Use Handmade Soap - It is good for your skin
Posted by VALERIE OLIVER-FORDE on
Handmade Soap is a Luxury you can afford!
Okay so you are probably reading this article because your skin is super dry (like the Sahara Desert) or really itchy after bathing with your favorite store bought brand of soap. We were just like you. Then we upgraded to something better.
Handmade soap or Cold Process Soap could be the answer you've been searching for.
I always wonder why a mom won’t bathe her new-born or young baby with the regular big brand name soap but goes to extra trouble to get the "baby recommended soap". Hmmm…I think instinctively we all know which things are not good for our skin, especially if we want beautiful, soft, radiant skin.
Let’s just tell you the bad news right away - mass produced big brand store bought nice smelling soap is NOT SOAP. It is most likely a synthetic detergent made from petroleum…the same stuff you put in your car for fuel. Definitely not cool! If it contains any real soap then that soap has been stripped of the stuff that makes a great soap, Glycerine. Commercially produced soap comes in two types:
- Synthetic detergents (also called surfactants) mixed with a number of fillers and extra chemicals to give the feeling of clean. These soaps cleanse by aggressively removing dirt and grease from the skin. They all remove the beneficial skin oils and can damage and irritate your skin. Several synthetic detergents are well known for causing dermatitis. Often, these detergents are harsh and reality check folks – these are the same detergents you use to wash your clothes, cars and dishes with. You can easily spot them as they are often called cleansing bars, beauty bars, enriched soap bars etc.
- Mass produced “soap” normally made using vegetable oils actually contain soap stock (a by-product of manufacturing oils for food use), used vegetable oils (by used we mean oil discarded after frying food) or palm oil which in many cases is not sustainably farmed. Often animal fats are used and most consumers don’t even realize this. Now these types of soaps are made at high temperatures in such a way to remove the moisture (water) and glycerine in them. The glycerine is sold to other industries and then the “soap base” or “soap noodle” is mixed with fillers, fragrances and additional chemicals to increase the lather. Don’t get us wrong, palm oil makes a lovely hard and high lather soap but a high palm oil bar is also the culprit of skin dryness and irritation that results. We’ve heard of several “drying” handmade soaps and these probably contain too much palm oil.
Why we believe in handmade
In 2008 a friend gave me a handmade soap gift for Valentine’s day. Strange gift but I’m guessing seeing me itch all day and hearing me complain about my extra dry skin and no relief from all the doctor recommended creams and medicines was enough of a push. So I tried that soap and never went back to regular big brand soap. The thing was that the handmade soap did not strip my skin, it was lightly fragranced with natural essential oils and the lather felt like heavenly silk. I was hooked. Now after meeting so many people with the same experience and learning all about proper old fashioned soap making, we happily share our best formulas with our customers. Handmade soap makes friends out of strangers!
Now, age brings reason and once you’ve done your research you should know that synthetic detergents should never be used daily on the skin. Even though companies try to mask the effect by adding a ton of “moisturizers” those soaps will never stand up to a good bar of handmade soap.
We like things made by real people, with love, care and attention. We also love that every bar is a little different, just like real people are and of course handmade soaps are beautiful.
How is it made
Making good soap is an art. The Better Beauty Brand and Natur Pur Soaps are made using the ages old cold process method. Sometimes the old ways are better. Basically, we mix selected vegetable oils (no animal fats are used at all) with lye. Vegetable oils contain fatty acids (carbon containing molecules which also have acidic groups on them). These fatty acids react with the lye (properly called sodium hydroxide) which is a base. Those of you with some high school science might remember
Properly named soaps contain sodium salts of fatty acids. In the case of using vegetable oils as a raw material Glycerine is also released in making the soap. This natural glycerine makes the soap bar moisturising for your skin. In fact every good soap maker leaves a little excess of vegetable oil in the soap recipe, called superfatting, making it even better for your skin. We do care about your skin.
Now choosing your vegetable oil mixture is the key in getting the right properties. We love to use olive oil (probably the oldest used and best oil for great soap), organic coconut oil (great for cleansing and lather), sustainable and traceable palm oil (helps with hardness so your bar lasts longer), rice bran or soy bean oil (adds mildness and is super moisturizing) and castor oil for that great long lasting lather. Of course, we also add in the lush extras such as Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter which are well known for good skin care.
The cold process method is done at low temperatures and so this helps to minimize loss of the properties of the oils that make the soap. Once the soap is made the lye disappears leaving the soap safe for use. The low temperatures we use are good for the pure essential oils we add to scent the soap because extra benefits of these essential oils are not destroyed in the soap making process. The therapeutic essential oils retain their potency for your skin. For cold process soaps we leave the soap to “cure” for 2-4 weeks. This increases the mildness and allows the soap to harden up before you buy them.
We challenge you to upgrade to our Handmade Soap. We're sure you will never go back.