Friday, February 11, 2011

Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)

Just a quick post here on a subject near and dear to every soaper's heart: LYE.
I am certain that we have all encountered those dear ones who exclaim with fear - "LYE?!!!". "I don't want to use LYE on my skin!!!!".
I have tried for years to explain why lye, or sodium hydroxide, the official name, is integral to soap making. In the words of  soap angel, Kathy Miller: "You can't have soap without lye".
I have failed miserably to get the point across that after a nice long cure of handcrafted soap, the lye is rendered 'benign', no zip, no zap.
Oh well........let's not even go to that place where I try to explain about the lathering agents and scads of toxic chemicals in the detergent and 'cleansers' that many folks embrace for bubbly fun.
One point to this post is that I saw a new, mass-marketed, anti-aging cream. A "breakthrough" miracle worker. Of course, I had to check it out. The list of ingredients revealed that one of the main components was .... LYE!
Lye in an overnight "repair" cream.
Now, THAT is scary.
What? Huh? Why? ????
Why would lye be in a face cream?
Any ideas?

In Love, Truth and Beauty.....


  1. hmmm..less costly than cosmetic surgery and quicker? (if you like the micheal jackson look...oh dear me, forgive ..)

  2. All soapmakers know what a lye burn feels like....I have no idea why sodium hydroxide would be used in a leave-on skin formula!
    Perhaps used to saponify some oil or butters, but - huh?!
    I am tempted to post a foto of the ingredient label here.
    It pays to read ingredient labels!