Why is Handmade Soap Better than “Natural” Store bought Soap?

This is, by far, the most common question we get. Big soap manufacturers invest millions each year to advertise their “natural” products. However, there is no USDA regulation for the word “natural.” Just because soap is marketed as such doesn’t mean it’s all natural or good for your skin.

For instance, many so-called “natural” products contain synthetic compounds such as chemical hardeners, foaming agents, and fragrances. At Plantana Soap, when we say “natural,” we mean it. Our soaps are made with only the finest ingredients derived from nature … as a handmade soap should be.

But just for fun, let’s review even more reasons why homemade soap is superior to store-bought.

#1 – Handmade soap contains glycerin

Glycerin is a natural skin emollient (skin softener) that attracts water from the surrounding air. Glycerin is highly prized in soaps, lotions, and creams for maintaining moisture in the skin throughout the day. Animal fats and vegetable oils contain 7% to 13% of glycerin as a part of their natural chemical makeup.

During the soapmaking process, the fats/oils and lye blend to form soap, while the natural glycerin maintains its integrity and settles between soap molecules. Too much glycerin, and the soap gets mushy and disintegrates quickly. Too little glycerin, and the soap becomes harsh and drying to the skin.

Commercial manufacturers remove glycerin from soap and inject the glycerin into other products, like lotions and creams.

Why go through the trouble? Because it forces consumers to buy two products to clean and moisturize, rather than just one. Store-bought soap strips the skin of moisture and leaves it vulnerable to cracking and flaking. For big soap producers, profit is more important than quality of life.

At Plantana, our soaps retain all the natural glycerin, so that you can clean and moisturize with one single, amazing product.

#2 – Handmade soap is crafted with TLC!

Our ancestors knew what they were doing – why change it? Our soaps are made using the cold process method, a technique used for thousands of years. We mix lye with water, blend it with oils, add essential oils and natural colorants, and pour it into molds to make it nice and pretty. (Of course, this is the simplified tutorial!) We make our soaps in small batches of 44 bars at a time. This allows us to carefully monitor and adjust the soaps as needed. We consider ambient temperature, humidity, and more to ensure every batch is as perfect as it can be. We also sterilize our equipment between batches so that oils from one batch do not contaminate oils from another.

These steps help ensure that every bar of soap is personally checked for excellence. Because we have such an intimate, hands-on approach with our soaps, we are confident you’ll see and feel the difference.

Store-bought soap, on the other hand, is made on a large scale in factories. It’s manufactured using a continuous flow method with hundreds of hands in the process … or probably nowadays, hundreds of robot arms. Once the soap base is produced, it is mixed with fillers and chemicals such as sodium isethionate and dipropylene and then formed into molds.

Soap making is just like cooking, caring for a child, or tending to the elderly. It needs love, attention, and time. We feel our hands-on approach provides soap with the love and attention it needs. You can feel that energy when you use it.

#3 – Handmade soap is amazing for your skin!

Handmade soap preserves the integrity of its key ingredients: oils, fats, and butters. When coconut oil goes in and is saponified (made into soap), coconut oil comes out. When shea butter goes in, shea butter comes out. The ingredients maintain their vitamins, minerals, and skin-loving qualities in the final soap product.

A skilled soapmaker can modify recipes with natural ingredients to produce desired characteristics. To make a harder bar of soap, add more tallow or olive oil. To make a thick-lathering soap, add some honey. (Commercial manufacturers, meanwhile, often use synthetic chemicals to produce similar results. These toxins are simply not needed.)

Put handmade soap to the test! Purchase a bar from a local tradesperson and give it a try. We assure you – the experience will be well worth it.

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