By Jonathan Parker
For those of us splashing around in the ‘natural’ community, experimenting in making our own products becomes quite the addicting hobby. We like to build things, create things, making them from scratch. If this sounds like you, and soap making has eluded your creative efforts so far, now might be the time to try your hand at it. It’s so much more than just arts and crafts; the benefits can be measured in your health as well. If all you’re waiting on to start is a few reasons, well… I have 5 for you. And speaking of health benefits, and because I can order them however I want… Here’s number 1.
1. Health benefits!
Of making soap? Yup. What’s interesting about commercial soap is that it’s not technically ‘soap’ in so many words. One of the main ingredients, glycerine
, is the main moisture-trapping component of real soap. The commercial manufacturers generally remove the glycerine for use in lotions and skin creams. While this is all well and good, it leaves you with a bar of what might as well be laundry detergent or car wash. When you make your own soap, YOU choose what ingredients are included or, in this case, not removed. Skin dryness and irritation are common side effects that many people suffer from. Your skin also partially absorbs chemicals and other materials it comes in contact with, which is good to remember the next time you’re reading ingredient labels in the health and beauty aisle.
2. Do more than just cleanObviously, that’s probably the whole idea behind soap. You want to get the dirt off and keep your skin in good shape at the same time. Another great thing about making your own soap is that you can add additional ingredients such as herbal supplements or essential oils. It’s easy to tailor your soap to your own personal health needs, or even just improve the quality of your aromatherapy while bathing. You can even add ingredients that exfoliate, or additional moisturizing agents.
3. Improve chronic skin conditions
For those who suffer from chronic skin conditions, it’s a well-known battle to find products that don’t exacerbate your symptoms. Olive oil
, Shea butter
and many other natural ingredients can be included that will add one more healing step to your daily routine.
4. Save some money!
Sure, discount soaps are pretty cheap, but if you want quality soap, you’re going to be paying more for it. By purchasing your own ingredients in bulk and making your soap by the batch, you can shave off some of that cost. It goes without saying that many of the ingredients, such as essential oils, have multiple uses and will definitely not go to waste on your shelves.
5. The gift that keeps on giving. Girls ( and even some guys- c’mon, you know it’s true) love a good smelling soap. Not only will you be providing quality personal care items to yourself and your family, you can share them with your friends as gifts. It might even been a good opportunity to introduce your friends and acquaintances to the ‘natural’ life. Explain the process, the ingredients and what health benefits they might offer. If you make a convert to sustainable living, when your next project comes along you just might have another set of helping hands to complete it.
There are many more benefits to making your own soap so please feel free to add your thoughts and ideas to the comment section, and stay tuned as we discuss some of the methods used to create soap by hand.
Jonathan Parker is an EMT-Paramedic and Preparedness Instructor with a love for emergency medicine, self-sufficiency and homesteading. His goal is to empower people towards a natural and sustainable lifestyle.