Brassica napus; Cocos nucifera
Rapeseed oil and coconut oil are used together in the creation of our soap base. The oils are heated with sodium hydroxide and water, which results in a process known as saponification.
Soap making developed gradually in history, it has remained largely based around the same process: boiling oils and fats with an alkali to produce soap and glycerine. Historically, the fats used were mostly beef or sheep tallow, with olive oil, palm and coconut joining the list later.
Lush never used animal oils, of course, and in 2007, we felt that it was time for us to re-invent the vegetable soap base and make it palm oil-free. We worked with a leading UK soap-base manufacturer and developed a sunflower, rapeseed and coconut oil-base. We've now settled on a formula with just rapeseed and coconut oil, as we feel this gives our soap the properties we want.
The oils are heated with sodium hydroxide and water, which results in a process known as saponification. The soap can then be separated from the mixture using salt, and dried to give the solid base that is used in production.