Every time I meet or talk to someone new about handmade soaps, at craft shows or via social media but most often face to face. There is one question that always comes up. What is this soap good for? I get it soap is soap but not really, especially when the price of the soap goes over $2.00 it becomes a problem. Who pays more than $2.00 for a bar of soap? It just seems outrageous.
To pretty much answer the question, hand made soap is good for bathing just like any other soap. However you do not subject your body to the chemicals of commercial soap that have never fully been tested... or have and the results never were published. Look soap is soap but not all soaps are created equal. handmade soap is as close to natural skin cleaning as possible. So to ask what is this soap good for is like asking what is cold drinking water good for. To give the explanation of what I mean by all soaps are not created equal lets take a look at the differences between commercial soaps and handmade soaps.
We have been conditioned over generations to believe that soap is easy to make hence its cost is negligible. Some bars of soap can range from flat out $1.00 to $2.60 so when you see a bar of soap for $8.00-$15.00 is just plain crazy, according to most persons. For a person to pay such high prices for a bar of soap, the soap must do something special that their $1.00 bar doesn't. It clear that some education must take place on the ingredients and the benefits of the ingredients of handmade soaps vs the ingredients and cost effectiveness of replacing natural ingredients with chemicals in commercial soaps.
If you are not sure what is meant by Commercial soap then take a look at this article. What is Commercial Soap.
The ingredients in Commercial soap for the most part are as follows:
-sodium cocoyl isethionate (synthetic detergent)
-stearic acid (hardener)
-sodium tallowate (sodium salt of cow fat)
-water sodium isethionate (detergent/emulsifying agent)
-coconut acid (the sodium salt of coconut oil)
-sodium stearate (emulsifier, also used as a cheap stabilizer in plastics)
-sodium dodecylbenzonesulfonate (synthetic detergent)
-sodium cocoate or sodium palm kernalate (sodium salts of coconut or palm kernel oils)
-fragrance (synthetic scent)
-sodium chloride (table salt)
-titanium dioxide (whitener)
-trisodium EDTA (stabilizer, used in industrial cleaning products to decrease hard water)
-trisodium etidronate (preservative, a chemical that is used in soaps to prevent soap scum)
-BHT (Butylated hydroxytoluene preservative)
The ingredients in Handmade Soap are as follows;
-Natural oils such as Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, etc (provide the base of moisturizing the skin)
-Sodium Hydroxide (lye which is transformed into the cleaning agent soap and glycerin)
-Distilled Water (clean and plain water)
-Essential/Fragrance Oils (effects on skin and smell)
-Colorants/additives (activated charcoal, carrot puree, mica colorants such as mica for
What are handmade soaps good for?
Based on the comparison between the two types of soap, you have to wonder why one you cant pronounce the words much less have an idea of what they mean while the other are things you use pretty much every day and in some cases can eat. To ask what handmade soap is good for when you look at things in this manner is simple. Handmade soap is good for ensuring you clean your skin with ingredients that are as close to nature as possible. That's the best answer I can give your.
I want you to keep in mind however that handmade soaps do have some added benefits which are not really benefits but simply your skin thanking you. Persons with sensitive skin and others with oily skin often see the quickest changes because there are no chemicals in the soap it does not irritate their skin and because the soap has natural glycerin it leaves the skin soft and easy to repair itself hence no need to produce excess oil to protect the skin.
There is however a drawback to using handmade soaps. Because the soaps do not have an preservatives in them its best to use the soaps within 1 - 2 years. I suggest within 1 year of when it was made. Why you may ask, well isn't it obvious... no preservatives means the natural oils will sooner or later begin to spoil. Just as if you leave oil out uncovered or protected over a year it will soon go rancid. Commercial soaps use chemical stabilizers to prolong the life of the soap, but that same chemical is what you will be putting on your skin and over time into your body.
The best way to explain what the soap is good for is to talk about the benefits of using handmade soaps. For one it balances skin. This means what ever type of skin you have it will help nourish your skin so that it can restore your skin to its best health. It removes oily residue dirt and grime more efficiently than commercial soaps all while returning moisture to the skin and keeping its elasticity. It keeps skin smooth, reduces scars, tones the skin and reduces aging. When you look at the benefits of using handmade soaps, any kind of handmade soap you have to realize that its well worth it if you love your skin and or if you already have skin issues that seem never to go away.