· By Kenneth Harris
What is Cold Process Soap?
After a long, stressful day at work, there is nothing better than coming home and taking a steaming hot bath or shower to relax the tension away. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we have to make our physical and mental health and well-being a top priority. Using PennyBella soap bars, with their rich lather, tantalizing scents, and silky softness, can make your bath time truly rejuvenating. All of our handcrafted soaps at PennyBella are cold-processed. Not sure what cold-processed means? Curious about our creation process? We’ve got answers for you!
What’s Cold-Process Soap?
Cold-processed soap is made by combining oils and fats with sodium hydroxide (lye) and water. The only heat added in the process is melting any solid oils or fats. Some heat is also released (in an exothermic reaction) when dissolving the sodium hydroxide flakes (lye) in water. Once any solid oils or fats have been melted, they have to cool slightly before adding in any liquid oils or fats required. Then the lye solution is added to the oils and fats. This is where the term “cold-process” comes from. Adding the lye solution to the oils and fats starts a reaction that produces soap (a salt of fatty acids) and glycerin. This reaction is called saponification, and, because no heat is needed for the lye solution to react with the oils and fats, the product is considered “cold-processed.”
PennyBella’s Cold-Process Process
At PennyBella, we use the same base recipe for every loaf of soap we make. Organic avocado, organic canola, castor, and rice bran liquid oils are mixed with solid organic coconut oil and organic fair-trade shea butter that have been melted together over low heat. Our lye solution is made of sodium hydroxide flakes, dissolved most often in water, though we have used goat’s milk, aloe vera juice, tea, and coffee in select loaves! Cruelty-free Tussah silk and kaolin clay are also added to the lye solution in every loaf for a luxurious bathing experience. After mixing the oils and lye solution, loaves are then customized with fragrance oils or essential oils; colorants, either skin-safe manufactured mica powders or natural colorants like clay and activated charcoal; and additives like botanicals, which you’ll see decorating the tops of many of our bars, and exfoliants like sand, walnut shells, oatmeal, poppyseeds, loofah, and more. The customization process is where our creativity shines, and we hope to bring our customers beautiful and whimsical products that make your skin feel soft and your bath time the self-care ritual it deserves to be!