Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Cold Process Soaps? What Does it Mean?

A selection of 'cold process' soaps by Ceri before they are wrapped and labelled.

One of the most popular questions we get asked about our soaps is what exactly 'cold process' means! It's a funny name for a method of natural, traditional soap-making which actually isn't cold - the soap mixture is heated at one point!

‘Cold Process’ means that the oils are kept at a low a temp as possible to preserve their nutrients and so that the Essential Oils do not react in the mix or evaporate too much. This preserves the qualities of each individual oil so the gorgeous scents comes through in the final product.

Vanilla Bean Latte Scrub Soap by Ceri - The perfect pick me up in the mornings, this bar is packed full of vanilla coffee fragrance, with real coffee grounds and a pinch of ground pumice for a cleansing, scrub effect.

Cold process can also refer to the curing time of the soaps, the 'cool down' as it fully cures. This takes from 4 to 6 weeks! Commercial soaps are usually poured, cut and dried in a matter of days, even hours in a factory environment, but to do so they put a wide range of additives, preservatives and firmers which is the reason than many commercial soaps upset the skin.

The setting period is essential for cold process soaps to achieve it's lovely firm yet soft texture, without the use of any of those nasty unnatural ingredients!

Hadrians Wall Honey soap by Ceri, created with real British honey and beeswax.

The ingredients Ceri of Oakwood Soaperie (our hand-made cold process soap creator for The Handmade Emporium) are as natural as can be and she uses some amazing (and quite surprising) traditional methods and colours - for example in her Hadrians Wall Honey soap she uses Northumbrian Beeswax and Honey (often from her fathers hives) plus achieves the gorgeous colour of the soap using natural tumeric and orris root powder.

This creates a soap at is high in vitamins A&E and as gentle as can be.
It also smells absolutely divine!

The cold-process method allows for a bit of fun - the swirls on this festive candy cane themed soaps is created by whipping and folding the soap as it sets.

Ceri does not use palm oils in her soaps (a cause of deforestation) - they are created with pure vegetable oils and plant butters, plus a range of natural botanicals.

Each batch of cold-process soap by Ceri is unique and created with the utmost care and attention, with many of her pieces limited editions or one offs using rare or unique ingredients in-season from the garden. We are very proud to have Ceri with us in The Handmade Emporium and hope you will take a look at our website and try a piece of her natural cold-process soaps for yourself (or someone special) today.

To see our range of handmade cold process soaps, or other UK handmade treats and gift ideas, please visit our website by clicking any of the images or links, or go to : http://www.thehandmadeemporium.com/

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