So whats the difference?
Soapmakers are often asked about the difference between handmade soap and store-bought soap. There are many differences. First and foremost, most commercial store-bought soap isn’t soap at all. It’s a detergent made out of chemical hardeners, artificial scents, and chemical foaming agents. It may be labeled “natural” and come with all kinds of persuasive advertising claiming all sorts of wonderful benefits, but read the ingredients label for more info.
Handmade soap is pure soap, in its true pure form. It cleanses and moisturizes naturally without stripping away your skin’s natural healthy oils.
To be fair, some of the ingredients of commercial soaps are in handmade soaps, too, and they are natural ingredients. Stearic Acid is a fatty acid common in all soaps. Sodium Tallowate is a byproduct of the saponification of animal fats like beef tallow (It may make a good soap, but we don’t use animal fats at Flipster). Sodium Palmitate is a salt of palm oil, also common in handmade soaps (again, we don’t use any palm oil at Flipster).
However, handmade soaps do not usually contain any preservatives or harsh chemicals that are commonly found in commercial soaps.
01. More Expensive
Handmade soap is typically more expensive – selling in a range from $5 to $10 per bar, handmade soap is far more expensive than most store-bought soaps. But it’s worth it, though. Read on.
02. Natural Glycerin
Handmade soap contains all its natural glycerin – In the soapmaking process glycerol (glycerin) is liberated from the triglycerides, which are then converted to sodium salts. Chemically speaking, soap itself is a “salt”. Glycerin is FANTASTIC for your skin, but it is far more commercially valuable than the soap itself. So, commercial soap companies extract the glycerin and sell it separately, replacing it with cheaper chemicals. Independent soapmakers leave in the natural glycerin to hydrate and soften skin.
Handmade soap bars have less impact on the environment – Hard soap and shampoo bars do not require much packaging and most natural soap makers will avoid plastic packing completely. But it’s not just about packaging, liquid soaps require much larger amounts of water during production and commercial soaps contain a range of chemicals like surfactants and fragrances which don’t biodegrade very well, and can accumulate at levels toxic to animals in the environment. All of which travel down our drains to wastewater treatment plants but still mange to make it into our water ways.
04. Custom Made
Handmade soap can be custom formulated – We can make soap in small batches, so we can easily custom formulate. For example, this weekend I’m making 1.5kg of all natural dog soap for a special use containing oat milk, activated charcoal, lavender, and citronella.
05. Natural Essential Oils
Handmade soap uses natural essential oils – Commercial store-bought soaps are usually scented with chemicals. Most soapmakers, however, use all natural essential oils instead. These oils have real therapeutic properties. For example, tea tree oil is a natural antimicrobial. Lavender oil helps you relax. Citronella repels biting insects. Peppermint is a natural astringent.
06. Natural Oils
Handmade soap preserves the natural oils – The coconut oil, shea butter, and other natural skin-nourishing oils we use actually stay in handmade soap to protect and heal your skin naturally.
07. Its Local
Locally made by your local soap maker. Buy local!! Yay!