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The Beauty and Benefit of Handmade

Saponification, or the making of soap, occurs through a chemical reaction between vegetable or animal fats, water, and sodium hydroxide (or lye).  Glycerin, a natural byproduct of this process, is a humectant that attracts and retains moisture on your skin like a natural skin lotion.  Commercial soaps are manufactured in large factories where glycerin is often removed from the soap and sold to manufacturers of high end cosmetics. 

In a bar of handmade soap, the naturally occurring glycerin remains in the soap and provides natural moisturizing properties.  Handmade soap makers pride themselves on formulating recipes using the finest quality oils and butters, whereas commercial soap manufacturers generally use the most economical ingredients available.  If you have never experienced the beauty and beneifit of handmade soap, you and your skin are in for a treat!

handmadesoap-resized.pngThe River City Soapworks Story

I had never been introduced to the beauty and benefits of handmade soap until well into my adult years.  I was raised on commercial soap (whatever was on sale that week!) and had always thought handmade soap to be either a luxury of the spa elite or the stuff of earthy, hippie folk.  Since I was neither of these, I had never given it much consideration at all. day an acquaintance mentioned her soap making hobby.  I was immediately intrigued...oh, this sounded interesting!  Perhaps it was my college background in chemistry, but I soon found myself buried in books and online resources, researching all I could about the science and art of soap making.  I immersed myself in saponification values and lye calculators.  I took copious notes about the unique properties of luxury oils and butters.  I let my imagination run wild amid a rainbow of colors and fragrances.  I was in love.  Simply put, soap making is the perfect fusion of science and art.  Every time I formulate a new skin-loving recipe or master a colorful swirl technique, I am in awe of this beautiful craft.

When naming my handmade soap company, I drew inspiration from my family's deep St. Louis roots and settled on the name River City Soapworks.  North America's two greatest rivers, the Mississippi and Missouri, meet in the heart of the St. Louis area.  The Meeting of the Great Rivers has a rich history and is home to many historic journeys, including the adventures of Lewis & Clark, Jesse James' Hideout, the Underground Railroad, and Old Route 66 (just to name a few!).  Native St. Louisans treasure these tales of adventure, prosperity, and hope.  With this in mind, the name River City Soapworks seemed fitting.  By combining the scientific knowledge of the last 150 years with the artisitic creativity of an experienced soap maker, I hope to take YOU on a journey that will indulge your skin and delight your senses.

My Promise to You and Your Skin

As owner of River City Soapworks and sole Soapmaker, I have years of soap making experience, advanced coursework in organic and inorganic chemistry, and membership in the industry's leading professional organization, the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild.  At River City Soapworks, I will never compromise the quality of my handmade products by using substandard ingredients or additives.  This is my promise to you and your skin.

Yours Truly,

Ann Herman, Owner and Soap Artist


the original st. charles soaperyTM