So, what’s up with all of this hype re natural soap? Soap’s just soap…., right? Wrong!
Soap has been around since about 2800 BC in Ancient Babylon; the ruins of Pompeii revealed an entire soap factory, which I was lucky enough to see late 2019.
Frontier women made all of their own soaps from rendered animal fats (no wastage when living on the frontier!). Affordably manufactured soap was widely available by the early 1800s.
The back to basic movement started to pick up momentum then Covid hit and Today, handmade soap has been increasing in popularity as people start to look for ways to return back to basics , supporting Aussie businesses . I also feel we are becoming more educated about the products we bring into our homes and start to look for natural “cures” for common health issues.
But, what’s the big deal about handmade soap vs our modern-day commercial soap? Is natural soap better than commercial soap? Let’s take a look at what each one so you can decide for yourself.
So is bad about commercial soaps?
Many commercial soaps aren’t Soap… they are synthetic detergents.
Detergents originated in 1916 Germany, and the commercial “soap” we know today came into existence during WWII. Detergents are synthetic (often petroleum-based) cleansers that strip your skin of the natural oils that your body needs for healthy skin and can lead to skin disorders and rashes.
Commercial soaps contain more than just soap!
Even if you do find a bar of real soap at the store, it might not be all that great for you. Many commercial soaps contain chemical-based colorants, dyes, fragrances, lathering agents, preservatives, and other “things” we can’t pronounce. These additives can wreak havoc on our sensitive skin and hair,and pollute our drinking water.
Some commercial “soaps”, toothpaste, and body washes even include triclosan which can promote cancer (pretty scary stuff) google it to find out more.
Commercial Soap Lacks Glycerine.
With all of the work commercial soap manufacturers put into adding “things” to their product, you wouldn’t think they would spend time extracting from it… but they do. Glycerin is a naturally occurring by-product of the saponification process (that’s the chemical reaction that we call soap making). Glycerine is a humectant—meaning it draws moisture from the air to your skin—leaving your skin soft and moisturized.
Commercial soap manufacturers typically remove the glycerin from their soap, and sell it separately, or use it in a second product—moisturiser.
Now let talks about handmade soap
What is Handmade Soap?
Lily Rose Indulgence hand made’s in small batches natural handmade soaps that are good for your skin.
Soap is a pretty basic chemical reaction: it’s a salt of a fatty acid. In order to make soap, fats and lye are combined in a process called saponification. You take some lye, some fat (animal or vegetable oils), heat it up, and BAM soap! OK, we simplified it, but you get the idea… soap is a natural process that comes from combining natural ingredients.
Handmade soap is made of vegetable oils (sometimes animal fats too yet not in Lily Rose Indulgence recipes) and butters that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients that are essential to healthy skin. And, real handmade soap contains glycerine. You won’t find us extracting all the goodies from our soap to upsell you the 2nd product. On the contrary, we at Lily Rose Indulgence work hard to find wonderful skin-loving ingredients to create more and more beneficial soaps for our lovely skin.
Wait, is Lye natural?
Some people are scared of soap made with lye, but if lye wasn’t used you couldn’t make soap (you would just have a puddle of oils). And, there’s no lye left over after the saponification process—it’s been turned into soap!
Lye is a liquid obtained by leaching ashes, and that’s it. Ma and Laura made it by running water over ashes from the fire pit, and many people still do today. These days, lye is purchased by its chemical names: sodium hydroxide (NaOH) used for making hard soap, or potassium hydroxide (KOH) which is used for making liquid soaps.
What Goes Into Handmade Soap?
The variety we achieve from different oils, textures, shapes, sizes, smells, and more is one of the great things I love about handmade soaps—no two bars are ever the same as they are works of art in themselves. But beauty aside, handmade soap should be crafted with care.
The main reason why soap is better for you than commercial detergents is based on the ingredients.
If you make a handmade bar of soap and then add chemicals to it, you’re no better off than the stuff you can buy at the grocery store. However, if you buy a bar of Lily Rose Indulgence handcraft soap’s with all-natural ingredients you will find we even go one step further then most homemade soap makers we use infused oils to create our colour and scents. In fact we use the botanicals we grow on our property to infuse in a variety of oils. Now that’s taking it one step further proving you with a natural, luxurious, moisturising bars of soap.
Each of the ingredients used in our soaps is chosen based on their effect on the final bar (moisturizing, exfoliant, odor removing, lathering, etc.).
Isn’t all handmade soap natural?
Unfortunately no. Not all handmade soap is created with high quality and natural ingredients.
Be on the lookout not all handmade soaps are good for you, some people craft soap with chemical-based additives called “melt and pour”—mostly because they are not aware of what they are purchasing, are new to the soap making process, or just don’t know better.
Some handmade soap makers are in it for the art, have you ever seem a bar of soap that looks look like a work of art ( skilled craftmanship I will admit) however, look at the ingredients carefully, most used chemical-based additive to make their soaps look pretty or smell better. Lily Roe Indulgence are all natural in colour and scents, we use natural scents like leaves from the rosemary bush, petals from our rose bushes etc
How do you know if the soap you are buying is all-natural handmade soap?
Check the ingredients
As with all products, read the labels. If it’s a real bar of soap, you will be able to understand and pronounce everything (now that you know what saponification and sodium hydroxide means!). The process should take about 20 seconds—there are only a few ingredients in a bar of real soap.
While you’re reading, make sure you are not allergic to anything in the soap like peanut oil, coconut, or some of the essential oils that can be present.
- If you are vegan, be sure to check out our signature soap range as they are all vegan
- Those with a shea butter or coconut allergies can enjoy our selection of castell soap range
Ask about cure time
Cure time is the amount of time it takes for the bar to fully mature, and to be a long-lasting bar of soap. A good soaper will tell you that their cure times can vary based on the ingredients of the soap, but each bar will typically take between 4-8 weeks. Lily Rose Indulgence we cure our soaps for 8 weeks.
Beware of fragrances and colours
While pumpkin spice is all the rage, you might not want it in your soap (unless it’s created with real pumpkin and spices). If the bar is bright orange, watch out and ask the soaper how they got that orange colour. If they can tell you about the herbal infusions, and gel stages they worked hard to achieve, then you found a great bar of soap.
Note: not all colours additives are bad, just be sure you know what you are purchasing by doing a bit of research and talking with your soaper. We prefer to use natural ingredients like coffee, mint, citrus from our garden, other herbs, and techniques to colour our soap. Others might use pigments that are “nature identical” meaning that they are manufactured in the lab to have the same molecular structure as their “natural” counterpart.
Natural vs. Organic
While businesses we can get Organic certified, there is no regulation/certification for the word “Natural” that helps a consumer really know if the soap is real, or safe… or not. Basically, even though a bar of soap is marketed as natural, that doesn’t mean it’s natural or good for your skin. (see first tip read those labels!)
Try out more than one bar of soap
Everyone has different skin types, different water conditions (hard vs. soft) and will have different experiences with different bars of soap. My friend has hard water and loves how my salted spa bar bubbles for her, but my water is softer and I prefer my bars unsalted.
Talk with your soapmaker
Some people will find that they prefer different soaps for different uses: hair, skin, face, feet, one for the bath, and a different one for the kitchen. Talk with your soapmaker and let them know what you want your bar of soap to do. They will be able to help you find the right bar for exfoliating your feet, and one to really clean off the garlic smell after cooking in the kitchen.
Want to talk to us about soap?
Send us a message, and we’ll help you find the perfect bar (even if that means creating one just for you!)