are mixed together and fully saponified, you are no longer left with lye water and oils but something entirely different.  A chemical reaction has taken place and you have an entirely new mixture, soap and glycerin.  People liken it to baking a cake.  You add all these different ingredients and some aren't so good by themselves, but when you mix it all together and bake it, you have something entirely new now, cake.  Glycerin is a humectant and draws moisture from the air onto your skin.  If you add more oils/butters than the lye can saponify (turn into soap), you are left with unsaponifed oils/butters and this is known as superfatting.  We superfat our olive oil soaps with unrefined shea butter, adding to a luxurious feel that is so wonderful for your skin.  The more you use our olive oil soaps, the better your skin will feel over time. 

Is there such a thing as a lye free soap?

Some claim that their soaps were made without lye and act as though that's safer or better, but they are probably referring to a melt and pour soap base or a soap they melted down from the store.  They didn't personally add the lye themselves and didn't have to handle it (so it was lye free for them), but lye was used in the making of the soap base at the factory and should be listed in the ingredients, although not required.  Most so-called soap at the store isn't true soap and didn't use lye.  Instead they are a synthetic detergent bar (syndet bar) full of harmful chemicals that wreak havoc on our skin and bodies.  Some real soaps at the store are made with cheap fats or oils such as tallow (beef fat) which make for a cheaper bar of soap that isn't as balanced a bar of soap as one with several different, conditiong oils.  They usually have some of the glycerin removed and have it sold to be used in lotions and other beauty products.  The soap from the store dries out your skin and then you have to buy lotion to try and fix it.  It's a never ending cycle.  With our homemade soaps, the naturally occurring glycerin is left in and we use top quality oils and butters to make a superior product we trust your skin will be happy about.  So, despite what others may tell you, you really want a quality homemade lye soap made with a balanced recipe, so check out Ginger Grey Soaps today!

Thanks for stopping by!
Ginger Grey Soaps

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