Happy Wednesday, friends! If you’re reading my blog posts chronologically, I figured this was a great topic to start with! So, what is natural soap exactly, and what’s so great about it?
All of my soaps are made using the cold-process method of soapmaking. In short, cold-process soapmaking involves mixing fats (plant oils & butters or traditionally, animal fats) with sodium hydroxide (lye) to create a chemical reaction known as saponification. Some people may find words like “lye” and “chemical reaction” scary, but the fact is, you cannot make soap any other way. This is the science of soapmaking!
Now that you know the basics of saponification (and can add this cool new word to your vocabulary), we can discuss 5 top advantages of choosing natural handmade soap bars, and why they are often more beneficial to your skin compared to commercial soaps. We'll also explore how these delightful bars contribute to a sustainable lifestyle and benefit the environment. Let's dive right in!
1. Gentle and Nourishing Ingredients
Natural handmade soap bars are crafted with skin-loving ingredients that are gentle on your skin, while also providing an effective cleanse. Natural soaps utilize plant-based oils & butters like olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter. These natural ingredients are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids that nourish and hydrate the skin, leaving it soft, smooth, and radiant. Commercial soaps, on the other hand, are often not “soap” at all! Rather they are detergents that can strip the skin of its natural oils, causing dryness and irritation.
2. Free of Harmful Chemicals
One of the major reasons natural handmade soaps are better for your skin is the absence of harmful chemicals. Many commercial soaps contain harsh additives like parabens and artificial fragrances, which can cause skin irritations and even allergic reactions. Botany Barn soaps are made from only natural ingredients that are always clearly listed on the product labels.
3. Customizable for Your Skin Type
Natural soap makers have the freedom to create soap bars specifically designed for different skin types and concerns. I select every ingredient for its specific properties, including benefits to your skin as well as the performance of the bar itself (e.g. creaminess, bubbliness, hardness etc.). Whether you have sensitive, dry, or acne-prone skin, there's a handmade soap bar tailored to your needs. This level of personalization is often lacking in commercial soaps, which tend to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach.
4. Environmentally Friendly
Choosing natural handmade soap bars not only benefits your skin but also promotes a sustainable lifestyle. With full control of the soapmaking process, I know exactly what is in my products and so do you! In addition, my soap bars are sold “naked” with a recycled paper label, reducing unnecessary wasteful packaging (not to mention all the plastic bottles used for liquid hand soap!). And, since they are made with natural ingredients, natural soaps are biodegradable, posing no harm to the environment when washed down the drain.
5. Supporting Small Businesses
When you purchase a natural handmade soap bar, you're supporting small businesses like mine and artisans who are passionate about creating high-quality, environmentally friendly products. This not only helps the local economy but also ensures that you're getting a unique, handcrafted product made with love and care.
As a final note, it’s important to keep in mind that not all handmade soaps are created equal! Many soapmakers use ingredients you may not agree with ethically (such as palm oil), or additives like fragrance oils, micas, glitters, and so on. Botany Barn soaps are always palm oil free, scented naturally with essential oils, and coloured with clays & botanicals. When buying handmade, always check the ingredient list to make sure you know what you’re putting on your skin!
Interested in learning more? We’ll dive deeper in future posts on topics such as:
- why we choose to be palm free
- ingredient profiles: the benefits of our favourite soapmaking ingredients
Thanks SOAP much for reading!