I am the soaping queen! No not really. I love making soap, and bath products but no matter how long you are at it, or how often you do it, shat happens, batches fail and the lye monster can sometimes sneak up and bite you. The great thing about experimenting with colours, and ingredients is that I am my own favorite guinea pig. How fragrant it is.
Fear mongers will tell you that lye is evil. But without lye, you don't have soap. Products like Dove, that don't contain lye, and thus aren't soaps, they're detergents. If you actually pay attention, Dove proudly announces in their commercials that their product is not soap. In order to make soap you need water, lye and oil. This is chemistry, not politics, it's not up for debate. Unless a soap is poorly made, the lye monster will have been consumed by the oil, and is therefore inert. So if you have a reaction to soap it is either an allergy to an oil, oils in the wrong quantities for your skin or badly made soap.
Everyone's skin is different and what oils make for a nice cleansing bar differs. I need a soap with lots of coconut oil in order to clean my very oily skin. However, that same amount of coconut oil can really dry out a person with normal to dry skin. Finding the perfect bar of soap is as much a matter of trial and error as most everything in life, but your skin is worth it. If you want to spoil yourself you can have a batch of soap custom made, and thus it will absolutely perfect for you. Look online, look at craft fairs, it's out there.
Soap isn't organic. Lye isn't organic. Anyone that tells you their soap is all natural is blowing smoke out their a**. You can get organic oils, etc. Me, I don't cater to the crunchy crowd. Natural doesn't necessarily equal good for you. Hemlock is natural, but it is also poison. Cyanide is natural (it is found in peach pits) but again, it is poison. There are many non-poisons out there that you still don't want to put on your skin, or even in soap. Essential oils, many of them, are lovely to smell and lovely in soap but some of them are critically endangered, and are not ethical or affordable to use. Since I love more than a few of these fragrances, I use a lot of fragrance oils. Because they have been created in labs, they are highly regulated, and actually perfectly safe. I also love bright coloured soaps. So give me my lab dyes and I'll have my bright green, and blue and purple soaps. Doesn't mean I don't use clays, and such as well, I love'em too. Sadly, most natural dyes will not survive the lye or will irritated or stain skin. My uncle, the mineralogist. chemist explains it as this. Natural or chemically made, a chemical is a chemical. The difference is that lab made or lab refined things are more refined, and sometimes, in cases such as Aspirin vs willowbark tea, are better.
In any case to each his or her own. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to brew a new recipe.
Soap complaint of the day: Rebatching coffee soap is a pain my a**. I lost a ¼ of the overall recipe because liquid decided to separate and the original recipe was therefore a failure. Good thing I'm not planning on selling this batch. I'm making it for my BIL.