There’s a wide range of soaps available on BeautyMNL, and choosing among them can be daunting at times. To help you out, here’s a quick rundown of 7 popular soap ingredients and their benefits:
1. **Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)** – this is the most basic ingredient in almost all soap, even natural ones! Generally speaking, when lye and oil are mixed together, the product of their chemical reaction is soap. And while lye is a caustic substance, the acidity of oil counteracts it, creating a balanced, gentle, and neutral product.
2. **Coconut Oil and Milk** – while most soap makers add the oil to harden up a soap, it also has moisturizing abilities and produces a great lather. It cleanses very well, too! Meanwhile, coconut milk has similar properties. The milk creates lots of creamy bubbles when used in the place of water in the lye solution.
3. **Olive Oil** – the primary ingredient in castile soap. Great for all skin types, but especially recommended for sensitive skin, as soap made from this oil is very mild. Usually mixed with other oils as olive oil alone leaves a slimy lather.
4. **Beeswax** – popular for its great scent and for adding hardness to soap. This ingredient is not vegan-friendly, however; it is only suitable for vegetarians.
5. **Shea butter** – like coconut oil, it also helps create a creamy lather. However, unlike other common oils, it doesn’t react with lye during the soap-making process. It remains as a moisturizing butter that’s mixed in each bar.
6. **Sweet almond oil** – produces a rich, silky lather; commonly mixed with more “solid” oils such as coconut oil to create harder bar soap. Very mild and conditioning, great for sensitive skin.
7. **Goat’s milk** – often used as a substitute for water in creating the lye solution for soap. Adds creamy, moisturizing properties.