Benefits of Handmade Soap – Botanicals All the Way

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What Are the Benefits Of Handmade Soap? Are you looking into the benefits of handmade soap over the tried-and-true commercial type? Perhaps you’re looking to take it a step further and try your hand at it too to reap those benefits?

Well I’m here to tell you you’re in the right, and why – and leave you with a little inspiration to start crafting your own awesome handmade bath bars too!

There are at least five really good benefits of homemade soap that are too good to ignore, so let’s take a look at them now!

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benefits of handmade soap

 

Commercial vs Handmade Soap

First, let’s look at the composition; the makeup of each….as they are worlds apart. In simple terms, the soap you see at your local retailer is mainly comprised of detergents, surfactants, and lathering agents. If you look at the ingredients, you’ll probably feel like the words are really hard to pronounce!

So, all in all, the main issue is that it can be rather drying for your skin. and sometimes a little harsh on it, depending on the brand.

What defines soap as soap? Check out this link here and you’ll see that the definition of “soap” is interpreted differently than we might think. It may be a little hard to interpret at first (jump to the link “How does the FDA define soap”) but you’ll see the gist of it is that a product is defined as “soap” IF the lion’s share of its makeup is an “alkali-fatty acid compound”

Handmade soap by contrast, has a makeup of natural ingredients, like oils and glycerin, a humectant, both of which are nourishing and great for your skin, and helping to keep its natural moisture!

You can Save Money With Handmade Soap

Now if you really want to kill 2 birds with one stone…..consider the amount of money you could save as well as being good to your skin with more pure ingredients. You could focus more on just the ingredients and the making of it and come away with not only more refreshed, healthy skin, but more money in your pocket too!

Handmade Soap is All Natural

Soap made by hand uses primarily oils, water, and lye – yeah, lye is caustic, but due to the saponification process when the ingredients combine, your skin is not coming into contact with actual lye. The “other” ingredients, are the ones you may be adding to enhance its appearance and skin care properties, may vary by type and amount, such as almond or coconut oil, cocoa butter, natural colorants, and fragrances.

Homemade Soap Is Better For Your Skin!

Because the base of handmade soaps includes glycerin and oils, it can do real wonders for keeping your skin soft and supple, not to mention naturally hydrated, rather than dry as the result of traditional store soap’s detergents.

benefits of homemade soap

If you develop a knack for soap-making, you will learn all the natural oils that you may be familiar with, like coconut, almond, and olive oil, and their role in soap.

Commercial Soap is Blah….Handmade is TA-DA!

Most soap you see on the shelves of your favorite retailer….well, let’s be honest, it’s all white, white and white. (with a few exceptions) Boring! Am I right?

Handmade soap, once you get the hang of the crafting of it, is anything but…when you learn how to combine fragrances, natural colors and herbal add-in’s, can be a dazzling work of art right there in your bathroom sink dish or display jar if you have one.

If you’d like to try it, I recommend starting with a “brick” of an all natural substance containing the main ingredient – glycerin. When I first started making handmade soap, I got the 2 pound bricks that I could slice off the amount I needed and melt in the microwave, or double boiler.

There are a number of different bases, including goat’s milk, shea butter and cocoa butter – all of which are great and nourishing for your skin! You can also add natural colorants, and/or fragrances, to them too, after melting, using mica powders or other natural colorants, before pouring them into molds and letting them set up.

And let’s not forget the pretty packaging options available to gift your creations too! Who wouldn’t appreciate the gift of handmade soap packaged lovingly and with great care?

A simple adornment like raffia ties are a great presentation gifting handmade soap.

Black Soap

Handmade organic black soap can do amazing things for your skin – it’s got moisturizing, exfoliant, and cleansing properties all rolled into one. And the backstory behind it is quite interesting, too.

True black soap originated from west Africa and is made from the ashes of locally harvested plants. Plantain skins (related to bananas) palm tree leaves and cocoa pods are dried in the sun and burned into ash that has a high alkali content, and able to saponify well with fats and oils, like cocoa butter.

The batches are made kind of similar to what we know as the hot process method – but the artisans are actually stirring the pot for as long as a day and giving it up to two weeks to cure. The result? An all natural soap with a unique color and great for problematic skin conditions like eczema and blemishes, as it not only exfoliates well, but the fact that organic black soap has a very high amount of shea butter.

It is unlikely to create any sensitivities, other than one – if you are sensitive to caffeine, this may be something to use cautiously (through a little preliminary testing) due to the fact that the cocoa pod makeup could seep into the skin internally.

Since it has a high amount of glycerin present, I recommend storing it in a sealed container, as glycerin tends to be very porous. Black soap tends to have a slightly crumbly texture to it as well.

Olive Oil as an Additive

Olive oil soap is amazing for dry skin and provides good moisturizing properties. I love to cook with it as olive is one of the best and the healthiest oils out there.

As a matter of fact under some advice I got somewhere, I rubbed a little of it into my cat’s fur to condition it – but I digress 🐱

Do you suffer from allergies? As it turns out, it may not be dust and dander that has been giving you problems lately…surprise, surprise. this recipe might be just what you’re looking for.

Did You Know? In the old days, people made “castile soap” using pure olive oil, lye and water. It got that name due to the province in Spain known as Castile, where the first batches were developed.

This is a different ball game from the cold process, which is more lengthy. Just want to clarify before we get into the nitty gritty here, that ALL soaps are made with lye as it is part of the saponification process. You just won’t have to be concerned with handling it, for the rebatch strategy.

Use a grater to easily cut your bar or base into manageable pieces , into your mixing bowl. Add about 1/4 cup of water. Melt your ingredients using a double boiler. (Don’t stir it as that can cause air bubbles) Add some water to the bottom of the double boiler.

Continue to heat until the soap chunks are completely dissolved. Your liquid soap will be quite thick, but it will thin a bit once it has completely cooled.

soap flakes

 

Take the melted mixture off the stove and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. If you want your soap to be scented you can add a few drops of essential oils. The mixture will have a subtle greenish tint to it naturally so you probably won’t want to add dye to it. Now begin stirring.

Pour the mixture into your chosen molds and let them set. Let the batch(es) cure for at least 24 hours .Last…pop them out of the molds…..they need to do some curing time after this, so be sure to set your bars out on a cooling rack to finish. This process may take several weeks.

Handmade olive oil soap makes a terrific gift, so if you get the hang of it, you may want to consider giving some of your bars to friends or family to test them out. Olive oil creates a good rich lather in soap. I have heard some people say that the lather has a “slimey” feel to it if you’re not used to it, at first.

Your skin will thank you! I think you will really enjoy olive oil soap, you will be amazed at how well it cleans too.

handmade olive oil soap

The important thing is that handmade soap will win out every time regardless of the added ingredients. To sum up, handmade olive oil soap is not just a thoughtful gift idea, it’s a great way to give your skin the nurturing it deserves.

Handmade olive oil soap makes a wonderful gift for someone you know who already enjoys olive oil based products or is searching for a great kind of natural soap that will nourish their skin without drying. It has a natural green color due to its ingredients’ infusion and a clean scent.If you have ever wanted to try making your own, perhaps due to the above benefits, or give the gift of a pure soap bar product, you’re in good hands!

Goat Milk

This is made using the cold process method which produces glycerin, a natural humectant for keeping skin moisturized. Another benefit is the fact that the Ph balance is similar to ours which means your skin’s natural balance will be preserved.

Just like the popular glycerin and cocoa butter bases, you can also find a pourable goat’s milk base if you like the thought of making your own bars.

Goat’s milk has lots of nourishing ingredients including Vitamin A, lactic acid, triglycerides and alpha-hydroxy acids, all of which promote exfoliation, moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties.

If you are or know someone with conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or just have dry skin in general (in the wintertime, this can be very common – I notice this too with my own skin!)

Glycerin

Glycerin is one of the main ingredients in finished soap – I used to try my hand at making bars of soap using meltable glycerin bricks, as I was excited at the possibilities of what I could put in there since its transparent look would mean I could drop an object in there and let it float around.

Glycerin is very good for your skin; it’s a natural humectant and great for moisturizing.

The way these designs are from opaque soap pieces set against a transparent background is so cool looking! Set one of them in an attractive display dish for a totally dope look!

Summary

So…to recap, the benefits of handmade soap are many; these are just a handful. It really IS better hands down….try it for yourself and you’ll see! Whether at your local boutique, or trying your hand at crafting it, you can’t go wrong.

Good wholesome ingredients, fragrant scents, aesthetic appearances, save money (pun time…scents make sense!)…No time like the present to “lather up”!

Images credit: Images of olive oil soap by SoapQueen

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