LATEST ENTRY FOR MAR 20:
TRANSFORMATIONS OF SOAP DESIGNS
Whenever I introduce a new soap, I try to do so first by making a small batch of it. I do this in order to test the product and to get customer feedback before I present the final version of the soap. As all soapers know, soapmaking is a process of continual change and education. What I mean by this is that handmade soap is a work in progress. I remember my first batches of soap were truly terrible and many of my soap designs have had multiple face lifts through out the process. A lot of tweaking takes place before I finally end up with a product that I am completely satisfied with. Even the old veterans (my oldest soap designs and those products that have been with me since the start), are still under constant evaluation to see if there is anything I can do to make them better.
As a business owner, one must be in tune with ones market and constantly evaluate any need for change. This is true for all businesses. If a little tweaking is in need in order to make a product more marketable, than by all means, please do so. I know that as soapmakers, we tend to fall in love with our designs and we feel so closely connected with them; just like they are a part of us. But if something isn't working, we should not be afraid of a little change because customers will always be looking for the latest and most innovative shiny new thing.
BLOG ENTRY FOR MARCH 10:
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GLYCERIN SOAP?
Why did I chose to start my business with glycerin soap?
The simple answer is that, as an eczema sufferer, glycerin soap is the most gentle solution for my skin. Glycerin soap tends to have more glycerin content than soap made the traditional way: cold process soap. And by cold process soap, I don't mean the commercial soap that one finds in stores. I mean handmade cold process soap that one would find at a craft show. In fact, commercial soaps tend to completely lack glycerin because it is often removed and used for other cosmetic purposes.
You might ask yourself, what is glycerin? Glycerin is a natural by-product of the soap-making process. It is an extreme humectant because it draws moisture from the atmosphere. In fact, during periods of high humidity, small beads of moisture can sometimes be seen on the surface of glycerin soap. This is completely normal and is often referred to as "sweating"; all you are witnessing is moisture beads that are removed from the air as they are attracted to the glycerin in the soap.
You might be asking yourself what is the difference between glycerin soap and cold process soap? Glycerin soap and cold process soap start off by being made the same way, a fat is mixed with an alkaline-water solution (often lye) and this starts the process of saponification (the chemical process where soap is actually created). To get the beautiful, crystal clear glycerin soap, a solution of alcohol and sugar is then added. To neutralize the effects of this, a large amount of natural glycerin is then added to the mixture resulting in a wonderful and gentle soap.
Why glycerin soap? Because of the added steps to make glycerin soap, it tends to by more gentle than cold process soap because it has a lower pH that tends to be closer to the natural pH of skin. In addition, glycerin itself is highly soluble in water and, because glycerin soap contains a ton of it, glycerin soap gently removes dirt and impurities without leaving a residue that is often found with cold process soap. This residue tends to create problems in people with sensitive skin. And, lastly, because of it clarity, glycerin soap is more malleable than cold process soap...the shapes and colors that one can create are endless.
Why MY glycerin soap? My glycerin soap is made with a coconut oil and palm oil base so it is 100% vegetable glycerin soap. In addition, before I pour the soap, I add extra butters, oils, and extracts to make my bars ultra-moisturizing, yet gentle to all skin types. Plus, my soaps are fun, whimsical works of art! Come visit my shop at www.littlesoapstore.com to see my latest creations!!
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