What is Soap?
Soap is the oldest cleanser around. It is created by a chemical reaction between oils, water and lye. Although lye is used to make soap there is no lye left after saponification (the chemical reaction that makes soap) is complete. There is no such thing as a bar of soap that was made without the use of lye. Different kinds of soap are made using a variety of different oils.
What is the Problem with Most Commercial Personal Care Products?
Widely used as preservatives in majority of personal care products like body lotions and bath gels, parabens have been found to have an estrogen-like effect in the body, and estrogen is an established risk factor for breast cancer. Numerous studies have questioned whether parabens can be linked to the development, growth and progression of breast cancer. Many manufacturers are already eliminating parabens from their products. To be safe, read labels and buy only those products that are free from parabens.
What is the Problem with Conventional Bar Soaps?
Much of the soap available in the store today is not really soap at all, but a detergent. Detergents are a petroleum based product, like gasoline and kerosene. Have you ever noticed how regular soap leaves your skin feeling dry, itchy and tight? Alkali, the most common irritant in soap is often the culprit. Others ingredients in mass-marketed soap have been proven harmful to human health and can cause severe skin irritations in some people. These include ingredients such as DEA, Isopropyl Alcohol, BHT and Triclosan (commonly found in anti-bacterial soap). The most common ingredient in conventional bar soaps is sodium tallowate. It is the natural product of combining tallow, or beef fat, with lye. The attractiveness for tallow for mass producing soap is that it processes quickly, produces a hard bar of soap and is cheap and plentiful.
What are the Benefits Of Handmade Soap?
Evidence abounds of the healing properties of a handmade bar of soap. Those who suffer from skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, as well as people that have sensitive skin or are hypoallergenic often find immediate relief by switching to handmade soap. Compared to store bought soap, handmade soap is very mild. They are often made from vegetable-based oils, such as olive, coconut, and palm and do not contain the potentially harmful chemicals found in conventional bar soap. One of the biggest differences between commercial soap and handmade soap is glycerin. Glycerin is a clear liquid that absorbs water from the air and is a key factor in keeping skin soft and healthy. Glycerin soap is especially good for sensitive and delicate skin, and for children.
How should I take care of my Handmade Soap?
Handmade soap is a special product. Because it contains glycerin, it can retain more moisture than other soaps. To extend the life of your handmade soap, place it in a well-draining soap dish. Keep unused bars in a cool, dry place, and use them before the date of expiry.
How can I be sure of the Ingredients in my Handmade Soap?
Most handmade soap makers list ingredients on their soap labels and, in many instances, you can visit their Web sites or review their product brochures for more details. Essential oils and fragrance oils contribute scent, while botanicals, spices, and other natural ingredients add texture. It is not unusual to find handmade soap made with such things as oatmeal, sliced almonds, shaved coconut meat, corn meal and other goodies that provide light and gentle exfoliation for your skin.
Why is Glycerin Important?
Glycerin is naturally produced during the handmade soap making process. In fact, pound for pound, glycerin costs more than soap, which is why some soap companies remove the glycerin from the soap and sell it to manufacturers of things like tooth paste and lotion. With handmade soap, you get a two-in-one: a fabulous cleanser plus moisturizer!