All soap is made with lye (Sodium Hydroxide). Sometimes I think people are turned off when informed soap is made with lye. Some people assume they can purchase soap made without lye. I understand because I used to be one of those persons. 🙂
So how do soap makers utilize herbs and oils in the manufacturing process, without losing the ingredients therapeutic properties? After all we can have the best organic ingredients, but then adding lye into the recipe can reduce the quality of the ingredients.
The secret to not ruining the therapeutic properties of the beneficial ingredients is adding the therapeutic ingredients after the lye is incorporated into the principal oils. There is a small window during the saponification process that allows the soap maker to add the essential oils and herbs. This window occurs before the trace phase of mixing.
Temperature also plays an important role in not ruining the therapeutic ingredients properties.
In the cold making soap process the temperature of the oils need to be low (100 to 115 Fahrenheit) before adding the therapeutic ingredients. Plus the ingredients must be added after the lye and before trace is achieved. Timing from experience in the soap making process is what determines an excellent bar of soap.