Soap is one of those things that we all use in some capacity. Maybe you like to find it as cheap as you can. Maybe you like to make your soap as “natural” as possible. You might even view your soap as an opportunity for promoting health as well as cleanliness!
My real-life friend Corinne began making her own soaps in pursuit of a healthier alternative to conventional soap. I bought a bar from her because I wanted to support her mom-trepreneurial endeavors through her new business, Metta-Physical.
Corinne’s panna soap is made of all organic honey, jasmine-infused sweet almond oils, jasmine essential oil, and dried jasmine buds. The honey provides lots of moisture for dry skin, and jasmine is said to be both anti-bacterial and an anti-depressant.
My panna soap smelled delightful- like a floral garden in spring bloom, surrounded by the warmth of gooey honey. It was smooth and soothing on the honey side, and exfoliating and refreshing on the jasmine bud side. It was perfect for a quiet bath after the kids were in bed.
And besides, isn’t this thing gorgeous?
So, the soap is lovely. But what exactly is better about an herbal soap over a conventional soap? Why use essential oil in soap instead of regular fragrance? Why should I buy a fancy bar over the cheap stuff at the store?
I wanted to know more about Corinne’s ingredients and her soap-making process. I asked her a few questions so we all could learn more.
Abi: First, tell us what made you interested in making your own soaps.
Corinne: I never would have thought I would be making soaps, until I started my oiling journey. I was skeptical about a lot of information out there regarding essential oils and it took me some time to even start using the Young Living Essential Oil kit that I bought that sat on my counter for weeks. For some reason, people like to make it sound a lot more difficult than it really is. So I took it upon myself to start learning more. After all, what would I have to lose?
After implementing and then experiencing a healthier dynamic, both mental and physical, I become very intrigued to learn more. I started by taking all the processed soaps, bath products, lotions, cleaning chemicals out of the equation and trying to formulate my own through research. My soaps are progressing with time but one thing that remains true: I will never use a store brand again.
A: What kind of ingredients do you use in your homemade soaps?
C: I have been experimenting with many exotic ingredients and many basic herbs as well. Since the start of my oiling journey until the peak of my interest, I decided I needed to further my education in aromatherapy, anatomy and physiology. Experimenting with some exotic ingredients is cool….but learning how to fully utilize them for maximum benefits is another thing.
For example, Metta Physical’s Arhat “Lavender-Sage” Bars include an ingredient called Arjuna Bark Powder. The bark powder of the Arjuna tree that we put in the soaps at Metta serves as an astringent, and a sweet, cooling expectorant with Vitamins C & E for your skin!
A: What exactly is an herbal infusion?
C: We take all of our herbs and infuse them in Sweet Almond Oil for all of our soaps. (We use Sweet Almond Oil for its many skin care benefits.) The process of infusion can take 10 hours or as long as 6 weeks.
We gather our herbs and place them in a Mason jar, leaving enough room for the Sweet Almond Oil. For the slow process, we let the herbs sit on the window sill for six weeks until the oil gathers all the beneficial properties from the herbs. For quicker infusion, we can create a hot bath for the herbs and heat them for 10 hours to produce the same results. After this process we strain all the oil from the herbs and we are left with an even more beneficial and therapeutic oil for our products.
A: How can herbs in soap benefit the user?
C: After doing research on different cosmetic soaps, I was pretty shocked at the chemicals we are not aware we are using on a daily basis. A lot of these chemicals can be drying and lead to skin allergies as well. Aiding infections and exacerbating skin diseases, these chemical soaps also clog the pores of the skin and hamper the cells from breathing. Moreover, chemical soaps have animal fat and lack the essential oils from plant extract which give a natural and pleasing aroma.
My herbal soaps are 100% organic and offer plant extracts that soothe the body and the mind, relieve stress and tension, all while providing some intoxicating aromatherapy. You will see a difference in your skins appearance if you have battles with eczema and psoriasis. Even if your skin doesn’t need soothing from either, you will notice how emotionally balanced you will feel after using natural, herbal soaps.
A: I noticed you also use essential oils in your soap. What is the advantage of using essential oils in your soap over conventional fragrances?
C: Conventional fragrance oils are synthetic and do not contain any therapeutic benefits. Many people are even allergic to fragrance oils and they can cause skin irritations. Fragrance oils are also made up of a long list of various chemicals– often including essential oils with little regard for the natural qualities that make these oils so precious. I am more aware to the fact that sometimes we just do not know the extent of the chemicals used to produce a product and that is very scary.
Each true essential oil, on the other hand, comes with its own therapeutic benefits. Essential oil benefits come from their antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Since I have incorporated the true essence of essential oils, our immune systems have been the strongest this cold and flu season yet!
A: What’s your favorite part of soap-making?
C: My favorite part is knowing I am completely free to concoct something that will make someone else feel good or knowing I can help with a certain aliment someone might have by placing the right herbs and essential oils together. Sometimes I feel like I am in the kitchen cooking dinner when I am creating soaps…..except when I am done, I cannot lick the spoon!
It was such a pleasure talking about the soaps with Corinne, and I learned a few new things myself!
Why use herbal soaps? Here’s the recap:
- Each individual herb and essential oil has unique benefits for the user.
- By using a soap with healthy ingredients, you are avoiding the risks associated with long-term exposure to mystery chemicals.
- If you’re buying from an individual like Corinne, you are supporting a small business!
Metta-Physical is currently working on developing a website, but until then, you can order your own special herbal soap (and check out other awesome herbal products!) from Corinne here on her Facebook page. 🙂