Here at the Soap Cabin, we craft our soaps using a vegetable glycerin soap base. I first got into Soap making because I happened to purchase one of these kits in Cornwall and enjoyed that I could customise the soap base as I wished, and could do crazy things with it, like stacking up layers to create different colour stripes, or have an opaque shape suspended within a clear bar, and that I could experiment in a small space without the threat of chemical burns!
I am hoping to book onto a Cold Process Soap Making workshop at G Baldwin & Co this year (London’s Oldest Apothecary) because I really want to learn how to make it from scratch, but I get slightly irritated with the Cold Process snobs who believe that using a soap base is a cop-out and claim that there is no skill or effort involved. I met such a snob at the Queen’s Road Summer Market in Watford a few years back who was selling other products, but had a small collection of cold process soaps. When I explained that mine were not, she seemed to peer at me with great suspicion. Working out of a small flat was no excuse, because she made hers in an even smaller flat. There was no thought that I might actually enjoy my craft! Besides that, we make all our other skin products from scratch.
Although I have purchased cold processed soap bars in the past (and do every now and then) my skin actually prefers the texture of glycerin soap and I love the vast range of looks we can create with melt & pour…which is why we make them. There is also the fact that nearly all of the soap makers I come across make Cold Process soaps, and I find it hard to see a unique selling point between them (not that I don’t appreciate the art and creativity that goes into them). There are also some fairly large soap makers who only do glycerin soaps and do very well. Perhaps the different types appeal to different markets.
Anyone that knows me knows that I don’t like to do what everyone else is doing!