In my view nothing beats the richness and skin nourishing benefits of real soap.
Over the years, solid bar soap had started to fall out of favour. Critics claimed it was unhygienic, drying, and less convenient compared to shower gel. It’s true that mass-manufactured bars are often full of skin-stripping ingredients with the natural glycerine removed to be used in the cosmetic industry. “Triple milled” being shorthand for triple processed. However, traditionally-made cold process soap is full of natural glycerine, butters and oils that cleanse but won’t dry your skin.
So, what are some of the benefits of the humble bar of soap?
1. Balanced skin
Bar soaps can be made to moisturise the skin substantially more than liquid soap can. Due to the way Sugar Hill soap is made (a reaction with lye and oils) it is “super-fatted” and has skin moisturising benefits from the shea butter, coconut butter and olive oil. It’s more like a soap and body lotion in one. Shower gel is technically detergent. Our oils, butters and extracts also contains vitamins and minerals to benefit the skin.
2. Less packaging
Liquid soap needs to be stored in a container. One the soap is gone, the bottle and the pump get thrown away. Compared to a minimal amount of wrapping used in bar soap, liquid soap generates substantially more rubbish.
3. No Preservatives Needed
Any time you make a product with water, you really need to add a preservative. Gel is made of 90% water, which is the perfect environment for the growth of fungus and bacteria. A bar of soap, on the other hand, is preserved naturally.
4. Less waste
With liquid soap, it is very easy to pump out more than you need. With bar soap you lather the soap and use what you need before putting the soap down, allowing the lather to dry back onto the soap. Less wasted soap.
5. Better for the Environment
As well as vegetable based soap being biodegradable in the water system, it’s more energy efficient. A bar of soap requires one-fifth of the energy to produce compared to liquid soap (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich 2009). In conducting their life-cycle assessment, these researchers found that energy requirements for “raw chemical production and supply” and “packaging production and supply” were responsible for the high levels of energy use for liquid versus bar soap.
That’s not all.
They smell heavenly and who needs an air freshener when they can make your whole bathroom smell wonderful? (according to one of my recent customers!)
They also look great on your bathroom shelf, and are mild enough to use on your face and body.
There’s a new generation of traditionally made bar soaps that may just surprise you.