In Touch With Nature. A time trip story.
I am transforming natural materials to soap, for the last 4 years. It took me more than 2 years of studying my ingredients and their properties, before I make my first piece of olive soap.
A Chemical Engineer by trade but more to that, I am a person that recently had to undergo life changing conditions. Among other changes, nice and interesting things came along too. It started by returning to the University (https://www.auth.gr), to learn more about the diversity and richness of my country’s nature, starting with Greek aromatic and medicinal herbs, their chemistry and uses. The idea of making soap fuzzed with aromatic medicinal plants and enriched with their essential oils, followed naturally. After all, I was in the right place. Greece is renown of its biodiversity and particularly, the wild flora. Olea, the Olive Tree and the rich oil juice of its fruit, are a blessing for the South East Mediterranean Region. The proper ingredients are all here, to manifest a natural olive soap with additional cosmetic and healing values. A MADEOFOLIVE soap to bring you In Touch With Nature.
ELEMENTS WITH CHARACTER
Before I move on, maybe it is a proper time to make a confession about healing. Soap making is a self-healing process. If done right, the healing energy passes into the product. Process pace, varies. Fast and precise in the beginning, it requires patience and sensitivity in the next steps. Attention and in essence devotion, is key from the beginning till the end.
I hesitate to describe my ingredients as “Raw Materials”. That is because they are live elements and not plain material ones. Soap is enriched with valuable herbal aromatic elements in the form of flower blooms and/or leaves. Natural essential oils with their unique scent, extracted drop by drop from chosen aromatic herbals, add a final sensual touch to the soap character.
THE TRADITIONAL RECIPE
The basic recipe of soap is almost as old, as our human civilization. An alkali is “saponifying” –in other words, is reacting with- a vegetable oil ingredient, or animal fat, or alternatively a man-made industrial raw material with similar chemical properties. To those who know a thing or two, a natural ingredient is preferable to the synthetic products of petrochemical industry. Synthetic raw materials may be cheaper for mass production, but carry undesirable impurities that may cause allergies. Also in most cases, they totally lack the additional cosmetic benefits of noble natural materials.
COLD PROCCESS METHOD
The production method is also important. The soap with the most utility and cosmetic benefits, is the one produced with the less intrusive method. My preferred method goes by a low profile name. It is called “Cold Process”, because no external heat is introduced. In that sense it is eco-friendly, as it has the smaller environmental footprint. After mixing the raw materials, they take their own time, as they are gradually consumed by the saponification reaction inside the soap bar. Upon completion of the saponification reaction, when all alkali has been consumed, MADEOFOLIVE “cold processed” soap still contains a generous surplus blend of not reacted noble vegetable oils. Those gentle natural ingredients deliver their cosmetic hydrating and restoring effect to the human skin, during use of the soap.
TIME, THE KEY ELEMENT
Only vegetable oils of noble origin are eligible for saponification. King ingredient is the Virgin Olive oil. Another key ingredient is Castor Oil, also renowned of its cosmetic applications. Coconut Oil is equally soothing and hydrating.
Another key ingredient of MADEOFOLIVE soap, that is invisible to my materials shopping list, is TIME. After mixing and molding, the soap is retained to mature for a minimum of a couple of months, because the saponification is progressing at its own time within the soap solid state. The controlled aging conditions are another secret element of the art of successful soap making.
Superior quality product! The skin look and feel is great!