A little about soap in general:
- There are a number of different kinds of handcrafted soaps. My focus and discussion is about cold process soap. The basics behind this method are that there is no added heat to the process - it is just a mixture of oils & lye/water. It is an old fashioned method of making soap and great care needs to be taken while working with lye.
- When making soap, there is a chemical reaction between the oils/fats and the water & lye. This reaction is called saponification which literally means the making of soap.
- Handcrafted soap is either scented with a fragrance oil or an essential oil. Essential Oils are a planted based while fragrance oils are man made to be used in soap. My personal opinion is that essential oils are very expensive, are limited in their variety, and tend to not hold onto their fragrance as long as fragrance oils. While I make both kinds, the fragrance oil soaps far outsell the essential oil soaps.
- Let's talk glycerin. Glycerin is a humectrant, which means that it attracts and retains moisture on your skin. It is like a natural skin lotion right in the soap! Glycerin is a natural by-product of the soap making process. Most commercial soap manufacturers remove the glycerin from their soap, process it and sell it to other industries. With handcrafted soap, the glycerin remains in the soap! The end result is mild, pure soap that gently cleanses your skin without being harsh, irritating or drying.
- Commercial soap is manufactured in large factories staffed with anonymous employees. These factories are often located overseas.
- Commercial soap manufacturers use the most economical ingredients available.
- Commercial soap often contains some or all synthetic detergents as well as fillers which dilutes the actual soap content.
- Many very popular brands of commercial "soap" are not even soap! If you read the package, nowhere is the word soap used. One particular brand calls their bar a "beauty bar". Why? Soap is specifically defined as fatty acids that are neutralized by an alkali such as lye. But D*** is not soap! It is what is known as a Syndet bar which stands for synthetic detergent. I don't know about you, but I feel I was duped for many, many years!
- As mentioned above, most commercial soap has the glycerin removed.
- Handmade soap is a blend of science and art.
- Each bar of handmade soap is safe, luxurious and unique.
- Handcrafted soap is soap in its true and most pure form.
- Handmade soap is manufactured locally in small batches with the personal oversight and care of the soapmaker.
- Soapmakers use high-quality ingredients.
- Soapmakers are able to add special oils and additives to personalize their formulations. Handcrafted soaps use a wide variety of oils. I use mainly olive oil, coconut oil, and palm oil along with cocoa butter.
- Handcrafted soaps are different and unique, in terms of ingredients, colors, shapes, and scents.
- Handcrafted soap utilize cosmetic grade pigments, botanicals, herbs, spices or other natural ingredients to create color and/or texture.
- Handcrafted soaps are funcional AND beautiful! Functional art!
- A fully cured bar of handmade soap will last a long time! I am currently testing how long my bars last. They are about 4.75 ounces each and I have used one bar every day for the past 32 days and there is still a lot of soap left of my bar! Stay tuned for a future blog post with pictures and a timeline.
- When you use a bar of handcrafted soap, you know it was made with the personal touch of a local soapmaker.
- By purchasing these soaps you are supporting your local economy and small business. You aren't making some CEO rich. You may be enabling a small business owner to be home with their children while still being able to held support the household and provide you with an amazing product. It is a win-win situation!
So there you have it! A boiled down, bullet point reasoning why you should purchase handcrafted soap! I sure hope you share this information with others.
Thanks for taking the time to read & I hope to see you shopping soon!
Faith, Soaps & Love