I'm often asked what is the difference between my soap and what you buy in the store. My simple answer is that mine is actual soap -by definition a blend of fats and lye. Often what you find at the store is detergent - a water soluble cleansing agent. The FDA regulates this labeling which is why most bars of "soap" that you buy at the grocery store do not say soap. They're labeled moisture bar, family bar, classic bar, etc.
My deeper answer is that I know what is in my soap. I gather the ingredients and lovingly blend them together. Your skin is your biggest organ and absorbs everything you put on it. I'm a little annal about what I put on my skin and that of my loved ones. That is how my product line started.
Fats in this case are olive oil, coconut oil and palm kernal oil - organic and ethically procured. They each have their own wonderful attributes including moisturizing, skin nourishing and lather producing.
Lye is leached from wood ash. It is also known as sodium hydroxide. By itself it is not safe, but in finished soap it is neutral and safe. When lye meets with oils it begins a saponification process that turns the oils into soap. These saponified oils (it's not soap yet) are then poured into soap molds and left alone to cool and cure. After the bars are unmolded I allow the soap to age to insure that the lye and oils have finished reacting and have created a gentle cleansing bar of soap. That is why you will see on the bottom of my soap labels a do not use before date. I never offer soap for sale that is not ready so the note is mostly for my benefit and to generate conversation.
The longer a bar of soap sits, like a fine wine it gets better. A well aged bar of soap will last much longer in the shower (or bath) and will provide much pleasure.