Cold Process involves combining oils, fats and lye water at approximately the same temperature, hand mixing until "trace" is obtained (when the soap maker can see 'traces' of the stirring utensil in the thickening batter). When the materials combine and become thick, the result is known as 'saponification'.
Once trace is obtained, scent and add ins are dissolved into the mixture. The mix then gets poured into carefully prepared molds. After 24 - 48 hours, the soap logs are cut into bars. The bars then sit in a dedicated space which allows air to flow around each soap bar to 'cure'. Curing involves aging the soap until the correct Ph is obtained, all of the water has evaporated, and the soap bars are hard.
Curing time for handcrafted cold process soap is typically anywhere from 4 weeks to 3 months (the latter is my personal ideal). A genuine castile can take 1 - 2 years.
Now, industrial, mass-produced soap uses high powered fans to 'cure' the soap, after the beneficial glycerin is stripped away and sold separately. Both of these steps speeds up the curing process, but ultimately results in a far inferior product.
Proper aging will make soap harder, yield a creamier, more bubbly lather, but prolonged shelf life may result in a compromised, weaker scent. In other words, the soap gets better and the scent gets weaker.
The cold process method is time consuming and a labor of love (and a little alchemy), but the results are like no other.
Why choose handcrafted, cold process soap over other types of soap?
1). Handcrafted, cold process soap allows the lovely vegetable glycerin to stay in your soap bar. Industrial soap siphons off the glycerin and sells it as a by product.
2). Many people are advised to never use soap on their face. Why? Because industrial soap is DETERGENT - lacking the humectant, conditioning and all important glycerin.
Good, handcrafted, cold process soap, with carefully chosen oils, fats and additions is as mild as any luxury facial cleanser (or moreso) and extremely good for your skin (provided that there is little to no scent - preferably from essential oils, not fragrance). Personally, I do not use scent on my face.
3).The cold process soap maker has complete control over the oils and fats that go into the recipe. Angelic Soap has a preference for food grade, organic, seed and plant oils. This is true luxury for your skin! A good example is our "Vata Ayurvedic Organic Cleansing Bar". The recipe features organic avocado, jojoba, palm, coconut, sweet almond and raw sesame oils, organic raw shea butter, French mild clay, organic turmeric and goldenseal. Angelic Soap never uses a pinch and claims that this is an ingredient. Copious amounts of luxury oils are our distinction.
Angelic Soap uses different recipes for different skin types and seasons. It is never a one recipe fits all soap with different scents.
It is with good reason that many, many clients write to me that 'Angelic Soap' is the best after they try other brands. "Vata Ayurvedic" is our #1 best seller!
Those are just three very basic reasons to always purchase handcrafted, cold process soap.
We will explore more in future blog posts, such as the different types and attribute of soap - triple milled, melt and pour, hot process, superheated, etc.