Ditch the Chemicals, Embrace Nature: Your Guide to Buying Handmade Natural Soap Bars

Ditch the Chemicals, Embrace Nature: Your Guide to Buying Handmade Natural Soap Bars

If you're trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, switching to natural personal care products like handmade soap bars is a simple yet impactful way to reduce your environmental footprint and embrace a more natural approach to self-care. But how do you go about choosing the right handmade soap bar for yourself and your loved ones? We'll discuss a few things you should keep in mind when shopping for natural soap bars, from ingredients to production methods, so you can make the perfect selection for your skin's unique needs.

Benefits of Handmade Natural Soap 

Commercially produced soaps are often packed with synthetic chemicals, harsh detergents and preservatives. Handmade natural soap bars on the other hand are crafted with skin-loving ingredients like nourishing oils and butters, gentle clays, and natural botanical extracts. This translates to a multitude of benefits for your skin:

Free from Harsh Chemicals: like parabens, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances! Natural soaps are free from these irritants, making them a gentler option for your skin. 

Natural, Clean Ingredients: Many natural soaps are infused with vitamins, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds that nurture your skin. Crafted with natural oils like coconut oil which is highly moisturising, helping your skin stay hydrated.

Sustainable Practices: Choosing handmade natural soap bars often means supporting small businesses that prioritise sustainable sourcing, high quality ingredients and eco-friendly packaging.

The Art of Soap Making: Cold Process vs. Melt and Pour

There are two primary methods for crafting handmade natural soap bars: cold process and melt and pour. Understanding these methods can help you make informed choices when selecting your perfect soap.

Cold process soap making is a traditional technique that involves mixing oils, lye (sodium hydroxide), and water. This chemical reaction, called saponification, creates soap and naturally occurring glycerin, a moisturising byproduct. Cold process soaps require a curing period of several weeks (our kefir soap bars take about 4 weeks) to ensure the lye has completely reacted and the soap is gentle on skin and safe for use.

Melt and pour soap uses a pre-made soap base, eliminating the need for a long curing period. While convenient, these bases often contain pre-added colors, fragrances, and potentially harsh additives. This can introduce unnecessary chemicals to your skincare routine.

Choosing the Perfect Natural Soap Bar: Know Your Skin and Your Options

Now that you understand the benefits and production methods of natural soap bars, it's time to find the perfect one for you! Here are some key considerations:

Know Your Skin Type: Do you have dry, oily, or sensitive skin? Different soap bars cater to various needs. Shea butter and olive oil soaps soaps excel for dry skin, while activated charcoal and green clay can be beneficial for oily skin. 

Understand the Ingredients: Read the label carefully! Look for natural oils, butters, and botanical extracts that address your specific concerns. Avoid soaps with harsh chemicals or artificial fragrances. Handmade soap makers often list their ingredients according to the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI), an industry standard that uses Latin names for each ingredient. Don't be discouraged by the scientific terms! Many natural ingredients have familiar counterparts in the INCI list. For example "Olea Europaea Fruit Oil" simply translates to olive oil. The long confusing ingredients list in skincare products can sometimes be intimidating but a quick internet search can easily decode these INCI names, allowing you to understand exactly what's going into your soap and spot any harsh unwanted chemicals!

The Power of Scent: Essential oils not only provide a delightful aroma but also offer therapeutic benefits. Choose a scent that appeals to your senses and complements your mood, like calming lavender or sweet may chang flowers. 

Support Local Artisans: Look for local soap makers who use high-quality, ethically sourced ingredients. This ensures freshness and supports small businesses in your community.

We hope these little tips will help you find the right soap bar for your skin, while you ditch the harsh chemicals and embrace natural living.

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