”Why should I buy handmade soap when I can get more soap for less money at a discount superstore?”
Because the soap you buy from a mass merchandiser is not actually soap at all, but a harsh detergent filled with chemicals and synthetics.
Cold process handmade soap is created by mixing caustic soda ash with oils and butters warmed to a certain temperature. When these two substances mix together a process called saponification takes place, where the soda ash turns the oils and butters into soap. During this process a substance called glycerin is created. Glycerin is a humectant, meaning it attracts water to your skin and keeps it moisturized and supple.
Handmade soap retains all this natural glycerin and deposits it on your skin as you use the soap, along with scrubbing away the dirt and germs, of course. This leaves your skin moisturized afterwards, and moisturized skin looks and feels younger, retards wrinkles, age spots and is less irritable.
Commerical soap starts out the same way, by mixing soda ash with oils, but afterwards all the natural glycerin is removed and sold for use in other high-end products. Then the soap goes through a milling process, where it is first shredded and then chemicals and preservatives are added to make it smell good and to retard mold growth. Then it is re-melted down into the typical bar shape you find in the stores.
This leaves you with not real soap, but a harsh detergent that strips the natural oils from your skin. Ever wonder why you are always reaching for the lotion bottle after washing your hands? Because the “soap” has removed all the natural oils that keep your skin moisturized. Detergents are great for washing dishes or clothes, but not for skin!
Compare for yourself. Check the label of your soap bars and see how many of these are listed:
Sodium cocoyl isethionate (synthetic detergent)
Stearic acid (hardner)
Sodium tallowate (sodium salt of cow fat)
Sodium isethionate (detergent/emulsifying agent)
Sodium stearate (emulsifier, also used as a cheap stabilizer in plastics)
Sodium dodecylbenzonesulfonate (synthetic detergent, skin irritant)
Sodium chloride (table salt used as a thickener)
Trisodium EDTA (stabilizer, used in industrial cleaning products to decrease hard water, skin irritant)
Trisodium etidronate (preservative, a chemical that is used in soaps to prevent soap scum)
BHT (preservative, common skin irritant)
“What is handcrafted soap made with?”
Our handcrafted soap is made in small batches using the cold process method that many individual soap makers use. We select the highest quality pure skin-loving oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, hemp oil, and jojoba oil. We also use rich butters and other rich oils to enhance the moisturizing capabilities of the soap, butters and oils like cocoa butter, shea butter, mango butter, aloe vera, and castor oil. Essential oils, natural herbs, and specially formulated body safe fragrance oils give the soap a special fragrance; cosmetic-grade colorants and natural herb powders add color to our soap; and botanicals, spices, and other natural ingredients add texture and are excellent exfoliants. It is not unusual to find handcrafted soap made with such things as oatmeal, sliced almonds, corn meal, rosemary leaves, lavender leaves and buds, and other goodies that provide light, gentle exfoliation for your skin. Most of our handcrafted soaps are enriched with additional oils that are suspended in the soap and applied directly to the skin while bathing, providing even more moisture.
“What’s so great about glycerin?”
Glycerin is naturally produced during the soap making process. In fact, pound for pound, glycerin costs more than soap, which is why most soap companies remove the glycerin from the soap and sell it to manufacturers of lotion. We do not remove the glycerin from our handcrafted soap, so when you purchase soap made by us, it contains all of the naturally occurring glycerin. With our handcrafted soap you get a fabulous cleanser and a moisturizer all in one, which was created for top moisturizing ability.
“Will the lye in my handcrafted soap burn me?”
No! Although lye is used to make handmade soap, the chemical reaction between all of the ingredients used in the soap making process causes the lye to be literally “reacted away,” and transformed into a mild, effective bar of pure handcrafted soap. There is no lye in the final product.
“How do I take care of my handcrafted soap?”
Since handcrafted soap has no synthetic chemical preservatives but has natural preservatives such as carrot root oil, grapeseed oil extract or Vitamin E, your bar of handcrafted soap needs more care and diligence to insure a long life. Even with natural preservatives, if kept cool and dry, natural handcrafted soaps generally have a shelf life of 1-2 years. Some may have less depending on the composition of the specific soap.
To ensure the longest life of your handmade soap, keep it dry and cool as much as possible. Do not allow it to sit in a puddle of water. The best way we’ve found to keep soap fresh is using a slotted wooden soap dish, which allows the water to drip off after each use. If you will not be using your soap right away, it’s best to store in a dry, semi-airtight container to preserve the fragrance as much as possible. It is natural for some fragrance to dissipate over time.
“I have sensitive skin, can I use handmade soap?”
Yes! Numerous people who have sensitive skin, eczema and psoriasis have found relief with handmade soap because they contain no chemicals or irritants. If you are concerned about the fragrance oils or colorants, we have an all-natural Unscented soap bar that contains nothing other than saponified oils.
Many people with skin problems do not go back to commercial soap after using handmade soap, even those without skin problems! I encourage you to try a bar and see for yourself!