The convenience and versatility of store bought soap is quite alluring—you can find soap at your local grocery or beauty store with any aroma, special ingredient, and almost any standard brand you desire. Low prices are another reason many consumers purchase supermarket soaps. If you aren’t picky about quality or special fragrances, you can find soap for as little as one dollar, or less. But in comparison to previous decades, today’s average consumer is privy to a lot more information about what’s contained in chain products. And there are a lot of harmful ingredients in the average product, including soap, that might make you think twice before your next store run. Instead of subjecting yourself to using products with harmful ingredients, try making your own soap. If you’re ready for healthier, happier skin, here’s some info about making your own DIY soap, and why you should ditch supermarket soaps for good.
How are supermarket soaps harmful?
Most popular brands of soap are not what we actually consider soap, but more closely resemble detergent—yes, the stuff you wash your clothes with. This is because these soaps contain many of the same chemicals that are contained in standard laundry detergents.
These chemicals include in your average soap brand are sodium lauroyl isethionate, methylisothiazolinone, artificial coloring and fragrances, titanium dioxide, and more. Chemicals like these can have a range of dangerous effects like acne outbreaks, clogged pores, compromised nervous system, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Some of these chemicals even contain known carcinogens that have been linked to an increased risk of developing cancer.
How can you switch to safer soap? Make your own DIY soap!
You can definitely research natural soap brands and find safer alternatives to the more popular but dangerous soaps—or you can make your own DIY soap with just a few simple base ingredients.
There are four main methods of making soap: melt and pour; cold process; hot process; and rebatching. But the safest and easiest way to make soap that doesn’t involve a ton of steps, or working with lye, is the melt and pour process.
You begin with one pound of soap base, which contains the necessary components for the base of your soap and usually some natural fragrances like orange, rosemary, peppermint or lavender essential oils. Next, you break your soap base down into smaller chunks and melt in the microwave in a large Pyrex bowl. Once melted, you can add in your favorite plants, herbs and essential oils. This can include cocoa or shea butter, mint, lemon balm, chamomile and more. Mix your soap and ingredients well, and then pour into a silicon mold of your choice.
This is where you can have some fun with mold shapes, like stars, flowers, various textures or even imprinted words and phrases. Allow to cool for several hours, and once it’s dry, your soap is ready to be enjoyed—your skin will thank you later.