March 19, By Kyriaki (Sandy) Venetis
Nature has always been the best and gentlest pharmacy when it comes to taking care of our skin. Nature provides emollients like cocoa butter, which is a great antioxidant and skin moisturizer; jojoba oil, which is a great anti-inflammatory; sesame seed oil, which is great for psoriasis and eczema; and tea tree oil, which has great antiseptic and antifungals properties. Find at NATURAL HANDCRAFTED SOAP COMPANY
Nature has also provided us with a lot of great natural scrubs and exfoliators.
Among them, rose clay is a mineral that is great for gently cleaning and exfoliating the skin by drawing out impurities from pores. Another great exfoliator is oatmeal, which is a great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Also another exfoliator that you might not expect is coffee, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and is said to stimulate collagen production.
Natural soap makers use all of these ingredients and many more to create products that are healthy, gentle, and very effective.
So, why don’t conventional mass producing soap makers use these ingredients in their manufacturing (other than sometimes a drop for marketing purposes), because although these natural ingredients work better and are better for you, they’re expensive compared to synthetics that are less effective and can often also irritate your skin.
Looking for some great natural and organic handmade soap makers, I found three great companies – Natural Handcrafted Soap, A Wicked Scrub, and Vermont Soap – each with a good variety of products that are worth looking at.
Natural Handcrafted Soap
Natural Handcrafted Soap are made with an olive oil base, without the use of synthetic chemicals, preservatives, artificial dyes, and synthetic fragrance oils.
Olive oil has great health properties including decreasing inflammation, reducing acne, and is full of antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids to heal and improve skin texture.
The company says that, “Every bar begins with a high percentage of cold pressed olive oil to which we add (a combination of other ingredients, depending on the particular soap, that include) organic coconut oil, palm and castor, avocado, Brazilian nut, almond and hazelnut, tea tree, and copaiba oils.”
These ingredients have some really amazing benefits. Coconut oil, for example, is a moisturizer that’s also great for treating skin conditions, including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, and skin infections. It also has a lot of antioxidants that are great for reducing the signs of premature aging.
Natural Handcrafted Soap has a lot of different blends of soaps that I like. I want to focus on three diverse formulations – the South African Grapefruit with Moroccan Red Clay and Mango Butter Soap; the Oatmeal Organic Soap with Shea Butter and Brazilian Hazelnuts; and the Brazilian Espresso Coffee Scrub Soap with Coffee Butter and Hazelnut, Citrus Oils, and Hint of Vanilla.
The grapefruit in the South African formulation contains vitamin C, which is a natural exfoliator as well as a collagen builder that’s great for reducing fine lines. Vitamin C is also a great antioxidant for reducing free radicals in the skin.
The red clay in the soap has clarifying properties which include drawing out toxins, impurities, and dead skin cells. In addition, the mango butter in the soap has properties including healing rashes, restoring skin’s flexibility, and reducing fine lines. Other ingredients in the soap that have great healing and moisturizing properties include coconut oil and sesame oil.
Among the benefits of the Organic Oatmeal Soap is that oatmeal provides benefits including acting as an anti-inflammatory, soothing dry skin, and has antioxidants. The Shea butter in the soap is an incredible moisturizer, and has vitamin A which is great for reducing wrinkles in the skin, as well as improving the appearance of eczema and dermatitis.
The hazelnut oil in the oatmeal soap is also a great moisturizer as well as an astringent that’s great for acne-prone skin. Also, among the soap’s ingredients is coconut oil, which again is a great moisturizer and great for treating acne conditions.
Another favorite from Natural Handcrafted Soap is the Brazilian Espresso scrub soap. You don’t normally think of coffee as good for your skin, but coffee and coffee grinds are great exfoliators.
Coffee has antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and mildly dehydrates your skin, which is great for reducing puffiness. The coffee grinds make an anti-cellulite scrub, which both scrubs off dead cells and makes skin appear firmer. The caffeine in the coffee also has the benefit of stimulating circulation in the skin.
Another important ingredient in this coffee soap is almond oil. It’s a moisturizer, an anti-inflammatory, and has properties that have proven effective for reducing wrinkles, acne, and exfoliating.
Besides the soaps I just mentioned, the company also has a lot of other types of soaps using various clays, plant extracts, goat’s milk, and a lot of other good stuff that’s worth exploring.
The company has soaps made out of main ingredients including goat’s milk, beer, and oatmeal, which are mixed with other ingredients, including Shea butter and cocoa butter, as well as natural herbs and oils.
A really nice and pretty soap that the company makes is the Lavender Orange Goat Milk Soap. The main ingredient is goat’s milk, which is great for sensitive skin.
Goat’s milk is obviously high in calcium which is important for building strong bones and tissue, like skin, but the milk is also high in vitamin A, which is great for wrinkle reduction. It’s also high in vitamin B, which helps the skin stay hydrated and reduces signs of aging.
The goat’s milk soap also contains some other ingredients that we’ve already talked about including: organic coconut, olive oil, Shea butter, cocoa butter, fair trade organic coffee, and essential oils including lavender and orange.
The company’s “Pure” Beer Soap is also worth looking at. While you might know that beer is a great conditioner for your hair, what you might not know is that it’s also great for your skin.
The hops in beer are considered to have great exfoliating properties, while the beer also works to retain the moisture in your skin. The yeast in beer is also considered to help improve elasticity and decrease acne in your skin.
The beer soap also has a number of other nourishing ingredients that we’ve become familiar with, including those previously mentioned in the goat’s milk soap, as well as cinnamon oil, which is great for acne because its acts as a mild astringent.
We’ve already talked about how oatmeal has great properties like being an anti-inflammatory, soothing dry skin, and having antioxidants; and how goat’s milk improves the condition of your skin by helping build and hydrate your skin, and reduce the appearance of fine lines, but I also want to take a look at what honey does for your skin.
Honey is great because it is a natural moisturizer; is full of antioxidants that are great for rejuvenating the skin; and has antibacterial properties which are great for fighting acne problems.
Also worth a look at A Wicked Scrub are their salves, which include a cocoanut sugar scrub, a cacao mint rose lip moisturizer, and a rose salve which is filled with nutrients, including vitamin C, carotene, and B-Complex that all contribute to cleaning, toning, and rejuvenating skin.
Vermont Soap is another great company that makes its soaps using natural base ingredients and whose soaps are USDA certified organic.
The company says, “Our products are made with a minimum of 70 percent certified organic ingredients.
“Virtually every component comes from plant-based renewable resources, farmed and processed without chemicals, in a sustainable, fair trade manner.” Vermont Soap uses a combination of palm, coconut, olive, and palm kernel oil as the main base oil for all of its soaps.
The company makes a lot of great cleansers including Tea Tree Soap that’s a great antifungal and antibacterial, which is great for clearing up an acne complexion. I personally use a strong tea tree soap that I get from my local health food store and it really works great for keeping my skin clear and not overly dry.
The Rosemary Herb Soap is another great soap from the company.
Rosemary oil has a number of beneficial properties, including the ability to rehydrate your skin, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and bags under the eyes.
Rosemary also has a lot of antioxidants that work to remove impurities, and stimulate regeneration in the skin, which reduces the appearance of scars and spots. Rosemary also has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that are great for treating acne and other skin conditions.
Another soap that I really like from the company is the Oatmeal Lavender. Oatmeal, as we’ve said, has a lot of great properties, including the ability to retain moisture in the skin; has anti-inflammatory properties; and is a great exfoliator.
Lavender has great antiseptic, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, which are great for reducing acing, as well as reducing scars.
Vermont Soap also makes a lot of other things worth taking a look at, like foaming hand soaps, shower gels, oral care products, deodorants, and non-toxic household cleaners.
Reader comments and input are always welcomed!