Soap Benifits

The Benefits of Using Our Handmade Goat's Milk Soap

All our soaps contain 40% raw goat’s milk, milked by hand on our farm. The benefits of goat’s milk has been renowned through out the ages for it’s excellent moisturizing qualities. Rich in proteins and vitamins, it’s no wonder it has been trusted on the most delicate of skins. GreenDay Farms handmade soaps have been made with a variety of vegetable oils that draw and hold moisture close to the skin without clogging pores, creating a rich, creamy and moisturizing bar of soap.


Handmade Soap Versus Commercial “Soap” aka Skin Detergents

The power of the billion dollar marketing industry is unbelievable.   Millions and millions of people fall prey to catchy slogans, hidden messages, vivid imagery, and well-thought out wording. I mean, if we didn’t, the big conglomerates of today wouldn’t exist.

The world of skin care is cut-throat. Everyone is out to make a buck and have you think that you are getting the most “natural” product available. This simply isn’t so, especially in the skin cleanser business.

Did you know that the term “soap” is heavily regulated?  Yep.  It’s true.  Companies are not allowed to use the word soap unless it is truly a REAL handcrafted bar of soap. That is why you see some many “beauty bars” and “dry skin cleaners” and “anti-aging moisturizing bars.”  These soap imposters are cleverly labeled to draw attention away from the fact that they are basically detergents. Yes, you read that right.  Detergents. Like what you wash your laundry with.

So what exactly is the difference between “fake soap” (which we will refer to as detergents from here on out) and the real deal (like the soaps I make at Poppy Soap Co.) Let’s explore this issue together.   My goal is to educate you so that you understand and don’t get sucked into the clever fake soap marketing schemes!

The Soap Making Process

Natural soap is made from a chemical reaction between water,  lye (also known as sodium hydroxide), and fats and oils. These fats and oil are turned into soap and glycerin by a chemical process called Saponification.  This process, when completed properly, leaves you with pure soap, glycerin, and some residue from the natural ingredients in the individual recipe.  Handmade soap is almost always made in small batches. You won’t find huge “handmade soap” factories out there.

Detergents are manufactured by combining chemicals (including petroleum) in a slurry mixer. The mixture heats up on its own as a result of two chemical reactions. Once the mixture heats to a certain temperature it is dried using a vacuum chamber and an atomizer.  The resulting powder is then mixed with various other ingredients to form the final product. Did you follow along with that?  Kind of scary when I break it down like that.

The Ingredients

A natural handmade soap is well, completely natural.
 It may or may not be organic but it definitely will not have a single synthetic ingredient in it!   Essential oils, natural butters, and other natural oils can be added in to change the benefits of the soap as well as the natural scent.  There is nothing else in there.  No preservatives, no synthetic fragrances, no chemical compounds, nothing!  Just pure, natural ingredients from Mother Earth.

The ingredient label on a natural soap should look similar to the one from my Creamy Cocoa Butter (I just picked one at random): Saponified oils of (coconut oil, sustainable palm, olive oil), raw goat’s milk, organic fair trade cocoa butter.


I am quite sure that you have heard of all of these ingredients, nothing scary.  They all come from the earth, and they are all incredibly nourishing for your skin.  Most importantly, they lock moisture in, help keep the skin’s protective barrier intact, and offer healing benefits.

Now let’s look at commercial detergents.  Here is the ingredient list from a popular “natural beauty bar”: Sodium tallowate, sodium cocoyl isethionate, sodium cocoate, sodium laurel sulfate, water, sodium isethionate, stearic acid, coconut fatty acid, fragrance, titanium dioxide, sodium chloride, disodium phosphate, tetrasodium EDTA, trisodium etidronate, BHT, FD&C blue no. 1, D&C red no. 33.

Say what? Other than water, do you see any other ingredient that screams “natural?”  Nope, didn’t think so.

These chemicals that make up the “beauty bar” are doing more harm than good.  They are incredibly drying to start and can often slow down the body’s ability to fight off bacteria or heal from cuts and scrapes.  More alarmingly, some of these ingredients are known to harm the nervous system, interfere with human development, and disrupt hormones.  There are also some known carcinogens in there!

Keep in mind, that the above example is one of the “better” commercial beauty bars.  It has a rather short ingredient list compared to most commercial detergents.  There are all kinds of other super scary ingredients thrown into skin cleaners including anti-bacterial agents like Triclosan. It is classified as a pesticide by the EPA and as a drug by the FDA. The EPA considers it a possible risk to human health and to the environment. Triclosan can pass through skin and is suspected of interfering with hormone function (endocrine disruption).  The extensive use of triclosan in consumer products may contribute to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Let’s not forget about petroleum which makes its way into almost every skin detergent.  Petroleum’s are added in under the auspices of being “moisturizing.” After all, it would appear to act as a barrier, locking in moisture.  In reality, petroleum is incredibly drying as it acts like a de-greaser removing the skin’s natural moisture and oils.  Petroleum can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Studies suggest that exposure to PAHs is associated with cancer. PAHs can also cause skin irritation and allergies.

I could go on and on and on about the dangers of the synthetic ingredients in commercial skin detergents but I think I made my point.

Glycerin and PH Confusion

It is a common misconception that commercial cleansing bars contain glycerin, not true.  The commercial detergent manufacturers usually extract glycerin to use it for lotions and other such skin care products.  Glycerin is expensive and commercial detergent manufactures would rather include it in the more expensive products.  A high quality handmade soap will always have glycerin in it.  This is a compound that soothes and moisturizes the skin. Since glycerin can draw moisture out from the air and into the skin, it helps the skin to remain soft and moist for a long period of time, which generally doesn’t occur when using detergent based, mass-produced cleansers.

Natural soaps contain a pH level around 9-10. It is a complete fallacy that soaps and cleansers must have a pH level that matches with that of the human skin. Healthy skin, cared for with products free of chemicals, will rebalance itself within an hour or two of cleansing. Detergent bars usually have Free Alkali in them, a means of lowering the pH level. This is also what makes them harsh and drying. Basically, the manufacturers are allowing there to be some left over alkali in the soap. This is good for shelf life and increases lather, but is too drying for skin. Free alkali will find every last bit of natural oils in your skin and saponify them (turn them into soap), leaving you dry and “squeaky clean”.

The Fragrance Game

store bought soap vs. handmade soap

The term “fragrance,” “perfume,” or “nature identical oils” on an ingredients list usually represents a complex mixture of dozens of chemicals. Some 3,000 chemicals are used as fragrances. Even products marketed as “fragrance-free” or “unscented” may in fact contain fragrance along with a masking agent that prevents the brain from perceiving odor. Of the thousands of chemicals used in fragrances, most have not been tested for toxicity (alone or in combination). Many of these unlisted ingredients are irritants and can trigger allergies, migraines, and asthma symptoms. People with multiple chemical sensitivities or environmentally linked illnesses are particularly vulnerable, with fragrances implicated both in development of the condition and triggering symptoms. 95% of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum such as benzene derivatives, aldehydes and many other known toxins capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions. Synthetic musks used in fragrances are of particular concern from an ecological perspective. Several of musk compounds are persistent in the environment and build up (bioaccumulate) in the fatty tissue of aquatic organisms. Which leads us to…

Another often overlooked difference between soap and detergents is what happens when the “soap” enters the environment. Natural soaps are biodegradable, environmentally friendly and do not originate from petroleum which does great harm to the environment! You can rest easy knowing that what goes down the drain won’t pollute our sweet Mother Earth further.

So next time you reach for that uber expensive, fancy smanchy, miracle skin cleanser, stop for a moment and really think about what you are putting on the largest organ of your body and what that is actually doing internally as well as externally. Is it worth it? No way!

CSLS Surfactant Free - our products contain:

•No artificial surfactants (foaming ingredients), such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES).
•No artificial moisturizing agents such as Propylene Glycol.
•No Parabens are used as preservatives.