Soap seems like one of life’s most basic necessities, yet we rarely give it much thought other than tossing it into the shopping basket every now and then when we run low.
But if the recent pandemic taught us anything, it’s the importance of washing our hands and bodies effectively to remove germs. It also plays a key role in cleanliness.
This important little bar of goodness is great, but how often do you actually stop to read the packet or treat yourself to a good bar of soap?
The answer is probably not very often! But if you buy the right soap, you can not only keep those germs at bay, but you can do something great for your skin and for the planet - and by this, we mean buying handmade soap and not generic store-bought bars.
But in case you’re wondering why handmade soap is so great, we’re here to tell you. Here are five benefits of using handmade soap and the reasons why you should consider this next time you’re running low.
1. It’s made without chemicals
Did you know the skin is the largest organ in the body? We often forget this, but the skin is a very important organ, and it is the first to touch and, therefore, absorb toxins and chemicals when we use commercial cosmetic and beauty products. This includes the use of soaps and shower gels.
Think about it, have you ever looked at the back of a soap packet and skimmed over the long list of unfamiliar ingredients? If so, you’ll know there is a lot going on there. These bars are usually packed with chemicals and synthetics.
Handmade soap, however, typically uses more natural ingredients and forgo the nasty chemicals that your skin doesn’t need.
2. It’s better for your skin
Following on from our last point, handmade soaps tend to contain natural products that are good for the skin rather than harming it. For example, handmade soaps might contain ingredients like lavender oil, shea butter, coconut oil, bergamot and eucalyptus.
This means they not only does it clean your skin, but it can actually moisturise it and repair broken or damaged skin. Plus, handmade bars always focus on one or two beautiful natural fragrances, which means they always smell great! Way better than generic store-bought soap smells, that’s for sure.
3. It is sustainable and environmentally-friendly
In a time when the climate crisis is becoming a very real and widely discussed issue, it’s important to do all we can to reduce our carbon footprint and help save the planet. Buying handmade soap does this in a number of ways.
Firstly, this soap is far less harmful to the waterways as it uses more natural ingredients. Not only this, but commercial soaps that use synthetic products such as phosphorus can get into rivers and other important waterways and harm the wildlife there.
Secondly, lots of commercial soap contains palm oil harvested from deforested areas. Those who are producing handmade soaps tend to avoid palm oil where possible or ensure the use of sustainably-harvested palm oil instead.
Then there is the packaging. The soap you buy in the supermarket often comes wrapped in single-use plastic packets or glossy printed boxes, with little regard for the planet. Handmade soap producers tend to focus on more sustainable packaging, either already recycled or materials that can be recycled when you're finished with them. This might be cardboard boxes or sleeves, or even paper wraps.
4. It’s not tested on animals
Sadly, lots of commercial products and brands still rely on animal testing for their products. This is not the case with most (if not all) handmade soaps, with lots more people opting for vegan-friendly options. So, not only are you looking after the planet, but you’re looking out for our furry friends too.
5. It usually comes from small businesses
Finally, there aren’t many brands out there mass-producing handmade soap as it is a much less viable business option. This means that most handmade soaps come from small, often independent businesses.
Buying handmade soap means your money is going directly into the pockets of those who made it and not funding huge corporations. So this also means you will be supporting smaller business owners in your local community.