Why choose natural soap over an industrial?

When the time comes to choose a soap, the consumer is naturally attracted by the lowest price. People do not see the importance or the consistency of paying more for a natural product when they see the possibility of buying a package of 10 industrially produced soaps for 10 dollars. Nevertheless, the saponification techniques are very different in the manufacture of these two types of products. Let me enlighten you on the subject…


Most soaps of natural origin will be made using cold saponification techniques. By mixing our oil bases (or butters) with a caustic soda solution with a whisk or a mixer, we then trigger the saponification and we obtain the base paste of our soap. Many oils are sensitive to temperature: not heating them in the SAF keeps all their properties. We can then add specific smells and effects with essential oils. After making and molding the soap, it will need to dry for three to four weeks. This type of soap making is done by hand.


Commercial soaps, on the other hand, will be produced industrially hot to speed up production. Oils heated to high temperatures will be much less beneficial to the skin, as their active ingredients have been mostly destroyed during cooking. In addition to ensuring profitability and requiring much less labor, these manufacturing methods also allow large manufacturers to remove the glycerin, produced via saponification, in order to be able to sell it to the chemical and cosmetic industries.


Natural soaps will, most of the time, be made with high quality natural ingredients. Sustainably sourced oils such as olive oil and coconut oil are often featured in the production of natural soaps. These oils with cleansing and moisturizing properties are interesting choices for several reasons. Olive oil, for example, is excellent for hydration and it can also be suitable for all skin types. Cold saponification allows us to choose the scents and benefits that we want to bring to our product through the use of essential oils. These specific oils provide benefits (such as antifungal and antimicrobial effects) that do not require the use of chemicals that are harmful to the skin and the environment.


Industrial soaps, on the other hand, will be produced with lower quality ingredients in order to avoid excessive costs. Palm oil (sodium palmate) and animal fat (sodium tallowate) will often be chosen first to ensure the profitability of the product without worrying about the quality and ecological footprint of the latter.

We will often find EDTA (Ethylene-Diamino-Tetra-Acetate) in commercial soaps. It is a chemical product that acts as a foamer and stabilizer for the product, which allows manufacturers to ensure product compliance (no change in smell, color or texture, for example). Correctly dosed, EDTA is not supposed to be harmful to the skin, but it can still be an irritant with uncertain long-term consequences. This agent is toxic for the environment and very difficult to biodegrade.

Another very common ingredient in the manufacture of industrial soaps is called: parabens. Parabens are effective preservatives against microbes and bacteria. On the other hand, they are suspected of being harmful, carcinogenic and of being endocrine disruptors.


Regardless of the method of production, soap remains a detergent, which means that it cleans and removes everything on the surface of the skin. The detergent effect also eliminates the sebum that the skin produces naturally to protect itself. On the other hand, with the cold saponification technique, the soap always contains a good amount of glycerin. The latter will have a crucial role in preserving the natural moisture of the skin. SAF also allows us to properly dose our oils in order to obtain a quantity of surgras. The surgras is in fact a portion of non-saponified oil contained in the soap which deposits a greasy film on the skin, thus protecting and nourishing it.

As mentioned earlier, industrial soap manufacturing techniques allow the glycerin produced by saponification to be removed in order to sell it. The absence of glycerin in a soap can cause the skin to dry out and also negatively affects the elasticity of the latter.

En conclusion, les savons naturels sont faits d’ingrédients de qualité supérieure qui ne sont pas nocifs pour la peau ni pour l’environnement. La santé de votre peau ne devrait pas être négligée quand vient le temps de choisir vos produits  de soins corporels.  Qu’en pensez vous?