There’s a pretty good chance the “soap” you buy from the store is not actually soap at all. In fact, most products sold in conventional stores are actually considered detergents. Detergents are made with an array of synthetic surfactants, builders, and additives. Studies have shown the commonly used ingredients falling within categories such as surfactants, emulsifiers, preservatives, artificial colors, and fragrances have harmful effects on our bodies and the environment.
With our skin being porous and absorbing much of what it comes into contact with, it’s important to make sure that what goes onto our body is just as safe as what goes into it! For this reason and more I started making my own soap – the real way!
What is REAL soap?
Real soap is made with few and simple ingredients. According to the FDA, true soap is “made by combining fats or oils and an alkali, such as lye”. Artisanal soap makers craft their soap by choosing an assortment of fats (oils and butters) based on the qualities they offer.
You might be wondering about the use of lye in your body product… I hear ya! My hesitation toward lye held me back from soap making for awhile. Lye is an extremely caustic substance that requires proper handling and safety measures. The thought of using it in a skin care product was mortifying to me. However, a cured bar of carefully crafted soap will not contain any trace of lye whatsoever. The chemical reaction that occurs when fat meets lye (sodium hydroxide) is called saponification. When saponification is complete, you’re left with a product containing saponified oils, glycerin, and water – known simply as soap.
Benefits of Handcrafted Soap
It’s common practice for soap makers to add more oils and butters to their soap than the lye can saponify. This technique is referred to as superfatting and ensures that all lye is safely processed without question. The remaining free-floating oils help to create a mild and moisturizing bar of soap.
Another great and naturally occurring quality of handcrafted soap is the retention of its glycerin. Glycerin is a humectant, drawing moisture to and softening your skin. Often, in commercial soap-making operations, the glycerin is removed and sold as a separate commodity for maximum profit, leaving commercial soap bars stripped of their lovely essence.
Uniquely crafted, each bar of handmade soap radiates in its entirety. Soap makers utilize creative outlets and individualize their soap by adding essential oils and botanicals for natural enhancements, scent, and aesthetics. Botanicals or clays add appeal to your soap by adding qualities ranging from an artsy appearance to exfoliating or detoxing.
Soap makers who love their craft and have a true passion for creating nourishing and beneficial products will choose high quality, wholesome ingredients that not only nurture and pamper your skin, but spare the environment and yourself from harmful disruptors. The energy and love you are sending to the artist when buying handmade is received equally by you! You are fueling love and creation, sending a rippling effect through the world with your choices. You’ll feel the difference both physically and energetically, as the pure ingredients, love, and passion that are infused into your bar of soap nourish your skin and soul!
Click the Etsy link in the sidebar to view my handmade soaps and search for other inspiring love-infused handmade crafts on Etsy!