Why Soap Matters

Why Soap Matters

I know lots of brands talk about their origin story – I’ve read loads of them, many seem to have a moment of realisation, some want to do things better, some see a gap in the market. What’s interesting is that often there is a tipping point where whoever it is, decides to go for it. It wasn’t quite like that with me.

All my adult life has been about plants (and children) (and husband) initially about growing herbs and flowers for my own use and enjoyment and then gradually it became an area of my life that I wanted more and more of. I’d retreat into the garden for peace, when I was happy or sad, it was the place that made me feel well. I grew plants to treat my children’s scuffed knees, my friends’ and family's ailments, for coughs and colds, fevers and sickness. I really understood how powerful plant medicine could be and embraced it.

Then I trained. 4 long years of study as a Homeopath with a particular interest in mother tinctures, which are the pure plant treatments, and then all the thousands of hours since, of study and investigation into healing herbs. The pleasure of it is knowing that there’s never an end, every day I learn something new.

In practice, I saw people with skin issues, it was an endless stream, of all ages. There’s a lot we can do to treat skin issues, changes in diet, cleansing teas, appropriate and well indicated remedies but what we put on our skin is so important.

Body Wash, no matter how expensive, has a relatively high Ph, meaning that it is always very alkaline. In research carried out by Gfatter, Hackl and Braun on infants and new born babies, they found that “the increase of the skin pH irritates the physiological protective 'acid mantle', changes the composition of the cutaneous bacterial flora and the activity of enzymes in the upper epidermis, which have an acid pH optimum. The dissolution of fat from the skin surface may influence the hydration status leading to a dry and squamous skin.” Whilst this research applies to babies, the same effects are found in older children and adults. The higher the pH of your soap, the more it disrupts the acid mantle of the skin making it vulnerable.

Realising that, I started to look into soap and how to make something far more gentle. I found cold process soap and, along with my sister, learnt how to make it. The process is fairly simple, and when done correctly, with the right oils and a long time of curing, it is the most wonderful product. We measure the pH and expect it to be as close to 7 as we can manage. Added to that, cold process soap produces at least 5% of natural glycerin so it moisturises the skin beautifully.

From soaps, we moved on to our wonderful First Aid Balms, creams and butters, serums and balms and of course all our Mists which are still a joy to distil – more on all those later. I still find it funny that we are categorised as a beauty brand, none of my work has been about conventional beauty products and all the negative connotations of that, it has always been about plant work and wellbeing. I think that’s why the future feels so exciting and why the new website feels like coming home. 

So as a little treat, this weekend from tonight until Monday morning 26th to 29th, to celebrate the launch of the new site and to especially reconnect with our roots, we’ve made lots of Mint & Charcoal Soap and we’ll send you a bar for free wrapped in a compostable wrapper, with every order over £50. You don't need a code, we'll simply very happily spot your orders.

Welcome to the Apothecary - it's so lovely to have you along on this journey with us.

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