My soap obsession began in college, while I was still using commercial soap.
Growing up, that's ALL we had. Not just commercial soap - but cheap commercial soap. The kind that came in artificial shades of blue and green, and was strongly perfumed in a way that suggested either gender could use it, although neither particular liked it!
So, off to school I went, and I continued buying what I had always used.
Until I began noticing how dry my skin was. All the time. All over. We used to do the "scratch test" (anyone else remember this?) where you lightly run a fingernail over your skin. Dry skin leaves a white mark.
My skin always had white marks!
I also itched, alot, from the dry skin. It was uncomfortable. At some point, a lightbulb went off and I realized, "it's the soap, dummy!" ;)
And, so the search began.
Sometimes, it really does feel like I've tried everything (and fallen for every marketing ploy!) All the brands at the grocery store, the liquid soaps, the herbal soaps, the glycerin soaps, and anything that was labeled "for dry skin", "for sensitive skin", or "moisture rich." (I always fell for the old, "locks in moisture" - the image just seemed to grab me. And, I was always disappointed!)
When I started reading about homemade soap, honestly, it sounded too good to be true. By that point, I had already come to believe that there was no such thing as a truly "moisturizing" soap, and that for soap to actually clean you, it had to remove all the oils from your skin. Seemed to make sense, and it certainly meshed with my experience.
But I kept reading, and became fascinated. How could all these people be so sure their soap was superior? At first, I honestly thought it was just more marketing hype. But there were plenty of people out there offering recipes and information, and not selling anything.
I admit, with some embarrassment, that I resisted homemade soap for a long time. I filed it under "too good to be true". Until a friend started telling me about some soap she bought online. As she described how wonderful it was, I finally gave in. I bought my first couple of trial-size bars (I wanted to try a few different scents) online.
And loved them. I loved everything about them. I was amazed. My skin felt better (I just did the "scratch test" again as I'm writing this, and verified - no marks at all!), the lather was incredibly luxiourious feeling, very soft and rich, and the scents were lovely, not overpowering or "perfume-y" like everything commercial I'd tried.
I've been hooked since, and won't use commercial soap again, ever. How they can get away with selling that stuff is beyond me. If you've ever tried real homemade soap, you know what I'm talking about. If not, I might sound crazy, or like more marketing hype. But, really - you owe it to yourself to at try it out and see what the fuss is about. If you don't want to invest in trying to make it yet, go online and buy a bar or two from someone making good handmade soap (check the ingredients, you want the real-deal, not another chemical bar.)
Learning to actually MAKE soap myself has been a whole other adventure. But, it's also been fun, exhilarating at times, and overall a really neat experience that I wouldn't trade for anything. And, I feel incredibly grateful that I have the chance to share some of what I've learned online.
My hope is that this website inspires you. Inspires you to try out homemade soap if you haven't already, and inspires you to take the plunge into soap-making. There's something deeply satisfying about being able to start with a bunch of oil and lye, and end up with a beautiful bar of soap. Being able to create your own "perfect bar", learning to add fragrances and colors, designing soap - it's all a very cool experience, and I hope you'll give it a try and join the soap-making party.
Thanks for visiting the site,