I started using handmade soap. Here's why.

Not all bar soaps are created equal - I finally realized that.

Did you know that on a per wash basis, you use 6x more liquid soap than bar? 

Okay, that's not the main reason I started using handmade bar soaps. 

But, also, did you know...

• 1.4 billion disposable body wash bottles used every year*
• It takes a plastic bottle about 450 years to breakdown.  A plastic bottle that, on average, is tossed to the landfills in 6 months.**

Awareness of how daily habits and choices impact both ourselves and our environment was not something I always thought about, or cared about. As I got older, slipped out of my egotistical 20s, somewhere I began questioning which everyday products were filled with ingredients harmful to us and to our environment. Soap was the first on my list. 

It was discovered how bad those little micro beads were for the environment, I switching from those fun floral and colorful liquid body washes and gels to bar soaps. But, I took me awhile to realize not all bar soaps are created equal.

Most bar soaps, of course, eliminate the need for the extra plastic packaging. Yes, definitely one reason to switch from those bottled body washes. Another reason? Ingredients. 


Dove. A well-known brand. We all love Dove.

Below are the ingredients (approx 12 total) in the Dove Beauty Bar
(note - ‘soap’ is not in the actual product name. This product is not considered a true "soap"):

Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Lauric Acid, Sodium Tallowate or Sodium Palmitate, Water (Aqua), Sodium Isethionate, Sodium Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoate or Sodium Palm Kernelate, Fragrance (Parfum), Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891).

What is all that??  Let’s break it down...


Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate

A detergent or surfactant commonly found in shampoos, body washes and face washes. Contains Ethylene Oxide, a known carcinogen.


Stearic Acid

A saturated fatty acid that comes from animal or vegetable fats. A hardening agent that helps to create a firm bar of soap. 

Sodium Tallowate or Sodium Palmitate

Sodium Tallowate

 The result of combining the fatty acid from animal tissue and some type of lye.

Sodium Palmitate

Made from Palm Oil
(also, click here to understand how Palm Oil is really bad for the environment when not ethically sourced).

Sodium Isethionate

A sodium salt derived from coconut oil, often a substitute for animal surfactants. Acts as a surfactant in soap, an agent to make water cling to dirt and oil on the skin better. Mild on the skin.

Sodium Stearate

A naturally occurring fatty acid. Helps harden soaps and acts as a surfactant or detergent. 

Cocamidopropyl Betaine

Synthetic surfactant or detergent. Can be environmentally toxic, and can cause skin sensitivity. 


Sodium Cocoate or Sodium Palm Kernelate


Sodium Cocoate

Made from coconut oil. Acts as a surfactant or detergent that helps get rid of dirt and other pollutants. 

Sodium Palm Kernelate

Surfactant. Derived from Palm Kernal oil. Can strip skin of oils and be irritating. 

Sodium Chloride

Regular table salt

Tetrasodium Etidronate

A chelating agent (a compound that reacts to metal ions to form a stable water-soluble complex), used to soften water and prevent soap scum.  Can aggravate skin problems. Possibly carcinogenic.

Tetrasodium EDTA

Another chelating agent (synthetic chemical) and preservative. Weakens skin barrier to enhance skin absorption. Can present some toxicity to non-reproductive organs. 

Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)

While is it is a naturally occurring material, notably used as an active ingredient in sunscreen and powder-based foundations, eyeshadow and other cosmetics, it is a possible carcinogen and can present some toxicity to non-reproductive organs.


Let's compare with a handmade soap. 

Even Keel's French Rose Elixir Soap (14 natural ingredients):

French Rose, Bentonite Clay, Olive oil with Calendula, Avocado Oil with rosehips, Elderflower, Hops and Rosehips, Essential oils of Clove, Cinnamon and Cedarwood, Virgin Shea Nut Butter, Sustainable Palm Oil, Raw Cocoa butter and Coconut oil.


We know what those ingredients are, well most of them. 

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published