Old Fashioned Soap
As much as I enjoy making soap, in the summer I never quite get around to it. Something else is always more pressing in the garden or around the farm - out in the sunshine!
But as the days are colder and darker, I'm happy to work on inside projects. So now the Home Goods section is re-stocked with our top three all-time customer favorite soaps: Goat's Milk & Honey, Rosemary Mint, and Clove! Plus there's still some of our favorite kitchen soap - Coffee Scrub.
If you're not already a devotee of our Old Fashioned Soap, here are two reasons why you should try it out: Simple. Luxury.
Simple, pronounceable ingredients! These soaps contain extremely simple ingredients, the majority of which are locally sourced and sustainable (and deliciously edible before I make them into soap).
The main ingredient in soap is oil, and instead of importing questionably produced, far-travelled, highly processed oils (like coconut and palm), we use tallow and lard from our own ecologically raised cows and pigs. Rendered by hand in small batches, this oil not only didn't travel far, but it is also contributes to the sustainability of the farm by using as much of each animal as possible. More about these amazing animal fats in the Luxury section!
The yummy, local extras:
- Creamy goat's milk from Mystery Bay Farm, where the goat's are raised ecologically and humanely.
- Locally raised honey.
- Rosemary from our home garden.
- Coffee from PT Coffee Roasters.
Other ingredients: There are a few things I simply can't (or won't ;) make.
- First is the lye, which reacts with the oils, to make soap. Lye soap has a reputation for being harsh, but actually ALL soap is made with lye. None of the lye is left after the soaping process is complete. If bar soap wasn't made with lye (sodium hydroxide), then it's a detergent. (Liquid soap uses potassium hydroxide). Lye soap's reputation for harshness comes from a time when there were no digital scales for accurate measuring, no online soap calculators to make sure correct amounts of each ingredient are used, and no purity-guaranteed lye to use in place of variable content wood ash. However, with these modern tools and safe ingredients in hand, our Old Fashioned lye soap is gentle and wonderful for your skin.
- I also add a few drops of high quality essential oils to some of the soaps, such as the Clove and Mint. These I do not make :) I tend to keep the scent level very light, as I am super sensitive to most scents, but sometimes it's nice to have just a cheerful whiff. I NEVER use synthetic fragrance oils.
- Ground cloves and other culinary spices occasionally make their way into my soaps in small quantities. They add attractive speckles, coloring, and a very light scent. In addition to ground cloves, I've also used turmeric, baking chocolate, and cinnamon to beautiful effect. One of my favorite pastimes is dreaming up ways to use more products from our home garden and kitchen in soap!
If, like me, you have super sensitive skin, start with the Goat's Milk & Honey soap which does not contain any spices or essential oils. While only small amounts of essential oil are used in the Clove and Rosemary Mint soap and I've fully tested them for years on my sensitive skin, any essential oil has the potential to irritate very sensitive skin.
Old Fashioned Luxury. Creamy lather, rich, long-lasting bars, friendly ingredients - your skin will love you!
Luxurious is not a word that popular opinion currently associates with animal fats - but this is a social construct we need to change! Not only are animal fats ecologically sound when grown in a regenerative system as at One Straw Ranch, but they're good for your body - and your skin is no exception. And that's not surprising when you think about how much more similar our skin composition is to animal fat than to plant materials.
And even if you didn't realize it, you've likely used soap containing industrially raised and processed tallow or lard! Look for ingredients listed as sodium tallowate, sodium lardate, saponified oil, sodium fatty acid salts, or the names of the fatty acids they contain such as oleic, palmitic, stearic, and linoleic acid. These fatty acids are also found in various vegetable fats, but unless it's specified you don't know.
I call this Old Fashioned Soap not only because the basic ingredients are the same as our ancestors used for generations, but because the soaping process is also the same simple process. This means all the natural glycerin is left in the soap, rather than being removed and sold separately as with many commercial soaps. Glycerin is a moisturizing agent that draws water into your skin.
Each small batch of soap is carefully monitored and mixed, poured, and cut by hand. This is the only soap we use in the One Straw Ranch house for ALL of our skincare needs, so it is my family and young children I have in mind while crafting the best soap possible. It brings me joy to share it with you!
Since I don't want to run afoul of cosmetic labeling laws, I can't claim that this soap does anything except clean your skin ;) However, I think you'll like how your skin feels after using it!
Find it on the Home Goods page.