Here are a few tips if you are shopping for a good quality natural soap bar. If you can remember to look for these 5 tips, the quality of the soap will probably increase making your soap less drying and leaving your skin with a clean glow rather than dry flakes.
Matter of fact that’s how I test my recipes, if I wash my face and it feels too tight or gets dry I know I need to work on it!
I remember before I started making my own soap when dry flaky skin after a shower was the norm. It doesn’t have to be that way! And a bottled cleanser full of preservatives and who knows what is not necessary either.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
It can be confusing sometimes to find a good natural soap bar since there are so many varieties of soap on the market, both homemade and commercially produced.
1. Check for artificial colouring on the label. If the colour looks artificial it probably is.
2. Check for fragrance oils or scent listed on the label. You are looking for pure essential oils. The bar may be more expensive but there is a world of difference between these two. If pure essential oils are listed, it will very likely be stated as this is a big selling plus and indicates a high quality bar as well as justifies some of the cost as they are much more expensive to use than most fragrance oils.
TIP: If the scent is typically very expensive such as jasmine or rose or a fruit like mango or pineapple, it is likely a synthetic fragrance oil.
Some high end bars do contain the real thing, but they will most likely be either a small bar or very expensive. For instance the soap bar I have pictured is Sandalwood – it is a blend of pure essential oils including Sandalwood so that takes the cost down but still smells divine - there can be variables so don’t be afraid to ask if you’re not sure.
If you have a sales clerk who doesn’t know, it likely is synthetic unless it’s a place that sells a lot of homemade items including high end specialties. Be sharp, some labels can get a little tricky in their descriptions.
3. Check the list of oils. A pure natural soap can be made from these three ingredients and still be a cut above most other soap bars – coconut, palm and olive oil but if you can find soap that also lists at least one other beneficial oil/butter or a few, such as shea, cocoa butter or even castor (not expensive but gives some grand conditioning and bubbles -its not always used or even necessary but it’s nice.) you will increase the odds of having yourself a nice bar of soap (or giving a gift that will be very much appreciated).
BTW, in a 3 oil soap such as the one above, the more olive oil that is in it, the better.
Coconut provides butter and hardness but can be drying if taken too far, palm can be condition but can also be a cheap filler that I don’t find to be extremely beneficial in comparison to some other oils and also can be a sustainability issue.
Olive oil is one of the greats however. Pure Castile soap or a high olive oil content bar will not be very bubbly but will be very gentle and soothing on the skin.
4. What else is included in the bar. If it contains oatmeal, goat milk or dead sea mud, chances are higher that you will have nice bar even if it doesn’t have an added luxury oil or butter.
5. Many glycerin bars are made from a premade base often called melt and pour. There is a huge scale of quality in these bases. Unless you know who you are getting it from and can see an ingredient list for yourself, you may want to avoid these although they sound good.