So to wrap up so far: Sodium Hydroxide is sodium, oxygen, and hydrogen that can be purchased as a flake and added to water. When that happens the reaction creates heat and the pH goes up very high. That solution can then be added to the oils and butters to create soap in the process of saponification. But what kinds of oils and butters are used?
At Texas Bath and Bubbles, we use organic, renewable oils and butters in our products. Our soap is made from olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, and castor oil. Each of these ingredients was selected for a specific purpose. For example, Olive oil makes a soap that is very mild and gentle. Coconut oil is very cleansing and castor oil makes for big fluffy bubbles in soap. Palm oil is high in stearic acid. The other source for stearic acid would be animal fat, but we choose to keep our soap vegetarian instead. We aren't completely vegetarian ourselves, but the thought of using animal fat on our skin kind of freaked us out so we had to look for alternatives.
So, that's what's in soap. Coming up maybe I'll do a piece on fragrance oils vs essential oils, and also on micas that we use to color our soap, but for now, I think I'm going to go make some more soap. Use our soap, we will make more, we promise.