Can our soap cure skin conditions?
Well, whatever the case may be, I am prohibited from saying that it can because of federal regulations.
That's why we intentionally stay away from any claims that might be construed as medical (though now that we mention it, we should probably further investigate our claims that our soap makes a person "kissable").
But one of our customers pointed out that we really don't talk a lot about the ingredients in our soap. And honestly, we put a lot of thought, research, and love into our recipe, so we might as well talk about it.
Our standard soap recipe is coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, and castor oil.
Here are the different properties that each oil contributes to the delightful bar that is Outlaw Soaps:
You probably have heard about the miracles of coconut oil. We don't use coconut oil for its "miraculous properties." We actually use it for very practical reasons: it makes the soap harder, which makes it last longer. Also, it's not very expensive (comparatively) and is relatively price-stable.
We order Coconut Oil by the pallet! Because it has to stay liquid, we have a special room at the new workshop that is heated to 78 degrees at all times.
There are quite a few people who are allergic to coconut oil, so can't use any of our products. Bummer. But the biggest drawback to Coconut Oil is that it doesn't seem very moisturizing (to me).
Because of that, we have a healthy serving of...
Avocado oil is really cool. It is thought to be very moisturizing, and contains vitamin E, which is supposed to be good for one's skin. This is what we'd call the "active ingredient" in the skin-softening arena.
We use Avocado Oil because even though it's a little more expensive than most oils, we've found it to be a quality addition to our recipe. It's always a challenge when we see that number on the bottom line, because it really is relatively expensive and there are many comparable oils with similar saponifaication values (ooh! Sciency!), but we're stickin' with Avocado Oil for now.
Avocado Oil does not make for a very hard bar of soap, though, so an avocado oil-heavy bar would be quite mushy. Avocado Oil is why our soaps do not last as long as some other soaps you might find (even handmade ones) and is why we are so enthusiastic about how to make your handmade soap last as long as possible (seriously, check it out... super cute video).
Some people love olive oil in soap (castille soap is 100% olive oil, and pretty much all you can find in some European countries), some people hate it. Olive Oil has a reputation for being very moisturizing, but some can find it kind of slimy (that's what the slickness is when you wash your hands and you still feel a little oiliness on your hands).
I know this may sound insane, but we used it in our first batch of mixed-oil soap and we just kind of stuck with it. We've reduced the amount of it over the years, but it's still in there, being all moisturizing-ey.
In recent years, the price of Olive Oil has been pretty volatile because of poor harvests in 2014. Because of that, Olive Oil is becoming a greater risk to include in recipes.
Ah, good old Castor Oil. Castor Oil has a reputation for curing pretty much everything from liver spots to ringworm. Maybe your mom even gave it to you when you were a kid (ew)!
We use Castor Oil in soap for none of these reasons. We use it because it's fun.
You know those big ol' fun bubbles that you get when you use Outlaw Soaps? Like, those BIGGGGG bubbles? We decided rather than focusing on "stable lather," we wanted to focus on big, frothy lather.
It's not everyone's thing, we get it. And maybe it doesn't make any difference to you. But for us, it's a regular ol' sud fiesta in the shower (or sink).
The one real drawback to Castor Oil is that if you get too much of it, the bar can be kind of sticky. That stickiness goes away after the first wash, but we regularly skate on the side of sticky-amounts-of-Castor-Oil.
But hey, SUD PARTY!
Ingredients = hidden dragon
If our unique scents are the crouching tiger of our soaps, the oil blend is our hidden dragon.
As you can see here, we have tailored our ingredients toward what we personally enjoy and value. Other soapmakers like using butters and glycerine and whatever else. There's even emu oil.
We don't talk about our ingredients all that much, since we feel like the real stars of the show are our scent blends. But they're really an important part of the quality of the product we make.