Thursday, April 18, 2013

Oops I Did It Again, So Here Come The Emails

My Brain Cramp

Last week I wrote my article on Dove Skincare products and their marketing escapades.  I then went on to mention what real SOAP is and how I love to use it on my skin.  Well the emails started arriving in my inbox asking me what type of soap do I use and can recommend.

I can't believe I forgot to post a link to the company I simply love.  With all that goes on in my life, trying to find balance with work, play, exercise while listening to my iPod, and blogging, sometimes my brain cramps and I fail to present the logical, simple thing....A WEBSITE LINK!

Instead of answering each and every email, I opted to put it out in my blog, so it will reach everyone that reads it.  For those of you that wish to try truly remarkable skin quenching soap with the use of only saponified butters and oils for a wonderfully rich moisturizing experience, then SARVA Soap is the one and only in my book.

I have been using her soaps for more than 4 years now.  Michelle Gilbert is an independent hand crafter and has created an excellent skin loving, luxurious bar of soap.  I have tried many of her different soaps, and no matter my selection, I have never been disappointed.  Do I have favorites?  Of course, but they are not always available, depending on her manufacturing status.  But I can always find an equal substitute that is just as wonderful.

Peruse SARVA Soaps and see what your next favorite soap will be.

Higher Alkaline On The Skin

Some have also asked about the higher pH on soaps, making them tend to be more alkaline and creates worry this will cause issues for the skin.

The saponification process requires lye to create your luxurious soaps and this is why it is extremely important to find a soapmaker with the talent of precise measurements like Michelle Gilbert of SARVA.  

A talented cold-process soapmaker first looks up the saponification value for each unique fat on an Oil Specification Sheet for each fat.  Oil Specification Sheets contain laboratory test results for each fat, including the precise saponification value of the fat.  The saponification value for a specific fat will vary by season and by specimen species.  This value is used to calculate the exact amount of potassium hydroxide to react with the fat to form soap.  The saponification value must be converted into an equivalent sodium hydroxide value for use in cold process soapmaking.   Excess unreacted lye in the soap will result in a very high pH and can burn or irritate skin; not enough lye leaves the soap greasy.  Most soap makers formulate their recipes with a 2–5% deficit of lye, so all of the lye is converted and excess fat is left for a gentler soap.

So basically you are left with a highly super fatted soap with no lye residual which is what causes the skin irritation that commercial brands complain about.  Although these complaints are not accurate by any sense of the word when using a properly cold processed soap.

In fact, once a soap comes from the mold it is safe to use the soap since saponification is in essence complete. However, cold-process soaps are typically cured and hardened on a drying rack for 2–6 weeks before use. During this cure period, trace amounts of residual lye are consumed by saponification and excess water evaporates.

I have never experienced any skin irritation so her saponification process is down to a science, plus she also emphasizes her time frame of curing is more than 3 weeks before sale.  This further hardens the soap and the pH continues to drop through the curing process.  And believe me, I have experienced the burning of natural soaps from other hand crafters due to an imbalance of ingredients, but NEVER with SARVA.

Giver her a try, her soaps are fantastic for the body!  As always I still recommend NOT using soap on the face as a rule, but if you prefer it, then go for it.

BONUS: She also typically throws in sample soaps to try with every order.

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  1. Hi Katherine,

    Just wanted to thank you for your wonderful review of Sarva Soaps... again! I can't tell you how much I appreciate your loyalty. It's a pleasure reading the words of someone who knows what she is talking about, and your experience and expertise show in your writing. For that reason, your recommendation to your own customers means even more to me. Thank you for your balanced stance on labeling, product claims, ingredient integrity, and more.

    Sarva isn't a big company, as you rightly point out, and I relish the "old fashioned" idea of a real relationship between an independent craftsperson/merchant and a small, loyal family of customers. If I've brought a few moments of sensory pleasure and pampering to your day, I've done my job!

    Many blessings to you -

    Michelle Gilbert
    Sarva Soap Co.

    1. You're most welcome Michelle, and Thank You for such wonderful soaps. I'll keep my eye out for Purity, just love that soap. I see you have Ritual again. I'll be getting some of that too. Shoot me an email when your soaps are cured, because I am standing in line waiting with bated breath and sharpened senses, anticipating enjoyment of the subtle fragrances that fill my steamy shower.