Why Lye?

My name is Courtney and I am proud to be the owner and lead alchemist of Wholesome Alchemy. I have been creating soap and shampoos for close to 10 years now and have spent this time learning everything I can about the process and materials used. I am also a certified Ayurveda therapist and have brought this knowledge into each recipe created.

We are often asked why we use Lye in our products. It is important to realize that all REAL soap is made with lye, also known as sodium hydroxide. If you find a skin or hair cleansing product that is made without sodium hydroxide, then it is not soap, it is detergent.

When soap is being created it goes through a chemical reaction called saponification. When this process is completed, the lye and oil molecules have combined and chemically changed into soap and glycerin. When the soap is made properly (which all of ours is), the lye is used up in the saponification process to turn our oils into soap. Meaning, there is no lye present in the finished bars of soap or shampoo.

It is important to understand that while all real soap must be made with lye, no lye remains in our finished product after this process takes place. We do use food grade lye in all of our products and we keep it on the ingredients list so that our customers know what was used in the process of making our soaps and shampoos--even though when these products get to you all the lye is all gone.