The benefits of natural soap are plenty.
Natural soap is far different from commercially-made soaps or store bought soaps in that they contain glycerin, no harsh chemicals and no artificial fragrance oils...or so you hope (read on to learn more).
All soap must undergo a process of chemical restructuring called "saponification". During the process of saponification, oils or fats combine with sodium hydroxide (or lye) to create a substance that is considered a salt of a fatty acid. No lye remains in the final product just as no free-floating oils do. It's a completely different product after it has saponified and cured.
A natural biproduct of this soaping process is glycerin. Glycerin is a natural humectant, meaning it pulls moisture from the surrounding air and draws it to it.
One of the benefits of natural soap is the integrity of the glycerin. Handmade, natural soaps retain their full glycerin amount, as a natural bar of soap should. Unfortunately, this is not the case with commercially manufactured soaps, or more accurately, detergents (yes many store-bought bar soaps are actually classified as detergents due to their horrible list of artificial ingredients).
It is common practice among the large soap manufacturers to remove most, if not all, of the glycerin produced by this soaping process. Glycerin itself is a very profitable ingredient that can be used to produce lotions, lubricants and most recently e-cigarettes. Funny thing isn't it that companies who remove glycerin from their soap turn around and sell you that same glycerin you should have already enjoyed in another product to add moisture to your now dried out skin. ...shameful...
The great news is that natural soap makers do not do this deceiving practice - they keep the glycerin in the soap. By allowing the glycerin to remain unadulterated in the soap, natural bar soap takes on a very moisturizing quality. Of course, all soap will strip your skin of oils and dirt - that's kind of why we use them. However, if the glycerin is left inside the soap, this glycerin will be absorbed into your skin during bathing, and will remain even when the soap rinses away. This naturally maintains moisture better than artificially made soaps (again void of glycerin) by naturally drawing moisture to the skin throughout the day.
Please be aware, however, with the recent emergence of natural, handmade soap to the main stream market place, many fakes have arisen. Walking down the bath isles of your favorite health food store can have your senses all tingly with delight. The rough edges of the soaps make it seem like your friendly neighbor just whipped up a batch with ingredients from her garden. However, with a discerning eye, one can easily read the long list of potentially hazardous ingredients listed on the backside of the product.
When a market exists for making money, companies will make their money by any means necessary. You must read labels and understand who you are buying the "natural soaps" from. Just because they look handmade and all natural doesn't mean they are. I can't tell you how many times I have walked through a craft show, hoping to chit chat with other handmade soap vendors about their products, only to find out that the same makers of "all natural soap" actually put artificial fragrance oils and colorants in their soaps. Why can they do this you ask? Because the federal labeling laws allow it!
All Natural Label Means Nothing
Yes, it's true. Calling anything "all natural" literally means nothing in the world of advertisement. This label claim is not regulated by the federal government the way "organic" is. This means that any and every company who feels like using it can without so much as a slap on the wrist. To further the problem, many artificial colorants are actually considered and classified as "nature identical" by the governmental bodies overseeing product ingredient listing. For instance, oxides are considered natural colorants. I was even swooned in my first year of business by their remarkable bright colors and enticing names like "cosmic blue" and "vivacious violet". After much research, I discovered that oxides are primarily created in a laboratory to mimic the actual natural mineral. It is said this is done to "protect" us consumers from being exposed to other potentially hazardous elements in the naturally-mined oxide such as lead and mercury. The frustrating part, is that oxides are marketed so heavily as all natural, most soap makers don't look past the surface to discover the truth about them. But thank goodness we did early on and now, all we use to color our soaps is pure herbs and clay.
Benefits of our Natural Soaps
Not only do we use actual ingredients that actually came from Earth, but combine the benefits of glycerin found in natural handmade soaps with the benefits of grass fed beef tallow, and you have an amazing powerhouse of awesomeness! Not only does grass fed beef tallow hydrate your skin better than arguably any other ingredient in the world, it is biologically compatible with our own skin's oil, thus allowing almost immediate absorption into all THREE layers of the skin.
Plus, we choose to use only the finest ingredients, in their purest form, to ensure we produce a clean, completely natural (if not all organic) bar of handmade soap. When it comes to our shea butter, we only use Grade A (the highest) unrefined virgin shea butter from Ghana. Our coconut oil is unrefined, virgin and organic. And the list continues.
When you have a pure bar of soap, amazing things can happen. Just listen to what one of our customers had to say:
"I have tried everything from the purest, all natural and mind you, expensive store bought soaps to the harshest, chemically-laden soaps actually prescribed by my doctor and I was still experiencing serious acne all over my face. I tried leaving my face alone for an entire month, not washing it or moisturizing it except for a rinse during my shower. That didn't help. I tried washing my face twice a day and using the most expensive creams and cleansers I could find. That didn't help. I was so frustrated. Then, my friend invited me to a holistic festival in Northern Colorado and that is where I found Nefertem Naturals and their soaps. The soap maker explained how certain essential oils are known to improve the condition of a person's skin and she recommended the Problem Skin TLC soap. I have been using the soap for the last 2 months and I haven't had a breakout in over 5 weeks. I follow up with plain grapeseed oil and am so impressed with the results. I am absolutely in love with these natural bar soaps. They are the best!"