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Thursday, September 24, 2020Focus on French Launches

Cold saponified soap

Le savon saponifié à froid

As good for the skin (face and body) as it is for the planet, it ticks all the boxes! Great for traveling, we rediscover the merits and simplicity of this handmade organic soap that does not cause any tightness. It has the wind in its sails this autumn, including in supermarkets. Enough to reconcile all those who were annoyed with soap!

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It’s the revelation of the new school year! This good old “CS” (Cold Saponified) is totally up to date! For those who don’t know it, this jewel of certified organic cosmetics is a super natural product (no palm oil, no sulphate, no coloring agents, no synthetic products, no preservatives…), which leaves the skin very soft (no more need for body milk, except for very dry skin).
Cold saponification is the only method that naturally preserves all the glycerin resulting from the saponification process (there is no glycerin added, unlike industrial soaps called “glycerinated”), which gives the soap moisturizing properties.
Very gentle for the skin, it is a real care rich in vegetable oils (up to 80% for Gaiia). The percentage of vegetable oils is very important and is part of the secret of formulation of each brand, because within a percents the quality of the finished product varies greatly, especially its softness when washed and the hardness of the soap, therefore its longevity.
When in addition it is surgras, it means that the totality of the oils is not transformed into soap (unsaponifiable part) but will remain in the oil state. The latter will not be totally eliminated when rinsed off and will form a protective layer on the skin, in order to bring an extreme comfort to the toilet.
It can be perfumed or not (in fact, most brands that have made it their specialty like Gaiia or Kazidomi offer it in both versions). With perfume, it can be found at Gaiia, Le Comptoir des Huiles, Oolution, Dessein (at Oh My Cream…).
Without perfume (at Omum, Comme Avant, Comette Cosmetics…), it is suitable for the whole family, as well as for pregnant women and babies. Last but not least, while soda is necessary for the manufacture of soap and glycerin, it does not remain in the finished product, making its formula completely biodegradable.

Daily hygiene becomes a source of care

Franck Peiffer (co-founder of Gaiia) is a precursor of cold saponification since 2009. A militant actor of the profession, he participated in the elaboration of the first cold soap charter (document deposited at the National Library of France) and presides over the Association of New Soap Makers.
Made in France in the Drôme region, his soaps combine a high percentage of organic vegetable oils (olive, sunflower, coconut, castor, hemp…), organic shea butter and glycerin.
All Gaiia’s “CS” soaps are superfatted. They are available in neutral (fragrance-free), organic and dermatological versions, for mothers and babies (Unique Natural Fatty Soap for Face and Body or Unique Very Gentle Fatty Soap for Face and Body, 100 g, €5.90 each), or scented (L’intuitif with citrus scent, family pack of 170 g, €8.50 each); Le Sensuel, L’Enthousiaste, L’Evident, Le Gourmand, Le Soyeux, Le Colosse, Le Tonique… 100 g, €5.90 each).

Le Comptoir des Huiles also offers five certified organic cold soaps, including an exfoliating scrub with moringa particles (Le Savon Exfoliant aux tourteaux de moringa, 100 g, €5.90).
They are distinguished by their richness in organic baobab oil and their exceptional percentage of surgras (8%) that can be found in the Organic Cold Soap Le Baobab (100 g, €5.90), or the Precious Soap with 11 Vegetable Oils of Madagascar (100 g, €8.90), as well as in their two soaps scented with essential oils (The Cold Soap in the summer in the scrubland with essential oils of lemongrass and rosemary to cineole, 100 g, 4.90 € ; The Basque Sunset Cold Soap with peppermint and lemon eucalyptus essential oils, 100 g, €4.90). Those of Comme Avant (Natural Soap with Olive Oil, 100 g, €5.90, at Naturalia) are certified organic and formulated with 100% organic olive oil, without perfume or essential oils, with a 7% fat content, which allows them to be used on everyone from babies to pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Absolutely universal, they are made in Marseille and can be used by sensitive, dry or very oily skin.
They help to fight against rednesses or irritations by reinforcing the hydrolipidic film of the skin and get a rare feeling of comfort.

Mothers, pregnant women and babies are also a privileged target of the CS Soap, as at Omum (Le Cajoleur, 100 g, €8.90) or Comette Cosmetics made in Provence (Cocoon Very Gentle CS Soap for Mum and Baby, 100 g, €8).

Kazidomi has named his own The Minimalist Bar Soap, (Shea Butter Soap, 100 g, €3.35).

The certified Belgian brand B-Corp has also imagined The Detox Purifying Bar Soap, a purifying soap with clay and lemongrass essential oil (100 g, €3.46), or a soothing soap with lavender and mandarin essential oils (The Mysterious Calming Bar Soap Tangerine & Lavender, soap 100 g, €3.35).

Equally gentle are those of Oolution (Saponified Cold Spring Break Soap scented with orange blossom, 100 g, 10 € with pouch, 8 € without pouch, limited edition) or Océopin with maritime pine and immortal dune (Organic Fatty Soap, 150 g, €15).

Preserve their shelf life

Because of their longevity (because of their percentage of surgras and glycerin, they are softer than industrial soap, so they tend to melt faster), it is preferable not to use them under water, but to wet the skin and then soap it directly or rub the soap on a wet glove that will then be passed over the skin. In this way only the necessary amount of soap is used.
Do not soak it in water, but put it on a dry and ventilated surface (never in a cup where there is always some stagnant water).
Finally, it is important to know that the manufacture of CS soap and especially the drying time (three weeks minimum) is essential in the hardness and durability of the soap. Thus Gaiia lets it dry for four to six weeks, which she calls “the curing time” (the time it takes for the soap to dry and refine, which evacuates the excess water).
The longer the curing time, the harder the soap becomes. 

You can even find it in supermarkets!

The latest Carrefour Soft Green range (certified organic) offers one based on coconut oil, shea butter and olive oil in a raw cardboard box (Solid Face and Body Soap made according to the artisanal know-how of cold saponification, 100 g, €3.80).

Ariane Le Febvre
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