Ever wonder about the names soap manufacturers use to market their products? Beauty bar…deodorant bar…moisturizing bar…bath bar? Here’s the scoop. The vast majority of these products don’t say soap on their labels because legally they can’t claim to be. They aren’t soap. They are detergents. Their manufacturers have removed most of the good stuff, like glycerin, which is produced during the soap-making process, and replaced it with synthetic lathering agents and harsh chemicals. Commercial bars can strip away your skin’s protective oils, especially deodorant and antibacterial soaps. These cheap, plentiful detergent bars are not only bad for your skin, but they’re also bad for the planet, too.
So what is the alternative…? All natural, organic, handmade soap. While natural soaps may cost a little more, they are worth the difference because they are actually good for your skin, and are good for the planet.
With handmade soaps, just like with commercially manufactured bars, read the labels. Look for soaps that use only pure, organic oils or fats. If plants are used in the bars (many bars incorporate seeds and petals from various plants) they should be certified organic. Avoid soaps that use artificial colors or fragrances. You don’t need these synthetic chemicals on your skin or going down your drain. If you want a colored or scented soap bar, look for one that uses organic essential oils and natural, organic colorants.
Want to find natural soaps made close to home? Check the Mississippi Farmer’s Market website or visit the market in person to meet local producers of natural, organic soaps and other beauty products made from ingredients like goat milk, oatmeal, flax and natural herbs and flowers.