I love seeing other people’s handmade soaps to see what they look like, smell like, and of course have in them for ingredients. I am always up front about the fact that I make soap and am there to admire their product. Sometimes I even buy some of their soap because I love good soap.
However, as with all products, it is a buyers beware market. READ THE LABELS! Last week I was at a farmers’ market and stopped to look at someone else’s soap. I knew that they made a “melt and pour” soap, which means that they buy blocks or gallons of a soap base, then melt it, and pour the base into their soap molds. They can have some pretty fancy shapes and sizes using this method. But what caught my eye at this soap tent was their liquid soap. I am in the final stages (I think and hope) of releasing an herbal, liquid hand soap, so I am fascinated with ingredients and colors of all liquid hand soap. You know when you buy a new car, and you suddenly start noticing how many of those types of cars are all over the place? That’s what liquid soap is to me right now.
This particular liquid soap was clear. Crystal clear- like water. I was fascinated, because a good liquid soap is transparent, and the transparency is a gauge of whether you have unsaponified oils left over. Unsaponified oils will not negatively affect the quality of the liquid soap, but they can cloud the finished product. I have never seen clear, handmade liquid soap. Before I looked at the ingredient list, I asked the soapmaker if she made the liquid soap. And then I looked at the ingredient list.
HOLY GUACAMOLE! There was Sodium laureth sulfate and ammonium lauryl sulfate. There was paraben, and a whole lot of ingredients that I can’t pronounce. WOW! I asked the soap maker if she kept these ingredients in her house, but she didn’t answer me.
I make soap for many reasons, but one of the reasons is to control what goes on my skin. I love selling my soaps at farmers’ markets because I think they fit in with fresh produce, grass fed meat, maple syrup, just baked bread, and raw milk. This liquid soap was like having a vendor selling microwaved, frozen fish sticks at a farmers’ market.
I like making soap that is good for people’s skin and the earth. You will never find chemicals, preservatives, dyes or chemical fragrances in Medicine Wheel Herbals’ soaps. So Buyers Beware! Read their labels, and please, read our labels!