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Handmade Soap vs Store Soap

The primary question I am asked with individuals browsing our soaps is ‘How are handmade soaps different from store bought soaps?’.

Lets face it, I love our handmade soaps and will happily chat about them all day! Go and check them out, then come back and read through this…so you know why our soap is worth trying!

#1: What is store bought soap?

Store soaps contain detergents that include chemical hardeners, artificial synthetic fragrances and foaming agents. Although it is worth noting that not all handmade soap is made equally, some soapers do choose to put artificial fragrances in their soap, so I suggest you always check the ingredients, however -  these still far outrank the chemicals used in most store purchased soap.


#2: What is the difference between store soap and handmade soap?

Glycerin (One reason of many…)

Glycerin is a natural skin softener (emollient) and attracts water from the surrounding air. Glycerin is highly prized in handmade soaps for maintaining moisture in the skin throughout the day. During the soap making process the oils/fats and lye blend together to form soap whilst the natural glycerin maintains its integrity and settles in between the soap molecules.

Standard store purchased soap has this glycerine removed and then put into other products, such as lotions. The store soap then strips the skin of moisture (leaving it dry, cracked and flaky) and the customer will purchase their lotion to bring that moisture back in. Clever them, I suppose.


#3: Fragrance Oils Vs Essential Oils

Store bought soaps are fragranced with artificial fragrance oils – that pretty soap called ‘Ocean Breeze’ from the store is likely scented with chemical concoctions… they don’t tell you that on the front, just in teeny writing in the ingredients. Worth a peek next time you go shopping!

Traditional handmade soap is usually scented with pure essential oils (flipping expensive, maybe shops are just cleverer than artisans!!!). When scented with essential oils, not only are you skipping on the harmful chemicals and buying a natural soap, but you also gain many therapeutic properties from the different essential oils. Plus, they smell amazing!!

Different essentials oils offer a variety of benefits, from antibacterial, antimicrobial, healing, relaxing and soothing. Lavender is known to repair skin but is prized for its ability to aid relaxation and improve sleep. Where lemongrass is vibrant and refreshing for morning use! Tea tree (not my favoured scent, not going to lie) has fabulous antibacterial properties… so does the amazing smelling  Geranium, although not quite as effective against all bacteria! Geranium is known however to be beneficial to those that suffer with skin conditions, such as eczema. The benefits of essential oil just goes on.

So, harmful chemicals or therapeutic essential oils… what do you think?


#4: Traditional

Traditional handmade soap is made by blending oils and butters with lye (sodium hydroxide) and water. Of course adding any extras, such as essential oil, clays or even poppy seeds. This then sits for 24-48 hours in a mould, getting nice and warm! It is then ready for cutting!! The downside? You then have to wait around 6 weeks for the soap to cure. I hate that part… its worth it though! You are then left with beautiful, natural, and bubbly soap. There is a little more to it than that, but I think you get the idea!

Who wants to buy those store-bought soaps now? Mass produced, churning them out… stripping their glycerin and adding chemicals. Yeah, thought as much.


#5: Handmade soap is amazing for the skin!

There are so many benefits when it comes to using handmade soap. The natural oils, butters and exfoliants in natural handmade soap is a luxurious feeling.

A skilled soap maker can make their recipes a little more special. With their own tweaks and special touches, they can create beautiful and nourishing soaps. With their beneficial oils and butters and each soapers own little extra touches, you skin will be left feeling wonderful.


Don’t take our word for it!! Try a traditional handmade bar of soap. Come and let me know what you think!! It will be worth it, I can assure you.

Not all handmade soaps are made equally. Do check labels!!

Have you already made the change to handmade soaps? Tell me about your thoughts in the comments below!



Thank you for reading! Take a peek at the soaps and gift sets that we have to offer. 

1 comment

  • Very interesting read, opened my eyes a bit, I thought soap was just soap. I will definitely have to try handcrafted natural soap.Thank you Nicola


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