How Is Plant-based Soap Different From Handmade Natural Soap?

September 6, 2021

There is a lot of buzz going around that plant-based, and handmade soaps are better suited for skincare routines. They provide the best mix of all-natural ingredients and the right balance of cleansers that keep skin hydrated, soft, supple, and, best of all, clean! If you are new to the soap scene, it can get very confusing to read all the facts and information about plant-based soaps and handmade natural soaps. The question may then arise, "What is the difference?", "Is there a difference?", "Is one better than the other?".  Here, we will put your questions to rest and give you all the information you need to pick the right body soap for your skin. 

plant-based soaps refrain from using animal based products like tallow.

Plant-based soaps and natural soaps each have their own unique set of ingredients that make them great for your skin. While they have their commonalities, they also have some differentiating factors. The one thing that both soaps do have in common is that they are a much better alternative to using over-the-counter commercialized soaps. 

The body soap you choose to clean your skin is an important choice to make. While it may not seem like it, your choice of soap determines how healthy your skin looks and feels. Choosing soaps with harsh or synthetic chemicals will greatly damage it, causing unwanted breakouts or more severe skin conditions. Using chemically-laden soaps will also leave it to faster aging, making it look dull and dry. 

With that, you should understand exactly what is in your bar of soap. And if you are considering making the switch to plant-based or handmade natural soaps, you are on the right track. There is a significant number of benefits to making the switch. Here, we will help you answer your questions about these two popular types of soaps and how they can help you achieve younger-looking and healthy skin. 

What Are Plant-based Soaps?

Plant-based soaps, also known as vegan soaps, are made with natural ingredients and processes that eliminate any and all types of animal products. Being made with only plant-based ingredients means there are no chemicals, no artificial colors or preservatives, no animal fats or oils, and nothing that comes from animals. It is gentle on the skin, does not dry it out, and keeps it moisturized all day long.

These kinds of soaps are not just good for the skin; they are great for the entire body. They help maintain proper pH balance in the body, preventing acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions. They also cleanse the body well and remove toxins, leaving the skin clean, clear, and toxin-free.

The Ingredients

The oils that are used to make the soaps are derived from plants. There are more than 7,000 different kinds of oils used to make these soaps. Some of the oils used are olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, castor oil, jojoba oil, apricot oil, wheat germ oil, and others. 

Each of these oils has a different chemical makeup, and they each have different properties. Some oils are antibacterial, while others have a more hydrating character. Other oils are good for dry skin, while others are good for oily or combination skin. And so on. All these factors go into deciding what type of soap is best for a particular purpose. 

The Soap Making Process

A plant-based or vegan soap consists of two main ingredients: plant-based oils and water. These two ingredients are combined using a process called "the saponification reaction." This is a chemical reaction that occurs when oil is mixed with alkaline compounds (like potassium hydroxide) to create a stable soap. 

Who Is This For?

Plant-based vegan soaps are perfect for those who adhere to a strict plant-based lifestyle. Since these soaps do not use any animal-based ingredients, they are an excellent option for you to maintain a sustainable lifestyle without compromising appearance. the health and appearance of your skin

These soaps make use of plant-based oils and ingredients to create a bar soap that benefits the overall look and feel of your skin, helping it stay fresh, hydrated, and nutrient-rich, as it should be. Plus, you'll be eliminating using any harsh chemicals on your skin that could cause further irritation or skin conditions. 

What Are Handmade Natural Soaps?

Handmade natural soaps are very similar to plant-based soaps. The differentiating factor is that handmade soaps can make use of animal-based ingredients to make the final bar of soap. Handmade soaps are just as effective as plant-based soaps in keeping your skin clean, clear, and healthy. Similar to plant-based soaps, they contain no harsh chemicals that can damage your skin.

The Ingredients

Handmade natural soaps make use of the same base ingredients: lye, oils, and water. What makes it different is how they may use animal-based products like milk, beeswax, honey, and tallow. The beeswax and tallow are often used as the base to create the soap, while honey and milk are ingredients added for their naturally beneficial features to your skin. Just like plant-based soaps, hand-made soaps also use plant extracts, herbs, some types of nuts, and beans to give the soap its final form. If you are conscious or allergic to anything, in particular, make sure to ask about the ingredients to prevent allergic reactions. 

The Soap Making Process

The process of making handmade soap is the same as making plant-based soaps. They are made by using the saponification reaction to chemically combine oils with potassium hydroxide or another base like lye. After the oils are combined with the base, the mixture is stirred until it is completely dissolved. Then, it is poured into molds and left to set.

Don't worry about the "lye.” While this is a harmful chemical on its own, mixing it with other soap-making ingredients neutralizes its harmful effects. All soap is made with some amount of lye. What makes conventional store-bought soap with lye harmful is that they do not allow the soap to cure for the proper amount of time. This means that the lye is not fully neutralized before it is shelved, bought, and used. 

handmade soap is created through a process called saponification.

Blue Bison Soapery ensures that every bar of soap is allowed to properly cure for at least three weeks before being sold to its customers. This way, you can rest assured that the lye in our soap is properly neutralized and will not harm your skin or cause any unwanted irritants. 

Who Is This For?

Handmade natural soaps are for those looking for a gentle alternative to their skincare routine. So long as you do not have allergies to food allergens like milk, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans, they make the perfect choice for a good cleansing without stripping your skin of essential moisture and nutrients, in fact, they add these two components!

On the other hand, if you do have allergies to anything, handmade soap is still a good option. Just make sure to read through the ingredients list. Our Blue Bison staff would be happy to walk you through your options to make sure you get the best soap for your skin without any of the allergens you are seeking to avoid. With our wide array of choices, there is surely something that works best for you and can help you have healthy and glowing skin inside and out! 

Comparing Plant-based and Handmade Natural Soap

When it comes down to the main difference between plant-based soaps and handmade natural soaps, it is all in the ingredients used to make them. Plant-based soaps use only non-animal ingredients like herbs, plant extracts, and plant oils. Whole handmade soaps may use beeswax, tallow, lard, or shellfish. 

In terms of the soap-making process, saponification, both use the same method and have the same curing time to ensure the ingredients can properly work together and neutralize before touching your skin. That way, you will not experience the harsh reaction that most conventional soaps that do not cure long enough give, such as redness, itching, and dry skin.

The Benefits of Both

Unquestionably, one of the main reasons people switch to using natural body soaps is to get rid of all those harsh chemicals found in most commercial soaps. These harsh chemicals are not good for your skin at all. They strip your skin of its natural oils, which keep it looking and feeling young and fresh. Also, they cause a lot of irritation which leads to acne. 

Now that you know the difference (and similarities) between handmade natural soap and plant-based soaps let's talk about their benefits! Because these soaps are made with only the finest natural ingredients and are carefully cured before sold, they provide tons of benefits that show almost immediate improvement in your skin’s health! 

No Unwanted Harsh Chemicals

Several soaps that you can find in supermarkets and convenience stores are closer to detergents than body soap. This is because of the seemingly endless list of synthetic, harmful, and harsh chemicals they contain. Most of these ingredients are shown to cause severe skin irritation in those with sensitive skin. Some ingredients even interfere with your body's natural functions. Parabens, for one. Parabens cause hormonal imbalances when used frequently. 

Handmade and plant-based soaps contain only natural ingredients (hence the name). Such ingredients come from animal fat, vegetable oils, crushed plants, and plant extracts. These ingredients don't just clean your skin, but they also improve its overall health without causing any harm to it.   

Highest Quality Ingredients, Always

If you are still on the fence about making the switch to handmade or plant-based soaps, know that these are made with the highest quality ingredients always. Unlike conventional soaps, handmade and plant-based soaps are usually created in small batches. Meaning, care, and attention are taken to ensure that each bar is made with only the best beneficial and healthy ingredients for your skin. These ingredients provide skin with nutrients and vitamins to keep it hydrated, smooth, age-defying, and more! Some soaps even use pure essential oils to add natural aromatherapy benefits. 

In commercial soap making, it is not pure essential oils that are used; instead, the byproducts are used in purifying raw vegetable oils into usable oils. Those elements and oils that are created in the process end up as soapstock, which they add back in to give the final outcome a stringer scent and become more appealing to customers. This ends up depriving your skin of its natural oils and its ability to lock in moisture. 

plant based and handmade soaps use only the best ingredients.

Keeps All The Good Things, Get Rid Of The Not So Good

Since the focus of handmade and plant-based soaps are on quality, not quantity, each bar is allowed to properly cure before it hits the shelves. Conventional soaps focus on quantity as their manufactures are focused on getting them to sell and making a profit as quickly as possible. With that, the soap is not allowed to cure properly, leaving in the harmful effects of chemicals like lye.

During the saponification process, where oils and fats are mixed with lye, soap produces a by-product called glycerin which proves to have tons of benefits for your skin. The main one being that it sucks in moisture and helps the skin lock it in. Natural soaps keep glycerin in soap, while commercial brands usually remove the lye and use it for their more marketable products like soaps and facial moisturizers.

Moreover, the curing process also neutralizes the harmful effects of lye, turning it into a harsh chemical into a very mild ingredient that does not irritate. Keep in mind that all soaps require lye to be soap. With no lye, there is not soap. The difference between commercial and natural is how well lye is allowed to neutralize with other ingredients so it does not harm your skin. 

You Have A Choice

Another great benefit of using handmade or plant-based soaps is the choices you have! You are in complete control of what goes on your skin and what doesn't. It's easy to reach out to the maker and ask them directly for a list of ingredients, their production process, and their recommendations. In terms of Blue Bison Soaps, you can easily reach us or any questions you may have, and we would be delighted to help you choose the best bar soap for your daily skincare needs. 

There Is Definitely More Variety

Generic soap brands tend only to have a handful of options on the shelf to choose from. On the other hand, handmade soap crafters are releasing new and exciting varients and recipes almost consistently! There is always a new recipe waiting just around the corner, and with the sheer variety of choices, you'll never get bored of trying them out to see which best suits your mood and skin!

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