Your Cart is currently empty.
It's Just Soap Aint It?

It’s just soap ain’t it?  It costs how much?

Why does handcrafted soap seem so much more expensive than shop-bought soap?  What’s so special about it and why spend the extra?  It’s just soap ain’t it?  Well, you may well find that some of the shop-bought varieties are not actually soap at all and are just a cocktail of this and that chemical to give the look, feel & function of soap but, in the opinion of many a convert, soap it ain’t.  This is why so many are sold as ‘moisturising bars’ or ‘beauty bars’ – they aren’t really soap at all!

You see, handcrafted soap has personality, heart and soul.  No, I’m not waiting to be carried off by the men in white coats (honest).  If you were to speak to an independent soap maker you would soon realise that these people are passionate about what they do (many are fortunate enough to be total soapaholics).  This passion, drive, enthusiasm & love for their craft seeps into every finished bar.  So great is their passion that a great many confess to experiencing ‘soap dreams’ whereby their unconscious is already planning the next batch.

So much thought goes into every last detail from choosing the right ingredients to giving it just the right topping to the way they are packaged.  Most often a great deal of effort goes into sourcing recycled, environmentally friendly packaging.  Many soap crafters like to go nude (well, not the soap crafters themselves, rather their soap) and have no packaging at all.

So what is involved in traditional soap making?  Well, in a nutshell, soap is made by mixing oils & butters with a lye solution in a carefully controlled chemical reaction known as saponification.  Sounds straightforward enough?  Well there really is much more to it than that.

Real soap crafters don’t just churn out bars of soap; they ‘create’ bars of luxury, works of art from very carefully chosen and most often ethically sourced, sustainable natural ingredients.  Believe me, the thought and deliberation that goes into these choices is not taken lightly.  The soap is hand mixed and carefully monitored during the initial saponification period of about 24 hours.  The soap maker then looks after their soap, like a mother hen caring for her eggs, for a further 4 weeks while the soap cures.

Soap can be made from virtually any oil and/or fat and can be of either vegetable or animal origin.  Mostly though, handcrafted soap makers choose fats of a vegetable origin and this is where most of the deliberation takes place.  Each oil/fat has its own quality that gives the end product a unique property, feel and function.  Many popular choices for soaps are the purest ingredients including delicious cocoa butter, luxurious shea & mango butters & lovely clean coconut oil.  All of these contribute to how hard the finished bar is, the fluffiness of the lather and its moisturising qualities.

Let us not forget the wonderful rich oils commonly used, such as sweet almond oil, macadamia nut & avocado oils.  The soap/lye ratio is carefully calculated so that not all the oil is saponified.  A little extra oil is left in the there, giving great skin emollience.  These are just a few of the multitude of oils/fats available to the soap maker.  How often do you see ingredients like these on the label of a commercial bar of soap?

Many soap makers use essential oils and other botanical ingredients in their soap to add functionality beyond cleansing.  Other ingredients may be used to give colour and textures for added interest/function.  Again, much thought and deliberation goes into choosing just the right ingredients to achieve a desired effect.  The techniques used are learned and practised and a skilled soap maker will produce nothing less than a work of art.

One of the key differences between many commercial soaps and those that have been handcrafted is the glycerine content.  The chemical reaction that takes place during saponification produces a by-product called glycerine.  Glycerine is what is known as a humectant (it draws moisture to it), so it is beneficial to the skin.  Much commercially produced soap has had the glycerine removed and this is then sold on as a stand alone product.  However, in the case of handcrafted soap, all of the glycerine stays right in there to moisturise and protect the skin.  This is one of the many reasons why handcrafted soap isn’t drying and doesn’t leave the skin feeling tight and uncomfortable.

Mind you, you really don’t need to know the ins and outs of soap making to recognise the differences.  Just put a commercial bar and a handcrafted one side by side and you know which one has got the heart and soul, a personality, a history and a relationship with its creator and it will be love at first lather, of that I am sure.  Better still, because these handcrafted bars contain only high-quality ingredients, they are suitable for use by even those with sensitive skin.

So, just a bar of soap?  Nah…  Expensive?  Not at all.  More of an affordable luxury and it feels so good to know that not only are you using a wonderfully natural product made with real, genuine care and consideration, you will also be supporting a small business who really cares about what they do and the effect their products will have on your skin.

Copyright © 2020 Fresholi. All Rights Reserved.

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.