Soap is one of our oldest cosmetics, and equally ancient is the alchemy involved in making soaps. The once beautiful bar of soap however has a speckled history and has unfortunately followed a similar pattern to most of our mass produced goods. The good news is that the tide is turning and the age old tradition of producing fragrant handmade soap is on the upturn.While there is nothing new about handmade soap, the comeback of handmade soap mirrors society’s movement toward buying products that are healthy and good for the environment. With the ever increasing use of synthetic chemicals and studies about their dangerous effects, more of us are on the lookout for more “green” alternatives.
So what’s all the fuss about you may ask?
The factory made soap purchased in stores today aren’t what our ancestors would define as soap. In fact, most soaps available in the store today are not really soaps at all, but detergents. Detergents are a petroleum based product, like gasoline and kerosene and these tend to upset the natural acid mantle of your skin. Have you ever noticed how regular soap leaves your skin feeling dry, itchy and tight? Alkali, the most common irritant in soap is often the culprit. This is because the traditional natural moisturising qualities, like glycerin in soap have been stripped from modern factory soaps as they are more expensive than the by-products from the petroleum industry.
Other ingredients in mass-marketed soap have been proven harmful to human health and can cause severe skin irritations in some people. These include ingredients such as DEA, Isopropyl Alcohol, BHT, a high animal fat content and Triclosan (commonly found in anti-bacterial soap).
The Good News
The great news is that handmade soap is not only more fragrant but the evidence of the healing properties of a handmade bar of soap are plentiful.
Compared to store bought soap, handmade soap is very mild. It is often made from vegetable-based oils, such as olive, coconut, and palm and does not contain the potentially harmful chemicals found in mass produced soap. A variety of natural fragrance oils are also added to the handmade soap for additional moisture locking effects. An example of the types of fragrance oils used include: orange, vanilla rose petals, almond, avocado and jojoba.
One of the biggest differences between commercial soap and handmade soap is glycerin. Glycerin is a clear liquid that absorbs water from the air and is a key factor in keeping skin soft and healthy. Glycerin soap is especially good for sensitive and delicate skin, and for children. Because it is a high quality by-product in the soap making process, many mass commercial soap manufacturers actually extract the glycerin from the soap and sell it as a by-product to be used in higher priced products like lotions and skin creams.
Those who suffer from skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, as well as people that have sensitive skin or are hypoallergenic often find immediate relief by switching to handmade soap.
Furthermore, quality definitely supersedes quantity when it comes to handmade soap. Most ingredients are hand-picked, sorted, and manufactured to produce a top quality product. An equally appealing factor about homemade soaps is that they allow the soap manufacturer to be creative and experimental with different natural products such as adding oils, essences, natural exfoliators and creating new and exciting designs and shapes.
Homemade soap is nothing like the chalky bars of the days of yore. Modern soap manufacturers have turned making soap into a marketable hobby that produces the finest, silkiest bars that look and feel luxurious. The secret ingredient to handmade soap is imagination. From intricate designs to beautiful aromas, handmade soaps are a simple luxury that nobody should do without.
With the aesthetics aside it is certainly worth paying for genuine soap. The skin is the largest human organ as well as the body’s first line of defence against dehydration, temperature, infection and harmful substances. Handmade soaps give your skin the care it deserves by gently cleansing and locking in moisture.
Finally, life can be hectic at times and a humble luxury like a special bar of soap can be rewarding. Time is a at a premium and a fragrant, handmade bar of soap is a simple indulgence that fosters a feeling of relaxation and being pampered.
We have a huge range of genuinely natural soap, so please take the time to check out our full range of soaps.