About

Here I am- Rhian Gurney, plus my little people - based in South Shropshire, near Clee Hill. Magpie Hill was formed in 2015 after a good few years of making soaps for family and friends. I make 2 types of soap. The first type is called Melt and Pour, a fun method which produces some amazing looking soaps using a pre-made soap base. The second method and the one you will find throughout the site, is called Cold-Processed (also called Cold-Press or Cold-Process). 

I finally took the plunge and began the long (and often confusing) process of selling my creations. Selling soaps isn't as easy as it sounds, all recipes and formulations have to be sent off to a registered cosmetic chemist to be thoroughly scrutinised to make sure they are safe to use. As we are in the EU, all recipes, photos, labels, etc have to be added to the EU cosmetics portal of doom, to abide with the current EU cosmetics legislations. After all that is done, I am free to show my soaps off to the world!

I also have another small cosmetics business called Balbo Beard Co. aimed at the Bearded Gents, using natural oils to produce high quality beard oils.

Cold process handmade soap is a traditional way to make soap. Basically it is created by mixing lye & water with fats & oils, then blended briskly. The lye reacts chemically with the oil mixture in a process called saponification (turning into soap). The soap is allowed to sit for a minimum of a month to cure, which finalises the saponification process and hardens the soap. When all ingredients are properly measured and mixed, the final product is gentle and beneficial for your skin. Making soap in this way keeps the naturally occuring glycerine in the soap, which is often extracted in commercial high street soaps and sold to make other cosmetic products such as lotions. I wanted my family to be using soaps which contained ingredients that were as natural as possible and could give the best benefits, and now I can share them with you and yours!

Below you can see a simplified diagram of how cold-processed soap is made...