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 soapmakers 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 benefit of handmade soap, you and your skin are in for a treat!
Here at RCS, we take skincare seriously! We have all sorts of handmade soaps and novelty soaps such as Soap Cupcakes and Soap Jellies. Also, a wide variety of body products such as handmade bath bombs, body scrubs, body butter, lotions, lip balms, shampoo bars, and conditioner. We even make the coolest wax melts!
The Rubber City Soaps 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!) had always liked whatever was bought, and had always thought handmade soap to be either a luxury of the spa elite or the stuff of more earthy flower children, that made you smell like you were cooking pasta sauce. Since I was neither of these and didn't particularly like smelling like I've been cooking pasta sauce all day (as the first bar of handmade soap I have ever smelled was an oregano scented soap). I had never given it much consideration at all.
Until... One day completely out of the blue I went blind... Yes, that’s right I said blind. It wasn’t bad enough that I lost my eyesight, the worst thing was that I had worked my entire life to become a photographer. And now that plan, that dream I had worked so hard for was just gone. After spending two weeks in the hospital, I slowly started to regain the sight in my right eye, but the sight in my left eye; my dominant eye never truly returned. And without my eyesight, I thought what am I going to do?
The 2014 holiday season was fast approaching, and I knew I needed to pull myself out of the depression that losing my eyesight had pulled me into. I wanted to make something, something that I remember completely loving when I was a teenager. When I was about 15 years old Bath & Bodyworks sold Bath Fizzies and I hadn’t seen one since then... So I started doing my research on how to make them, and in the process of learning how to make Bath Fizzies. I stumbled across the world of handmade soap.
I soon found myself buried in books and watching hundreds of hours of YouTube videos. I knew I wanted to plunge headfirst into the amazing world of handmade bath and body products. After researching all I could about the science and art of soap making. I immersed myself in saponification values and lye calculators. I took extensive 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 love for the City they chose to settle in. My husband and I chose the name Rubber City Soaps. Situated south of Cleveland, along the Ohio-Erie Canal, Akron was the fastest growing city in America during the teens and 20s. The rubber industry attracted people from all over the world to work here. With this in mind, the name Rubber City Soaps seemed fitting. By combining the scientific knowledge of the last 150 years with the artistic 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 the owner of Rubber City Soaps and sole Soapmaker, I will always use local suppliers, and l never compromise the quality of my handmade products by using substandard ingredients or additives. This is my promise to you and your skin.
Gynnise “Jude” Gilbert-Mills,
Owner and Soap Artisan