So-You’ve been to a market and made an artisan soap purchase- here are some tips to help you get the most from your investment.
Cold process soap should breathe
When you purchase your artisan soaps from places such as a farmer’s market, you can- and should- speak to the maker about how to store the soap. Cold process soap should be stored in breathable containers such as cardboard (or paper bag) until ready for use. Definitely NOT plastic!
Tip: If your soap comes packaged in plastic, it’s practically guaranteed to be a melt and pour variety.
Understand that sizes and weights may vary slightly
Cold processed soap is mostly made in a loaf mold. After it is unmolded, it is then cut, often by hand. Even when a cutting guide is used, there may be slight variances on soap weights within the same batch.
Specialty soap with higher quality ingredients cost more
The oils and butters used will have a direct impact on the cost of your soap. Be aware that soap formulated for sensitive skin likely contains more costly oils. Many large volume producers use the most inexpensive materials to increase their profit margin. Sustainability should also be a consideration.
Tip: Read the ingredients on the label!
Decide what is most important to you in a soap
Do you want your soap to be vegan, palm free or gluten free? What about scent? Made using pure essential oils, or are you okay with fragrance oils? Many soaps are made using fragrance oils.
Tip: Soap made with “sandalwood” is most definitely not made using the essential oil of sandalwood due to the very high cost of this oil.
Or maybe for you, unscented is the way to go.
What about the packaging- do you want it packaged, ready to give to someone, or available zero waste (meaning no packaging)?
You definitely have a lot more options now than ever when it comes to finding a soap that fits you.
Consider the shape of the soap
The way soap is cut will make a difference to some. For example, holding a fatter, wider shape of bar will be easier for someone with small hands, or arthritis. Also, those wide but narrow bars will melt down more quickly in the shower than a bar shaped blockier. (More blocky..) Let’s say chunky. Storing the soap in the shower space may also be a point to consider. I know shelf space is at a premium at my house…
Did you know?
Nature Notes makes small batch cold processed soap, available in Canada. Check out our shop!