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A little more about us

Eliza, our founder, was recently featured in a documentary about the Origins of Soap, soon to be aired on Sky TV.

Meet Eliza, learn more about why she started making soap, and why we don’t make liquid soap.

2 thoughts on “A little more about us

  1. Hi Lily,

    Thanks so much for watching and a great question! I’ll do my best to answer. Please do come back to me if you’d like more info, and perhaps we can even get one of our chemists to chime in.

    When I first started making soap I was of course interested to uncover all its secrets and learn how to make all kinds. Solid soap was top of my list because of the lack of plastic packaging, lack of wastage (compared with liquid), convenience for travel and, most importantly, the ability to include only natural (plus saponified) ingredients and oils.

    I had in mind the possibility of experimenting with liquid soap too – the idea of glass or bamboo mix bottles springing to mind – but was totally put off the idea by the chemist I was working with at the time.

    (Note: I myself am not a chemist. We work with 2 chemists at ALL NATURAL SOAP Co to ensure our products are safe; and to help us work through technical issues that require the professional in-depth technical knowledge of an experienced chemist).

    What the chemist explained to me was that products that contain mostly water (generally those in liquid or cream form) always require a preservative. This is because water brings with it the potential for life, and therefore also the potential for bacteria and mould to grow.

    Without a preservative, he said that the safety of such products could not be guaranteed for the consumer. (He pointed out that this was true of cream moisturisers too (if made with water), but generally not balms, being water free).

    We of course then talked around the possibility of using a natural preservative in liquid soap. But to both mine and his knowledge, a totally effective one – one that will pass a laboratory challenge test – has not yet been discovered.

    Unlike liquid soap, the majority ingredient in solid soap is saponified oils (not water).

    (Note that ingredients should always be listed largest to smallest – what there is most of in a product, to what there is least).

    Solid soap (including ours) does contain water. But because this is not in liquid form, does not require a preservative in order to be considered safe. (I’m sure someone with greater chemical knowledge than me could give you an explanation of why this is on a molecular level, as the structure of liquid and solid soap is clearly different).

    Where relevant, we do include an antioxidant, tocopherol (Vitamin E) in our soaps, to help give them as long a shelf life as possible. But this just slows down the oxidation of the free oil in our products. It doesn’t ‘preserve’ them as such.

    Like you, I have also noticed preservative-free liquid soaps on the market. All I can say is that preservation in (particularly natural) cosmetics is a contentious issue.

    I am aware that increasing the PH of liquid soap can have some preservative effects (as can the introduction of certain essential oils), but not to the extent that our expert at least would deem them safe, and therefore advise us to make them.

    Every soap maker has a different (and often highly secret) technique to producing their wares, and perhaps the company you refer is pioneering a new technique. If so, what brilliant news!

    Despite the numerous environmental and health benefits of solid soap, some people simply prefer liquid. And if a company has been able to produce this safely and naturally then more power to them.

    Phew! A long but hopefully helpful response Lily.

    Liquid soap is not something we at ALL NATURAL SOAP Co intend to make. (Initially because of the advice we recevied about the non-natural preservation). The more we make solid soap though, the more we are totally convinced of its superiority to liquid. Not only for us, but also for the planet.

    Bye for now and best wishes,

  2. Hi Eliza, Just watched the soap video which I thoroughly enjoyed. I do have a query, you stated that All natural soap not make liquid soap because it has to be made with preservatives, I use a liquid black african soap which I purchase from a company called Akamuti and as far as I am aware it does not contain any preservatives, so I am a little confused. checked the ingredients and it does not list a preservative.

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