How to choose a handmade soap
Eco-friendly handmade soap bars can be great for your skin. They are made with natural ingredients, using plant essential oils, as well as natural botanical ingredients such as herbs. They avoid toxic substances such as alcohol or artificial colourings.
Choosing one can be difficult as there are many types. However, if you focus on your skin type and needs, you can just find the perfect one for you.
Here are some tips on what to look for when buying soap bars.
1. INGREDIENTS: Look for natural plant-based ingredients and understand the benefits these bring
Vegetable Oils are well known for their moisturizing properties, with other special benefits:
- Olive oil may help decrease your acne by killing off the bacteria that causes the acne. It is also known to moisturize and hydrate your skin. It is also a well-known *antioxidant agent.
- Shea butter has anti-aging properties such as promoting skill regeneration and increasing capillary circulation to the skin.
- Cocoa butter serves as a barrier to hold moisture under the skin's surface, promoting soft, smooth skin.
Essential Oils are the natural extracts from plants or flowers and they all have different properties:
- Lavender helps for sleep and relaxation, but it also helps to balance out moisture levels in your skin. It's an anti-inflammatory that can reduce redness and a natural hydrator that can repair dry skin.
- Lemongrass has natural *astringent properties. These can help fight pimples by acting as an antimicrobial while also removing excess dead skin cells.
- Peppermint natural menthol content provides an analgesic/relief effect on the skin. It cools down hot rashes too.
2. FRAGANCE AND COLOUR: Go for natural plant based elements
Botanical Elements such as plants or herbs are used for colour and fragrance, but also for its properties. Some herbs to highlight:
- Rosemary for its antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties. It is also full of antioxidants.
- Black tea has been renowned for centuries as a potent source of powerful antioxidants.
- Nigella seeds have thymoquinone, which is a compound with antioxidant properties. It helps in boosting immune system and reduce inflammation. Also good for exfoliation.
We recommend Lavender and Rosemary, Bergamot and Black Tea and Ylang Ylang and Nigella seeds soap bars.
Essential oils are also used as natural ingredients for fragrance, as well as for its benefits explained above.
3. COMPANY ETHOS: Look for transparency as well as sustainability statements
Avoid companies that are not fully transparent on the ingredients used (and not used), either on the website or if you interact with them, as this information is relevant when choosing a soap bar.
It it also important if the company provides information on the production process, source of the ingredients and best practices, ideally supported by affiliations or certifications such as Cruelty Free International, The Vegan Society, Living Wage Foundation or Fair Tax Mark Certification, Plastic Free.
One can also sense a company ethos by their sustainability statements and and its alignment to the information and practices stated.
*Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures.
*Astringents may help cleanse skin, tighten pores, and dry out oil.