A cleansing agent, manufactured in bars,
granules, flakes, or liquid form, made from a mixture of the sodium
salts of various fatty acids of natural oils and fats.
Any magical power or process of
transmuting a common substance, usually of little value, into a
substance of great value.
Soap Alchemy Glossary
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Any magical power or process of transmuting
a common substance, usually of little value, into a substance of great
|almond (al-muhnd): noun
Small bushy deciduous tree native to Asia and North Africa having
pretty pink blossoms and highly prized edible nuts enclosed in a hard
green hull; either eaten as a nut or used for extraction of an oil for
flavoring; cultivated in southern Australia and California.
|almond oil (al-muhnd oil): noun
Pale yellow fatty oil expressed from sweet or
bitter almonds. The sweet almond oil is obtained from the dried kernel
of the plant. This oil has been traditionally used by massage
therapists to lubricate the skin during a massage session, being
considered by many to be an effective emollient.
|anti-inflammatory (an-tee-in-flam-uh-tawr-ee): adj.
Preventing or reducing inflammation.
|antiseptic (an-tuh-sep-tik): adj.
Capable of preventing infection by inhibiting the growth of
|antiviral (an-tee-vahy-ruhl): adj.
Destroying or inhibiting the growth and reproduction of viruses.
|apricot (ap-ri-kot): noun
Asian tree having clusters of usually white blossoms and edible fruit
resembling the peach.
|apricot oil (ap-ri-kot
Pressed from the kernels of
the Prunus armeniaca (apricot). The kernels have an oil content
of 40-50%. The oil is similar to almond oil and peach oil, both of
which are also extracted from the kernels of the respective fruit.
Apricot oil is used in cosmetics to soften skin and is also used in the
manufacture of soaps, cold creams and other preparations of the
perfumery trade. Specifically, apricot oil can be used on the scalp to
improve its condition.
|avocado (av-uh-kah-doh): noun
Also called alligator pear. a large, usually
pear-shaped fruit having green to blackish skin, a single large seed,
and soft, light-green pulp, borne by the tropical American tree
Persea americana and its variety P. adrymifolia, often eaten
raw, especially in salads.
|avocado oil (av-uh-kah-doh oil): noun
oil pressed from the fruit of the Persea americana (avocado). It
is used as a food oil, as an ingredient in other dishes, as well as a
cooking oil. It can be frequently found in cosmetics where it is valued
for its regenerative and moisturizing properties. It is high in Vitamin
Avocado oil is pressed from the fleshy pulp surrounding the avocado
|basic (bey-sic): adj.
Of, pertaining to, or forming a base;
|castile (ca-steel): noun
A variety of mild soap, made from olive oil and sodium hydroxide.
A document serving as evidence or as
written testimony, as of status, qualifications, privileges, or the
truth of something.
|chamomile (kam-uh-meel): noun
A composite plant, Chamaemelium nobile
(or Anthemis nobilis), native to the Old World, having strongly
scented foliage and white ray flowers with yellow centers used
medicinally and as a tea.
The external uses of chamomile include
blending its essential oil with lavender or rose for scenting perfumes,
candles, creams, or other aromatherapy products intended to calm or
relax the user.
Other external uses of chamomile include topical preparations for the
treatment of bruises, scrapes, skin irritations, and joint pain. The
antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile make it a
widely used external treatment for acne, arthritis, burns, ulcerated
areas of skin, and even diaper rash. The German E Commission, regarded
as an authority on herbal treatments, has recommended chamomile to
"combat inflammation, stimulate the regeneration of cell tissue, and
promote the healing of refractory wounds and skin ulcers."
|citrus (si-truhs): noun
Any small tree or spiny shrub of the genus
Citrus, of the rue family, including the lemon, lime, orange,
tangerine, grapefruit, citron, kumquat, and shaddock, widely cultivated
for fruit or grown as an ornamental.
|cocoa butter (koh-koh
A yellowish-white fatty solid obtained from cacao seeds
and used as an ingredient in cosmetics, tanning oils, chocolate, and
Cocoa butter contains natural antioxidants.
The smooth texture, sweet fragrance and emollient property of cocoa
butter make it a popular ingredient in cosmetics and skin care
products, such as soaps and lotions.
|coconut (koh-kuh-nuht): noun
The large, hard-shelled seed of the coconut
palm, lined with a white edible meat, and containing a milky liquid.
|coconut oil (koh-kuh-nuht
A white, semisolid fat or nearly colorless
fatty oil extracted from coconuts, used chiefly in foods and in the
manufacture of soaps, cosmetics, and candles.
Any concentrated, hydrophobic liquid
containing volatile aroma compounds from plants, which are called
aromatic herbs or aromatic plants. They are also known as volatile or
ethereal oils, or simply as the "oil of" the plant material from which
they were extracted, such as oil of clove. The term essential indicates
that the oil carries distinctive scent (essence) of the plant.
Essential oils are generally extracted by distillation. Other processes
include expression, or solvent extraction. They are used in perfumes
and cosmetics, for flavoring food and drink, and for scenting incense
and household cleaning products.
Various essential oils have been used medicinally at different periods
in history. Medical applications proposed by those who sell medicinal
oils vary from skin treatments to remedies for cancer, and are often
based on historical use of these oils for these purposes.
|eucalyptus (yoo-kuh-lip-tuhs): noun
genus of trees, mostly Australian evergreen trees or rarely shrubs,
that have rigid entire leaves and umbellate flowers and are widely
cultivated for their gums, resins, oils, and useful woods. Many of them
grow to an immense height, one or two species exceeding the height even
of the California Sequoia.
|evening primrose (eev-ning
Any of various North American plants of the
genus Oenothera, characteristically having four-petaled yellow
flowers that open in the evening. Also called sundrops.
|evening primrose oil (eev-ning
prim-rohz oil): noun
A liquid from the plant Oenothera biennis
whose flowers open in evening and are a source of y-linolenic acid,
used as an herbal treatment and dietary supplement for various
|exfoliating (eks-foh-lee-eyt-ing): adj.
To remove (a layer of bark or skin, for example) in flakes or scales;
|floral (flawr-uhl): adj.
Of, relating to, or suggestive of a flower.
|geranium (ji-rey-nee-uhm): noun
Also called stork's-bill. any of various
plants of the allied genus Pelargonium, native to southern
Africa, having showy flowers or fragrant leaves, widely cultivated in
gardens and as houseplants.
Something given voluntarily without
payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an
occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present.
|gift certificate (gift
certificate entitling the bearer to select merchandise of a
specified cash value from a store, usually presented as a gift.
|ginger (jin-jer): noun
Any of a genus (Zingiber of the
family Zingiberaceae, the ginger family) of herbs with a pungent
aromatic rhizome that is used as a spice and sometimes in medicine;
especially : a widely cultivated tropical herb (Z.
officinale) that supplies most of the ginger of commerce.
|goat milk (goht
Milk from the doe or female goat, In soap making, it is used for super-fatting soap
which creates a more emollient bar and creamy lather.
Goat milk contains 13% more calcium, 25% more vitamin B-6, 47% more
vitamin A, 34% more potassium, 35% more niacin, and 27% more selenium
than cow milk. Goat milk is also higher in chloride, copper, and
The milk is naturally
homogenized since it lacks the protein agglutinin. The curd is much
smaller. The milk also has a more similar makeup (percentage of fats,
etc.) to human milk than cows milk.
|grape seed (greyp seed): noun
The seeds of various varieties of Vitis
|grape seed oil (greyp seed oil): noun
A vegetable oil pressed from the seeds of
various varieties of Vitis vinifera grapes. A preferred cosmetic
ingredient for damaged and stressed tissues, possessing regenerative
and restructuring qualities which allow a better control of skin
It can help skin retain the normal
structure of epithelium cells and nerve cells via supporting the cell
membranes. It is noted to be especially effective for repair of the
skin around the eyes. Used as an all-over skin moisturizer, grape seed
oil is known to reduce the look of stretch marks. A light, thin oil,
grape seed oil leaves a glossy film over the skin when used as a
carrier oil for essential oils in aromatherapy. It contains more
linoleic acid than many other carrier oils. Grape seed oil is also
usable as a lubricant for face shaving.
|green tea (green tee): noun
Tea made from leaves that are not fermented
before being dried.
|hempseed (hemp-seed): noun
The seed of hemp. Hemp seeds are comparable
to sunflower seeds, and may be used for food and milk, tea, and for
baking, like sesame seeds. The hemp seed is actually a very tiny nut
covered by a thin shell.
Hemp seeds are one of the worlds richest
sources of a complete protein (second only to soybean) comprising 23%
of the seed composition and 34% dietary fiber. Whole hemp seeds contain
a rich array of minerals, particularly phosphorous, potassium,
magnesium, sulfur and calcium, along with modest amounts of iron and
zinc. It is also a fair source of carotene, a "Vitamin A" precursor.
|hempseed oil (hemp-seed oil):
A vegetable oil pressed from the seeds of Hemp. This highly
polyunsaturated oil has uses similar to that of linseed oil, but also
has been employed as a raw material for soaps and detergents and as an
emollient in body-care products. Hempseed oil contains both linoleic
and linolenic essential fatty acids.
|jojoba oil (hoh-hoh-buh oil):
The liquid wax produced in the seed of the
Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) plant, a shrub native to southern
Arizona, southern California and northwestern Mexico. Jojoba oil makes
up approximately 50% of the jojoba seed by weight.
Unlike common vegetable oils, jojoba oil is
chemically very similar to human sebum. Most jojoba oil is consumed as
an ingredient in cosmetics and personal care products, especially skin
care and hair care. The make up of the oil is very similar to that of
human sebum. It aids in the healing process.
Jojoba oil is also used as a replacement for whale oil and its
derivatives, such as cetyl alcohol. The ban on importing whale oil to
the US in 1971 led to the discovery that it is "in many regards
superior to sperm oil for applications in the cosmetics and other
industries." Jojoba biodiesel has been explored as a cheap, sustainable
fuel that can serve as a substitute for petroleum diesel.
|lavender (lav-uhn-der): noun
Any of various aromatic Old World plants of
the genus Lavandula, especially L. angustifolia, having
clusters of small purplish flowers that yield an oil used in perfumery;
The fragrant dried leaves, stems, and flowers of this plant.
Lavender is used both externally and
internally in healing. Externally the essential oil is used in
aromatherapy as a relaxant and to improve mood. Aromatherapy can be
facilitated through massage, used in the bath, in potpourri jars, and
burned in specially-designed oil burners. Lavender is also used to
treat fatigue, restlessness, nervousness, and difficulty sleeping.
Lavender oil applied to the forehead and temples is said to ease
|lemon (lem-uhn): noun
One of the citrus fruits, from a tree (Citrus
limon) of the family Rutaceae (orange family), probably
native to India. A small tree (to about 15 ft/5 m tall) with thorny
branches and purple-edged white blossoms, it requires a mild, equable
The fruit is high in vitamin content
(especially in ascorbic acid, or vitamin C.) Lemon oil, or the
essential oil extracted from the skin, usually while green, is
manufactured mostly in Italy and France. It is used in the making of
lemon extract, perfumes and cosmetics.
A coarse, unsifted powder ground from the
edible seeds of any grain or any ground or powdery substance, as of
nuts or seeds, resembling this.
Any aromatic herb of the genus Mentha,
having opposite leaves and small, whorled flowers, as the spearmint and
peppermint; made, scented or flavored with mint.
little or no processing and containing no chemical additives.
|natural brown sugar (nach-er-uhl
broun shoog-er): noun
A name for Raw Sugar which is a brown sugar
produced from the first crystallization of cane. Raw sugar is more
commonly used than processed white sugar. As such "natural brown sugar"
is free of additional dyes and chemicals. There is more molasses in
brown sugar, giving it a higher mineral content.
A fast-growing broad-leaved evergreen,
Azadirachta indica, native to India and Myanmar. Its extracts have
been used for centuries in Asia as pesticides, toothpaste, medicines,
and health tonics.
In India, the tree is variously known as
"Divine Tree", "Heal All", "Nature's Drugstore", "Village Pharmacy" and
"Panacea for all diseases". Products made from neem have proven
medicinal properties, being antihelmintic, antifungal, antidiabetic,
antibacterial, antiviral and anti-infertility.
Neem twigs are used for brushing teeth in
India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. This practice is perhaps one of the
earliest and most effective forms of dental care. All parts of the tree
(seeds, leaves, flowers and bark) are used for preparing many different
medical preparations. Neem oil is used for preparing cosmetics (soap,
shampoo, balms and creams). Neem Oil is useful for skin care such as
acne, and keeping skin elasticity.
A vegetable oil pressed from the fruits and
seeds of Neem (Azadirachta indica), an evergreen tree which is
endemic to the Indian sub-continent and has been introduced to many
other areas in the tropics. It is perhaps the most important of the
commercially available products of neem.
Neem oil is not used for cooking purposes but, in India and Bangladesh,
it is used for preparing cosmetics (soap, hair products, body hygiene
creams, hand creams) and in Ayurvedic, Unani and folklore traditional
medicine, in the treatment of a wide range of afflictions. The most
frequently reported indications in ancient Ayurvedic writings are skin
diseases, inflammations and fevers, and more recently rheumatic
disorders, insect repellent and insecticide effects.
Traditional Ayurvedic uses of neem include the treatment of fever,
leprosy, malaria, ophthalmia and tuberculosis. It has been used
in traditional medicine for the treatment of tetanus, urticaria,
eczema, scrofula and erysipelas. Neem Oil is useful for skin care such
as acne, and keeping skin elasticity.
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|oat (oht): noun
Any of various grasses of the genus
Avena, especially A. sativa, widely cultivated for their
Meal made from ground or rolled oats; made
with or containing oatmeal.
|olive oil (ol-iv oil):
A fruit oil obtained from the olive (Olea
europaea; family Oleaceae along with lilacs, jasmine and ash
trees), a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. It is
commonly used in cooking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soaps and as
a fuel for traditional oil lamps. Olive oil is healthier than other
sources of alimentary fat because of its high content of
monounsaturated fat (mainly oleic acid) and polyphenols.
Topical application is quite popular with
fans of natural health remedies. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the
preferred grade for moisturizing the skin, especially when used in the
Oil Cleansing Method (OCM). OCM is a method of cleansing and
moisturizing the face with a mixture of extra virgin olive oil, castor
oil (or another suitable carrier oil) and a select blend of essential
Jeanne Calment, who holds the record for the longest confirmed
lifespan, reportedly attributed her longevity and relatively youthful
appearance (for her age) to olive oil, which she said she poured on all
her food and rubbed into her skin.
Any of numerous mineral, vegetable, and synthetic substances and animal
and vegetable fats that are generally slippery, combustible, viscous,
liquid or liquefiable at room temperatures, soluble in various organic
solvents such as ether but not in water, and used in a great variety of
products, especially lubricants and fuels.
(pahm oil): noun
A yellow butter like oil derived from the
fruit of the oil palm and used as an edible fat and for making soap,
|palm kernel oil
(pahm kur-nl oil): noun
A vegetable oil derived from the oil palm
fruit seed and used as an edible fat for making soap, candles and
|palm red butter (pahm
Butter or oil derived from the fruit of the
oil palm and used as an edible fat and for making soap, candles, etc.
Palm Red butter is referred to as either a butter or an oil as it can
be in solid to semi solid or liquid form depending on the temperature
it is stored.
When compared to regular palm oil, it has been found to be more healthy
due to the fact that Palm Red butter/oil contains the following
nutrients either not present in, or present in lesser amounts than
regular palm oil:
carotenoids, giving the butter/oil its beautiful orange/red color,
tocotrienols, co-enzyme Q10 (ubiquinone), squalene, Vitamin A and
A small shrubby mint-like plant (Pogostemon cablin
or Pogostemon Patchouli) of the East Indies, yielding an essential oil from which a highly valued perfume is made.
An herb, Mentha piperita, of the
mint family, cultivated for its aromatic, pungent oil. Peppermint is a
hybrid mint, a cross between watermint (Mentha aquatica) and
spearmint (Mentha spicata).
Peppermint can be found in some shampoos
and soaps, which give the hair a minty scent and produce a cooling
sensation on the skin. It is said that it helps against upset stomachs,
inhibits the growth of certain bacteria, and can help soothe and relax
muscles when inhaled or applied to the skin.
Other health benefits are attributed to the
high manganese, vitamin C and vitamin A content; as well as trace
amounts of various other nutrients such as fiber, iron, calcium, folate,
potassium, tryptophan, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, riboflavin, and
The edible, juicy, collective fruit of a
tropical, bromeliaceous plant, Ananas comosus, that develops
from a spike or head of flowers and is surmounted by a crown of leaves;
the plant itself, having a short stem and rigid, spiny-margined,
recurved leaves. The juice from the fruit is rich in vitamins A and B.
|pure (pyoor): adj.
Free from anything of a different, inferior, or contaminating kind; free from extraneous matter.
|rose (rohz): noun; adj.
Any of the wild or cultivated, usually
prickly-stemmed, pinnate-leaved, showy-flowered shrubs of the genus
Rosa; scented like a rose.
|rose geranium (rohz
A woody plant (Pelargonium
graveolens) having rose-pink flowers and fragrant, deeply palmately
lobed leaves with a rose like scent, used for flavoring and in
An evergreen shrub, Rosmarinus
officinalis, of the mint family, native to the Mediterranean
region, having leathery, narrow leaves and pale-blue, bell-shaped
flowers, used as a seasoning and in perfumery and medicine: a
traditional symbol of remembrance.
A high-quality wood scented like roses,
because of the presence of aromatic gum. It is obtained from various
trees of the genus Dalbergia, native to the tropics and
subtropics, which have pinnate leaves and pea-flowers.
Eurasian thistlelike herb (Carthamus
tinctorius) of the family Asteraceae (aster family).
Safflower, or false saffron, has long been cultivated in S Asia and
Egypt for food and medicine and as a costly but inferior substitute for
the true saffron dye. In the United States, where it is sometimes
called American saffron, it is more important as the source of
safflower oil, which has recently come into wide use as a cooking oil.
|safflower oil (saf-lou-er
A vegetable oil pressed from Safflower
seeds. Safflower oil is flavorless and colorless, and nutritionally
similar to sunflower oil. It is used mainly as a cooking oil, in salad
dressing, and for the production of margarine. It may also be taken as
a nutritional supplement.
There are two types of safflower that
produce different kinds of oil: one high in monounsaturated fatty acid
(oleic acid) and the other high in polyunsaturated fatty acid (linoleic
acid). Currently the predominant oil market is for the former, which is
lower in saturates and higher in monounsaturates than olive oil, for
To convert (a fat) into soap by treating
with an alkali.
|shea butter (shey
A slightly greenish or ivory-colored
natural fat extracted from fruit of the shea tree by crushing and
boiling. Shea butter is widely used in cosmetics as a moisturizer and
It is also a known anti-inflammatory agent.
Shea butter can be effective at treating the following conditions:
fading scars, eczema, burns, rashes, acne, severely dry skin,
blemishes, dark spots, skin discolorations, chapped lips, stretchmarks,
wrinkles and in lessening the irritation of psoriasis. Shea butter
provides natural UV sun protection, although the level of protection is
extremely variable, ranging from none at all to approximately SPF 6.
Sun-sensitive persons should not rely on shea butter for protection.
Shea butter absorbs rapidly into the skin without leaving a greasy
A cleansing agent, manufactured in bars,
granules, flakes, or liquid form, made from a mixture of the sodium
salts of various fatty acids of natural oils and fats.
|sodium lactate: noun
A Sodium salt of Lactic Acid that can be produced by natural fermentation of the sugars
from corn or beets. Sodium Lactate is listed by the FDA as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS).
Considered a skin conditioning agent, acts as a lubricant on the skin surface, giving the skin
a soft and smooth appearance. It is a humectant, a hygroscopic substance, which absorbs water
from the air. Sodium Lactate is a known component of the stratum coreum, the outermost layer
of the skin. In soap making, it is thought to produces a harder bar as well as adding
Soap Alchemy LLC uses Sodium Lactate produced from the natural fermentation of corn or beets.
An aromatic Eurasian plant (Mentha
spicata) having clusters of small purplish flowers and yielding an
oil used widely as a flavoring.
It is used as a flavouring for toothpaste
and confectionery, and is sometimes added to shampoos and soaps. In
herbalism, spearmint is steeped as tea for treatment of stomach ache.
Recent research has shown that Spearmint tea may be used as a treatment
for mild hirsutism in women. Its anti-androgenic properties reduce the
level of free testosterone in the blood, while leaving total
testosterone and DHEA unaffected.
Any of various composite plants of the
genus Helianthus, as H. annuus, having showy,
yellow-rayed flower heads often 12 in. (30 cm) wide, and edible seeds
that yield an oil with a wide variety of uses.
|sunflower oil (suhn-flou-er
Oil expressed from sunflower (Helianthus
annuus) seeds. Sunflower oil is commonly used in food as a frying
oil, and in cosmetic formulations as an emollient. Sunflower oil also
contains lecithin, tocopherols, carotenoids and waxes.
Sunflower oil is high in the essential
vitamin E and low in saturated fat. Sunflower oil may also have
suggested skin-health benefits. Sunflower oil, like other oils, can
retain moisture in the skin. However, it may also provide a protective
barrier that resists infection. Studies using sunflower oil have been
conducted involving pre-term infants that are often susceptible to
infection due to their underdeveloped skin. Research suggests that
pre-term infants with low birth weight can benefit from sunflower oil
skin treatments. Infections decreased by 41% in infants that received a
daily skin treatment of sunflower oil. The sunflower oil provided a
protective barrier against infection that was not otherwise present on
the infant .
Leaving some of the oils and fats in the finished soap producing an
emollient soap bar.
|tea tree (tee tree):
A tall shrub or small tree, also known as
the Melaleuca Tree,
Leptospermum scoparium, of the myrtle family, native to New Zealand
and Australia, having silky foliage when young, and bell-shaped, white
flowers: often planted to prevent beach erosion.
|tea tree oil (tee tree
An extraction from the Melaleuca tree
believed to have beneficial cosmetic and medical properties (including
antiseptic and antifungal action).
Tea tree oil has been recognized as a
potent antiseptic in Australia anecdotally for much longer than there
has been scientific evidence. However, recent studies support a role
for tea tree oil in skin care and treatment of various ailments.
Tea tree oil is a known antifungal agent, effective in vitro against
multiple dermatophytes found on the skin. In vivo, shampoo with 5% tea
tree oil has been shown to be an effective treatment for dandruff due
to its ability to treat Malassezia furfur, the most common cause of the
Tea Tree Oil is used in medically used cosmetic products also. Some
references are there to suggest its role as antiviral. Effectiveness of
topical tea tree oil preparations for Candidiasis is supported by their
ability to kill Candida in vitro.
In the treatment of moderate acne, topical application of 5% tea tree
oil has shown an effect comparable to 5% benzoyl peroxide, albeit with
slower onset of action. Tea tree oil is also effective for treating
insect bites, boils and minor wounds. It has also been known to help
soothe sunburns, poison ivy, ear infections, and bee stings.
Any tropical, climbing orchid of the genus
Vanilla, esp. V. planifolia, bearing podlike fruit yielding an
extract used in flavoring food, in perfumery, etc.
Definitions and descriptions in the
above glossary and in the sidebars on this website were taken from one
or more of the following sources:
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