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Some truths about handmade soap

Some truths about handmade soap 

If I had a dollar for every time someone has said to me. “No, no I don’t use soap, its too drying on my skin”.

My response to that is….Not all soaps are created alike 🙂

As with most products you come across they vary in quality, performance and price.  You can get top of the range, superior quality products to the other end of the spectrum – dirt cheap, cut corners kind of quality items. The amount of choice available can be overwhelming and then there is the marketing hype on top to confuse us even more. It can certainly be difficult to make a decision.

When purchasing bathing/skincare products, it is important to understand that it is the creating processes and the quality of the ingredients used – (not the form eg: bar of soap vs liquid soap) – are what really and truly matter.  I am writing this post to share my soap findings and to help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing safe, natural alternatives. I hope you find the information in this post useful!

Cocoa and Vanilla Bean soap 2

As you know, I am a soap maker.  An artisan soap maker.  I LOVE soap. My world lives and breathes the stuff. I’ve been soaping professionally for over 5 years now and a number of years prior to that I was elbow deep in learning, researching and tweaking all things soap.

There really is no comparison to the benefits of using a handmade bar of soap that has been made using natural ingredients vs other body cleansing products that have been mass manufactured using less desirable ingredients.

Every piece of soap I create is crafted from scratch using natural ingredients. I use the traditional soap making method known as the Cold Process Method.  There are other soap making methods out there but I fell in love with the purity of the original Cold Process Method which has been around since the beginning of the soap making history.

I am curious by nature, therefore am interested to explore as to why some people are apposed to using soap.  I’ve conducted a number of surveys, spoken to hundreds of people over the years and here are the 7 most common reasons I’ve discovered why people are using liquid body wash, supermarket soap etc vs a natural, handmade bar of soap….and you will also see my responses, in defense of my friend, the humble handmade soap.

Read on my friends, read on….


#1. I don’t use soap because it is drying on the skin.

If you purchase an authentic handmade bar of soap that has been crafted using high quality natural ingredients your skin will not dry out, it won’t.  In fact, using handmade soap will most highly likely improve the condition of your skin. Handmade soap is made predominately of natural oils like olive oil and butters such as shea butter and cocoa butter. These ingredients have remarkable skin softening properties.  Then there is the inclusion of essential oils which are far healthier for you than synthetic fragrances which can have a drying effect for some. If you have ever used our handmade soaps you will find they are non-drying, non-irritating, softening and soothing….brilliant!

Do you know why the big brand names out there who “make” soap call their soap a Beauty Bar, or the Ivory Bar or the Exfoliating Bar? This is because to actually be able to call soap, “soap” it has to have been created using a soap recipe. That means saponified oils and sodium hydroxide to make the soap molecule. These so called “soaps” are often by-products of ingredients from other products in their range and whipped together and sold off as another product which is actually a surfactant bar, made from cheap detergents…hence why they are so inexpensive.  Needless to say using such a product is highly likely to have adverse effects on your skin, causing it to be unbalanced and exacerbate skin conditions.


#2. Soap leaves soap scum in my bathroom.

Fair dinkum, handmade natural soap will leave minimal soap scum on your bathroom. It will leave a little bit but it is often not the main offender of that bathroom scum.  Often the shower scum comes from other products such as shampoo, conditioners and yes, body washes and liquid soap. These products typically contain many detergents which actually cause scum build up in the bathroom.


soap on soap dishes

#3. Soap goes all soggy between uses.

Once handmade natural soap has been used it must be stored properly before it is used again. It needs to breathe between uses. It is made from beautiful nourishing oils and conditioning and skin softening butters so yes, it will indeed go soggy if not stored appropriately.

Make sure your handmade soap is left to breathe between uses on an appropriate soap dish to avoid any soggy soap situations. The soap dishes on the left here are ideal.

No more soggy, mushy soap, problem solved 🙂



#4. Handmade soap is expensive.

Yes, handmade natural soap is expensive if you compare it to the 1 litre bulk bottle of mass produced liquid body-wash that costs only a few bucks or the 4 pack of “soap” you find for only a few dollars.

But do you ever stop and ask yourself what it is exactly you are paying for?

Many handmade soaps are made from scratch, using premium quality natural ingredients, ours certainly are that’s for sure!

  1. Firstly, we create the soap recipe, selecting various premium vegetable oils and butters for their qualities which will enhance the soaps performance eg; it’s hardness, cleansing, conditioning, creaminess, bubbles etc.
  2. Then, the saponification calculations are made.
  3. The ingredients measured and weighed and then the soap making process begins…
  4. The soap is made in small batches, then poured into molds.
  5. Then left to set for a couple of days.
  6. Then we are back 48 hours later to de-mold and cut the soap.
  7. Then the soap is left in peace to cure for a minimum of 4-6 weeks.
  8. Then finally it is wrapped in recyclable, breathable materials ready for use ~ jeepers, that is quite the process hey!

Body washes and the like are mass produced in a factory, pumped out on a production line, using detergents and other undesirable ingredients. Packaged in plastic bottles contributing to landfill.

Using handmade soap is actually very cost effective. When stored properly it lasts a very long time and the initial outlay of $7-$8 a bar is really not very much when you realise how many uses you get from it, how fantastic your skin looks and feels from using it, how you are not contributing to landfill by using it, how you are not harming the environment as it is made with eco-friendly ingredients, how you are not contributing to palm oil related devastation as our soap is 100% palm oil free and lastly how you are not using chemicals on you and your families skin. These great benefits surely far out weigh any cons that may surface.

I’ll leave those clear differences for you to ponder. Think back to them the next time you need to stock up on your bathing cleansing purchase. Interested in switching to handmade soap? you can purchase our soaps here 🙂


#5. Soap doesn’t lather up like body wash or shower gel

Contrary to what the big bath product commercials may suggest you do not need a huge amount of lather to cleanse. In fact, skipping the artificial lather is a good move if you have dry skin as often SLS is the ingredient used to create that rich, foaming lather and there is much evidence that SLS is not helpful to maintaining healthy skin.

Our handmade soaps give a fantastic lather!  The amount of lather in a soap depends on what oils have been used, some oils give more lather, some are more conditioning, some are more cleansing.  We use a unique combination of oils and butters that give our soaps a stable hardness, lovely texture, are conditioning and moisturizing whilst also effectively cleansing the skin without being drying, and yes, it has a very nice amount of bubbly soap action too!


#6. Body wash is more sanitary than soap. 

Let me ask you? Does wastage bother you? Did you know a bar of handmade natural soap can last weeks, even months in comparison to a container of body wash.

Do you sometimes find products with pumps squirt out too much product? this essentially lead to product waste, you using the product quicker than you intended to and therefore off to the shops to purchase more.

After using soap, make sure to rinse the soap bar clean with water, put it to dry on its soap dish and it will be ready and fresh for the next person to use.  With soap, you only use as much as you need, there is zero wastage, which leads me to the last common myth…


#7. Soap doesn’t last very long.

Commercially made products that claim to be “soap” contain a lot of ingredients that break down very quickly and the soap consequently gets used up very quickly.  As mentioned with #3, correct storage is very important to the longevity of handmade soap.  As your handmade, natural soap is slowly diminishing away after each use you may think as it is becoming smaller you only have a few uses left but you will be surprised how many more washes you get out of it and how it won’t break apart and it keeps its form.

Give handmade soap a go and you’ll soon be hooked and use nothing else!


So, that’s a wrap of the most common reasons I get from consumers about what they believe to be true about the humble bar of soap. If you are not a soap user I hope I have given you some food for thought. If you are a soap user, I hope I’ve reiterated how wonderful using soap is for you and your family and the environment.

Got a question about what I’ve written? Please feel free to discuss, I’m happy to chat!


Until next time,

Michelle x

Mummy and Allira 05.03.16