Pacific Coast Soap Works

Are all transparent soaps "Glycerin" soaps?

A common misbelief is that the many transparent soaps on the market today are glycerin soaps and that soaps that are not transparent are not glycerin soaps. The fact is that glycerin is a by-product of the soap making process and unless it is removed all soaps contain glycerin provided the soap making process is sound. Transparent soap starts out the same as any other soap. A solution of sugar syrup, sometimes vegetable glycerin, and ethanol (an alcohol solvent) are added to clarify the soap. The alcohol used is very volatile (even turning on a light could ignite the fumes). This process is not really for the the average hand-crafter and most transparent soaps sold by hand-crafters are made from a melt and pour base purchased in bulk and are not usually "hand-crafted" at all.

A Bit About Essential Oils

While using essential oils rather than fragrance or perfumes oils is preferred it is important to note that not all essential oils are equal. There are many ways to remove the essential oil from flowers and plants; steam, expeller, press or by solvent extraction. The cheapest by far are the oils rendered by solvent extraction. this entails mixing the plant/flower with a solvent. when the oil comes out of the plant the mixture is strained and the oil lifted off. The problem with this method is that there can be remaining traces of solvent in the essential oil. Using these cheaper oils in soaps or other products reduces the quality. Your skin and senses know the difference. The best method is either press or steamed. Although these methods render less oil, it is very high quality and retains the benefits of the plants and flowers from which they were rendered. We use only essential oils that have been steamed or pressed from the plants. If our supplier can not guarantee that the oils were not solvent expressed we simply do not purchase the oils. While cheaper oils are available we do not use them in any of our products as we believe this would diminish the quality.