Most people buy large commercial brand soaps. It is convenient since it is found in any grocery or drug store. There are some downsides to using commercially-available soaps, especially if you tend to have dry skin.
Commercially mass-produced soaps usually contain synthetic additives, which acts as a detergent to remove dirt. These detergents add lather but can be drying to the skin. According to the FDA, "Today there are very few true soaps on the market. Most body cleansers, both liquid and solid, are actually synthetic detergent products. Detergent cleansers are popular because they make suds easily in water and don't form gummy deposits. Some of these detergent products are actually marketed as 'soap' but are not true soap according to the regulatory definition of the word."
Commercially mass-produced soaps usually contain fragrance. Fragrances are a broad term. According to the FDA, "FDA does not have the same legal authority to require allergen labeling for cosmetics as for food. So, if you are concerned about fragrance sensitivities, you may want to choose products that are fragrance free, and check the ingredient list carefully. If consumers have questions, they may choose to contact the manufacturer directly. "
Regulations do not require that individual fragrance ingredients be listed.
Soaps may also contain color additives that do not offer health benefits and may actually cause an allergy, although rare. The FDA requires certain color additives to be labeled on the product.
Antibacterial soaps can even contain harsher ingredients.
The FDA website states that "there currently is no evidence that over-the-counter (OTC) antibacterial soap products are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water."
The FDA also goes on to say that, "Moreover, antibacterial soap products contain chemical ingredients, such as triclosan and triclocarban, which may carry unnecessary risks given that their benefits are unproven."
There is also concern for increased risk of bacterial resistance and hormone changes. The FDA states, "There are indications that certain ingredients in these soaps may contribute to bacterial resistance to antibiotics, and may have unanticipated hormonal effects that are of concern to FDA."
How is soap made?
Soap is made by mixing an acid and base together through a process referred to as saponification. In this case the acid is the oil and the base is the lye, a liquid such as water is also needed. Mixing these three components together will create both soap and glycerin. Some companies will remove the glycerin and use it in their other more costly products such as moisturizing lotions.
Goats milk soap can offer many benefits.
Goat milk has a high fat content which can help hydrate the skin.
Goat milk contains vitamins A and B2 which offers additional benefits to the skin.
Why use a handcrafted soap
Handcrafted products are made in small batches and usually contain natural ingredients. This is good for both our body and our environment.
Most hand crafted soaps will keep the glycerin within the soap rather than separating it out like most of the larger commercial companies do. This allows the soap to provide greater moisture which the skin benefits from.
Supporting small businesses can also help our economy to grow.
Below is a video chat I did with Elizabeth Sanders. She is the founder of Horse Peace Soaps who has been making goat soap and perfecting her formulation for 8 years.