SOAPS FROM CHARDINE
Zene always wanted to start her own business, and while she was doing a Google search for a recipe for bath salts she chanced upon a website about goat’s-milk soap. She discovered that it could do wonders for people with eczema, psoriasis and sensitive skin, and because she suffered from eczema on her hands, she decided to make the soap herself. And it worked!
“I watched videos on YouTube and bought the raw materials, but my first three attempts failed. Six months of trial and error later, I’d learnt (among other things) about the benefits of different oils, for example, grape-seed and almond oils moisturise the skin, whereas castor oil foams beautifully. I also researched the benefits of natural clays and essential oils.”
Is soap-making a profitable business? Yes, but for me it’s also about helping people with skin problems. Soapmaking is hard work. You spend hours on your feet and you have to concentrate, because even small mistakes can be costly. I still have a full-time job, but my goal is to turn this into a full-time profession.
What makes your products unique? Everything – the soap, liquid soap, milk bath soak, shampoo and conditioner, lip balm, and face and body creams – contains goat’s milk (fresh or powdered). Goat’s milk is soothing and nourishing, as it has the same pH as our skin, and it contains vitamin A, amino acids, protein and lactic acid (a natural exfoliator).
If you do proper research and observe the basic safety rules, soap-making isn’t as dangerous or difficult as people think it is. What did surprise me, however, is the important role temperature plays in the process: when the milk and oil are mixed together, they need to be at the same temperature to allow the necessary chemical reactions to take place. Some essential oils could also cause the soap mixture to overheat and separate.
• Do your research: there’s an incredible wealth of information online about the soap-making process and essentials, as well as forums where you can ask others for advice. • Soap-making is a natural process – don’t try to rush it. • Keep at it – many things can go wrong at first, but you learn.
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