HOW TO BUY TRUE NATURAL SOAP

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HOW TO SPOT THE DIFFERENCE!

The follow guide is based on my own personal opinion,research & well known information within the soaping community.
If you are interested in buying a True Natural Soap how do you tell the difference between all the Soaps listed ?
First of all the term "Natural" is not regulated so it can mean many things to different people including soap makers.
Handmade soapers have a love of making soap, that's first & foremost in our minds,we lovingly choose the ingredients & make the batch to excitedly await the cut to see what we have created.
We have to list ingredients either at point of sale or on a label,we cannot make any claims that the soap will fix,do or anything else but we can say the "traditional Properties" of the ingredients or the "Believed Benefits"
We must list what goes into the soap not what is left at the end.
What you need to look for to see if its Natural or not are :
The ingredients:

Basically natural soapers believe in a sense, if you cannot eat it don't put it on your body.
A handmade natural soap can contain just 3 basic ingredients, Olive oil,distilled water,lye ( remembering there is no lye left in the end bars,no lye no soap its that simple ) this soap is called a Castile soap & is considered very mild,some love it some hate it,its all personal choice.
While using olive oil you can add extras to provide the skin with a more luxury experience. Handmade soap makers usually research & study each ingredient & what it will bring not only to the soap but also your skin.
Each ingredient has its uses & Traditional Properties & Benefits & that is perhaps one of the most important differences between mass produced soap which are basically known as a detergent & not a soap in the true sense of the word.
Mass produced soap contains many un-needed ingrdients & generally use a high amount of palm oil & other ingredients because they are cheap & the bottom line is the mighty $.
They clean the skin but really provide nothing else....
What you can/may find in some Handmade soap is - Olive,sunflower,rice bran,coconut,avocado,hemp,castor oils to name a few.
Butters which are rich & skin loving like shea,cocoa,coconut,hemp...
Milks including Buttermilk,coconut,hemp,oat,goat.
Plus plus plus...
Once you start taking notice you will be amazed at the quality & difference between supermarket & handmade soap...Natural soapers go perhaps a little further & believe me when I say choosing to provide a Natural soap in the true sense of the word is not an easy style of this wonderful craft to choose.
It is my own true journey & path to follow & requires much dedication.
The colours used:
Any bright cheerful colours like sea blue or pretty hot pink for instance are not possible using ingredients like Spices, Herbs or Plant based Powders that a True ( my opinion only ) Natural soaper will use.
While very pretty if it has sparkles in the bars, sorry not Natural.
On the listing or label you may see Mica, this is a Man made product & not Natural.
The scent:
Does it say "Fragrance Oil or something like Blue Berry, Apple,Melon,
Cherry Blossom,Coconut" again sorry not Natural.
If used it is important that they are still a quality Fragrance Oil from a Reputable Supplier & "Paraben Free"
Natural Colours :
These consist of Spices,Herbs or Plant Root Powders & the like.
So as an example you will find Saffron,Tumeric,Indigo,Charcoal,Annatto plus others which you may recognize because you could add them to your cooking.
Scents are by way of Essential Oils, these you may know like Rosemary,Lavender,Rose,Patchouli etc...
Cost:
The cost of the bar can tell you something as well,remember the saying "You get what you pay for"
This can be true for soap as well. Quality ingredients cost more,in Natural soap you may find Beautiful extra ingredients like Cocoa & Shea Butters,Avocado Oil,Coconut Milk or Cream the list can go on...
You will however not find these in Mass produced Bars,look at the ingredients list very carefully.
Mass produced soap also has the Naturally produced Glycerine taken out, this is an important ingredient in soap & Handmade soap still contains it.
The reason it is taken out is because it is on sold to the Beauty Industry & others,its all about $$$,they make money from it & can still supply you with a soap that has the ability to clean but not much else.
And your skin & your Family deserve much better!
Lye:
Any true soap has been made with lye,dont let that scare you off as you have been washing with it for years already!!!
Once the natural process of the soap has finished curing there is no lye left in the bar.
You may see the words saponified oils of,lye,caustic soda or sodium hydroxide.
If a seller says there is no lye in their soap they are telling the truth, if they say their soap was made with out lye then that's not true,as even M & P soap had to be made using lye to begin with.
Melt & Pour:
Is there a place for melt & pour soap ?
Yes there is...
Its quite creative & I like to play around with melt & pour bases as well.
But you can find different quality bases to buy so its a good idea to closely check the ingredients of the soap you bought.
You can buy Palm Free,Organic,Castile,Natural bases plus more,you can buy the soap bars that crafters have already added extra ingredients to.
My personal opinion is that rather than Handmade this style soap is handcrafted,thats not to take anything away from those who sell this type of soap.
There are many fabulous soapers who use a Melt & Pour base,the process & end result of the bars can be very involved when you are adding layers of colour,swirls,embeds etc...My feeling is you should be made aware that a Melt & Pour base was used.
As always the ingredients should always be listed,the list may look something like
this: coconut,palm,safflower oils,gylcerin,water,sodium hydroxide,sorbitol,sorbitan oleate,soy bean protein.
They MAY possibly also contain SLS SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE !
To most handmade soapers this is an ingredient to stay well away from hence we don't use it.
Lets quickly cover the term "Organic" :
Organic is regulated, to call your product Organic & have it Certified it has to go through a very involved Lengthy Costly process, once that is completed you earn the right to have your products display the 100 % Organic Symbol.
Your product can also contain 95% Organic Ingredients, the other 5% has to also follow guidelines, these have a different label.
A product can "contain Organic ingredients " but if so it cannot/should not be listed as
"100% Organic or Organic" but as containing or made using Organic ingredients.
Sometimes a play of words come to mind.
Vegan or Kosher Friendly:
These soaps do not contain any animal products like bees wax,goat,cow,buttermilk,any animal fats & so on.
As cross contamination can be a concern it is best that these batches be made using separate tools & stored,packaged,transported & displayed away from any non Vegan or Kosher bars.

In the end I believe in freedom of choice but if you wish to go Natural its important to have a close look at what you are buying!
I am not knocking soap makers who use different ingredients than I do,even ingredients I have pointed out above that are not Natural in my sense of the word, it is my belief that you are still  far better buying a Handmade bar of soap .
If they use Micas,Fragrance Oils & the like their journey is simply following a different path than the one I prefer to do that's all...
I do list some bars that contain Fragrance Oils & Micas (these are not listed as natural)at times because as I said I believe in personal choice & some of my Customers like to buy these sort of bars.
Be assured that even these bars contain the very same quality base ingredients as my Natural line of soaps, the Fragrance Oils are Paraben Free from a Major Quality Supplier,the Micas are Cosmetic Grade & Skin Safe...
BUT my first true Love is making NATURAL SOAP!

Lastly if buying or wanting to buy True Natural Soap because that is important to you & your Family, read labels carefully & ask questions.
Any good seller will supply you with the information you ask for & need quite happily!
My ingredients list is an open book, just ask away!
Many thanks Kat
kitty-kat1234




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