Making the Most of Your Natural Soaps
When you invest in a bar of natural soap, you may pay more in the short run, but more than likely you will benefit in the long run with softer skin. Your overall health will benefit as well, since more than 60 percent of anything we put on our skin is absorbed into the body. (Chemicals found in personal care products are now being linked to breast cancer, birth defects, infertility, and more.)
If the soap is truly natural, chances are it is super-fatted. This means extra oils are included in the formula for moisturizing benefit. It also means the glycerin—the rich, moisturizing byproduct of soapmaking—is stirred back into the soap.
Chemically-derived, factory-made soaps take out the glycerin while including all sorts of harsh chemicals. Your skin pays a price, although many times we aren't aware until we try a more natural product.
The problem is that factory-made soap is cheaper and it lasts longer. It's cheaper because chemicals are less expensive than the naturally-derived ingredients found in natural soaps. It lasts longer because it is not super-fatted and the glycerin is removed.
The solution? Prolong the life of your natural soap. Here are three tips for making your soap last:
- Dry the soap out between uses.
Because of the added moisturizing oils, natural soap dissolves more rapidly in water. For this reason, do not leave the soap sitting in a pool of water in the shower. Invest in a soap dish with a rack, or simply remove the soap from the shower and keep it in a place that it will dry completely before using again.
- Save the scraps.
The scraps are awkward and unpleasant to use. It makes sense to toss them. Why not try collecting them in a soap bag and using the bag as an exfoliating and cleansing experience? You may want to keep a bag hanging in the shower and continually add the scraps. The bag and scraps foam up nicely and make for a nice cleansing experience. Wash the bag periodically to keep it fresh.
- Dilute the soap.
Your bar of soap will go much further if you dilute it. The directions are simple:
- Grate your bar of soap.
- Place 1 ounce of the grated soap in a glass jar.
- Add 1-2 cups filtered water and leave overnight.
- Stir the next day until well blended.
This "gentled" soap stores indefinitely in a capped jar. Simply dab your washcloth into the mixture and apply to your skin. If there are herbs added to the soap, you may notice that it doesn't last quite as long. You can add 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil or an antiseptic essential oil like lavender or tea tree oil to prolong its shelf life.
Try any or all of these suggestions and make your investment last!