About a month ago I met a wonderful lady in my Morro Bay store named Lisa. We realized we lived in the same area of central valley and got to talking! She owns her own small scale farm minutes from my house with goats, turkeys, chickens, cows and alpacas. She hand milks her goats every day, and the love she has for her farm is right out of a story book. She was generous enough to share her amazing dairy with my new venture in rustic soaps.
I was also gifted about 30lbs of beef trimmings from her own cattle that I can render myself into fresh tallow. Tallow is rendered beef fat, whereas lard is rendered pig fat. Now, before you grimace in disgust at the thought of animal fats in soap or *gasp* on your skin, let’s take a short walk down history lane…
During medieval civilization, the main source of fat for soap was animally sourced. It was plentiful, easy to acquire since meat was always being consumed, and easy to render. Sure, olive oil was around as well as other plant oils, but they were very labor intensive to produce back then, and thus very expensive. If you’re making soap for yourself, it’s a nice treat to include some fancy plant oils. However, if you’re a medieval soap maker supporting your family, the best way to make soap more affordable for yourself is to use what is readily available. And it made an awesome bar of soap!
One hundred percent animal fat soaps were creamy, super cleansing with a dense bubbly lather. To add fragrance and more healthy skin benefits, fresh dried herbs were added such as rose, lavender, pine, juniper, peppermint, etc. On rare occasion (usually only for royals and the wealthy), essential oils were added to the soap.
On a more scientific spectrum, our DNA and cells are biologically structured more similar to that of a mammal than with plants. Simply put, it’s nature! Do we have chlorophyll flowing through our veins? Do we live in dirt and grow roots to absorb nutrients that keep us healthy? No. Do we have a heartbeat and blood flowing through our veins like most animals? Yes. So, biologically speaking, our body is as accepting of animal fats if not better than plant based oils. Now, this is in no way trying to take away anything from the great benefits of plant fats like olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, avocado oil, etc. because those oils are absolutely incredible for your skin. My point is, so are animal fats!
In my new Rustic Country soaps, I will be using a back to basics wholesome recipe that’s nourishing and healthy for your skin with a rustic flair. I’ll be using FRESH daily goat’s milk and local beef tallow that I’ve personally rendered myself. No colorants, no artificial ingredients, just organic herbs and essential oils. I am confident my customers will love this line as much as my signature!