What Is Handmade Soap?
Handmade soap is really simple! It’s essentially created by combining oils with a lye – a strong Alkali to initiate the soap making process, and water. This process is called “saponification”. You’ll hear me mention this term a lot as it’s an important part of the soap making process. Glycerin which is a byproduct created during the process of making soap adds a wonderful moisturising effect.
Store-bought or artificial soap usually has the Glycerin removed and a whole bunch of chemicals added to compensate. The Glycerin is removed for use as a moisturiser in other skincare products. To compensate for this other chemicals are then used to replace the Glycerins moisturising properties. What you end up with is not really soap anymore. If you read the ingredients list on a commercial bar of soap it’s really quite scary. Many of these chemicals are often shadowed in controversy, often associated with negative side effects.
Handmade soap is a cleaner, more natural option and it’s also better for your septic system. Almost all homemade soap ingredients can be read and understood, they aren’t followed by random numbers or letters, and you’ll know exactly how the product is made, and what you are putting on your skin, which essentially is absorbed by the body. Homemade soap basically consists of oils, butters, lye, and a few natural additives. In some cases people like to add fragrances to make their soaps to make them smell better, I prefer to use essential oils as they keep my soaps natural. A dead give-away to whether a range of handmade soaps contain fragrances is Sandalwood. As an essential oil, it’s horribly expensive, at around $6000 a kilogram as apposed to Orange which costs around $80 a kilogram.
There’s So Many Options!
There is an endless list of possibilities to the recipes that can be created! No matter what your skin type or preferences, someone out there is making a soap that suites your needs. Or you can make your own at home. There is an endless wealth of information on the internet.
Almost anything can be added to create the perfect bar of soap for your skin:
- Clays and natural micas
- Fruit juices
- Different kinds of milk. (Even breast milk)
- Various kinds of butters
- Exfoliants, such as oats, coffee, seeds and crushed nut shells
- Essential oils for that beautiful fragrance
- (Even when artificial fragrances are added, your handmade bar of soap is still far less toxic than commercial soap.)
Since homemade soap is usually crafted in small kitchens or small shops, ingredients are not tested on animals. There’s no need! Handmade soap process has been around for almost 5000 years so we can be pretty confident that it works. Why would you want to support a company that mistreats and tortures innocent animals? Do you really need to know that soap squirted into a rabbit’s eye hurts? Of course that would hurt. Nothing beats natural soap that’s 100% handcrafted, made with love and care in small batches, chemical-free, cruelty-free!
Supporting Local Businesses
Lots of people love making soap, myself included. As with any craft or trade, we take great pride in our products and creations. We put a lot of research and work into perfecting the recipes we use. When you buy soap from a local maker, you are supporting a local business and you can usually find us online or at the local farmer’s market.