Let's Talk: Why Handmade Bar Soap?

Let's Talk: Why Handmade Bar Soap?

Posted by Meghan on 26th Oct 2019

I see you there, buying all the scrubs, melts, and elixirs....but never soap......

And if I wasn't me...I'd be like a huge number of companies (indie, small and large) and lobbyist groups that are going to lie and tell you every ingredient but the ones I use are “dangerous” “harmful” and potentially “sensitizing” in order to scare you into buying more product. But you know that's not me, I want you to buy the product cause it's quality and sustainable, and makes you feel good-- not cause you're scared into it.

Today I'm going to break down the top three reasons I hear for not switching to handmade bar soap. I know I'm a little biased but I am an expert in this field and might be able to assuage you :)

1: My skin is sensitive, I can only use unscented Dove soap.

I am going to preface this a bit—you may indeed have a specific allergy to ingredients that make you need to use Dove if this is you please confirm my research for yourself and with your healthcare provider before making any changes.

Even I as a youngin' believed this one until I figured out Dove was actually making my very sensitive skin worse.

First things first Dove is not a soap..in-fact they don't even say soap on the packaging, it is a syndet bar. A syndet is a hybrid of the words "synthetic" and "detergent." Syndet bars are made from synthetic surfactants (bubble makers and degreasers). These surfactants are made from oil, fats, or petroleum products which are processed in ways other than traditional saponification (transformative magic that turns butters, oils and lye into lyeless bar soap). Syndets tend to over clean and strip the skin sometimes even when buffered with other moisturizers. Harsh surfactants strip the skin barrier leaving behind a tight, itchy, irritated feeling and may be perpetuating your skin sensitivity.

Dove advertises one quarter moisturizers in their bars. There is, if any, very little added moisturizers in Dove (seems only special editions). Their basic bar contains none. So what's it really doing for you?

My handmade bar soaps on the other hand are made with the best quality food grade natural oils and butters in carefully balanced recipes that retain all their natural glycerin for moisture and enriching oils to actually add nourishment back to the skin while cleansing. No syndets, preservatives or masking ingredients.

If you are super sensitive give our TRULY unscented (no added scents or masking agents) Pure of Heart a look, in a live event blind test we did, customers preferred their skin feel after washing with Pure of Heart over Dove Sensitive.

2. Handmade Bar soap is dirty, germy, gross and can spread disease!

I have THE BEST NEWS FOR YOU. It's not! And science agrees! According to the NY Times:

“… soap bars were inoculated with E. coli and P. aeruginosa bacteria at levels 70 times as high as those reported on used soap bars. Then, 16 people were told to wash their hands as usual with the inoculated bars.

“After washing, none of the 16 panelists had detectable levels of either test bacterium on their hands,” the researchers wrote. “These findings, along with other published reports, show that little hazard exists in routine hand-washing with previously used soap bars and support the frequent use of soap and water for hand-washing.”

There's been many other studies done on the efficacy of soap that corroborate this, especially in the recent years as we've reevaluated the efficacy and impact of antibacterial agent additives like triclosan. Handmade bar soap and water is your first and best line of defense against the icks ;)

While handmade bar soap does not transfer bacteria and fungi...loofah and poofs do. The Journal Of Clinical Microbiology found that these shower loofah, poofs etc are in fact a haven for bacterial activity. Scrubbing your skin with the puff everyday can cause dead skin cells to get caught in the mesh netting and the warm moist conditions promote growth of bacteria and fungi.

3. My body-wash is biodegradable, it's environmentally friendly there's no reason to switch.

Even if a liquid body-wash or soap says they are environmentally friendly and they could very well be trying to be, liquid soaps and body-washes will always be worse for the environment than bar soap. On average body-washes and liquid soaps use over five times more resources than bar soap and twenty times more packaging. This doesn't include their ingredients environmental impact just production. For this reason we do not make body wash.

Are you ready to switch? Have I addressed your reasons for not switching? Are there any soap, skin care, or ingredient myths you'd like me bust (with science!)? Let me know down below or on social media. I'm happy to answer your questions, or maybe we'll do a part two soon.

Til next time, have a magical day!