Many soaps on the market are advertised as triple milled or French milled, but what does that mean exactly? Let's take a look at the differences between triple milled soaps and natural, cold processed soaps. Understanding these differences can help you to choose the right soap for your skin.
Are Southern Natural Soaps Triple Milled?
No. We handmake our soap using the traditional cold process method. This time-honored process allows us to use high-quality ingredients. High temperatures and pressure are not good for essential oils, goat's milk, and plant oils. There are many reasons we use this process instead of triple milling our soaps.
What Is Triple Milled Soap?
Like all soaps, triple milled soap starts out with a chemical process called saponification. After that first step, more processing is needed to make triple milled soap. The natural glycerin is removed from the soap, and it is passed through a milling machine made of stainless steel rollers three times. This helps to mix in any fragrances or other ingredients. The high pressure of the milling machines also removes water from the soap to make it harder.
Major Differences in Triple Milled Soap and Natural Soaps
Glycerin content - Glycerin is removed from triple milled soap to keep the machinery running smoothly. Glycerin draws moisture from the surroundings, including the air, so it can gum up the milling equipment. However, it is very good for your skin. Natural soaps still have the glycerin to moisturize and nourish your skin.
Temperature & pressure - The downside to high temperatures and pressure? They degrade the quality of natural ingredients. Essential oils can lose their scents, while antioxidants and other nutrients of goat's milk break down. The cold process is much gentler on natural ingredients.
Added chemicals - Lubricants and other chemicals are a big part of the manufacturing process of milling soap. Many of these ingredients do come in contact with the soap, but may not show up in the ingredients list. Natural, handmade soap is made with fewer ingredients and does not need any lubricants or other additives.
Uniformity - French milled soap is a hard, uniform product. The soap is mixed very thoroughly with dyes and other additives. Of course, these very ingredients can also create skin irritation and issues. With natural soap, you don't have to worry about that. The variations in texture and color are a reminder that you are using a handmade, natural bar of soap with nothing but wholesome ingredients.
Batch & business size - Milling machinery is expensive. Most French milled soaps come from large commercial manufacturing operations. Natural cold process soaps are often handmade in small batches, allowing for better quality control. (Some smaller soapmakers incorrectly brand their soap as "triple milled", but this is a misunderstanding of the process. Grating soap, melting it, and reforming it is actually rebatching soap.)
It's useful to understand how different soaps are made and what marketing terms like "triple milled" mean. We hope we've cleared up some confusion so you can feel more confident in making the right choice for your skin care needs.