What are the benefits of natural soaps? Are they worth the extra money that you have to shell out? In this blog post I am going to go through 5 reasons that I think natural soap is worth the price difference. (In the interests of full disclosure, just in case you weren’t aware, I make all-natural soap.)
- What is Natural Soap?
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What is Natural Soap?
I begin with my definition of natural soap because not everyone defines it the same way. My definition of natural soap is that it is free of any synthetic colorants, preservatives, or fragrances. It should also be free of carcinogens such as coal tar, mineral oil, and benzene. Most of the chemicals that you have been warned of as being hazardous to your health fall into one of these categories. Parabens for example are a preservative. Phthalates are now most commonly used as a fixative in certain perfumes.
My company, Susan’s Soaps & More makes lye soap and the chemical name for lye is sodium hydroxide. You might argue that means it is not all-natural. However, soap has been made with lye for centuries, back when it was leached from ashes from the campfire. When soap is properly made, a chemical reaction, called saponification takes place so that no actual lye remains in the soap. As a side note, lye has many uses in the food industry such as the making and curing of olives. In addition there literally is no way to make actual “soap” without using lye.
Difference between Natural and Organic
There is some confusion between the terms natural and organic and people tend to use them interchangeably. Natural means no artificial or synthetic ingredients. Organic means those natural ingredients have been grown and produced without using any synthetic or chemical ingredients such as pesticides. There are regulations involved to be organically certified and able to put organic on your skin care product label. However, even that is a grey area as the product only has to be 70% organic to qualify.
There are both benefits of natural soap and benefits of organic soap. My personal feeling is while organic can be good, the key benefit is that your soaps are natural and even better also handmade.
Why is Natural Soap More Expensive?
The short answer is the ingredients are more expensive. However it is these higher quality ingredients that are one of the main benefits of natural soaps.
Essential oils for example are many times more expensive than synthetic fragrance oils. Yet, essential oils can provide aromatherapy benefits that soaps that are not natural don’t have. The most expensive components of our products are labor and essential oils.
Natural botanicals or herbs in the soap are more expensive. Many natural soaps are created with high-end oils and butters. It pretty much boils down to that old adage of garbage in = garbage out. If you want good quality products to put on your skin then they need to be made with good quality ingredients. Good quality ingredients cost more money. It is really just that simple. Of course some times you are paying more for a brand name and/or its packaging. My advice is to get familiar with ingredients, read the labels, and purchase products made with what is important to you.
3 Benefits of Natural Soaps
#1 Benefits of Natural Soaps is they are actually soap!
I mentioned lye earlier and if your soap is not made with lye then it is not soap. It is a detergent bar. Both soap and detergents are surfactants. Surfactant molecules have a water-loving end and an oil-loving end which is what enables them to pull dirt off whatever you are trying to clean and wash it away with water.
Soap has been around for centuries and traditionally was made from natural ingredients. It must be created by the saponification process of a reaction between oil and an alkali or it is not soap. Detergents first came about after World War II and are chemically produced using a variety of different methods.
Well-made natural soaps are slightly alkaline and are considered to be more biodegradable than detergents. Detergents for the most part of composed of many more chemical components which are not easily disintegrated in nature. Detergents may be your choice for laundry or other cleaning projects, but as for what you use on your skin, I would certainly opt for soap.
So to recap the first benefit of natural soaps is simply that they are actually soap!
#2 Benefits of Natural Soaps is they are actually Natural!
- No Preservatives – Many of the scary warnings we have heard through the more recent years regarding chemicals in personal care products have been due to chemical preservatives.
- No Artificial Colorants or dyes – Many people today are experiencing skin allergies and rashes and often this is due to synthetic colorants or dyes. You hear about this food such as Red Dye 40. Soaps that are not “natural” can use synthetic colorants or dyes that can cause a reaction or even be harmful. This is why we only use natural colorants such as powdered rosemary or even real chocolate as colorants in our soaps.
- No Synthetic Fragrances – This is a pet peeve of mine. Many is the time I have seen soaps claiming to be all-natural and when I read the label it states “fragrance”. Essential oils are one of the most expensive components in the products we make. Fragrance oils are a much less expensive ingredient and they don’t have the aromatherapy benefits of essential oils. They don’t have the same freshness and clarity of scent and they can be created from ingredients that are usually not healthy for you and even possibly dangerous. In the same way that colorants and dyes as mentioned above can cause allergic reactions, fragrances are much more likely to cause an allergic reaction as opposed to essential oils. More and more people are choosing fragrance-free detergents and cleaning products to avoid this issue. If soap is labeled natural it should either be unscented or made with essential oils, not a fragrance!
#3 Benefits of Natural Soap is You are often Supporting Small!
Natural soaps are often created by small businesses like mine that started due to their own skincare issues. Supporting small businesses is a worthy goal. Certainly big business plays an important role in our lives and our economy due to the products they produce and the number of people they employ. But small businesses do as well.
Today small businesses employ almost 60 million people which is not exactly small potatoes. Small businesses allow for more creativity and independence and in many ways form the bedrock of what our country is founded upon. In addition when buying from a small business you can actually know who is making the soaps you use on your skin. You can find out more about how they make their products and what their core beliefs are. Interested in browsing our products? You can SHOP HERE.
I hoped this helped to convince you of the benefits of natural soaps! I most certainly believe they are worth the extra mula!! 😎🌿🧼
Is natural soap better?
Yes, because you are not putting chemicals or synthetic products onto your skin which will then be absorbed into your body.
Are the benefits of natural soaps for your skin?
Yes, because not only are you not putting chemicals or synthetic products onto your skin but when essential oils are used you also have aromatherapy benefits which are very beneficial for your skin.
What are the benefits of natural soaps?
No synthetics or chemicals going on your skin. You are actually using soap, not detergent along with often the aromatherapy benefits of essential oils. Natural soaps are often made by small business owners making their soaps by hand so you often know who and how the soaps are being made.
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The first time, I first attended the State Fair of Texas way back in college, but I have been participating as a business at this since 2005.
Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures that far back. I wish I did. My images only go back as far as back as 2007. Notice the sign there with Jerry only mentions Salt Glows. That was before we had added Sugar Scrubs to our line.
I hope you enjoy this little retrospective of the great State Fair of Texas.