Le Parfait


Why our bar soap boxes are larger than the soap?

The simple answer is…. just so the soap can genuinely breathe! All our 130g soap bars are a totally natural product and we leave the natural glycerine in, this means the soap can sweat in both very cold and hot temperatures. Unfortunately as we have no control over the warehouse, supermarket depots and haulage, we have to make allowances for this. Due to our natural ink dyed packaging, if the soaps are to sweat due to temperature the boxes can become damp and the ink can bleed onto the product making it unusable, so the slightly bigger packaging solves this. We are not trying to make you think the bar is bigger than it is and we press the soap at 10% more than the weight labelled as we know it has a small % shrinkage weight as it cures…. so what we can promise is it will definitely be the weight on the label (if not a bit more!).

My online order came wrapped in bubble wrap/plastic air packs – why don’t you use biodegradable packaging?

The only time we use plastic wrapping or bubble is if we are up-cycling packaging we’ve received from incoming orders here and we can not bear to throw it away, so we add it to the packaging room to prevent it going to landfill. We never specifically order plastic wrapping or unrecyclable products. We use paper wrap, shredded zig zag paper and corrugated cardboard – which is all biodegradable and recyclable.

Do you use lye/NaOH/Caustic Soda/Sodium Hydroxide in your bar soaps?

All REAL soap is made with lye  or NaOH/sodium hydroxide/caustic soda or lye or whatever you want to call it mixed with a liquid (usually water, goats milk, beer etc). Any soap product made without sodium hydroxide is not ‘soap’, it is detergent (big difference – proper soap nourishes the skin, detergent strips it and gives you that tight feeling afterwards!). Once the chemical reaction of making soap, called saponification, is complete, the lye and oil molecules have combined and chemically changed into soap and this magical thing called glycerin appears.  Providing all the ingredients have been measured correctly (we have tight QC, don’t worry and legally all our recipes have to be safety assessed and stability tested) all of the lye is used up in the saponification process to turn oil into soap meaning there is no lye present in the finished bars of soap. While all real soap must be made with lye, no lye remains in the finished product after saponification. All our bars (our original Artisan Handmade bars and our Organic/Mediterranean/Naturals ranges soap bars are all made with lye even though the words “sodium hydroxide” or “lye” do not appear on the labels.  Once saponified, the ingredients legally have to be listed such as these so we can see it has been used by the way the oils are described: 

  • sodium cocoate: the generic name for the mixture of coconut oil with sodium hydroxide (lye).
  • sodium palmate: the generic name for the mixture of palm oil with sodium hydroxide (lye).
  • sodium palm kernelate: the generic name for the mixture of palm kernel oil with sodium hydroxide (lye).
  •  sodium olivate: the generic name for the mixture of olive oil with sodium hydroxide (lye).

… so yes all our bars are saponified the traditional way with lye. However this is not listed in the ingredients as it’s not present in the final product. It’s just used to kick start the chemical process then disperses.