Soap is something that we can use to add a touch of luxury to our everyday rituals. The scents can transport you to another land in an instant, and the texture can leave your skin feeling fabulous. No wonder beautifully crafted bars make such great gifts.
Have you ever wondered where the humble bar of soap originates or how far it dates back? Well let me tell you.
The earliest evidence of soap dates back to ancient Babylon in 2800BC. In 2200BC a formula for soap was written on Babylonian clay tablets, consisting of water, alkali and cassia oil. Ancient Egyptians were discovered to have bathed regularly using soaps consisting of animal and vegetable oils with alkaline salts. In the second half of the 15th century, France had begun a semi-industrialised process of manufacturing soaps, supplying them throughout the country. And finally, in the 18th century, a campaign advertising awareness of the relationship between cleanliness and health was promoted in Europe and America – they had finally caught on!
I’m one of those people who actually love gifts around Christmas and birthdays that involve soaps, lotions, face masks and shower gels. I love being clean and smelling great! Even more exciting is the new prospect of being able to make my very own soap exactly how I want it. You will find that lye is a key ingredient in all soaps. While this is basically sodium hydroxide and is considered a dangerous ingredient to be washing yourself with, it is important to understand that if handled correctly (with protective gear) the lye actually reacts with the other ingredients involved in soap-making and converts into a new form altogether. When combined and allowed to cure, these basic ingredients turn into soap. It is no longer oil or lye as its composition transforms entirely.
That being said, here are a few easy recipes to try in making your very own, handmade-homemade soap.
You can really get creative with your soap-making by creating your own interesting combinations of scents and flavours. You can even add flowers or herbs to create a little bit of extra texture and colour to your product if you are using a scentless recipe like this one.
Measure out all the ingredients. It is important to ensure that they are all the exact measurements required.
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