What Makes Our Soap So Special?
So soap is soap, right? Most people just expect that soap will irritate the skin a little, leaving you feeling feeling itchy, but clean. Just the tradeoff, you guess. Actually, that does not have to be true, and our customers rave about that fact all the time. They are actually surprised and delighted how much better their skin feels! The truth is that most "soap" or shower gels people use are actually chemical detergents, called SLS or other non-recognizable chemical names. They come from a chemistry lab. Most real soap bars, even if they claim to be true soap, are made in a commercial process often referred to as triple-milled, which most people think is a sign of luxury. It isn't. It allows tons of soap bars to be produced quickly, formed into pretty shapes, and promising to be long lasting. They are pretty, and they do last, but they really take a toll on your skin.
We hand make our soap in small batches, the "cold-process" way, only with plant oils, never with animal fat. In fact, we make it at room temperature (rather than cooking or boiling it), which we think helps conserve the soothing and healing qualities of all the rich oils and ingredients in our artisan recipes. We've studied and incorporated centuries' worth of knowledge on healing plants, detoxifying clays, and essential oils. We even use natural sea salt, which has been used for thousands of years to disinfect and heal skin conditions, as well as harden soap the natural way. We believe in always treating the skin with the utmost respect, never producing the slightest inflammation, even in our exfoliating bars.
Cold process soap making also retains the natural glycerin which is produced during the saponification process (when oils mix with lye and chemically become soap). Glycerin may be the most important ingredient in many skin care products. It is the best humectant, helping the skin retain its moisture and forming a barrier to keep that moisture from evaporating. In the commercial soap making process and triple-milling, that natural glycerin is literally squeezed out and removed, and actually sold off at quite a profit. Some commercial soaps may add back some glycerin when they make the final soap, but it is never as gentle and moisturizing as keeping it in the first place. In fact, the inclusion of glycerin as an ingredient and the words triple-milled is a dead give away that the bar has been commercially produced from dried soap flakes (often industrially produced elsewhere, as cheaply as possible), then shaped and formed into a hard drying bar of soap. it's like the difference between processed foods and home made by mom - there is no comparison!
Our soaps are olive oil-based, and we take the extra time to infuse that olive oil with our Signature Plants Infusion (see more details on our Ingredients page. Many of these plants have been used for millennia in healing wounds, and clearing up skin conditions. Of course we make no such medical claims, but we are sure that if you stop using chemical soap and start treating your skin with natural gentle cold-process soap, you'll see a huge difference in how your skin feels! Just think about why doctors prescribe a drug patch. We put the patch on our skin, and the drugs go straight through the skin to our blood stream. So that handy morning shower gel is really more like a chemical bath. Not the way most of us want to start our day!
Finally, we cure our soap bars on racks for at least two months, usually longer, before we sell you a bar. This allows the soap to be super gentle on your skin, and lets the water (or tea, cream, kombucha, etc) used in production to fully evaporate so the bar lasts longer. We will sell no bar before its time!
Yes, our soap is more expensive than many other options available. One of the reasons so many soap makers use palm oil is that it is cheap. We don't use palm oil products of any sort (https://ourplanetsoap.com/blogs/news/we-refuse-to-use-palm-oil). Not even the so-called 'sustainable version,' which in many people's opinion in not sustainable at all. Instead we pay 2-3 times more for our olive oil as a base rather than palm oil, and then we add many hours of labor infusing that oil with extra goodness. We also add a lot of other expensive and organic ingredients such as concentrated aloe vera, luxury oils like tamanu and marula, and of course, pure scents from expensive essential oils and natural fragrances. Study our ingredient lists, and you'll see all the extra love & care we add to our products. None of these are for 'label appeal,' but are added to calm and pamper your skin, and make the the Our Planet Soap bathing experience a small luxury that will honestly improve your skin.