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Dispelling 8 Myths About Handcrafted Bar Soap

Colorful soap bubbles

1. Bar soap doesn't clean well

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released findings proving antibacterial soap isn't more effective than soap and water.

“Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). “In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”
Handcrafted Soap in a rectangle wicker basket with lavender

2. Bar soap dries out skin

Handcrafted, cold processed soap leaves in all the naturally produced glycerin which is removed in triple-milled or commercially manufactured soap. Glycerin is a natural humectant which draws moisture to the skin helping it stay moisturized. Plus, handcrafted soap is detergent-free! Detergents were created during a shortage of animal fats during World War I. Unfortunately, some detergents are so effective at removing oil and grease that the skin's natural oils, or sebum, are stripped which feels drying (that squeaky-clean or tight feeling).

3. Bar soap is dirty and gross

Germs are washed away as you use the soap, the oils in the soap combine with water and clean the dirt and bacteria away. Just make sure you wash with a good lather for 20 seconds, and be thorough! Rinse the soap off with water and store on a clean soap dish to dry.
Handcrafted bar soap in soap bag

4. Handcrafted soap isn't worth it

Our soaps are carefully formulated and crafted to feel moisturizing and luxurious. Many "beauty" or "cleansing" bars are made with surfactants (sometimes petroleum-based by-products) to create more lather, but they are technically detergents. Handcrafted bar soap doesn't need preservatives to be shelf-stable, but soaps with detergents use preservatives. If you are worried you may waste some of your soap, a soap pouch or bag is great for using all the bits and pieces of soap to get every last bubble! A study "Carbon Footprint of food and personal care products" from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (start at page 39) revealed people use more liquid soap than necessary, so using bar soap may reduce waste, too.

5. Bar soaps use animal by-products

No animal fats are necessary when creating handcrafted soap. In fact, any plant-based oil can be used making soap. So rest easy knowing when you wash with handcrafted soaps from Beloved Bubbles, you aren't washing with cow (tallow), pig (lard), or any other animal fats.

6. Lye is scary and I don't want it on my skin!

All of the lye (mixed with water) reacts with the oils during the creation process of emulsification and saponification. The mixture becomes fatty acid salts (soaps) and glycerol, so no lye remains.

Handcrafted Soap on soap dish

7. Bar soaps leave a goopy mess

Allowing bar soap to dry on a soap dish or soap saver reduces and contains any mess. Also, rinsing any lather or bubbles from the soap will help limit any residue. Handcrafted soap also safely biodegrades reducing environmental impact.

8. Handcrafted soaps don't lather enough or create big bubbles

Soap bubbles and lather will depend on the formulation of vegetable fatty oils, additives, etc. For example, Coconut oil is great for bubbles, but can be drying at a higher percentage (30%+). Olive oil is great for lather, but isn't going to create large bubbles. Creating long-lasting, moisturizing soaps with large bubbles and sustained creamy lather, is a mix of science and art.

Do you have any soap myths or interesting facts to share? Has your opinion of bar soap changed? Share in the comments below! Confession: I used to think bar soap was less sanitary than liquid soap, so I had to bust my own myth.

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