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Blog | Organic Handmade Soap vs. Store Bought Soap: Whats the Difference? Plenty!

Soap is a simple product we use on a daily basis and one we rarely give any though to, until our skin becomes sensitive, breaks out, or we get psoriasis or other skin ailments.  Soaps are simple products, but have a lasting effect on the skin and needs to be chosen carefully for those with dry, sensitive skin.  Like other products, soaps also come in the handmade / organic variety, along with the commercial store bought version. 

Let’s find out how they are different from each other:

Organic vs. Synthetic:

Firstly, let’s see what is soap?  Soap is a basic mixture of essential oils/fatty acids, water and lye. But according to the FDA, regular, store-bought soaps are not eligible to be called soaps, they are synthetic detergent products. These contain harsh chemicals, dyes, fragrances and ingredients which leave the skin dry and itchy. They contain surface active agents which do remove oil and grease, but also remove other moistures vital for good skin conditioning. On the contrary, organic handmade soap uses organic, natural ingredients, without harsh chemicals and irritants. Organic Handmade Soaps and Organic Shampoo Bar Products contain natural oils, butters and waxes which nourish the skin without causing any irritation. Saponified versions of natural essential oils cleanse the skin without stripping it of any moisture, leaving it supple and hydrated.


Glycerin has natural qualities of collecting moisture and trapping it in. Hence many skin care brands make use of it to make their products have moisturizing qualities. The process of saponification of oils and fats creates glycerin as a byproduct. In handmade artisan soap, glycerin settles in with the molecules and attracts moisture from its surroundings, hydrating the skin and leaving it soft-to-touch. While mass producers remove glycerin from soap and then either add it to other products like lotions and creams or sell it to other companies who make them. In place of glycerin these mass producers add synthetic replacements to the soap, stripping it of its hydrating quality and making it harsh for the skin. This in turn leaves the skin vulnerable to further damage.

Fragrances, Dyes and Other Ingredients

Besides the essential ingredients, over the counter soaps usually contain dyes, colorants and fragrances which make them more appealing for the users. As already pointed out, mass-produced soaps use synthetic ingredients; the dyes and fragrances used are also synthetic. These synthetic ingredients lead to dryness and irritation for sensitive skin.  Handmade soap, on the other hand, uses essential oils and extracts from herbs, flowers, fruits, etc. to create natural scents and color. On occasion, dried herbs and flowers are added for exfoliating dead skin cells, and adding an aesthetic element to the soap. Gentle and organic in nature, these add-ons cause no harm to the skin when used in handmade artisan soap and organic shampoo barproducts.

Cruelty Free

Common store-brand soaps are fast moving products, produced in mass with synthetic ingredients by an automated procedure. This process creates chemical waste and run-off which harms the water and lands it passes through. Since mass produced soap or synthetic detergent is not biodegradable, it turns into harmful waste-creating long term pollution.  Many soaps are tested on LIVE animals, which is not only inhumane, but morally wrong.  Handmade soaps are produced on a small scale using organic ingredients from natural resources, which are biodegradable and safe for the environment. Most small scale producers of organic handmade soaptest their products themselves and only sell those which are confirmed to be healthy for the skin without causing adverse reactions.

These are a many differences between standard store bought soap and organic handmade soap. Why not give each a try and then see for yourself, how these two are different and which one is better! See how the right soap for your skin type can make a world of difference.