Why is handmade soap so expensive?

This is a question we get asked a lot! There's no question that handmade soap is a lot more expensive than the soap bars you can buy in the supermarket - so why pay £7 for a bar of natural handmade soap when you can pay £1.20 for a bar of commercial soap from the store? Forget everything you think you know about soap, as we're going to reveal the true facts about handmade soap vs store-bought soap.

A bar of store-bought soap next to a bar of handmade soap

Handmade soap vs store-bought soap

There really is no comparison between natural bars of soap and commercially produced soap bars - they really are completely different products. To understand how different they are we're going to compare the ingredients in natural soap bars to the soap bars you buy from a supermarket:

Handmade soap

Our natural bars of soap are made using quality oils along with botanicals, clays, essential oils, and herbs and spices that you might find in your kitchen cupboards. Oils are the magic ingredients that gently cleanse, while nourishing your skin.

The oils we use in our natural bar soap include:

  • Olive oil

  • Shea butter

  • Rice bran oil

  • Castor oil

  • Sweet almond oil

  • Coconut oil

Our luxurious hand soap also contains oodles of naturally-occurring glycerine which is produced naturally when making cold processed soap (more about glycerine further down). Glycerine in soap is a real game-changer when it comes to locking moisture into the skin as it keeps skin hydrated and soft.

Store-bought soap

In direct contrast, a bar of store-bought soap doesn't usually contain any oils at all (and if they do it's almost always palm oil), but is instead loaded with chemical surfactants and added glycerine to produce a bar of soap. So why do these large-scale soap manufacturers produce soap in this way? Because chemicals are cheap, and with big companies, it's always about the bottom line and making a big profit over producing a quality product that's good for your skin and the environment.

three bars of artisan soap

The handmade journey

The process of actually producing a bar of soap is a very long one. The journey begins with lots of research into the properties of various oils and butters. Each oil holds different properties for a soap bar - for example, coconut oil is used for its cleansing properties and is the king of oils when it comes to producing lovely big bubbles. Oils such as olive, rice bran and sweet almond, along with shea butter, are packed with vitamins and essential fatty acids which nourish and moisturise the skin. Making soap is a highly technical process that takes time, lots of practice, and endless patience - especially when you consider that each bar of soap must cure for six weeks before it can be used/tested!

Once a formulation has been tested and any amendments made to the recipe, the formulation must be submitted to a charted chemist to be assessed. The assessment ensures that the formulation is safe to use. This process can take up to two months before the soapmaker is legally allowed to sell their products.

Of course, not all artisan soap is made equal, and some are better than others. It's all down to the quality of ingredients, the formulation, and if marketed as a natural soap, whether artificial ingredients such as fragrance oils and artificial colourants have been used.

Hopefully, you've probably got a better idea about why handmade soap is more expensive than store-bought soap, so let's talk about why natural bars of soap are better.

Why is handmade soap better than store-bought soap?

Natural handmade soap isn't full of chemicals and artificial ingredients that can actually damage your skin, unlike a bar of store-bought soap. Have you ever experienced that dry, tight feeling after using a commercially produced soap? That'll be the chemicals and total lack of nourishing oils.

Natural handmade soap lasts longer than store-bought soap too, so using natural soap bars will actually save you money while giving you beautiful, healthy skin.

Natural soap bars are made using natural ingredients that are gentle on the skin, unlike commercial soap which contains surfactants, chemicals and detergents which are harsh on the skin. These nasties can directly contribute to skin rashes and painful eczema flare-ups. In comparison, many of our customers suffer from eczema or very sensitive skin and find that our natural bars of soap soothe and ease their dry skin conditions. If you're yet to use a natural handmade soap bar you really won't believe the difference in the health and softness of your skin - it will feel smooth, silky, and hydrated!

Three bars of handmade natural soap

Eco-friendly soap

Handmade soap is eco-friendly, especially if you choose a bar that isn't made with palm oil. In addition, because handmade soap is made using natural ingredients, it won't damage the environment when the lather washes down the plughole.

Natural soap bars are usually packaged in an eco-friendly way - we use acid-free paper and 99% of our packaging is made from recycled materials. In fact, our zero waste policy means that we even reuse the boxes from our ingredients deliveries, rather than recycling them.

Benefits of handmade soap

Handmade bar soap is so much better for your skin - if you've used our natural bars of soap you'll have noticed a big difference in how your skin feels. One of the key ingredients in handmade soap is glycerine - a naturally-occurring ingredient that's produced as part of the saponification process when making soap. Glycerine in soap is a magical ingredient that hydrates and moisturises the skin naturally.

Naturally-occurring glycerine isn't present in commercially produced soap as the manufacturers actually remove the glycerine to use in other products, such as moisturisers and shampoos. This is another reason why store-bought soap is so drying on the skin.

It's all relative, anyway

If you're on the fence and still think that natural handmade soap is too expensive, let's consider how much a couple of coffees would cost from Costa. £5.30 will buy you two large coffees (and that's without the cakes!) which will be gone within 15 minutes. That money would buy you a bar of natural soap which would last a month (and you'd get healthy skin to boot).

A cappuccino

Buying handmade supports small businesses

Finally, when you buy luxurious hand soap from a natural soap company, you're supporting wonderful, creative small businesses and their families, and not lining the pockets of major chemical manufacturers.

Have we persuaded you yet? Browse our range of natural soap bars or even try out our soap samples to give our natural bars of soap a trial run. Your skin will love you for it!

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