The Beauty of Handcrafted Soap

I decided to make a video the other day to showcase my natural soap. It wasn’t anything spectacular, just me washing my hands at the basin with some captions about handcrafted artisanal soap 😉 Here’s the video:

It got me thinking about how people perceive having “clean hands”, especially now that there is wide spread panic surrounding the COVID-19 Corona virus. Not to digress and get into an argument over which is better between hand sanitisers and soap, I suppose that convenience would always win 😉 


So, why use soap instead of hand sanitisers? 

Commercial and handcrafted soap is made with oils and fats such as palm oil (sodium palmate), olive oil (sodium oliveate) , coconut oil (sodium cocoate), shea butter (sodium sheabutterate), beef or sheep tallow (sodium tallowate), with the label in brackets being the name you will find on commercial soap packaging. Both these will clean your hands (and body) very well by loosening dirt, grime, bacteria and viruses, removing them from your skin and using water to rinse it away. I won’t bore you with the scientific details, but here is a great video to watch:

The biggest difference between commercial and handcrafted soap, is not just the ingredients that are similar, but in how they are made and the end product. Commercial liquid soap is mainly formulated with synthetic detergents which for the most part are not environmentally friendly or that kind to your body. Commercial soap bars are pressed to remove excess glycerine and is formulated not to have any “extra” oil or fat.

Glycerine is a moisturiser and humectant which is found naturally in handcrafted liquid and bar soap – it varies between 7-10% depending on the soap formulation. We all know what moisturisers do – it keeps your skin well, moisturised 😉  Humectants draw moisture from the air around you, adding additional moisture to your skin when applied topically. 

Handcrafted soap (liquid and bars) also contains extra fat or oil – we call this process “superfatting“. Once the saponification process has been completed and every bit of the caustic agent has been spent by turning an oil molecule into a soap molecule, there are some extra butter, oil or fat molecules left. This means extra moisturising benefit for your skin overall, and your hands too.

Fancy Soap

Apart from usually not having preservatives added (I don’t add them at all), as well as more natural ingredients used such as essential oils and plant based colourants, it’s a natural and kinder alternative to harsh alcohol based hand sanitisers. I cannot use hand sanitisers as I find they dry my hands out and irritate my skin and over time, little cracks can form on dried out skin where bacteria and viruses can hide. WHO (World Health Organisation) recommends washing hands with soap first over using hand sanitisers, so who am I to argue? 🙂

Pure Liquid Castile Soap Foamer Bottle (Fragrance Free)

We’ve covered why soap is better, but what about convenience? Let’s be honest, most people have access to water, and if you’re not keen on the soap dispenser in public areas, why not bring your own soap with you?.

How to use soap instead of hand sanitisers?

  • Decant some of your favourite liquid soap in small bottles that you can carry around with you.
  • Get more washes out of your liquid soap by diluting it with water and using a foam dispenser, or buy a foaming liquid soap product like this one on the left.
  • If you don’t like using liquid soap, you can cut your favourite bar of soap into thin slices. Place back into it’s packaging and use slices as needed.
  • Grate some bar soap finely and add to a shaker with large holes.
  • Cut slivers of left-over soap, let it dry out, then store in a small container that will fit in your purse.

I must admit that I find the process of lathering my hands and rinsing it away quite soothing. And using natural ingredients that are kind to my skin and the environment is a bonus too 🙂

This website makes use of cookies. Please read our Privacy Page under More Info.