Why Use Handmade Soaps ?
You Only Need to Moisturize Once
Before making and using handmade soaps I had no idea that there was really any distinct difference between the two apart from the fact one was mass produced
and the other was handmade.
How wrong I was
There is no difference
you cannot even compare the two.
They have the same name but that is where the similarities end.
So what is the difference you ask.....
Although the process is similar the first thing to take into account is the impact the ingredients have,
as they have a strong bearing on the qualities of the soap in many ways.
Poor ingredients in - not so great soap out.... this is phase one on the road to harsh soap.
Most if not all commercial soaps are predominantly if not completely made up of palm oil and its derivatives.
This ingredient adds certain benefits to the soap such as hardness, fluffy lather and is very cheap to buy but does not make for a soap that is particularly moisturizing.
There are other serious problems associated will its production as well.
What happens to the 'batter' then furthermore contributes to it's harshness and
there is no getting off the train of a detergent like soap.
To understand the difference lets take a quick tour of the soap making process....
Traditionally handmade soap is produced by adding Sodium Hydroxide ( Lye) dissolved in water
or a liquid of choice which is then added to oils.
This is then blended until an exothermic chemical reaction begins to takes place and the mixture begins to thicken. At this point the ' batter' is poured into molds and then left for the soap to thickening further to reach a point
of becoming solid. This process of saponification ( converting fats into a soap) takes
approximately 18- 24 hours to complete.
The soap is then removed from the mold and left to air dry and 'cure' for at least four - six weeks.....
This is a very simplified explanation.
The magic of hand made soap is firstly in the choice of the oils to begin with because each oil contributes different qualities to the end product such as hardness but more importantly moisturizing potential as oils retain the quality they started with, so Olive oil remains olive oil just in a different form and that furthermore as part of this process a wonderful key 'side effect' happens within the soap which is the production of glycerin, which is a natural skin emollient/ humectant, meaning it attracts moisture to your skin
and is a great skin softener.
Hand made soaps contain 10 - 25 % glycerin content and this is retained so making the soap
naturally skin softening, though commercial soap manufacturers remove the glycerin from the batter
and then it is to be used in skin care products.
So basically you need to buy two products instead of one, a soap and a moisturizer, one product to strip the natural oils from your skin and one to replace it.
Very nifty especially is you are in the business of wanting to sell plenty of products.
So why buy twice when you can just buy once without the packaging to boot!
So whats in a commercial bar of soap?
Most commercial soaps are designed to clean and the focus is not on beneficial properties skin health or healing
and sadly not even being moisturizing as this comes as an after thought.
They may actually be irritating or drying to the skin and potentially harmful.
Bearing in mind that the skin is the largest organ of the body
and is porous with no filtering of chemicals you may put on it.....
you may decide to feed it with something that is beneficial and designed to be so.
Here list is just some of the ingredients you may recognize
in a commercial bar of soap.
Parabens- Mimics estrogen and may be linked with breast cancer
Sodium cocoyl isethionate a synthetic detergent
Sodium isethionate a detergent & emulsifying agent
Synthetic colors interfere with the skins natural oil balance and block pores.
Tetrasodium EDTA a preservative made from formaldehyde
Artificial Fragrances have been found to contain phthalates (THAL-ates) there is some concern that these may disrupt hormone activity & may be linked to issues with reproductive processes causing malformation and therefore reduce sperm counts. There have been potential links to diabetes and certain cancers
Stearic Acid is an emulsifier, used as a stabilizer in plastics which may cause irritation, itching redness,sun sensitivity and inflammation
Triclosan is linked to a weakening of the immune system and abnormal functioning of the endocrine & thyroid hormone signalling. Exposure of antibacterial ingredients in young children increases the development of eczema, asthma and development of allergies.
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) - a ' moderate hazard' linked to cancer, organ toxicity nurotoxicity, skin irritant and endocrine disruption
Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) causes irritation of skin & eyes.
Formaldehyde can cause skin irritation itching and dermatitis.
Toluene can cause dermatitis.
To find out more about the qualities that the oils and other beneficial ingredients
in my soaps bring click here, you'll find all of them are easy to pronounce and recognizable.
Using & Looking After Your handmade Soap
Handmade soaps are like glorious blocks of hardened oils
& unlike commercially produced soaps have no artificial hardeners &
are not compressed into bullet hard blocks.
So handmade soaps are great for your skin in so many ways like lathering yourself with liquid lathering oils rather than a mild detergent,
though once you begin to use them they need to be treated with a little love, not that they are needy ...
they're just special.
The main difference that people find with handmade soaps is that after a few turns of the soap in your hands that is really all you need... It doesn't seem like much but then rub your hands together and the lather develops or better still use a bath pouf and you'll have voluminous lather after very little rubbing, It kind of comes on unexpectedly..
After use, remember to leave it in a dry place where it is not
sitting in water or somewhere particularly humid or damp .
Leave the soap completely dry out between uses preferably on
a draining soap dish with slates ,draining holes an ridges
to hold them above any sitting water.
They should be kept somewhere well ventilated and not in
a humid place as this will prevent them from dying out properly.
I have wooden or bamboo draining soap dishes available to buy
and I will soon be offering handmade ceramic draining soap dishes.
So if you are interested please subscribe and I will notify you
when they are available for sale.