Why BR Naturals ?
We believe our products to be genuine and generally beneficial to all skin types. Their long-term use should help you keep soft and healthy looking skin. In fact, many people that tried our soap told us that after showering with it they do not feel the need to use a skin conditioner because the soap does not leave their skin feeling dry.
Our formulas and recipes are carefully structured and all of our soaps use one or more skin emollients to keep your skin soft and silky even after stripping away the oils that are on your skin (like dirt, grease, sweat…). Our products replenish your skin’s natural oils with their own vegetable oils (fatty acids) that, varying from one soap to another, have similar beneficial properties like leaving your skin soft, nourished, silky, and moisturized. Just for a quick example; castor oil (ricinus communis), which is an important component in all of our different soap types, is known for leaving a layer of protective coating on your skin that draws moisture from the air into your skin and hence prevents it from drying and keeps on moisturizing it even after you are done showering and off to your daily errands.
Our soap is made the ancient way, though we incorporated the use of modern technology to make our lives a little easier. We make our soap using the cold process method which requires the mixing of fatty acids with an alkali aqueous solution. When combined together this triggers the reaction known as saponification, which takes a day of boiling the mixture at temperatures up to 90°C. This method assures that all the caustic alkali reacts with the fatty acids so it is no longer dangerous and, after the reaction is done, the mixture cools back down to room temperature which leaves us with the end product of soap. Before use, the soap is left to cure for 6 weeks in a dry and cold area to allow all the extra water to evaporate out of the soap bars.
This is the way our grandmothers used to make soap, as did their grandmothers and all the generations before that, dating back to the early dawn of civilization. In the region known as the “cradle of civilization”, or Mesopotamia (which stands for “land between the rivers”), there are archeological findings of a Sumerian (the civilization that inhabited Mesopotamia) tablet dating back to 2200 BC. On the tablet there is a formula for soap consisting of water, alkali, and cassia oil. This method of soap making was used throughout history and was passed on from the early civilizations to the Greeks, Romans, Celts, Vikings, French, British, early North American colonists, and eventually on to us; the generations of the modern era.
The technological advancements of the past century have made it easier for soap makers today to do their job because we have the choice of a wide variety of oils, fragrances, and herbal additives that are easily accessible from food stores or specialized online vendors. In addition, we don’t need to prepare our own alkalis by running rain water through wood ashes like our ancestors had to, we can buy those premade too. On top of that we have access to technology like stick blenders, microwaves, plastic molds, and wire cutters that simplify and speed up the process of making handmade cold process soap.
Throughout history, and to a major extent today, soap is still made with lard or tallow as the main ingredients for fats because of their easy accessibility and very low costs. If you look on the ingredients list of body bars that are being sold by big international corporations you can often see tallow or lard listed as their main ingredient. But we at BR Naturals are repulsed by this idea and we think it’s just disgusting to clean our skin’s natural oils with pork or beef fats. Just picture yourself in the shower lathering your skin with a big chunk of pork lard in your hand…Yuk.
Most of our soaps are 100% natural (the ones that use essential oils for scents) and the ones using fragrance oils (which are derived synthetically) are approximately 98% natural since the fragrance is in the 1.8-2.2% range of the recipes total weight. We resort to the use of fragrance oils to give our soaps exotic and flamboyant scents that we cannot derive from natural essential oils. These fragrances are all safe to use and despite being chemically derived, they are approved by cosmetic regulation bureaus around the world.
Despite the use of synthetic fragrances in some of our soaps we still believe our products are a lot better than the commercial soaps made by big multinational corporations that you can buy in bulk in stores. They use all kinds of synthetically derived chemical surfactants, detergents, foaming agents, and preservatives that are known to be prone to penetrate your skin. Most of them contain carcinogenic components that have been shown to cause skin cancer, kidney problems, and liver malfunctions after prolonged use. Seeing as our skin does not contain the proper enzymes to degrade these chemicals they are being slowly absorbed through our pores into the skin, thus changing our skin’s structure and sometimes even our DNA genetic structure. These ingredients are used because their price is much cheaper than that of their better quality and non-harmful natural substitutes. This is done without regard of how bad and harmful these components are. In fact, by law, those harmful products are not even considered to be soap at all and cannot be referred to or named as such. That’s why you often see terms like “body bar”, “cleansing bar” or “beauty bar”, printed on the packaging. In fact, if you look at the definition of soap in the dictionary it will say: “A substance used with water for washing and cleaning, made of a compound of natural oils or fats with sodium hydroxide or another strong alkali, and typically having perfume and coloring added.”