Although this might seem like a strange subject to write an article about, it is one that is near and dear to my heart, and I want to give you some positive insight on something that we all (hopefully) use; soap.
Now, let me give you a bit of history. I went to a Summer Faire and Country Market at the historic Ramsey House back in Knoxville, Tennessee in the late 90’s. A woman was there demonstrating how to make handmade soap. The process was intriguing! I found it fascinating that you could mix oil, water, and sodium hydroxide (lye) together, add in some fragrance and produce a luxurious bar of soap. Using the handmade soap proved to be even better than watching it being made. After switching and using the handmade soap for a week, my skin started glowing, and the dryness on my knees and elbows went away. From then on, I was hooked. I started making handmade soap, and it is all that my family has used for the past 16 years.
You see, most of the soap that you see at the store isn’t technically “soap.” It is a detergent. It will get you clean, alright but it also strips your skin of its naturally occurring oils. That is why you get that squeaky clean feel, but you may also have dry skin, and sometimes a rash along with the use of store bought detergent soap.
During the saponification process (that’s a fancy way of saying soap making) two products occur when fats and a strong alkali are mixed, they are soap and glycerin.
Commercial soap makers glean the glycerin from the soap to use in other products. Natural soap makers keep that glycerin in the bar. The naturally occurring glycerin along with the carefully chosen oils such as coconut and palm are the reason that you skin feels and looks so good after using handmade soap.
Many of my customers have reported that their eczema and psoriasis have calmed by using Sweet Harvest Homestead’s soap. That makes my heart sing to know I have helped someone! On a recent business trip that my boys took with my husband, my middle son broke out in a terrible rash all over his torso after showering. He sent me a picture of his red back and belly and texted “Mama, I wish I brought your soap, this soap here in Mexico gives me a rash.” Poor fellow. Happily it went away after he stopped using that harsh detergent on his skin.
If you are happy with the soap that you currently use, keep on using it. However, if you are prone to skin irritations and don’t like that “tight” feeling that your skin has after using store bought soap, I encourage you to try a bar of carefully created, handcrafted soap. I believe you will truly love the difference.
I have taught a couple of hundred people, in my home how to make soap over the years, and I have produced a soap making booklet and DVD that you can watch in your home. It is important to me that folks know how to be self-sufficient and take great care of their bodies, inside and out. You can find more information about my soap making instructional here.
Now, I realize that making soap isn’t for everyone. If you would rather buy a ready-made bar, you can always come by the Locust Farmers Market on Thursday’s from 11-4 and see me. (I’m under the pink tent).
Pick up a bar or two and try it. I truly feel you will love it.
That’s the news from the homestead, see you next week.