So you’re interested in Natural Beauty Products. And many times a bar of soap is where
many people start. Its easy to find, not a big money commitment and its easy to use. You see “natural” bars of soap popping up in Walmart, TJ Maxx, Home Goods & elsewhere. So it has to be “natural” right?! Well not the case so I’m going to give you some information to help you decide if that bar of soap you are looking at is really a good, small investment.
If you have ever been to a Farmers Market or Outdoor Market you will have seen vendors that sell there natural, handmade soap. It looks and smells wonderful and you buy a bar, take it home and use it. Your skin feels amazing! And you spent a bit more than what you would spend at any big box store. So you purchase it again at the Market or on a website. But, how do you know if its actually ‘natural”? Because all over the internet, stores and even Outdoor Markets you think you are buying what is a “natural” bar of soap, but is it? A true natural, handmade bar of soap is made with oils, butters, water, sodium hydroxide and fragrance and color. No commercial ingredients to make it foam or clean, just the saponified blend of the oils and butters. You don’t get huge mounds of bubbles, but a nice soft bubbly lather that doesn’t strip your skin!
The FDA defines soap as a product that is intended for cleansing ONLY. Nothing more, nothing less AND because the only claim it can have is to clean, it does not require an ingredient list under current federal law. And I can assure you that 90% of what you see on the internet is not true soap, it is a soap that is made with commercial ingredients. But they label it as “natural soap”. If you are looking online at natural soaps and don’t see an ingredient list I wouldn’t buy from them, there are many soap makers that make wonderful natural bars of soap that will include ingredients! We list all our ingredients on our Goat Milk Soaps & Vegan Soap bars. So you know what you are getting. Yummy oils and butter to keep your skin hydrated and soft. Think of Irish Spring Soap, my dad used it as I was growing up and it always intrigued me because of the pretty green color and the scent that would fill the bathroom for hours after his shower! And lets not forget the cute commercial! As I started making my own soap for my family, and looking at the ingredients I always knew it wasn’t real soap. Handmade soap is poured and it sits for 24-48 hours before it is unmolded and then it cures for 2-6 weeks to let the water evaporate and harden the bar. Commercial soap is made in big vats, poured, unmolded and boxed up. Sometimes in a day, which is not real soap.
So here are 5 ingredients when you are looking at soap to see if it is truly natural or commercial.
Propylene Glycol - is a humectant, emulsifier and moisturizer. It is a chemical. But with the moisturizing oils and butters that go into a true natural bar of soap, which includes vitamins and minerals you do not need this ingredient.
Sorbitan Oleate - this is an emulsifier and hardener use to stabilize oils that isn’t necessary in a natural bar of soap. A handmade bar of soap is stable blend of oils and water so adding something chemical to a handmade bar of soap isn’t necessary, that's what the oils and butters do.
Sodium Laureate Sulfate - ie Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate is a detergent and foaming agent. Big word here is DETERGENT, which detergents are usually harsh and stripping, think laundry DETERGENT. Detergents are inexpensive and very cheap to produce, so if you see this listed on a bar of soap, its not real handmade, natural soap.
Sodium Stearate - this ingredient is used mostly to harden up soaps made with vegetable oils. it is the sodium salt of stearic acid, but in a natural, handmade bar of soap we use cocoa butter, lard, sustainable palm oil that naturally contain stearic acid.
Triethanolamine - an emulsifier & surfactant. It has a high PH of 10. It is often used to balance the PH of a cosmetic product. It is not needed in a natural bar of soap. Its lab made and should never be in a natural, handmade bar of soap.
So this should help you when you are looking for a natural bar of soap! We carry Goat Milk Soaps & Vegan Soap bars that are full of Olive, organic Coconut, Sunflower, Rice bran Oils and Mango Butter! Healthy fats that contain vitamins and minerals that your skin deserves to stay hydrated not stripped!
Happy soap shopping!
In Health & Beauty