Makin’ Soap


Beverly Farms SoapWerks is a soap maker at our market who makes their own handcrafted soaps. From the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild “handcrafted soap”, also known as “handmade soap” or “homemade soap”, is a blend of both science and art.

True soaps are the result of a chemical reaction between vegetable or animal fats, water and lye. When combined, they transform into 80% pure soap and 20% glycerin with no lye remaining in the soap. This reaction is called “saponification”, which literally means “the making of soap”

The lye used is either sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide, which is a caustic alkaline (this is also used as a drain cleaner). The alkaline combines with the acid of the oil to make a neutral product. The use of sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide is dependent on the type of soap desired; sodium hydroxide produces a solid soap and potassium hydroxide produces a liquid soap.

Glycerin is a “humectant”, which means that it attracts and retains moisture on your skin. It is like a natural skin lotion in the soap. Glycerin, the natural by-product of the soapmaking process, is removed by most commercial soap manufacturers and sold to other industries where it is used in other marketable products such as foods, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and others. In handcrafted soaps, the glycerin remains intact in the soap resulting in a mild, pure soap that gently cleanses your skin without being harsh, irritating or drying.

Rick Spina of Beverly Farms SoapWerks started developing soaps for Sally at Sally’s Skin Care in Beverly. Sally is a licensed aesthetician and has been practicing the art of European skin care for 30 years. Rick is a licensed cosmetologist, educator, platform artist for 32 years, and serves as a moderator for an international hairdressing internet forum. With a little experimentation, Rick was able to create formulas for soaps and other bath products that contained CoQ10, vitamin E, natural proteins & collagens and deep hydration & exfoliation agents, needed for the many skin types Sally dealt with on a daily basis.

After the success that Sally had with his products, he produced a shampoo with added proteins and deep moisturizers that repaired the hair and were gentle on the scalp. The shampoo with wheat or silk proteins, is sulfate free. Most commercial shampoos are made with sodium lauryl sulfate which is a harsh detergent which strips both natural and artificial hair color.

All of the soaps Beverly Farms SoapWerks produces are cold processed soaps having to be cured for 4-6 weeks or even up to 16 weeks for olive oil soaps. Pure olive oil soaps or castile soap have a larger molecular structure which doesn’t lather or bubble as much as other soaps, but does not clog the skin pours and is therefore very good for the face.

Coffee is a natural deoderizer. If you go to a candle store that deals in fragrance, they often use fresh coffee beans to help you clear your ol’factory palate. Coffee is also used in a dog soap they produce to help get rid of dog smells and is combined with herbs it keep the bugs from biting the dogs.

Beverly Farms Soapwerks also provides a natural deodorant with glycerin, baking soda, chamomile and aloe vera.

Argan oil is the rarest oil in the world, but is valued for it having the highest levels of vitamin E and anti-aging qualities. It is used in the skin care line and the Dead sea salt scrub. The oil is produced from the kernels of the Argan tree. The Argan tree grows wild in Morocco but had become endangered due to overgrazing of goats and the cutting down for firewood by locals – the loss of the tree began causing soil erosion. UNESCO with enthusiasts for the oil and its medicinal properties, in an effort to save the trees from disappearing, created a global market for the oil. Argan sold today is produced by a women’s cooperative that shares the profits among the local women of the Berber tribe in Morocco. The cooperative has established an ecosystem reforestation project so that the supply of argan oil will not run out and the income that is currently supporting the women will not disappear. The money is providing healthcare and education to the local women, and supporting the entire community as a whole.