Is There Really a Difference Between
Commercial Soap & Natural Soap?
The answer is an unquestionable YES! Obviously, I am quite biased about this question--I admit it. But I believe it to be true with all my heart!
Is Your Soap Really Soap Or Is It Detergent?
We probably use the word “soap” every day to simply mean some sort of cleansing agent. What we do not realize is that most of what we call “soap” is actually not soap at all!
Look at the label on your bar of commercial soap, shower gel or facial cleanser. Is it called "soap" on the label, or is it a “beauty bar,” “cleansing bar,” or “deodorizing bar?”
If it does not say "soap" then it is not really soap!
Commercial bar soaps are produced on a large scale with harsh chemicals, synthetic ingredients, cheap fragrance oils, and artificial colors all of which can irritate your skin.
Today there are very few true soaps on the market. Most body cleansers, both liquid and solid, are actually synthetic detergent products.
Detergent cleansers are popular because they make suds easily in water and don't form gummy deposits.
Some of these detergent products are actually marketed as "soap" but are not true soap according to the regulatory definition of the word.
The word "Soap" actually has a legal definition provided by the FDA. Most commercial brands are not called soap because they are detergents and do not meet the legal definition of soap.
Both soaps and detergents are surfactants (a blended word that comes from "surface-active agents"). A surfactant decreases the surface tension of water which allows grease and water to mix.
But, soaps and detergents are NOT the same.
Natural Handmade Soaps are made of materials found in nature, like pure plant-based oils, oats, honey and goat milk.
Detergents are synthetic--made from synthetic surfactants, petrochemicals, and other cleaning agents.
Detergents were developed during World War I in response to a shortage of the animal and vegetable fats and oils needed to make natural soap.
So, most products you think of as "soap" are actually synthetic detergents or "syndets."
Syndet is a blended word made by combining the words “synthetic” and “detergent.”
The word was invented by the personal care industry to make their products that contain synthetic detergents sound more attractive to consumers who tend to shy away from synthetic skincare.
A "synthetic detergent bar" does not sound very appealing, while a "syndet bar" sounds like it is something special. They are often fun colors, pretty scents, and lather very well due to the synthetic foaming agents in the detergents.
Detergents are good for one thing--removing oil. Detergents may be good for cleaning laundry or dishes, but NOT for cleaning your skin!
Commercial detergent bars strip the natural moisturizing oils from your skin. So after you take a bath or shower with commercial soap you reach for that bottle of expensive lotion, to put back the moisture that was taken away by the commercial soap.
The label of ingredients on a bar of commercial soap has a long list of unpronounceable chemicals.
Whether or not these synthetic chemical additives are bad for you and the environment may be up for debate, but chances are you are better off without them.
The chart below compares Chagrin Valley Handcrafted Soap with a popular moisturizing brand.
Compare For Yourself
And...Dove Is The Bar Most Recommended As A Mild Soap.
Why do commercial soap companies add these undesirable chemicals to their soap? They are cheap (which of course means more profit) and they provide the soaps with a very long shelflife (if they don't loose soap they don't lose money).
In fact, today many medicines are now given in "patch" form to be absorbed through the skin.
Now Read The Label On A Bar Of Your Favorite Commercial Soap!
After comparing ingredients ask yourself . . .