7 Reasons To Buy (And Use) Handmade Soap
You see it at the farmer's market and in gift shops and your best friend's bathroom. But what is so special about handmade soap anyway? And why does homemade soap cost so much more than the grocery store soap you've bought for as long as you can remember?
I've compiled a list of seven reasons to buy and use handmade soap. Plus, I've included one extra reason for the socially-minded reader. So, what are the benefits of handmade soap?
1. Excellent Value
But wait, grocery store soap is cheaper, right? That's right. And you get what you pay for. Sure you save money on the soap itself, but if it strips the natural oils from your skin and you have to pour an expensive lotion on your skin to add back moisture, you didn't save as much money as you think.
Handmade soapmakers create products with natural oils, not synthetic detergents. Most formulate their recipes to make a gentle cleansing soap that doesn't strip natural oils from the skin. Before I started using my handmade soap, I was miserable with chapped legs and itchy arms, and I could never seem to keep enough lotion on hand. Now I don't use lotion at all, and yet I have silky smooth skin. One of my favorite things about making soap is hearing testimonials from people who have experienced better skin just from switching to handmade soap.
2. Quality Ingredients
Look on the label of any handmade soap. You will probably recognize every ingredient. And most of the time olive oil is the first ingredient. Why? Soap made with olive oil is gentle on delicate skin. But the price of olive oil can fluctuate depending on the success of the growing season, so large manufacturers consistently avoid it.
Most soapmakers create handmade soap in small batches. Ideally, it is less than 2-3 months old when used. But “cleansing bars” made for grocery store shelves last for years. How can they do that? Because it's not soap. That's right. Many well-known commercial manufacturers create synthetic ingredients in a lab with the main goal of producing a long-lasting and inexpensive bar. By compressing detergents in a bar shape commonly associated with traditional soap, they deceive consumers who don't notice the difference.
4. The Lather
I don't know about you, but when I don't see many bubbles on my washcloth, I feel a little cheated. I mean, I know you don't have to have bubbles for a great soap, but I like the bubbles to fill the washcloth and sit on my skin without me doing a lot of work to get them. It just feels so much more luxurious to me. I've done extensive testing to find a great combination of ingredients that produce the most satisfying lather while still making a gentle and mildly cleansing bar of soap.
Where else can you buy a soap representing the Blue Ridge Mountains? Not at the grocery store, I can tell you that! There are so many talented soapmakers all over the world creating art with a practical purpose. Many soap artisans don't even charge extra for the time and skill required to make their one-of-a-kind creations.
Handmade soaps make wonderful gifts! Soaps are perfect for white elephant gift exchanges or hostess gifts or stocking stuffers or gifts for coworkers, teachers, or the person on your list that seems to have it all.
Handmade soapmakers are more responsive to feedback on their products. Try telling a major manufacturer that you want a coffee-scented soap. Do you think you'll get it? It may take a few months for a handmade soapmaker to add something to their product line because they usually must order ingredients, test fragrances, etc., but most care very much about making their customers happy, and they have a greater ability to respond to feedback.
Speaking of customization, soap also makes a great wedding favor or baby shower gift for guests. Many soapmakers can produce custom packaging or designs to match colors or themes for your event. Are you having a dinosaur birthday party for your favorite four-year-old? How cool would it be to have a soap shaped like a dinosaur to give to your guests? They would remember the event and the fun they had every time they sniffed the custom soap!
7. Treat yourself!
Sure you could buy yourself a box of chocolates, but that guilty pleasure could show up on your waistline by the end of the week. A shopping spree on handmade soap costs less than a steak dinner for two and will last for months instead of minutes. Every time I step in the shower, I feel more present and relaxed when I have one of my favorite soaps to enjoy! Sometimes when I feel stressed, I just spend a few minutes smelling my favorite soaps, and it puts me in a better mood almost immediately.
Bonus Reason: Support local business
Are you involved in a local charity, church, or non-profit? Small businesses happily sponsor and give to local causes. That's not necessarily the case with large companies producing products overseas. Also, it is more Eco-friendly to buy something made with sustainable ingredients in your state or hometown than buying something manufactured in a foreign country. Plus, you can feel good about supporting real people doing work that they love!
Still not convinced?
Think of your favorite chocolate chip cookie. I bet it's homemade. And I bet it cost more to make than the $1 box of cardboard cookies that you could get at the store. Because it's fresh. Because it's made with better ingredients. Because it reflects your specific tastes. Because it's better.
Ready for a little self-care? Join the millions of people who have already discovered the difference that handmade soap makes in their skin and their lives!
Visit my online shop to check out my current selection of handmade soaps or stop by a local craft show or farmer's market to support a soapmaker where you live!
So, what are the reasons you choose handmade soap? Do you know someone skeptical of the benefits of handmade soap? Share this article with them! Or better yet, give them a bar of your favorite handmade soap. And if you don't buy handmade soap yet then I'd love to hear what's holding you back! Leave me a comment!