Have you wondered what the difference between handcrafted and commercial soaps is? If you do not know or are trying to decide if handcrafted soap is actually better, I hope this post will help you decide.
Soap is created by chemical reactions between oils, water, and sodium hydroxide (lye). in the past, It was originally made by mixing rendered animal fat (tallow), water, and lye leached from wood ash. It was a long, arduous and odorous process but did produce real and natural soap. Soap cannot be made without sodium hydroxide, which when added to water, becomes lye. When combined, the oils and lye are transformed into soap and glycerin. Glycerin is a natural humectant. It draws water from the air, allowing your skin to draw in the moisture and become hydrated. There is no lye remaining in the soap once the chemical reaction (called “saponification”, meaning “the creation of soap”) between the oils and lye is completed, resulting in a mild bar of soap.
Commercial soap is made differently due to the addition of numerous chemicals and synthetic additives that are harsh on your skin. Soap companies remove the natural glycerin produced in soap and sell it because it is more valuable when used to produce other products, including lotions, shampoo, foods, lubricants, and antifreeze. The manufacturers then need to replace the removed by-products in the soap with chemical fillers. Many commercial soaps are therefore synthetic detergents made with same chemicals used in house cleaning products!
I make soap the old fashion way, using the cold process method. My soaps retain all their glycerin and do not contain all those harsh chemicals commercial soaps have. The only non-natural ingredient in some of my handcrafted soaps is the added fragrance, which is an aromatic oil, often containing essential oils as its base, but is 100% skin safe. Overall, the amount of synthetic compound is minimum. My unscented soaps and those containing only essential oils are completely natural. Essential oils are extracted from plants such as lavender, rose, and eucalyptus or tea tree leaves. Fragrance oils are selected over essential oils mainly because some scents cannot be extracted from nature.
I create my soaps with oil and food-quality natural ingredients, each with its own special properties, along with rich butters such as Shea and Cocoa Butters that help to enhance the moisturizing capabilities of the soap. Olive oil is a very mild oil that cleans well and is an excellent moisturizer. coconut oil makes a sudsy lather in the soap, has moisturizing properties, and makes a hard bar. Palm kernel oil produces a nice hard soap which is mild and cleans well. Castor oil is another great moisturizer. I also like to use other natural additives such as plain greek yogurt, organic raw honey, cream, goat and coconut milk, herbal infusions, beer, oatmeal, clays, dried flowers, aloe vera, and natural exfoliants. All of these are wonderful ingredients that nurture the skin.
Now back to the question, why should I buy handcrafted soap? Because it is real soap, not a detergent-like commercial soap which is full of chemicals. It is handcrafted in small batches by artisans, like me, using high quality ingredients that will nourish and protect your skin.