The benefits of natural soap bars

The benefits of natural soap bars

Natural soap bars have been building up a lot of momentum in recent years. And it’s no surprise, natural soap bars are pretty darn fantastic and have several brilliant benefits over liquid soaps and shower gels. 

How are natural soap bars made?

Natural soaps are made using natural ingredients such as oils, fats, and butters that are mixed with lye (a mixture of sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide and water). The ingredients undergo the process of saponification (aka they are all mixed together under heat, converting the oils into what we recognise as soap). This process is exothermic (heat producing), and the amount of heat used to produce the soap determines whether it’s a hot or cold process soap. As the name might suggest, cold process soaps are made under much cooler temperatures, and end up with a fresh, cleaner appearance. Hot process soaps are made at a higher temperature and have slightly more rustic, but equally charming, look. A truly natural soap should also be coloured and fragranced naturally too (which of course ours at KiteNest are).

What are the benefits of using natural soap on your skin?

If you’ve never used a natural soap before, you’re seriously missing out! These wonderful bars of loveliness have a lot to offer:

  • Hydrating ingredients: Natural soap bars naturally contain a superstar ingredient called glycerin, which is renowned for its moisturising and hydrating abilities. It’s a humectant, meaning it draws water into the outer layer of the skin from deeper levels of the skin, and even from the air. As such, natural soap bars will help to keep your skin beautifully soft and well-nourished. 

  • Reduced risk of irritation: Many non-natural soaps contain a lot of synthetic ingredients. A common nasty in non-natural soaps is a super drying chemical called sodium lauryl sulphate, which strips the skin of all its natural oils, resulting in excessive water loss and thus rough, flaky skin. Natural soap bars are free from synthetic chemicals and any overly drying ingredients. For this reason, natural soap bars are especially great for anyone who suffers from sensitive or eczema prone skin.  

  • A wonderful smell: Natural soap bars are made with essential oils rather than synthetic fragrance oil, giving them a gorgeously delicate smell that gracefully lingers on the skin.

  • Solid vs liquid soap

    Even if your liquid soap is moisturising, doesn’t irritate your skin and smells great, the humble soap bar still trumps it in lots of other ways:

  • Kinder to the planet: Liquid soaps and shower gels typically come bottled in plastic. Even if these bottles are recyclable, only 50% of plastic waste from our bathrooms actually makes it to recycling centres. By contrast, natural soap bars are easily wrapped in paper, or other biodegradable materials, that help to reduce our overall plastic consumption. 

    • Longer-lasting: If you’re on a tight budget, you might think that a £1.00 bottle of liquid soap from the supermarket is your best bet. But how long does that bottle actually last you? As long as it has a chance to dry properly between uses, a good quality bar of natural soap will last you a really long time. In fact, we’re talking up to six weeks longer than a bottle of liquid soap. A natural soap bar might cost you a bit more upfront, but in the long-run, it works out much better value for money.

  • You’re not buying water: Liquid soaps don’t last very long because they’re primarily made up of water, meaning you need to use a lot more product. By contrast, natural soap bars are made from lots of skin-loving oils and butters that are actually worth paying for. 

  • Palm oil free: We’ve talked about chemical irritants already, but many liquid soaps contain another nasty ingredient. Palm oil. In recent years, over 25% of Indonesia’s rainforests have been destroyed to make space for palm oil plantations, resulting in a dramatic loss of biodiversity. Thankfully, high quality natural soap bars are palm oil free (yipee!)

  • How to care for your lovely new soap bar

    So we’ve convinced you to ditch your liquid soaps for a natural soap bar? Wonderful news! Now here’s how to care for it: 

  • Don’t drown your soap bar: Letting your soap bar sit in a mass of water all day and night will do it no favours. Traditional soap dishes are guilty of quickly filling up with water, but at KiteNest, our sustainable bamboo soap dishes are designed to drain it all off. (Psss, our Sud Up Soap Bundle is the perfect natural soap and dish duo)

  • Make sure your soap gets plenty of fresh air: Now this tip might sound a little silly, but the drier your soap bar gets between uses, the longer it will last. 
  • In order to avoid any excess humidity keeping your soap bar damp, be sure to open up the bathroom window after you’ve finished bathing or showering. 

  • Use a washcloth or a loofah: At the end of the day, you’re more than welcome to wash yourself however you’d like to, but lathering your soap bar onto a washcloth or loofah, rather than rubbing it directly onto your skin, will help your soap bar to last much longer. 

  • Store your soap in a dark, dry space: If you’ve just bought a soap bar that you’re not planning on using for a while, be sure to store it in a dark, dry space at room temperature. One great place to pop it is in a clothes drawer. Your clothes will end up smelling extra lovely, and your soap will be kept nice and fresh for when you’re ready to use it.

  • If you’re looking to be kinder to your skin and the environment this year, then getting yourself a natural soap bar is an easy first step to take. Soaps bars will help you to wave goodbye to plastic waste and nasty ingredients, maintain silken-soft skin, and potentially save you money on liquid soaps that are mostly just water anyway. It’s really no wonder that the humble natural soap bar is quickly becoming a widespread bathroom favourite.