Today the term castile soap has been slightly changed to mean a product made with lots of oils, including olive oil. Our product, however, sticks to old tradition with only a slight addition of a small amount of coconut oil to provide this base with a little more lather than a one hundred percent olive oil based soap would contain.
In times past, castile soap was made of three simple ingredients: water, olive oil and lye. In fact, when people spoke of castile soap, they were literally referencing the region of Castile, which was where their special grade of oil was pressed.
Today there are very few soap makers who manufacture a true castile soap. You can tell the difference by the ingredients. If extra virgin olive oil is the first or only oil ingredient, then you have a castile soap. If the first oil ingredient is coconut or any other type of oil, you do not have a castile soap.
True castile soap is much more expensive to maufacture than a base made with coconut oil. This is obviously due to the fact that extra virgin olive oil is much more expensive per pound than a cheap grade of coconut or palm oil. But before I go knocking coconut or palm oil too harshly, it is also the one ingredient that provides loads of lather, whereas extra virgin olive oil provides a very low, but highly emolient lather. Which is exactly why Castile soap was created: its emolient lather worked great for babies or people with sensitive skin.
We at Organic Creations have attempted to take the best of both worlds, and using a super high ratio of extra virgin olive oil, with a small amount of coconut oil -- you still get the benefits of castile, with an extra kick of lather from the coconut oil. Having said that, this base is not super lathering. It is afterall, a true castile soap. It will still build lather, especially if you use a net, loofa, sea sponge or even a washrag.
This product is thick, meaning it has "body" to it, so that it doesn't just slip through your fingers, like some natural soaps do. It's light yellow-opaque in color, due to the high amount of pure olive oil that we use during the manufacturing process. This base can be scented with either fragrance oils or essential oils.
A few creative ideas for this liquid base are:
*Add seeds, pumice powder, ground walnut or apricot shells and you have a body / facial scrub. Just remember to use the "lightest weight" product you can find, so that the bits don't sink to the bottom of your jar.
*Thin this base down with water or hydrosol waters and you have a thinner version -- that is slightly scented (if you use hydrosol waters).
*Add small amounts of silk amino acids, wheat protein, oat protein, etc. for a customized soap that is even kinder to the skin.
*Use as-is, with fragrance or essential oils for a wonderfully thick shower gel.
*Add a cosmetic gel colorant and suspend glitter into the base, kids love it this way!
Remember ... this is a natural soap - so it will sting your eyes if it comes in contact with them. So use caution in that regard.
(^) During the soap making process, the potassium hydroxide bonds to the oils to make soap and is an ingredient that is no longer found in the finished product. Please do not ask us to remove this ingredient, its not possible. Without this ingredient, you cannot make this type of liquid soap.
(**) Sodium alginate is a thickening ingredient approved by the USDA organic certification program.