What Is Real Handmade Soap?
Real handmade soap contains raw ingredients that include fat and/or oil, liquid and lye. Most mass-produced bars that you buy from the drug store or supermarket contain ingredients not recognized as real soap by the FDA. And this is with good reason! These ingredients are usually harsh detergents and hardening agents. You will see that their packaging omits the word soap, instead, calling them moisturizing bars or cleansing bars. According to the FDA website:
“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 nonvolatile 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 [21 CFR 701.20].
Products that meet this definition of soap are regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”
Why Is Handmade Soap Better?
Handmade soap contains glycerin which is a natural byproduct of the soap making process, an excellent moisturizer and also one of the reasons that handmade soap is so good for your skin! Glycerin is an emollient which attracts moisture from the air maintaining moisture in the skin throughout the day. Store bought, mass-produced bars normally do not contain glycerin and can leave your skin feeling dry and irritated. Not being real soap, they contain detergents which strip skin of its natural oils. They use synthetic ingredients to achieve things such as a thick lather or specific hardness of the bar. On top of being moisturizing, my handmade soap achieves these properties by having the correct ratios of plant-based oils and other natural ingredients.
Typical factory made store-bought soaps have had all of the glycerin removed and placed into additional products such as lotions and creams. The reason is instead of buying one product that will clean and moisturize, (such as handmade soap) a consumer now has to buy two products to serve the same purpose. Sneaky! The main driver behind using these synthetic, drying ingredients as well as removing glycerin is all to save money from their bottom line, not to offer you quality skin care!
Mass Produced “Soap” Can Be Bad For My Health?
Big soap and skin care manufacturers have a dirty secret. The FDA doesn’t require disclosure of the ingredients contained in a company’s trademark “fragrance” on its label. This means that scented soap could contain harmful chemicals without the buyer knowing. Some of these chemical concoctions have been found to be skin irritants and even to contain known carcinogens: Expert Panel Confirms Fragrance Ingredients Can Cause Cancer
Besides fragrance, large manufactures tend to use synthetic preservatives such as parabens which have been linked to breast tumors. Sodium lauryl sulfate is a very widely used ingredient that makes soap extra foamy, however, at the same time it is a known hormone disruptor. Using these ingredients is good for these company’s bottom line, but not for your health.
For my handmade soap, I only use plant-based natural ingredients. I start with a base of organic olive oil, organic sustain-ably sourced palm oil, and organic coconut oil. Olive oil is a great moisturizer, palm oil creates a rich lather, and coconut oil has excellent cleansing strength. I then add essential oils and plant based special ingredients for their healing and calming properties. My soap is long lasting and washes away cleanly due to the precise ratio of oils used in each recipe. After use, skin feels moisturized, silky and clean. No need for harsh, dangerous, synthetic chemicals!