My soap journey began in a little artisan soap shop in Barcelona. I remember walking into the shop and been blown away by the scent, colour and range of soaps on display. Each soap was handcrafted locally using traditional methods, handed down from generation to generation. I purchased some soap that day and enjoyed using it for quite some time after. My skin is very dry and I noticed the natural soap left it in much better condition. I did not have to use as much moisturiser and it was smoother.
Some time later while studying for an aromatherapy diploma I began to think about how I could harness both the therapeutic qualities and scent of essential oils in a product we use daily. And so, while washing my hands one day it struck me that maybe soap was the answer.
I began researching how to make natural soap. I tried making a few batches, some were good, some not so good, but I found there was lot conflicting information on the internet and in books. And so, I did a soap making workshop. I had a wonderful day out and I now had the tips and skills to continue with this craft. My soap making and creativity began to flourish and I really started to enjoy this craft. Making something as basic to our everyday needs is very empowering.
Another aspect of soap making is the joy of foraging to gather natural ingredients. There are so many medicinal plants in the Irish landscape to choose from. It’s a great excuse to get out into the outdoors and it gives you a sense of purpose to gather ingredients that you can put to good use. Many of these plants can be used both in and on the body as can plenty of ingredients in your kitchen cupboard. So, you don’t need a range of fancy ingredients to make great soap that your skin will thank you for.
Soap making is not difficult but because there is a chemical reaction involved in bringing the oil and water together (remember oil and water do not like to mix) there are certain rules that apply. Each ingredient added requires its own considerations. When you take this into account and know how each compound will respond to the process and learn how to incorporate them into soap the sky is the limit. There are infinite creative possibilities when making soap. There is always something new to try.
And now it’s my turn to share. It gives me great pleasure to help others start this wonderful journey.
Just be warned it can become addictive