by Nicole P
July 30, 2019
Soap is one of the products most of us use daily without giving a second thought. Whether you use a bar of soap, bodywash, or other form of liquid soap, this product is perhaps the most important when it comes to daily skin maintenance.
Yet so few of us consider what is in our soap. Many commercially available soaps use a mixture of animal fats, synthetic chemicals, and/or unsustainably sourced palm oil products.
Thankfully, savvy consumers have an alternative! Natural vegan soaps can be affordable, effective, and of course, animal friendly.
To understand what makes a soap natural and/or vegan, let us first examine what is contained in a typical commercially available body soap. Perhaps the most “standard” soap on the market today is Dial Gold Antibacterial Bar Soap.
Let’s review a few of the ingredients straight from the Dial website:
Soap (Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Palmate, Sodium Cocoate, Sodium Palm Kernelate): this “soap” ingredient is actually a mixture of five (5) compounds. Sodium tallowate is a common soap ingredient sourced from animal fat with sodium hydroxide. This concept has remained the base of most soaps going back hundreds of years.
Palm acid: a derivative of pure palm oil. As we will discuss in greater detail below, palm oil is actually a fantastic ingredient within soaps and other skincare products. However, most palm oil is unsustainable and can lead to environmental issues due to farming methods.
Other synthetic ingredients: Parfum (fragrance), CI 19140 (Yellow 5), CI 45350 (Yellow 8), CI 14700 (Red 4), Coumarin, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool, Benzyl Alcohol, Eugenol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Citronellol. There is also a litany of synthetic dyes, fragrances, and emulsifiers.
If those ingredients have you concerned -- not to worry! There are many natural alternatives available for those who are willing to look.
It is important to understand that the above reasons to avoid many commercial soaps have much more to do with the additives than they do with avoiding animal products. There are individuals who believe sticking to vegan soaps is important while others may choose natural soaps with sustainable animal products.
Here are just a few reasons to consider choosing artisan soaps that are natural, GMO-free, and free of potentially harmful chemicals such as parabens and sulfates!
Many vegan soaps have a positive environmental impact due to how their ingredients are sourced. Thankfully, there are absolutely green alternatives that allow vegan consumers to use animal-free soaps as well.
Consider looking for soaps that use RSPO certified palm oil. This ensures that the vegan palm oil being used in your soap(s) has been sustainably and responsibly sourced. It is important to remember that the ingredients themselves are generally not the issue, it is the farming methods that can harm our precious natural resources.
Nearly all soaps are made using a combination of fats (animal or plant based) and lye. What makes soap natural is the presence of other synthetic ingredients or lack thereof. Refer back to the ingredients list for the Dial bar in a previous section. Skipping the synthetic dyes, fragrances, and preservatives found in many skincare products allows a soap to be considered natural.
Not necessarily! Vegan soaps are just another category of soaps. Some vegan soaps are cheaply made, others are affordable with high-quality ingredients, and still others are branded at high prices as luxury items. If you are interested in maintaining a vegan lifestyle, there will almost certainly be a vegan soap that fits your needs.
Artisan soaps and shampoo bars from The Yellow Bird are always naturally handmade in the USA using cold process techniques. We believe in delivering skin and hair care products that fit our customer’s lifestyles and budgets! Feel free to read more about our story to get to know The Yellow Bird.
Most of our soap products are 100 percent vegan, with the exception being our responsibly sourced Goat’s Milk Lavender Soap Bar, which uses (you guessed it) goat’s milk.
Here are some of our vegan soap options or you can shop all of our vegan products HERE:
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