If you are using one of the standard commercially made bars, you may not even be using soap at all.
Walk into the beauty section of any department store today and you will find a dizzying array of soaps, for every possible purpose and in every conceivable size, shape, color, scent and style:
Glycerine soaps, French milled soaps, triple milled soaps, handmade soaps, vegetable soaps, herbal soaps, mud soaps, milk soaps…(whew!)…body bars, beauty bars, complexion soaps, spa soaps, exfoliating soaps and cellulite soaps… the choices are seemingly endless.
But what is the difference between all the soaps on the market?
The truth is, most of the products you see on grocery store and cosmetics shelves are not actually soap at all – but rather detergents. And the products which are, in fact, true soaps, are generally very hard, shiny, molded bars laden with plasticizers, preservatives, perfumes and dyes.
And here is a secret : About 90% of these soaps you see on the shelves were probably made by the same three soap companies, and all share roughly the same base, with merely different additives.
Homemade Soap, aka real soap, is the only way to go. I have been making real soap for a very long time very much in the same way my Grandmother did so many years ago.
The benefits of using handmade soap are many: simpler ingredients, fewer chemicals, natural vegetable oils instead of animal fats. All these things are important to many people today.
Natural soaps are made in a time-honored fashion. It involves a very simple chemical reaction between oils (or fats) and lye (sodium hydroxide for bars). All soap is made with lye, but there is no lye in the finished product. The chemical reaction converts the lye/fat mixture to glycerin. The glycerin is a natural by-product and, as such, the relationship between the soap molecule and the glycerin means you have a cleanser with abundant, luxurious lather that cleans like nothing else. As a bonus, it does not strip your skin of its natural, protective oils.