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How to care for natural soap (or "How to keep it harder for longer!")

How to care for natural soap (or "How to keep it harder for longer!")

”How long does your soap last?” - a question we have heard being asked, for which the answer is: how long is a piece of string? So many variables determine how long your bar of soap will last. Some are outside of your control, for example humidity, but others you can actually manage. This article lists a few simple actions you can take to get the best experience possible from your natural bar of soap.

NATURAL CHOICE

It’s important to briefly explain the difference between natural handmade soap you will find on our website, and the commercial bars you buy at the supermarket. BAR OF HOPE soap is made using traditional techniques (we use both cold and hot process soap making, depending on the soap) and simple ingredients like plant oils and butters, clays, herbs, vegetables, coconut water, milk and such. You will find no harsh detergents, foam boosters or artificial hardeners in BAR OF HOPE soap. We also colour our products using only natural colourants and scent them using essential oils and not lab-made fragrances. And finally, due to the natural process we use, our soaps contain an abundance of glycerin which helps keep skin hydrated, unlike commercial soaps which have glycerin extracted from them in order to make them harder and longer lasting. Glycerin is a humectant, so it hydrates the skin by attracting moisture to itself, but it does the same thing when the soap is just sitting around in wet conditions.

KEEP IT DRY

The single most important thing you can do to get the best out of your natural soap is to keep it dry when it’s not in use. The constant contact with a wet surface will soften your soap so when you use it, a lot more of it will be used than needed.

By all means - lather it up large, but after the shower or washing your hands (for at least 20 seconds, singing Happy Birthday!) it’s best to let your soap rest on a dish that has good draining. And if you can keep your soap out of the shower while not in use, even better. Also in the shower - try and keep it out of the direct line of water.

Speaking of bubbles - lather directly on your skin rather than a washcloth in order to only use as much soap as needed. You needn’t worry about skin irritation with natural soap as it doesn’t contain any of the detergents you’d find in supermarket soap which are added to artificially enhance bubbliness: Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Cocamidopropyl Betaine - to name a few. These are very harsh detergents and the amount of evidence showing they are harmful is only growing.

TAKE YOUR TIME

Thankfully, well formulated and made soap can be stored for an age (if kept in a dry and cool place) - and some types even get better with time. But once it’s created, natural soap does need to cure for a minimum of 4 weeks before you can start using it, to allow it to dry and harden naturally. Some natural hardening agents are also readily available and used in some of our soaps, such as salt.

You’ll notice that each BAR OF HOPE soap is stamped with a date it was crafted, so you can rest assured that your soap has had the ‘rest’ it deserves.

Many supermarket soap bars contain Parabens (e.g. butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben), a group of artificial preservatives that prolong personal care products shelf life. Parabens have come under increasing scrutiny over the past years, as more information and awareness become available about their harmful environmental and health effects.

BARS IN WAITING

You may like to get a few bars of natural soap and store them for later use - so you don’t run out. We get it…! Try and keep them in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. The colour comes from plant powders so direct sunlight can make it fade. The scent is a careful composition of natural essential oils, and although BAR OF HOPE bars are known to hold their scent comparatively long, it will decrease over time while in storage. However, the scent will come back to life when your soap makes contact with water.

The reason supermarket soap keeps its scent while in storage is because it contains ‘fragrances’ - a generic name for any type of chemical that produces a smell. Legally, the fragrance industry is not required to disclose what chemicals were used to produce the scent, so it could be as many of anything.

Natural soap is a fantastic choice for both your skin and the environment and by no means a compromise from the performance of artificially enhanced supermarket soap. We hope you found some good tips in this article.

Stay clean,
BAR OF HOPE

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