What's the deal with handmade soap?

What’s the deal with handmade soap? Why are they better than Dove or any of the other commercial brands?

Short answer: handmade soap is a million times kinder to your skin, better for your health in general, and has minimum ecological impact too. 


Longer version: Commercially made soaps are usually harsh, petroleum-derived detergents rather than real soap, often made with leftover animal fats from the industrial meat industry or recycled cooking oils that have already been used in the food industry (hello french fry grease and used popcorn oil!). They contain all kinds of synthetic, chemical ingredients, like preservatives, which often cause dryness, sensitivities and itchiness.  

In the soap making process, glycerin is a naturally occurring byproduct and is a really silky, moisturizing part of a handmade soap bar. The commercial soaps, always looking for a way to increase profits, remove the good stuff for use in the cosmetic business, leaving the soap much harsher and drying.

When you realize that 99% of what you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body, you want to choose products with less ingredients altogether and more natural stuff that soothes your skin.  Fewer ingredients equals less chance for irritation, higher potency nutrient benefits, and smaller overall ecological impact too. Have you seen the ingredient list on a bar of Dove “Beauty Bar” soap? You need a degree in chemistry just to read it --

sodium cocoyl isethionate (derived from coconut oil)
stearic acid (synthetic sodium salt)
coconut acid
sodium tallowate (soap from animal fats)
sodium isethionate (detergent)
sodium stearate (synthetic sodium salt)
cocamidopropyl betaine (synthetic surfactant; may cause irritation)
sodium cocoate or palm kernelate (we use sustainably harvested palm oil)
fragrance (artificial scent)
tetrasodium EDTA (preservative)
trisodium etidronate (preservative)
BHT (Butylated hydroxytoluene; cancer suspect agent; may cause reproductive defects; harmful if swallowed; eye, respiratory tract and skin irritant)
titanium dioxide (whitening agent)
sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate (suspected gastrointestinal and liver toxin; possible neurotoxin; waste water hazard)

Do you really want to wash up with all that in the shower? Soapworks Studio soaps have just a short list of food grade vegetable oils, a bit of natural colorant often derived from actual food, and a scent which is most likely botanical essential oils, although we do use a few high quality fragrance oils by demand also.

If you've been feeling dry, itchy, scaly or just plain irritated with your store-bought soap, then give our handmade soap bar a test drive. When we make our small batch, handmade soaps, we use the very best oils, the ones you would cook with and eat. We've not only kept all of the good stuff in the recipe, we've thoughtfully added even more skin-loving stuff - extra-rich creamy oils like shea butter and soothing aloe vera. And vitamins and nutrients that your skin will love, like calming oatmeal, carrot and spinach, coconut or goat milk.

The ultimate feel of washing with handmade soap is a world away from Irish Spring or Ivory. Once you try the good stuff, there's no way you're going back. It might cost a few cents less to buy the bar initially, but you'll be spending a lot more on lotions, creams and possibly other doctor-prescribed skin solutions over time. Start off the day right with a luscious handmade soap in your morning shower!