Saturday, July 6, 2013

Natural Handmade Soap Obsession!

by Tricia Reyes

Desert Rain Soap$7.00
Desert Rain Soap - handcrafted with ground Chaparral leaves,
Clary Sage and Cedarwood organic essential oil, 100% Vegan

Shoptobegreen is obsessed with naturals soaps... 

Mistie Dawn, founder of Shoptobegreen suffers from allergies and has tried many soaps on the market that claimed to be great for sensitive skin but nothing seemed to work until she decided to create her own line of soaps via 910 Joy Avenue as well as work with reputable green organic vendors that produce natural handmade soaps or liquid soaps.

The thought of making soap reminds me of making bread from scratch... it's quite a process but  it's worth it because we all get to benefit from the aromatic smells of Shoptobegreen soaps, like Hemp and Kelp Face Soap, Lemon Honey Tea Soap (sounds yummy), or Lavender Shea Soap (one of my favorites),G.B. ProudFoot's Liquid Eucalyptus Soap (great for clearing up sinuses while you cleanse) and Rosemary Mint Soap to name a few.

Handmade Soap Originators

I am fascinated by the origin of things, like soap? When did people start making it?  When was the first soap created?

According to Soap, the first evidence of soap is dated around 2800 BC and the first soap makers were Babylonians (first to create soap), Egyptians, Mesopotamian race,  Egyptians, ancient Greeks and Romans. 
I am sure some of you are thinking "that's not possible" people did not bathe for centuries. 
Soap was created to clean utensils and plates not to cleanse oneself and it was made from fat, oils and salts. Wikipedia, claims that a formula for soap consisting of water, alkali, and cassia oil was written on a Babylonian clay tablet around 2200 there is some discrepancy as to the exact dates of soap.
Middle Ages

The Romans created aqueducts in 312 BC (during the Hellenistic period - this is after 2200 BC) they used the water to bathe and clean themselves until they were overthrown and then the Dark Ages and Middle Ages followed....aghast no soap!  NOT TRUE. 

According to Middle, people in Medieval Times bathed with soap but mostly in cold water unless you were royalty or a wealthy noble. Most bathed in wooden barrels which were located in monasteries, convents, castles or public bath houses. 

Did you know Queen Elizabeth I was reported to have taken a bath once a month which was considered clean considering the outbreak of danger in bathing too much. People were instructed to wash their hands and face daily but bathed much less during the Renaissance period.

File:Marseiller Seife.jpg
Marseille soap in blocks of 600 g
source Wikipedia Marseille

In 1370 in MarseilleFranceMarseille soap or Savon de Marseille was created as a traditional soap made from vegetable oils. In the USA, William Colgate's company, started making soap in 1806, and is considered the first major soap manufacturing company in the United States. The company pioneered perfumed soap in 1866 and launched Cashmere Bouquet in 1872. 

Alfred Stevens - The Bath
Alfred Stevens "The Bath"

It is important to note, that people were making soap at home prior to mass production so it was not as if they were waiting for soap to purchase in a store so they could take a bathe. 

If you are thinking about making your own soap, check out these quick natural soap making tips:

  1. Making soap at home can be a dangerous process so be very careful and make sure you understand the safety process. Handmade soap requires use of chemicals as well as heating soaps at a high temperature.  At Shoptobegreen, we list all of the ingredients in the soaps we create for our wonderful customers.
  2. There are three ways to make soap, melt and pour, heat process or cold process. Melt and pour may be the easiest but your adding to a plain soap that was already created. Heat process is creating soap from the beginning but you have to heat it the whole way through and cold is the same as the heat process except you are not heating it the entire time.
  3. Keep it simple in the beginning. Try to use a couple ingredients until you familiarize yourself with the process.
  4. If you are wondering how long it takes to make soap, it depends on how familiar you are with the process, the type of soap you plan to make and don't forget set up and clean up. (varies from several hours to several days and that does not include trimming or curing which can take 3-6 weeks)
  5. After you cure your soap you will need to store it in recycled cardboard box or glass container.
Soap is basic need for our daily lives so it is important that what we use to bathe is not toxic to our skin. 

Ingredients in Dove Soap:

For a detailed breakdown of Dove Soap, check out: End All Disease

Hi, I am Tricia and I also go by my alias Katy Green. Hope you enjoyed reading this article.

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