Glycerin or melt and pour soap
not as natural as it is advertised to be
Glycerine or Melt and Pour Soap Crafting is a process often used by soapmakers. Glycerin or melt and pour soaps are soaps that contain glycerin, a component of fat or oil (not always vegetable oil). The soap is recognizably different from other soaps because it is translucent.
The process differs from the cold process or hot process in that no actual soap is made; a melt and pour soap base is acquired by a soap supply company or melt and pour manufacturer. This product is then melted in a microwave or large double boiler and additives such as fragrances, essential oils, specialty oils, colorants, or exfoliating agents are added. While still hot, the base can be poured into individual molds, tray molds, or blocks till cooled, then it can be sliced.Melt and pour does not give the soapmaker complete control over the ingredients such as natural vegetable oils. Most soaps do not melt readily once they have saponified; the exceptions are clear soaps, and white soap made from white coconut oil. Melt and pour bases are typically manufactured from these types of meltable soaps.
Some soapmakers prefer glycerin or melt and pour soap because the process is easy and allows the soapmaker to concentrate more on the aesthetic aspects of soap making. It also avoids the need to handle lye, which is a hazardous and very caustic chemical. However, there is some need for clarification on whether buying a glycerin-type soap base, melting it, adding items, and cutting is truly being a soapmaker, who creates soap from scratch with the basic ingredients. For instance, are you a baker if you buy frozen bread dough then bake it? Or are you a Chocolatier if you buy the chocolate, melt it, add things, then put in a mold? Melt and Pour is already a soap, you can cut a chunk off the slab and wash with it.
Glycerin or melt and pour soap is made by melting and continuously heating regular soap that has been partially dissolved in a high-alcohol until the mixture reaches a clear, jelly-like consistency. If you were to use homemade and handmade soaps that still contained glycerin left over from saponification, the grating, melting and cooking can proceed without the addition of anything into the mixture, though sugar or more melt and pour is sometimes added. This clear soap can also be produced without remelting soap through directly cooking raw home-made soap. Although the whole point of glycerin or melt and pour is to avoid the cooking aspect, so all glycerin or melt and pour soap bases are manufactured. In industrial soap-making (the store brand soaps), the glycerin is then usually removed to be used in skin creams and more expensive soap products. Most brands of common bar soap leave the skin dry after washing because of this, while shaving soaps and moisturizers are valued for softening skin, largely through their high content.
One of the components found in so-called natural glycerin or melt and pour soap is Propylene glycol (PG). A colorless, nearly odorless, syrupy liquid that is derived from natural gas. It is used in dozens of products that you commonly use around your house. Some websites and natural product promoters argue that PG is a nasty, carcinogenic chemical that has been wrongly greenlighted by the FDA. The FDA, and others, say that their claims are completely unfounded - that PG is completely safe when used properly.
While researching this article, I came across a website with the word 'Natural' in the company/website name. Another clear example of how marketing and linguistics are used to mislead. Their melt and pour page describes the product as:
"100% odorless, high clarity bases, Superior mold release action, Non-yellowing/no color shifting, Biodegradable, 100% vegetable oil, Highly emollient and moisturizing, Generous lather and suds, Fragrance and essential oils tested, Cruelty-free. No testing -- ever."
Sounds great! Now read the actual ingredients:
"Premium Clear: contains coconut oil, sodium cocoate, sodium palmitate, sodium laurate, sodium stearate, glycerin, sodium laureth sulfate, propylene glycol, sucrose, triethanolamine, water."
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