Natural and handmade soaps are quickly gaining popularity over the years. Now, more people realize their benefits over typical, mass-produced industrial soaps. But, you may be thinking, soap is soap. What difference does it make if it is handmade or manufactured in industries? The answer is a lot. Handmade soaps made with natural ingredients are better for your skin, your soul, and your environment in many ways.
But first, What is soap?
Soap is a mixture of sodium salts of various naturally occurring fatty acids. They cleanse your body and give you a rich bathing experience.
Not only that, but soaps are also an important part of skincare. It is wise to spend a little more time picking soaps that are made with natural ingredients that will cleanse, moisturize and hydrate your body and not irritate the skin. Mass-produced soaps in fancy packaging and attractive deals do not give you the goodnesses like handmade soap.
Here’s why that is.
Why is handmade soap good for you?
- Natural Handmade Soap is 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.
“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 labeled, sold, and represented solely as soap.
This means, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Handmade Soap helps maintain healthy skin
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, 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.
- 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!
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.
- Handmade Soap comes in Unique designs
Handmade soaps are available in a vast array of beautiful designs, healthy scents, and soap bases unique to their company only.
Soap making is a meticulous process. Anyone who creates healthy soaps in such wonderful designs is worthy of our support, don’t you think?
- 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, 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.
- 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.
The bottom line is handmade soaps are better than commercial ones. They are healthier for your skin, ethical to the environment, and more socially conscious. The goodness they provide and the care they are made with are worth the extra cost they are marked with.
Skincare starts with soaps. And there is nothing better than natural ingredients and essential oils to keep your skin healthy and nourished. Switch to natural and handmade soaps and you will never go back to the ones on the shelf.