Soap is soap isn't it? Well this was a question I asked myself when I first started to learn how to make handmade soap. Is there any difference from me using the store bought soap versus using my own home made soap?
The question arose. What are the benefits of using handmade soap? There are 3 major benefits you get from using handmade soap over store bought or commercial soap.
- Ingredient control natural and synthetic
- Structure of the soap, Size and feel.
- Control over the design and look of the soap
Ingredient control of handmade soap
The number one benefit to handmade soap is the control the soap maker has over the actual ingredients of the soap.
Store bought soap or rather commercial soaps use synthetic ingredients to mimic the effects of natural or handmade soaps. This can be an issue for many persons as they try to keep their bodies clean and purified from processed products.
Using synthetic ingredients is not always a bad thing as one of the beautiful benefits of making your own soap is the ability to add various fragrances of mix a few for your uniquely smelling bar of soap . One never before made.
Fragrances are made in a labratory and are considered synthetic but the good news is you can decide to use it or not.
An alternative to using fragrance is to use more natural scents such as essential oils.
Essential oils are plant based and are sourced directlry from plant, petals, leaves, bark or fruit skins. This is as natural as you can get when it comes to scenting your handmade soap.
With commercial soap there is not control on what you get. The manufacture decides which scent to use and whether it is natural or synthetic.
Oils in handmade soap
Other ingredients include the type of oils used to make your soap.
I once had a conversation with a Hebrew Israelite and he stated that they do not eat pork and try to avoid it at all cost. This is not a trait limited to his religion but to many others as well.
He was quite shocked when I advised him that he will have to be careful of the soaps he used as the fats used to make some of the best soaps often use lard.
Lard is a fat derived from pigs while tallow is often used to represent fats used from other animals other than pigs such as goats or cows.
His shock was so stunning that shortly after our conversation his wife came to learn how to make soap so that she could control the ingredients in their home made soap that their family will use.
This is just a few of the benefits of handmade soaps whereas you are able to use what ever oils you wish to make your soap.
In general however most persons prefer to use vegetable oils to make their soaps instead of fats from animals.
When ti comes to additives or colors you can also make a decision of what you want in your soap to make it a scrubbing soap, a facial soap, a healing soap or one to combat the symptoms of skin issues such as acne.
Adding full oats or grounded oats to your soap can make your soap a scrubbing soap to remove dead skin cells. Other additives include poppy seeds and even salt.
The famous activated charcoal soap and Turmeric soap use the additives to help nourish the skin or draw out oil from the pores of the skin.
You can add carrots, tomato, oats, salt, charcoal, turmeric and any type of food you can ingest without causing skin irritation like pepper to your soap.
This is why control of your ingredients is listed as the number one benefit to making and using handmade soap.
Structure control of handmade soap
The overall structure of you soap has much to do with how you will use it.
Soap structure refers to how bubbly, creamy, cleansing or conditioning a bar of soap is to your skin.
More people tend to like a good lather when they take a bath. This lather is level of bubbliness a soap has... if that is a word!
We sometimes associate good lather with how well a soap will clean. Think about your dish washing liquid, we tend to want that bubbly lather to feel as if the dishes are getting cleaned
Its the same with our skin. All that soapy lather is what we like to feel when we take a shower to get all the dirt and grim of the day off of us. With handmade soaps you can design a soap that is extremely bubbly and offers a really good lather.
Creamy handmade soap
Unlike a good bubbly soap some persons have extremely dry skin and prefer a more creamy soap.
Creamy handmade soaps tend to leave more of the soap oils on the skin to help moisturize it better. Its to combat that feeling when you use a commercial soap and your skin feels extra dry as if all the oil was sucked out of it.
With this benefit of handmade soap, a person can design the soap to suit their skin type and thus have much healthier skin than using a soap not suited to their specific skin type.
A cleansing soap is pretty much what it seems like. A soap that thoroughly cleans the skin of all dirt, grim and bacteria.
These types of soaps are great for persons who work dirty jobs and really want that squeaky clean feel after taking a bath.
The beauty of this is that a bubbly soap can also be a cleansing soap but so can a creamy soap. Its all depends on the ingredients used in the soap to make it a cleansing soap.
Conditioning soaps are usually not used for your skin.
Yes I said it a soap that is not particularly used for your overall skin. conditioning soaps are typically designed to to was your hair.
Using a bar of soap to wash your hair instead of using, well hair shampoo and conditioner.
The beauty of a conditioning soap is that it can be used on your body, face and hair without any ill issues. It is after all still soap.
Design control of handmade soap
When it comes to a benefit of using handmade soap the design has to come in mind.
We are so limited to look of commercial soap that we believe that's just they way soap should look. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Handmade soap does not have to "fit the mold" of the traditional square or oval shaped bar of soap. There are so many beautifully designed molds out there that can be used to make amazing shapes, designs and art for a bar of soap.
There are flower molds, animal molds, letters and number molds and even intricately designed molds with angels, flowers and even land marks that can be used to make soap bars.
Even if you wanted to keep it to the square look you can use so many techniques to add color, designs and shapes withing your soap.
Such soaps are called artisan soaps and are often such a work of art that many persons simply use them as decorations in their bathrooms.
How is this a benefit you ask?
Well its hard to place in words but until you use one these handmade soaps especially if it was made specifically for you will realize how much you love taking showers and baths.
The science is in on the benefits of taking showers, hot and cold. Take that information and add to it the calming affect of smelling lavender from your bar of soap while removing dead skin cells from you body for healthy glowing skin.
If thats not a major benefit then I dont know what is.
You can read a bit on the benefits of taking hot and cold showers HERE.
The benefits of using handmade soaps are longer than this post and it would be along and boring read to continue with more specifics.
Instead here are a few others you may have not considered when it came to making, buying and using handmade soaps.
Unlike commercial soaps, the ingredients are at least 80% all natural if not 100% natural which means there is no need to test on animals.
This benefit suits those who understand the cruelty that animals endure so that we may enjoy a few perks here and there such as a moisturizing bar from a commercial seller.
It really is soap
Handmade soap is actual soap. What I mean by this is that many commercial soaps are not REAL soap.
Soap has a very definite description according to the FDA of America. Unfortunately many of the store bought commercial soaps do not fall in this category.
We call them soap because we use them on our skin but they are actually synthetic detergents. Yes that is a shocker!
A natural by product of the soap making process is the production of glycerin.
Glycerin - a thick, sweet, clear liquid used in making medicines, food, soap, etc. as stated by Merriam Webster
This substance is very important to the cosmetics industry. Is soap and many other products it is used to attract moisture to your skin.
Lotions, lip gloss and other products will contain this substance. In handmade soap however its naturally occurring.
Control over Ph Balance
There are some scientist that state that bathing too often can remove the skin of good and bad bacteria and would impact the persons overall health.
Many soaps can have either a high ph or a low ph.
Hence either and alkaline soap or a acid soap. The idea is to ensure that your soap hits a nice even balanced ph.
Only with handmade soaps can this balance be achieved and controlled by the maker.
Buy and Try
There you have the top 3 benefits to using handmade soap.
I can explain to you all day but unless you try a bar of soap you will not be able to fully enjoy all the benefits listed in this article.
Speak to your local soap maker and give them information on what you would like your soap to smell look and fell like and join the millions of people worldwide who enjoy using their very own handmade soap.