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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Botanical Soap vs. Gross Animal Fat Soap vs. Scary Soap Imposters

The soap discussion that was promised...
(We like charts. They make us happy because they usually get to the good stuff quickly and have pretty pictures to help with understanding.  So, here's a chart for the good stuff and some pretty pictures.  The names have been changed/altered/blotted out to make the commercial products completely unrecognizable except for one. You know who we are. )

Botanical Soap vs. Gross Animal Fat Soap vs. Scary Not-Soap
If the bar that you use for bathing does not claim to be a soap, it's probably a synthetic detergent product. For example, beware of these marketing tags and read the ingredients.

Beauty Bar      -       Bath Bar      -        Moisturizing Bar

Truth is, we're sure that you already know that you should always read the whole label.   What you put on your body is no less important than what you put in your body.  Since you are already taking the time to read what's in your kid's cereal, it's also good to take the time to read what's floating around in their bath water with them. 

Below is a link to what the FDA says about the difference between soap and detergent.  It's pretty intense. http://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/productandingredientsafety/ProductInformation/ucm115449.htm

The shorter version is that there is a huge difference.  In simplest terms, soap is the common name of fat that has reacted to an alkali.  Fancy name of the process is soaponification.  Scary name for the alkali is lye.  When soap is finished and the pH is safe for use, all of the lye is gone.  There should be no residual trace in the bar or it will burn skin in high doses and irritate it in small doses.  You probably remember part of that from 6th grade Physical Science and the rest was crammed in again in freshman Chemistry.  All that should be left is the product made from fat as well as any additives such as essential oils, vitamins, whole herbs, and such. 

The most popular and easiest to find is soap that is made with sodium tallowate.  That is animal fat.  Fat from animals that reacts with lye to make soap.  All that remains in the finished soap is reacted animal fat and any of the aforementioned additives.  Animal fat or any animal by-product for that matter is an unecessary ingredients to make fine soap.  Cheap soap? Yes.  Quick soap? Yes.  Easy soap? Yes.  Fine soap?  Not a chance.  There is not one single benefit to animal fat over the kinder botanical alternatives.  Fat is fat in the process of soaponification and botanical fat is so much better for your skin.  It is a cruel use of a destucted animal, in our opinion.  Plus, even if you aren't vegan/vegetarian/pescetarian, consider for a second how gross is to rub animal fat all over your body?   We said animal fat 5 times so that you will remember when you read the word sodium "tallow"ate you'll say "Nasty, that's animal fat!"  Ooops 6 times.  That oughta do.

The kinder and more beneficial soap for your skin is made with botanical fats and butters.  Those derived from plants including sunflower, coconut, cottonseed, hemp and others are excellent carriers of nutrients.  They blend nicely with other botanicals such as essential oils from lavender, pomegranate, lemon verbena and other nutrional fragrant herbs, fruits, vegetables and spices. 

The obvious difference between animal fat soap and botanical soap?  If you are a meat eater, honestly consider how long does it take a person to process a steak and feel good again versus a person who has a salad for example?  As we mentioned before, it is as important to consider what you put on your body as what you put in your body.  It is not a judgment about your choices.  It is an observation on the benefit of the choices available to you.
We make kind soap.
Apothecarie Brand Co. uses only botanical products to make soap.  It's not a choice for us.  It is our privelege to make soap for you and for your family and we know the right choices to make.  We have been making soap for over 15 years.  Our team of horticulturists, homemakers, and local farmers make every effort to grow our own herbs, vegetables and fruits that we add to your soap.  We also procure ingredients from other local cooperative farms who practice natural and orgranic gardening whenever possible.  Finally, if we've exhausted those options and we feel we must have an ingredient that we simply cannot grow such as Vanilla Orchid beans, Ylang Ylang or Sandalwood, we then purchase it from a fair trade world market or U.S. vendors who are certified to offer fair trade products. 
We never use animal or animal by-products in our soap because we believe that it is a cruel, wasteful, unhealthy and unecessary ingredient in soap. We respect that you have a choice to make and we would like to thank you for reading and perhaps choosing us to make your family's soap.  We take that privilege very seriously and are grateful for the opportunity. 

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