I’m proud to be a born and bred South African – but made the choice to live abroad to progress my career in global roles in the pharmaceutical industry. I spent 7.5 years on the west coast of Sweden (bästkusten!), before moving to the Alsace in France to work in the north west of Switzerland. This blog is about my hobby …… making natural soap.
I was introduced to soap-making by Gina, a friend from Australia, when we visited her in the Blue Mountains, NSW. She started making beautiful palm-free, all natural, hot process (HP) soap using only vegetable oils and natural additives, because she wanted to avoid exposing her family to the synthetic detergents and chemicals in many commercial products. So this is how I started too ….. After a few batches, however, I moved on to making cold process (CP) soap, because I wanted to experiment with making milk soaps, and using essential oils and natural colours that don’t do so well in HP – and I was hooked!
My soap-making “philosophy” is to celebrate nature! So I have experimented with a range of vegetable oils, essential oils, and natural additives and colourants to make luxurious, moisturizing soap for everyday use. I use as little heat as possible during the soap-making process, so that the beneficial properties in the oils that I use have the best chance of being preserved in the soap bar.
I choose not to use palm oil in my soap, because I’m not convinced that the palm oil certified as “sustainable” is truly sustainable – so I prefer not to add to the exploding demand for a product that continues to have such a detrimental effect on the environment, and on the local subsistence farmers in Asia, west Africa and south America who have lost their land to huge mono-crop plantations of palm.