September 30, 2020 2 min read

Do you know that squeaky clean feeling that you sometimes get after using a bar of soap? It turns out that “clean” feeling can be irritating to your skin. And it’s why using a handmade soap can be better for your skin than a conventional bar.

Here’s why: When you get that squeaky clean feeling, it can mean that your skin’s natural pH balance has changed. It’s verging on way too dry. Running your fingers over your skin and feeling it catch to the point of squeak can be your skin trying to tell you that it’s pushing too high a pH level. And a high pH level = dry, irritated skin.

A quick lesson in soap: “Soap” is a specific term for saponified natural fats (or oils) that have been turned into soap molecules by being mixed with lye. Sodium Hydroxide makes bar soap, and Potassium Hydroxide makes liquid soap. The vegetable fats that we use separate during the saponification process into soap and glycerin. When we make our bar soaps, we also “superfat” our soap. Super-fatting is when you add additional oils beyond what can be converted into soap by lye. The resulting bar soap has a combination of soap, which cleans, oils, which moisturize, and glycerin, helping your skin retain moisture.  

When a synthetic material like a petroleum-based product is used instead of a fat, the resulting mixture is a detergent. Yep, as in laundry detergent.

Why that matters: Many conventional “soap” bars (yes, even the ones that claim to be full of lotions that are gentle on your skin) use detergent instead of saponified oils. And detergents are not only more drying to the skin because of their high pH levels, but they also can irritate, causing redness and itchiness. Talk about false advertising.

What you should try instead: Handmade soap crafted from vegetable fats is gentler on your skin because it encourages a natural pH balance. The oils bond to the dirt and grime on your skin, washing them away, but also leaving your body feeling soothed and moisturized. So, while you might not get that traditionally squeaky clean feeling, you can be sure that your skin is not only clean but also moisturized. 

Our Bar Soaps do just that: Lovingly caress your skin to cleanse and hydrate, with just the right balance of ingredients to leave skin feeling soft and smooth. No detergents here!

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