You can make excellent natural soap by using only 3 ingredients and a proper formula: water, lye and oil or butter. But very often natural additives make natural handcrafted soap extraordinary. What are those additives and what kind properties do they add? I am going to talk about the soaps Studio Botanica is going to have in its permanent stock from now on. So why do you see such ingredients as salt or sugar when you check the ingredients list of a certain kind of soap? What do they do in soap?

Every soap needs superfat or unsaponified oils or butters. Those are added at the end of soap making along with other additives. A soap maker keeps those free oils to help your skin stay moisturized after using soap. That why natural soap is so much different from mass market bar soap. But it is a secret how much unsaponified oils are left in final soap.

Salt is a truly unique ingredient in soap. It can be used both as an additive in small amounts to make soap harder and as one of the key ingredients thus in much bigger amounts to give soap extra qualities, such as exfoliation.

Sugar or sucrose is added to have extra bubbles in soap, it might be especially necessary in olive oil soaps, because olive oil may not lather that well in hard water.

Charcoal is added for its nice shades of grey and black. But it is also a key ingredient in spa soaps. It makes an excellent soap if used with salt for oily skin or for exfoliating soap.

Botanicals (calendula, chamomile, green tea, indigo, etc.) are those wonderful additives which give nice natural colours such as yellow, creamy, blue, etc. and help avoid synthetic colorants. Infused oils such as calendula oil add extra properties for sensitive skin.

Vegan milk (quinoa, amaranth, sweet almond, rice, oats) makes soap really creamy, soft and gentle. It creates a luxury texture and lather, as well as adds nice colours and sometimes light scent.

Mineral clay adds stable natural colours, it is also part of spa soaps. But we do not use it big amounts as it can be drying. It gives extra exfoliating properties to natural soap.

Seaweed and algae are added in different forms, powdered and in its natural state – dried. Such soaps are truly opulent if you want to pamper yourself with extra sea minerals. I recommend to use them directly on your skin.

Apple cider vinegar is added for shampoos. It helps get a good lather for your hair as well as slightly lower down the pH of the soap.

Coffee, cacao nibs and cocoa are added for making sumptuous soap. Coffee is one the best natural exfoliants. Cacao nibs and cocoa powder make wonderful natural soap, such soap has a light scent of chocolate and a nice brown lather which in fact may stain. So be careful when using our spa soaps. Read the description of each soap.

Essential oils  a add wonderful natural scent but they tend to fade away with time. So we make soap in small batches to keep only fresh but cured soap for you. Essential oils do not really add any therapeutic properties in wash off products. It is only in skin care formulations such as balms, serums, etc. that you can really benefit from them.

We do our best to choose organic additives and oils whenever it is possible. For special directions of use, we mark products. For example, some soaps may stain (charcoal, cocoa, etc), just make sure you rinse your skin very well after using such soap.

Read more about Natural Soap Facts.