Why would you choose to use handmade soap? Why not use commercially manufactured soap?
Today, I will answer these questions especially as commercial soap is so cheap and readily available.
Commercial soap manufacturers remove all of the glycerine that is produced during the soapmaking process. The glycerine is a highly profitable substance, often sold to other companies who use it to make lotions and moisturisers, which your skin, now dried out from the harsh detergent ‘soap,’ desperately needs, as glycerine is a common ingredient is moisturisers as it is a humectant, which means that is draws moisture to your skin.
Most commercially produced bars contain synthetic lathering agents, artificial colours, and a bunch of other chemicals we can’t even pronounce.
Always remember that your skin is porous and absorbent. It absorbs whatever it comes in contact with, much the same as sticking something in your mouth. Overuse of chemical-laden products will cause the body to retain extra chemicals within our body fat.
So, What are the alternatives to all these chemicals and dry skin?
The answer is handmade soap.
Just because it’s handmade doesn’t mean it’s good for you, however. You need to understand a few things about the soapmaking process to know what to look for.
There are three common ways to make soap. The first I will discuss is “melt and pour” soap. These are generally glycerine based soaps and can be either transparent or opaque. They’re not as harmful as the commercial bars, and are a safe alternative for those with children as they are often in fun shapes and colours.
The other two methods are “hot process” and “cold process.” The hot process method uses heat (usually an oven or crock pot) after the soapmaking process has taken place, while the cold process method does not. The cold process method is more time consuming, but is without a doubt the best method for producing soaps of a very high standard.
Now, how do the ingredients compare to those of commercial bars?
Remember the labels with the unpronounceable names on the ingredient list?
Cold process soap bars are made using a combination of oils or fats and lye. A lot of people do not like to use Lye, but without it you cannot have soap, all the caustic qualities of the lye are removed during the soapmaking process, and if made correctly you will be left with a very mild bar of soap after curing.
When the lye interacts with the oils or fats, it creates glycerine. The type of oils and fats used make a difference in how hard or soft the soap bar ends up being, and how well it lathers.
With handmade soaps, just like with commercially manufactured bars, you need to read the labels. Some people do not mind if their soap contains animal fat, which produces a very hard bar that will last for ages, while others will prefer a vegetable only bar.
Just because a soap is handmade from natural ingredients does not mean it is safe for everyone to use. Handmade soap may still contain nut oils and dairy products as well as other allergens.
To sum it up, the best soap for your skin is a handmade, natural cold process soap bar. Commercial soap is chemical laden and can be very drying to the skin, as the naturally forming glycerine has been removed.
Once you have tried handmade soaps, you will never return to commercial ones, as you realise just how drying they can be.