Our bar soap is made using the cold-process method of soap making. This involves transforming vegetable oils and butters into soap through a chemical reaction process called "saponification". Saponification occurs when the fatty acids in oils and butters come into contact with sodium hydroxide (i.e., lye). Every bar of genuine soap is made this way, whether the soap is made by a cottage industry soapmaker or a corporation.
This is my first experience with handmade soap; what differences might I notice?
For many people, their skin has adapted to the detergent bars sold in stores and it will feel quite different after using real soap. The most common difference I've heard about is due to the fact that the mass-market detergent bars actually dry out the skin by stripping off the skin's natural oils.
The skin needs a certain amount of oil to protect it from environmental pollutants. Because of the detergent bar's stripping action, a person's skin may overproduce oil to compensate for the harsh drying effect. Thus, many people consider themselves to have "oily" skin. For those with "dry" skin, the skin's natural oil production mechanism has been unable to adequately adapt and thus, the skin can actually feel quite dry as a result of the synthetic-laced bath bar, especially during the winter months.
Changing environmental factors can also cause the skin to require more water in order to remain hydrated and this translates into more water intake -- healthy skin is an inside as well as outside job. To support and supplement this action, nutrient-rich body butters and lotions can provide extended skin-contact and deliver concentrated nutrients to the chosen skin areas. The combination of water intake and quality body butters can do wonders for many skin condition.
Our soap is naturally one-third glycerin and two-thirds soap. With the naturally gentle soap and glycerin elements intact in real soap, a bar's potential drying out effect tends to be minimized or non-existent depending on the oil blend used to produce the soap.
When initially changing over to natural soap after years of using mass-market detergent bars, the skin can go through a transitional period where it seems to feel oily after bathing. since the skin's oil-producing mechanism is self-adjusting, it may take some time for this protective activity to downgrade the compensating oil production and rebalance itself. For most people, this generally occurs within 10 days though each body is an individual organism and other variables can influence the exact timeframe.
Changing from mass-market shampoos to natural shampoo bars has consistently shown a longer adjustment period, from 2 to 4 weeks. However, my hair has never felt so soft or looked so healthy as when I changed from commercial shampoos to my Bubbles & Locks shampoo bar (discontinued). The transition period was inconvenient as I had to wash my long hair everyday; but once I got through this 10 days, I was glad I followed through.
My husband experienced the oil overproduction effect when he changed from commercial detergent bars to my handcrafted, all-natural soap. It took about two weeks of using Sacred Showers soaps before his skin balanced itself out. Now he no longer has "oily" skin, a "condition" he thought he had his entire life. In hindsight, it seems evident that the detergent bars he was using (which shall remain nameless here :) were stripping his skin of its natural oil, and in an effort to protect itself from external environmental factors, his skin began compensating with heavy oil production.
Is one Sacred Showers soap better as a facial bar than another?
I personally use every Sacred Showers formula on my face as well as my body. However, everyone is unique so as in most of life, experimentation is sometimes helpful to find what suits an individual best. Consider sampling a few small bars if you want to target a specific personal situation or email us for suggestions.
None of my soaps are classified according to skin type. Everyone's skin is different and often changes from season to season -- this is "normal." Life is a dynamic event. Accordingly, our soaps are formulated to be balanced and adaptive for changing conditions rather than targeting isolated conditions.
Targeting isolated components merely requires you, the user, to purchase more specialty soaps for different body areas. Because of how we formulate our soaps, each one may actually be used as a shampoo, body or shaving bar; personal preferences will dictate actual usage. You may find one soap is more comfortable to use during one season and another soap formula feels better during another season. As with any skin care product, however, if irritation develops, discontinue use.
Tell us a little about the ingredients in the Sacred Showers soaps and how a bar is developed.
Our bar soaps are naturally produced and never tested on animals.
Additives such as clays, nut meals, honey, herbal tinctures and herbs are cosmetic or food grade. We use high quality and vibrantly dynamic flower essences, the FES Quintessentials and Healing Herbs lines, which provide distinct qualities and lend energetic support to a blend.
Fragrances are frequently derived from essential oils which contribute an aromatherapy element as well as many having distinct skin care properties. Finally, we consider vegetable oil and butter profiles in relation to the soap's concept and identity. Most soap coloring is naturally derived from its ingredients. Thus, many bars are similar in color. Other bars contain herbal coloring. I do not use mica colorants.
The soap formula is then designed and the soap making process undertaken. The creative expression is executed with all soap making elements purposely administered to create a synergistic soap bar that will provide an enhanced bathing experience complimentary to both body and soul -- holistically formulated & crafted.
Care is taken to enhance the very best attributes of each soap ingredient during the blending process, including attention to environmental factors. We think this carefully orchestrated methodology results in a noticeable difference in the bathing experience.
After more than 18 years of sharing our soaps with customers, family, friends, I think it is safe to say everyone agrees -- there's nothing else like a shower with Sacred Showers Handcrafted Soap, Holistically Formulated & Crafted -- for the benefit of everyone, including the planet!