Soap is made by mixing a fat with an alkali to produce a chemical reaction. Anointment soap is a castile soap made from 50% olive oil and a combination of solid fats (coconut oil and palm oil) in combination with lye (sodium hydroxide). Castile soap refers to any soap that is made primarily of olive oil, and is renowned for its mild, soft properties.
The oils are heated to liquid and allowed to react with the lye at a controlled temperature, which causes them to saponify. At this stage, the mixture begins to thicken to a yogurt consistency and continues to thicken as the reaction continues. It is at this stage that our essential oils, herbs, and botanicals are added.
The chemical reaction taking place generates an exceptional amount of heat. The soaps must be kept warm during this process, or cracking may occur in the mixture. After approximately a day, the chemical reaction has slowed, and heat generation has stopped, allowing the soap to be removed from the molds, and cut into bars. The saponification process, however, continues for several weeks, until the lye has reacted with the oil.
Anointment soaps are superfatted. When the lye has reacted with the oil, there remains fat that was not involved in the chemical reaction. This creates a greater lather when the soap is used, but also provides a smoother skin feel and ensures that there remains a balance between fat and lye – meaning that the soap will be gentle to your skin.
Saponification results in approximately three-quarters soap and one-quarter glycerine. In handmade soaps, including Anointment soaps, the glycerine is retained in the bar, acting as an emollient (skin softener) and adds a luxurious feel to the soap. In commercial soap, the glycerine is often removed and sold separately, often showing up in moisturizing products that help to remedy the dryness caused by commercial soaps. Because soaps are alkaline, with a pH of approximately 9-9.5, they don’t require extra “stuff”, like antibacterial agents and harsh antiseptics.
Our soaps are made in small batches, by hand, to ensure the highest quality. Olive oil is combined with palm and coconut oil and heated to a specific temperature. Lye, in the form of powdered sodium hydroxide, is combined with pure water, the resulting chemical reaction generates heat. The lye solution is allowed to cool until the oils and lye reach the same temperature, at which time they are slowly combined and mixed.
The soap solution will slowly change colour, from translucent golden to opaque creamy white through the process of saponification. The consistency will thicken and become more gelatinous as glycerine is formed during the chemical reaction. The essential oils, shea butter, and herbal ingredients are added.
The soap is poured into molds, where it continues to generate heat over the next number of hours as the chemical reaction continues. In 24 hours, the soap is hardened enough that it can be gently removed from the molds, cut into bars, stamped with our logo and soap flavor, inspected for quality, and placed into storage for curing. During the curing process, the chemical reaction will continue to take place, ensuring the lye has completely reacted and has been “used up”, creating a mild, luxurious soap that is gentle on your skin. The curing process requires 3-6 weeks.
Anointment soaps will last approximately one year on the shelf and are best stored in a cool, dark place if not in use. For best results, we recommend a slotted soap dish that allows your soap to drain. This will extend the life of your soap while in use. One 130 g bar of Anointment soap will last approximately one month depending on frequency of use. From our family to yours, we hope you’ll enjoy your Anointment soap!