Handmade Vs Commercial Soap- Which Is Better

A large majority of people have never used handmade soap in their lives. More surprisingly, some haven’t even used soap.

That is because most ‘soaps’ in the stores aren’t even soap. They are harsh chemical detergents that might wash off the dust from your body but will also strip moisture from it. Not only are they bad for your skin, but they are also bad for the environment too.

In this blog, we will explore why handmade soaps are heaps better for you. And hopefully, by the end, you will make a more conscious choice when buying soaps.

Why is handmade soap good for you?

food winter broken soap
Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels.com
  1. Natural Handmade Soap is Actually Soap

If you look more carefully at the packaging of soap on a store shelf, you will find that most of them are labelled ‘body bars’, ‘cleansing bars’, ‘beauty bars’, and whatnot. This is because they are not soap.

Here’s what the FDA says about this:

“Not every product marketed as soap meets FDA’s definition of the term. FDA interprets the term ‘soap’ to apply only when

  • The bulk of the non-volatile matter in the product consists of an alkali salt of fatty acids and the product’s detergent properties are due to the alkali-fatty acid compounds, and
  • The product is labelled, sold, and represented solely as soap.


This means, that most ‘soaps’ in stores are harsh detergents in disguise. They are a chemical stew of detergents, lathering agents, synthetic ingredients, and harmful fragrances.

Handmade soaps, on the other hand, are soap made through a ‘cold process’ or ‘melt and pour’ which bypasses any need for lye. The leftovers are oils that will nurture and nourish your skin.

  1. Handmade Soap is made from natural ingredients

Traditional soaps contain paraben which is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. They also contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or sodium Laureth sulfate (SLES) for bubbles and foam. These are notorious for skin irritation and may cause kidney and respiratory damage.

Handmade soaps are made from natural soap bases like avocado oil, organic shea butter, glycerin, aloe vera, cocoa butter, olive oil, almond sweet oil, castor oil, vitamin E oil, and more. They are also rich in essential oils. All of these provide natural colour, texture, aromatherapy, and gentle exfoliation which is hard to recreate in laboratories.

Handmade soaps do not contain synthetic ingredients, artificial fragrances or perfumes, artificial colours, detergents, or synthetic preservatives.

  1. Handmade Soap Moisturizes Your Skin

Glycerin is the byproduct of the saponification process. It remains on our skin and attracts moisture from the air, keeping your skin hydrated. But the thing is, most companies remove this leftover glycerin from their ‘soap’ bars to make moisturizers or lotions separately. This results in a harsh body wash that strips your skin of moisture. Your body will feel irritated, dry, and even itchy. You have to buy these lotions to make up for the loss of moisture from the soap. An excellent marketing strategy for the companies and nothing for you as a consumer.

Handmade soaps retain glycerin and contain plenty of plant oils and butter. The result is a rich, skin-nourishing soap bar with natural oils and glycerin. There is no need for moisturizers after using handmade soaps.

  1. Handmade Soap helps maintain healthy skin
brown sliced soaps
Photo by Tabitha Mort on Pexels.com

Many people have sensitive skin which gets easily irritated with soaps and body washes. Some of us with sensitive skin don’t have sensitive skin at all. It is our body reacting to the chemical irritants in our store-bought products.

Handmade soaps are better in that regard, no questions asked. They relieve dryness, and itchiness and even ease skin conditions like eczema and acne.

If your skin requires extra care and comfort, switch to handmade soaps and see for yourself why they are better overall.

  1. Handmade Soap is economical

People look down on handmade soaps because they cost more. In the end, though, they are more economical than cheaper, commercial soaps.

Commercial soaps are cheap because they are easy to produce in the lab. They don’t offer natural oils and glycerin. Without any moisturizing agent, you have to purchase a lotion, which is also made with synthetic ingredients. More money!

Handmade soaps are available in a vast array of beautiful designs, healthy scents, and soap bases unique to their company only. And when you get irritated skin and other skin conditions, you buy more products as remedies, visit a doctor and try out more products. So much more money than reaching for a natural, handmade soap.

Soap companies want to make a profit even at the expense of people’s health. Handmade soaps provide all the goodness that there is to offer as soap. You’d be smarter to pick the latter.

  1. Handmade Soap comes in Unique designs

Soap making is a meticulous process. Anyone who creates healthy soaps in such wonderful designs is worthy of our support, don’t you think?

  1. Handmade Soap is an Ethical Choice

If you are still unsure, maybe this point will make you see why we should all switch to handmade soaps. 

Cosmetic products are tested on animals. Companies exploit labour, period. They underpay their workers, indulge in child labour, and have unsafe working environments.

Handmade soaps are cruelty-free and safe for the environment and workers. Handmade soap makers put all their attention into the safety and comfort of bodies. They are more socially aware than companies.

So by buying handmade soaps, you are supporting a small business and saying no to unethical manufacturing and testing strategies.

Read: Why You Should Use Cruelty-Free Soaps

  1. Handmade Soap is better for the environment

Think about the packaging that comes with most of our daily-use items. Companies look to make a profit before anything else. They don’t care about how much carbon footprint they leave with manufacturing soaps and plastic packaging.

Add to this the preservatives, fragrances, dyes, and detergents that billions of people wash out with soaps every day. These will end up in farms and natural bodies of water and cause harm to our ecosystem.

We can be better.

Handmade soaps are more environmentally friendly as they are made with healthy and non-toxic, natural ingredients. Most, if not all, come with eco-friendly and recycled packaging like cardboard or paper. You never have to feel guilty taking baths each day all the while getting a luxurious bathing experience.

All in all, handmade soaps are better than commercial soaps in every way you can imagine. They keep your skin moisturized and nourished, ease many severe skin problems, are economical in the long run, cause much less harm to the environment, and are made from all-natural and safe ingredients so they don’t need to be tested on animals. Plus you are supporting local businesses instead of environmentally unconscious industries and labs.

You can visit our website Himalayan Merch for Natural and Handmade Cruelty-free soaps, locally made by Nepali soapmakers. We deliver more local Nepali products all over the world at the best prices.