Sensible Pantry

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Q: Why all-natural, what exactly does that mean?

A: There are many benefits to an all-natural soap. One issue with commercial-grade soaps found in the big stores is that they contain synthetic ingredients. These include man-made perfumes, synthetic colorants, and chemical substances used to achieve soap qualities such as lather, conditioning, and silkiness. Think about it, do you really want to be scrubbing your delicate skin everyday with harsh unknown chemicals?

Our soap contains ONLY ingredients that are sourced from nature. No man-made substances. No harsh chemicals. We use naturally extracted oils that must be cold pressed, steam distilled, or CO2 distilled. We strictly prohibit the use of essential oils extracted with chemical solvents. Additionally, we have carefully crafted our formula of natural oils to provide the best benefits that nature has to offer. This includes the rich lather offered from coconut oil, the silky conditioning provided by olive oil, and a stable hardness found in palm oil.

Another important item to note is that during the soap-making process, when lye is combined with oil, a natural chemical reaction known as saponification occurs. One byproduct of this reaction is glycerin. When left to incorporate into the soap, the glycerin provides wonderful moisturizing properties to that soap. Most commerical-grade soaps strip out the natural glycerin and sell it as an ingredient for use in other industries (pharmaceuticals for one). This is the main reason why many big-brand soaps actually leave your skin so dry. To compensate, the soap makers will incorporate cheaper, synthetic moisturizers to help combat that shortcoming.

Our soap-crafting process leaves all that good natural glycerin right in the soap, giving you all the benefits of the high-quality, naturally moisturizing properties that nature has to offer.

Q: Your ingredient lists include the term "saponified" oils. What are they?

A: When an oil is combined with lye, the 2 substances are converted into soap through a natural chemical reaction known as saponification. So for example, saponified coconut oil simply means that coconut oil was one of the base oils used (along with others) in making the soap. It now exists in the soap bar as a saponified (converted-to-soap) oil.

Q: Do you sell soap that doesn't use lye in its production?

A: You cannot have soap without lye. Regardless of what you may have seen in marketing or on packages of other products, the fact is simply that you don't have soap if it was made without lye. You might find some bars on the store shelves labeled as a "moisturizing bar" or a "lotion bar". That simply means it was produced by some means other than lye, and so it isn't labeled as soap.

Q: What's the difference between your soap formulas and vegetable glycerin soaps that I see on the market?

A: Some soap "crafters" that you might find at small craft shows and farmer's markets, or even at the local neighborhood Mom & Pop shop or farm stand are selling vegetable glycerin soap. This is also known as "Melt & Pour" or "M&P" soap. The crafter is basically purchasing a clear and unscented pre-made soap base, melting it down, adding their own fragrance and colorants, pouring it into a mold, and then selling it as homemade soap. One problem with this method is that you don't know what is in that pre-made soap base. Since the crafter didn't make it, there is no quality or ingredient control over exactly what went into it. Vegetable glycerin is a byproduct of biodiesel production, and while it is natural, and it helps to make a nice smooth soap base for the "Melt & Pour" product, it is not a substance that can be saponified. So the soap base has to be initially made with other ingredients besides the vegetable glycerin, which would include oils and lye. So be careful and keep this in mind if a crafter tells you that their soap is lye-free. That essential tells you that it is an M&P soap, and the seller likely doesn't even understand what they are selling.

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