Wash the day away!
BRIARWOOD SOAP CO
MASSILLON, OH 44647
Briarwood Soap Co is dedicated to providing you with an exceptional soap experience!
We strive to make beautiful soaps, but assure you that the pretty soaps are meant to be used! It makes our hearts happy to hear about your experiences with our products. Use them daily in the shower, put them in the guest bathroom on display if you must; just remember, we can always make more (and would be delighted to!).
The soap-making process
DON'T "LYE" TO ME!
We know that people are more health conscious than ever! It is important to know what exactly we are eating, what chemicals are we using to clean our homes with, and of course, what are we putting ON our bodies?!
There is a common misconception about sodium hydroxide, also known as "lye", an essential ingredient in soap-making. There is a fallacy surrounding lye in that it is dangerous and to be avoided. The truth is, soap can not be made without lye!
When soap is made, it goes through a chemical reaction called "saponification". Just like when vinegar and baking soda react to form something brand new, lye and oils go through the same process. What is the something new? Soap! When the ingredients saponify, you get the bubbly emulsifier that we all love! No danger here! We personally test each batch on ourselves or willing family and friends!
WHAT IS CURING?
Once we go through the process of creating and designing each artisanal and luxurious batch of soap, we set them aside to "cure". Just like a fine wine, soap gets better with time. After cutting, the soap bars will sit for 4-6 weeks. This allows the soap bars to harden and ultimately last longer for you! Can fresh soap be used sooner? Sure! Just know that soaps that do not reach their "cure time" will melt in the shower faster!
WHAT IS SUPERFATTING?
Superfatting is an intentional process of using more oils and butters than can be saponified (turned into soap). Soapers choose to superfat so that some of the oils and butters still retain their properties when applied to the skin. Superfatting is also a safety precaution. As long as there are more oils/butters than lye can change into soap, there is a significantly less chance that any leftover lye is present in the soap.
What we put into our soaps-
We always want to remain transparent in how we formulate each of our products and strive to provide you with an exceptional commodity and bath experience.
OLIVE OIL- Olive oil is high in oleic acid. This makes a long-lasting, hard bar of soap with a gentle cleansing lather that is suitable for many skin types.
COCONUT OIL- Coconut oil is high in lauric and myristic acids. This increases the cleansing ability in soap. It also creates larger bubbles in your lather.
LARD- Lard is very popular in soap making! We prefer it in our soaps, but also offer vegan options, too. Contrary to the belief, lard does not clog pores, smells, or leaves you feeling greasy. Once saponified, lard actually creates a very stable, creamy lather in soaps! Combined with the properties of coconut oil, lard helps our bars reach what we consider "sudsy perfection"! Lard is a popular alternative to palm oil (high risk of being irresponsibly sourced!).
VEGETABLE SHORTENING- this is used in some of our bars in place of lard for our vegan friends!
CASTOR OIL- Castor oil has many uses in the health and beauty industry. Rich in ricinoleic acid, it helps fight bacteria along with providing great stability in your lather while adding that nice "slip" feeling when washing.
SHEA BUTTER- While shea butter does not add to the lather of a bar, it is a luxe additive that has plenty of vitamins and antioxidants. Shea butter has grown in popularity in bath and beauty products. During saponification, all of the fats and oils in shea are converted to soap. Since we superfat all of our recipes, this leaves a little extra of this ingredient to be happily absorbed into our skin!
ACTIVATED CHARCOAL- Known to bind with toxins, activated charcoal is used in many health and beauty products from soaps to masks to toothpaste! It also acts as a wonderful gentle exfoliator. If your soap has a lot of activated charcoal in it, you may see the lather turn grey. This does not hurt the cleansing ability of the soap. We have tested heavily charcoaled soaps in our own bathrooms with no issues, but recommend you test in an small, inconspicuous space.
TITANIUM DIOXIDE- Used in many applications such as paint, cosmetics, and food, titanium dioxide allows our soaps to achieve a white color. Without titanium dioxide, our soaps would take the muddled color of olive oil.
FRAGRANCE-Each fragrance that is put into our bars have met the strict standards of the IFRA and are certified skin safe.
KAOLIN CLAY-Kaolin clay has been used for its antibacterial properties, to remove oils, detoxify, and balance skin pH. It also acts as a great anchor for fragrance oils-allowing them to last longer.
FRENCH CLAY- Both French green and French pink clays are used in our cold process bar soaps. French clay has been known to remove impurities and provide light exfoliation. It also provides a lovely, natural and earthy green and pink coloring to many of our soaps.
OTHER ADDITIVES- There are many amazing additives that can be added to our soaps and we are always trying new, creative things. Perhaps its coffee grounds or poppy seeds to act as an exfoliator. Dried flowers and botanicals give the soap an artistic edge. Maybe Himalayan salt adorns the top to give it visual interest!
MICAS- Micas are powdered pigments made from grinding down of these shimmery minerals from these metamorphic rocks. They are completely skin safe and are a popular choice for soap makers to adding a variety of vibrant, beautiful colors and designs to soaps.
LYE- Also known as sodium hydroxide. As stated above, this is a must in soap making and is a huge part of the beauty of soap crafting! (Note: do not attempt to use sodium hydroxide at home unless you fully understand the dangers and ramifications of using this extremely caustic material! Safety is always a priority and please complete thorough research before attempting to use this chemical)
Meet the Makers
We are a small (very small) business that consists of a full-time 8th grade science teacher with the assistance of her adoring husband!
I'm Kristi! Nice to meet you!
I take the lead on the majority of the handcrafted soaps, fulfilling orders, and generally running the business while my amazing husband, Jason, is my appointed Chief of Logistics (AKA- guy with the common sense), working out the details, building all of the little things I ask him for, listening to my outrageous ideas, and generally keeping me grounded as I chase this dream!
We are based out of Massillon, Ohio. We hope that you will find us at local farmers markets or vendor events. We will try to keep you posted as we would love to meet you in person!
And as always, we thank you for supporting us and our small business!
♥️ Kristi & Jason