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TheDaily Ritual

How cold-process soaps add self-care to bathing and hand washing

Gentle, soothing, lathering—self-care and bathing rituals are foundational to Cūrata and our sustainable luxury experience. The time we give ourselves to soak in the tub is steeped in symbolic and tangible sources of purification and renewal, (re)connecting the mind, body and spirit. An essential element of this is soap.

The experience of soap bridges the individual and the historical, connecting our contemporary baths to ancient Babylon—where legend has it rain combined ash and animal fat in a river, with this serendipitous accident creating a miraculous cleansing lather. In the subsequent 2,800 years, the art and science behind this has taken on new meaning and medicinal value. By the 1800s, soap was valued for its ability to keep people healthy in homes and hospitals; today, in the face of a global pandemic, it empowers us to take our safety into our hands.

According to The New York Times, the pin-shaped molecular structure of soap undoes the lipid membranes of bacteria and viruses—destroying and washing them away, particularly with warm water and scrubbing; the CDC recommends 20 seconds of hand washing as the first line of defence against COVID-19. This timeless solution is more effective than hand sanitizers, which use ethanol to fight harmful microorganisms but do not cleanse them. Additionally, soap is not only good for our health, but healing for our soul.

The gentle action of taking a bar of soap in our hands and lathering, whether it be in the sink or the tub, produces a calming effect—as we take the time to massage it into our skin and scrub the day’s worries away. Studies have shown the soothing benefits of bathing help with everything from sleeping to depression, while hand washing can aid in alleviating negative feelings.

Like many other beauty products though, modern iterations are often created with chemicals and processes harmful to skin and the environment. True soap is defined as a salt formed by the reaction between an oil or fat and an alkali. Most commercial versions are made at high temperatures in a vacuum, accelerating saponification for faster turnover—and drying skin because they lack glycerin.

Glycerin is a natural by-product of the soap-making process and is so valued in the beauty industry that companies sometimes make more money off it than the bars they are creating. To compensate for the lack of glycerin and to make products last longer, freshly cooked soap is extruded between chilled steel rollers, shredded and chipped, amended with plasticizers to make it shiny and hard, mixed with chemical and synthetic perfumes and dyes to make it look and smell pleasant—along with preservatives to give it an infinite shelf life, before being pressed into moulds under tremendous pressure, packaged and sold. This is what is known as milled soap.

We know from thousands of years of tradition that it does not have to be this way. Soap can be made without animal fats nor heat and harmful chemicals and synthetic fragrances. We want to raise the bar, creating a sustainable luxury alternative that is gentle, vegetable-derived and natural.

By combining the ancient technique of cold pressing with modern precision, finer formulations and premium-quality oil, we can retain the natural glycerin to yield a rich, creamy, moisturizing and abundant lather—without drying the skin or damaging the environment. Cured over four to six weeks, cold processing creates a long-lasting, gentle bar soap. It better preserves natural ingredients and amplifies their powerful cleansing and restorative qualities as well as scent and colour.

Cūrata vegan soaps are handmade and cold processed in small batches, (inf)using the highest caliber oils chosen for their specific properties alongside the purest botanical fragrances. They are crafted from the highest-quality raw materials for a daily cleanse that nourishes and hydrates skin, never drying it or denying its needs. Other exotic oils and fats are integrated into formulas through superfatting—a method of adding an extra percentage of nourishing oils that will remain in their unreacted form and augment emollience in the finished bar.

The result is deeply moisturizing, anti-aging, ethically elegant soaps that bring sensorial stimulation to any cleansing ritual. Each bar is a unique fragrance blend—thoughtfully formulated as a botanical perfume with base, heart and top notes to transform bathing into a scent (sensorial) journey.

We believe in keeping the planet clean too; the outer wrap is made with sustainably sourced paper and non-toxic vegetable inks, and is 100-percent recyclable. The inner wrap is made with recycled wood pulp, and is 100-percent compostable.

Like everything we do, we consciously and intentionally expanded into soaps—creating a foundational layer our fragrance and body care experience. Consider each bar the first step in your Cūrata self-care ritual. Following using our vegan soap, massage and moisturize with our AUREO Multi Radiance Oil before indulging in our DULCEO Botanical Perfume Extract.

Discover our four Cūrata soap bars—Indulge, Balance, Invigorate, Nourish (unscented)—through our retail wholesale partners and on CurataBeauty.com. Experience of better bathing.

By @philipmmak

Philip Mak is a London-based journalist and copywriter, with passions for fashion, beauty and sustainability.

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