What is so special about handmade soap???
Some people prefer to buy a bar of soap from the supermarket, and there is nothing wrong with this. It is personal preference. But not all soaps are equal.
I decided to write this blog as it is a subject that occasionally comes up in conversation and there is a lot of differences between handmade and mass-produced soap.
Artisan handmade soap – is just that. Usually made in small batches, by hand, where the formulator has complete control over the ingredients put into the bar. Natural soap doesn’t contain any synthetic chemicals.
Handmade soap made in the cold process traditional way is naturally antibacterial/microbial.
Handmade soaps tend to cost more than over the counter bars of soap. One of the main reasons for this is they have better ingredients. Most handmade soaps have more expensive ingredients which are better for the skin. They take longer to make. They are made in small batches and have a cure time of 6-8 weeks before they are ready to use.
Over the counter products that are mass produced often contain cheaper palm oil and chemical ingredients such as sodium laureth sulphate, which can leave the skin feel dry after use. Sodium laureth sulphate is a foaming agent, which is why people used to using these soaps associate bubbles with cleanliness. This isn’t necessarily true. Soap will still work even if it has little or no bubbles because soap loosens dirt from the skin allowing it to be washed away. Mass produced soap also usually have the glycerin removed from their soaps. Glycerin is extracted to preserve the shelf life (but unfortunately creates a more drying bar) and is then used in other cosmetic products, such as creams and lotions. In handmade soaps the glycerin is left in as it is a prized moisturising ingredient.
Handmade soaps don’t have preservatives added to them like mass produced soaps.
Handmade soaps contain oils & glycerin, plus occasionally natural colourants, and essential oils. Although I must add: some producers of handmade soap do use artificial colours and fragrance oils rather than essential oils. They can also use readymade melt and pour soap bases, with numerous ingredients in them (look for aqua being in the first few ingredients on the list). We feel this defeats the purpose of making soap to be natural. Using essential oils not only scents the soap but brings with them therapeutic benefits. For example: Lavender brings relaxation and skin repair qualities. Needing a pick me up in the shower in the morning? Try one of our soaps with lemongrass essential oil in it
Mass produced soaps usually have high levels of artificial fragrances and little to no level of beneficial ingredients. A skilled soap maker can modify their recipe to produce characteristics in the soap naturally instead of having to add chemicals to achieve the same goal.
Mass produced soap are quite often synthetic detergent bars rather than soap. They are made by combining detergents, lathering agents and synthetic ingredients, and cannot be called soap.
How to know the difference? Look out for the ingredients on the labels, look for soaps that are made in the traditional way. In a world where health and self-care are important aspects of our lives, your body, and the earth and environment will thank you.
So, to sum up the benefits of handmade soap
- Naturally occurring glycerin to moisturise your skin.
- Natural oils, butters, clays, herbs, and essential oils.
- Made in small batches.
- No detergents.
- Handmade soap is soap.