Handmade vegan soap and why you needed to switch to it yesterday
When shopping for soaps, your options can be daunting. So many choices. There seems to be a cleanser for every part of your body, face, neck, left ear, right ear… the list goes on. But what if I told you there was a soap gentle enough for your face but still good enough to get rid of that post-gym odor? Well, grab a chair and listen closely. I am about to clean out your shower of multiple products as well as nasty ingredients and replace it with one small but mighty bar of handmade vegan soap.
The basic composition of vegan handmade soap is any variety of vegetable oils, water, and lye. No need to worry about the lye in this equation because once the oils have gone through the saponification process (just a fancy way of saying 'soap making'), there is none left. All you have is a gentle, effective, and moisturizing soap. It is really that simple, and it is comforting to know what is going on your skin. Have you ever read the side of your body wash? I’ll give you a second (files nails). You back? Unless you have taken a year or two of biochemistry, there is a good likelihood that you have no idea what those things are, or even how to pronounce them.
DMDM Hydantoin. Huh?
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Cringe.
Methylparaben. Methyl who?
Now, let’s talk about sodium tallowate.
What is sodium tallowate, you ask? Well, guys, I am not sure if you want to hear this, but you are basically rubbing animal fat on your body (and by basically, I mean you are). Sodium tallowate is made by combining fat from animals (cattle, sheep, etc.) and lye. When these two get together, the mixture saponifies and turns into an animal fat soap. Sounds fun, right?
Why am I telling you all of this? I want you to know there are alternatives to rubbing animal fat all over your body. (I know you don’t want to stop, but let’s just talk). Vegan soaps replace animal fat with butters and oils from vegetables, (have you ever shaved with olive oil? You should and then you will see what a genius I am) and don’t that just make you feel inherently better about your place in the world?
Time to get into why handmade is better than commercial soap. Most soap that you find in drug or grocery stores comes chock full of chemical detergents, hardeners, and synthetic lathering agents.
There are two reasons why this is done.
First, the actual process of making soap is pretty long. After the soap is made, it needs to cure for at least eight weeks so the water that was used to make it can evaporate. And these big companies ain’t got time for that!
Second, many large-scale companies extract the natural glycerin molecules that are created in the saponification process. More money can be made in selling the extracted glycerin to other companies which can then be used in cosmetics, food, and pharmaceuticals.
The soap making, or saponification process, outputs soap molecules and glycerin. The soap molecules attracts the dirt, oil, and grime and gets washed down the drain. The glycerin tends to stick around on your skin because it loves you. Glycerin is a humectant, which means it attracts water. Handmade soap, with its natural glycerin retained, helps to draw moisture to your skin. It also forms a protective layer on the skin that helps prevent moisture loss making it great for all skin types, especially those who are prone to dryness. So, to that I say: Give me back my glycerin!
Remember when I casually mentioned shaving with olive oil earlier? Vegan, handmade soap is so packed full of natural oils and literally no drying agents, you can use it to shave and it will leave your skin silky smooth. You now have even fewer items in your shower as I have just replaced your shaving cream with a bar of vegan soap. Your welcome.
I don’t know about you, but the prospect of using all natural, vegan ingredients and having baby soft skin sounds pretty great. Speaking of baby soft skin, our homemade vegan soap is so free of chemicals and harsh additives, you can use it on your baby! Just don’t throw it out with the bath water.
In the end, the benefits of switching over are glaringly bright. Softer, more moisturized skin, the comfort of knowing every item that is going on your body, not having 500 bottles of who knows what falling off the one shelf in your shower (I know this happens to everyone, and it is terrifying every time). Also, now you have the knowledge of what goes in other soaps and you can’t unlearn that…