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Surgras soaps are known to be much gentler on the skin compared to conventional soaps. But what exactly are they? To help you understand, we'll start by how soaps are made:
The saponification (aka soap-making) process consists of transforming a fatty substance into soap. This reaction involves lye, which reacts with the fatty acids to form soap. Once the transformation has taken place, all the lye has been used and no traces are noticeable.
Botanical oils + Lye = Soap + Glycerin
Adding an excess of botanical oils compared to the amount of lye added makes it possible to prevent all the fatty acids to react; in other words, we're able to actually preserve a high percentage of nourishing, pure, and active oils in the heart of the soap: this part is called the surgras ("excess fat").**
Excess botanical oils + Lye = Soap + Glycerin + Surplus of botanical oils (Surgras)**
Why are surgras soaps more gentle on our skin?
This surgras preserves the integrity of our skin's protective hydrolipidic film barrier which helps defend our skin from external aggressions. That's why surgras soaps are the most ideal cleansing option for our skin, leaving it soft and better protected after every use.
Are they also suitable for oily skin?
Surgras soaps, enriched with botanical oils, are also recommended for oily skin.
On the contrary, soaps that are too stripping will tend to attack the skin by damaging the hydrolipidic film barrier. When our skin is stripped and damaged, our sebaceous glands hyper-activate to restore our skin's protective film barrier; sebum production is over-stimulated and our skin is all the more shiny.
What's the difference between industrial surgras soaps vs. cold-saponified surgras soaps?
Industrial saponification techniques use lye in excess quantities, transforming all of the fat into soap, which doesn't allow any of the precious unsaponified botanical oils to be preserved. To make up for the lack of nourishing fats in the soap, fatty agents are often artificially added in the final phase of manufacturing, unlike cold-saponified surgras soaps, which already contain a natural abundance of them.