Self Care through Scent | Hand Poured in England

  • Natural Soap | Why it's good for us

August 28, 2020

Naturally made bar soap is best for your skin and the planet!

Our blog this month has been written by the lovely Joanna White from Mallow + White.  We have also featured Joanna in our 'Be Inspired' page because not only is she a fantastic business woman but also a fellow promoter of all things natural!  Better for our homes, our economy and most importantly ... our beautiful planet

It has been many years since I started making soap, but I still remember the first time I tried it. It blew me away. It was made with super simple ingredients - olive oil, coconut oil, lye (needed to make any soap) and lavender essential oil.  That was it. But the result was a whole new level of gentleness and moisturising sudsyness. 

Bar soap is having a bit of a revival after years of liquid soap ruling the roost. So what makes artisan soap so special? Here are 3 of my reasons;

1. The difference between handmade vs commercial bar soap
2. The more environmentally friendly alternative
3. The gentler option

1. Handmade vs supermarket

I must first stress that all soap bars are not created equally. If you were to try a commercial bar of soap and then try an artisan bar, you will probably notice a massive difference. 

Here's the chemistry. While the chemical reaction is taking place that makes soap, there is by-product called glycerin (which is very moisturising). This is removed from commercial soap and often sold on, whereas in homemade soap, the glycerin is left in.
This makes for a much more moisturising bar. In fact, in an artisan soap bar, 25% of the molecules are glycerin. That is a lot more moisturisation.

2. The more environmentally friendly alternative

Consumers have become much more aware of the environmental impact of their purchases, and the use of plastic is being seriously challenged. 

There has consequently been a switch away from plastic pumps that dispense liquid soap and a move towards the humble bar, often wrapped in recycled and recyclable card (as Mallow + White soaps are)

For the first time in many years sales of bar soap is increasing 3% faster than liquid soap and shower gels in the UK. As an artisan soap maker (and member of planet earth), this is great news.

3. The gentler option

This is where the quality of the ingredients come into play. In my experience of almost 15 years of soapmaking, might I suggest that handmade soaps almost always use ingredients you can recognise and hopefully trust. 

If I show you the ingredients of a commercial bar marketed for sensitive skin and then compare the ingredients for our simple soap, you might see what I mean.

"XXXXX" commercial brand;
Ingredients: Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Palmate, Lauric Acid, Sodium Isethionate, Water, Sodium Stearate, cocamidopropyl betaine, Sodium Cocoate or Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium Edta, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Maltol, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891)

Mallow + White simple unscented soap;
Ingredients: Saponified oils of olive, coconut, palm, castor, shea butter, (and byproduct glycerin).

One of the founding philosophies of Mallow + White is simplicity of ingredients. I truly believe that "less is more" when it comes to what we put on our skin, including what we put in our soaps.

If you haven't tried an artisan bar of soap before, may I encourage you to try. You won't look back. 


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