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How Handmade Soap is Created

We live in a mass-produced world. It’s the manufacturer’s response to a consumer-driven society. Unfortunately, mass-production doesn’t always equate with high-quality, carefully selected ingredients. This will never be the case for KIND soap company products. Every handmade soap and skin care line is created with purpose, quality, safety, and care. It’s the standard we set. And it will not change. Ever. The process takes time. Small-batch production allows us to create soaps, lotions, scrubs, and specialty products that are nourishing, never compromising.

There’s an art to crafting handmade soaps that are sudsy, moisturizing, and gentle. Because you deserve to be pampered, we’ve also taken care to create luxurious, fragrant products. (We also create unscented bars for sensitive skin conditions, such as eczema.) Ever wonder how we make our KIND bar soaps? The process is one part science, one part art, with an extra touch of love.

Step One- Gather Ingredients

Not all handmade soaps are created equal. We begin by gathering oils and fragrances that are naturally and sustainably sourced. These include:

Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)– This is caustic salt. Simply put, this is the ingredient that turns oils and butters into soap. (it’s also used to make soft pretzels!)

Olive Oil– This rich emollient penetrates the outer layers of skin, delivering antioxidants and plant sterols to nourish and restore skin’s moisture.

Palm Oil– Our palm oil is organic, sourced from a roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified producers. Palm oil is famous for making handmade soap harder (to hold up against the rigors of washing).

Coconut Oil– Coconut oil restores skin’s youthfulness, thanks to loads of the antioxidant CoQ10. This element of our natural soaps energizes your skin’s cells to produce collagen and elastin. It’s also helpful in creating the bubbles!

Shea Butter- If your skin could talk, it would ask you to use shea butter daily. With healthy doses of vitamins A & E, known for restoration of cells, shea butter lavishes the skin with the moisture it needs.

These ingredients are the foundation of our bar soaps. But we’re not a boring natural soap company… we’re here to spoil you with healthy, safe, nourishing, and luxurious ingredients. We continue with natural fragrances made from nature’s most indulgent plants. From rose distillate to vanilla beans, we choose these elements because they are pleasing to the senses and beneficial for your body.

Step Two- Get Your Science On

Because sodium hydroxide is a caustic raw ingredient, measuring and handling it correctly is important. Measuring a precise amount using a digital scale, we dissolve the lye in distilled water (or goat’s milk, or beer, etc.). This process really kicks up the heat! In fact, when lye and water are combined, temps can reach up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next, we move onto combining our moisturizing oils. Based on our lye calculations we measure specific amounts of oils. Olive, palm, and coconut oils and shea butter, (and depending on the formula, other ingredients like cocoa butter or beeswax) and add them to our lye water.

Then chemistry starts to do its thing. Saponification, the process where lye makes a chemical reaction with oils (a base and an acid), and creates heat and binds the fats to the sodium. This is where soap is born. (Awe, isn’t it adorable?!)

But what about the caustic lye? Once the sodium hydroxide is combined with oils and fully saponified, it is no longer harmful. Just as two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen become water, lye and oils make a new chemical compound: soap.

Once combined, we stir until we begin to see ‘tracing’, the act of the compound thickening. (Think meringue.) At this point, we’re ready to get creative. We gently stir in the goodies: oats, honey, essential oils, or flowers are added to achieve specific benefits.

Step Three- Let it Chill

The concoction has been created. Now it’s time to pour the liquid soap into molds to harden into beautiful handmade bars. After about 24 hours, our soap babies are ready to come out of their shell. Although it’s tempting to send our little creations out into the world, they’re not quite ready at this point. Several weeks of curing are required to finish the evaporation process, resulting in a mild, hard, long-lasting, super-lathery bar of soap.

At KIND soap, we wrap our bars in materials that make the least amount of ecological footprint upon our earth. It’s part of our Three Pillars of KINDness.  Our goals are to always be KIND to your skin, the earth, and others.

When you buy handmade soap from KIND, you’re not only getting a gentle cleanser, you’re getting peace of mind. While the thought of making your own may sound enticing, we’re always here to provide pampering, safe, nourishing soaps and skin care products that you can feel good about using.   

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