Handmade soap has become more popular in recent years. Since it is made of all-natural ingredients, it is a better option for people with sensitive skin or certain skin conditions.
Commercial soap is still reigning over the industry, but it isn’t the safest option for everyone. The ingredients may not be suitable for the human skin and may cause dryness, irritation, and similar problems in the long run.
Whether you’re seeking a fun hobby, saving money, or pursuing a new business venture, our step-by-step guide makes crafting spa products enjoyable and easy, perfect for hobbies, saving money, or starting a business. Explore 126+ recipes, from soaps to lotions, with our beginner-friendly Quick Start Guide. Ditch store-bought products with unknown chemicals and embrace personalized, high-quality creations that cater to allergies and sensitivities using The Handcrafter’s Companion.
Once you try handcrafted soap for the first time, you won’t want to go back to commercial soap!
What are the main differences between handmade and commercial soaps?
The main difference between both soap options is that handmade soap has a shorter shelf life, typically between 6 to 12 months. In contrast, commercial soaps are filled with chemicals and additives that extend their shelf life for longer periods, usually between 2 to 3 years.
However, the list goes on.
- Handmade soaps contain glycerin, while commercial soaps don’t.
Natural soaps are created in small batches, while commercial soaps are mass-produced.
It is unlikely that you’ll find a lot of natural soap at your local store or at least one type. Artisans, usually small businesses, make these soaps. They make sure to have powerful rejuvenating and moisturizing properties for your skin. They make smaller amounts with each batch.
On the other hand, commercial soaps are produced in factories and contain synthetic detergents. Although they are easier to fabricate, they aren’t exactly “soaps,” but more on that later.
- Commercial soap is NOT biodegradable, while handcrafted soap is!
Natural soap is an environmentally-friendly option that is made of organic materials. Thus, making it biodegradable, even if it has a shorter shelf life.
Why should you choose handmade soap?
- Handmade soap is real soap.
We talked previously about how commercial soap isn’t exactly soap. Well, that’s because they are not – if you take a closer look at their labels, you’ll find out that they’re named “body bars,” “cleansing bars,” or other similar names. Regardless of how they’re labeled, these soaps are detergents. They’re good for cleaning but may cause irritation for those with sensitive skin.
Alternatively, handmade soap is actually soap. It is made from organic ingredients, oils, and lye, and instead of being produced in mass quantities, it is actually made one batch at a time and is given enough time to cure. Thanks to this, the natural oils can produce glycerin, which gives handmade soap its moisturizing effect.
- Presence of Glycerin
Glycerin or glycerol is an important ingredient in cosmetic products. It is responsible for keeping your skin moisturized, as it naturally attracts water. After taking a shower or a bath while using handmade soap, you’ll be able to enjoy moisturized and clearer skin in the long term. And since glycerin is present with handmade soaps, the choice is easy.
- Higher quality
Handmade soaps are often of higher quality than commercial soaps. The artisan thoroughly processes each batch, which means they receive enough attention to acquire their final shape. Furthermore, natural ingredients and high-quality ingredients make them better than commercial soaps.
- It’s biodegradable.
We’ve touched on this subject earlier, so it should be on the list. Natural soap is made with natural ingredients. Since it doesn’t contain synthetic ingredients, you can be sure it’s 100% biodegradable. Also, these soaps do not cause harm to the environment.
- It contains natural oils.
Commercial soaps do contain oils, but since they’re heavily processed, they end up being nothing more than a cocktail of chemicals that will only dry your skin out. However, handmade soaps are carefully processed in small batches containing different oils, which increases overall quality.
Natural soaps contain pure essential oils, which means they have excellent aromatherapeutic properties that can help you relax and feel better.
Essential oils have been proved to have different benefits besides giving a nice smell. For instance, some scents are known to help you reduce stress or regain some of your strength back after a long tiring day.
- It helps you maintain your skin in good condition.
Many people have experienced exceptional skin benefits after using natural soaps for an extended period of time. These soaps are especially helpful for people who suffer from certain skin conditions, like psoriasis, dermatitis, or even acne. But not all soaps are made equal, so some soap may be beneficial against dermatitis while others would not.
- It can help you save money.
Commercial soap doesn’t contain glycerin, oils, or other similar ingredients because all of these ingredients will diminish its shelf-life. This is actually an incentive to make you buy different products so that your skin stays moisturized and healthy. You will end up spending more money over time if you choose to stick to commercial soap.
Even if natural soap has a higher cost, it’s still the best and cheaper option in the long run.
- You’re supporting a small business.
If you decide to purchase natural soap, you’re helping out a small vendor. Most people involved in the soapmaking community have a social conscience, which means they will likely follow ethical practices to select their ingredients and manufacture their soaps.
Are handmade soaps worth it?
If you try to look around the web for natural soap companies, you’ll see that most of these soaps are more expensive compared to commercial soaps. You will typically find them within a price range between $4 to $9. However, this price is completely worth it because:
- It retains all the natural glycerin from the oils, which means that it will keep your skin properly hydrated in the long run.
- You can make custom requests. Some soap artisans take custom requests, which means that you can get soap made exactly as you want, as soft or with your favorite fragrance.
- You’ll enjoy all the aromatherapeutic benefits from the essential oils. Commercial soap uses artificial fragrances that actually may negatively affect. On the other hand, most soap makers use essential oils to instill a healing effect in the soap they sell to their clients. For instance, Lavender oil has relaxing properties, citruses may give you energy boosts, and tea tree is antimicrobial.
- You’ll find different varieties of handcrafted soap. Most soap artisans will offer different soaps to their clientele, each of which will be appropriately cured and produced. This makes it easier for you to find the best soap for your skin and preferences.
As you can see, even if handcrafted soaps are a bit more expensive than commercial soaps, you’ll be able to enjoy better benefits in the future without needing any extra products, like lotions.
Are homemade soaps good for the skin?
What’s so bad about commercial soap?
- It’s not soap.
Let’s start with the most obvious. Commercial soaps may be accessible in terms of money, but cheap doesn’t mean good. These products are often labeled as “body washes” and have similar names because they’re not really soap – all they do is clean your skin and nothing else. In fact, sometimes, they do more harm than good. In fact, commercial soaps are synonyms of detergents in most cases.
- It does not contain glycerin.
As mentioned multiple times in this article, they do not contain glycerin, which would be enough to avoid using commercial soaps. They are extracted from the final product and are destined for use in other cosmetic industry areas, like lotions you would buy to counter the dry skin the commercial soap is causing.
- It has harmful ingredients.
Commercial soap contains a mix of several chemicals that will cause more harm than good to your skin. One of the most common ingredients is sodium laurel sulfate (SLS), which is known to cause several skin issues if you keep up with prolonged use.
How do you know if the soap is a handmade soap?
Here are a few tips that should help you determine whether you’re buying is an actual handcrafted soap:
- It has a different appearance, almost like wax. (be careful some commercial soaps are specially made this way to give you the appearance)
- Please read the label and make sure it doesn’t contain fragrance oils or similar substances, like perfume. If it does, that means it is not a natural product.
- If you’ve chosen to buy unscented soap, it shouldn’t have any scents.
- The names on the label should be easy to pronounce and easy to associate with plants. I know this sounds a little simplistic but try it out and you’ll understand what I mean. 🙂