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Are Natural Soaps Better? Why switching is a game changer

are natural soaps better

In my opinion, natural soap bars are one of the best things to have happened to eco-friendly beauty in the last couple of decades but I didn’t always think like that. It was hard to give up the liquid soap I’d relied on for so long, would I like to switch to s bar of soap, are natural soaps really better, what are the benfits?

Natural soaps are generally considered better as they help to keep your skin in good condition. Ingredients within natural soap boost moisture leaving your skin feeling softer and more hydrated. Natural ingredients and recyclable packaging also help to provide eco-friendly credentials.

Below is a quick lookup table where I’ve featured the most common pros and cons of natural soaps. Of course, I like to get into the detail so continue reading if you’d like to know more.

Advantages of Natural SoapsDisadvantages of Natural Soaps
Gentle on the SkinLimited Shelf Life
Nourishing and HydratingHigher Cost
Environmentally FriendlyVariability
Avoids Harsh ChemicalsLimited Availability
Versatile and CustomizablePotential Allergies or Sensitivities
Pros and Cons of Natural Soaps

By the way, I’ve written a couple more articles about natural bar soaps that you may be interested in reading next:

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What is Natural Soap?

So just what is natural soap?

It is difficult to find a precise answer to this question as there is no standard definition of the word “natural”, it’s subjective.

So in my opinion, natural soap refers to a type of soap that is made primarily from natural ingredients and does not contain synthetic chemicals, artificial fragrances, or harsh additives.

Natural and organic soaps are in stark contrast to commercial soaps which normally contain artificial ingredients in order to support their mass production.

When I think about natural soap I have visions of a master craftsman, a soap maker in a workshop somewhere local making fantastic handmade soaps using traditional methods, using ingredients, such as vegetable oils, plant extracts, essential oils, and natural colourants.

making natural soap
Master Soap Maker at Work Making Natural Soaps

I will get to explore the advantages and disadvantages of natural soap shortly however in this section it’s worth pointing out that natural soap is kind to the skin and due to the absence of harsh chemicals like sulfates and parabens, it’s also great for those with sensitive skin.

More on that later.

Natural handmade soap is also eco-friendly, if only natural ingredients are used then organic soaps are by nature biodegradable. Soap makers are invested in sustainability and this is reflected in the ingredients and packaging they use.

Natural Soaps vs Commercial Soaps/Regular Soaps

So we’ve discussed what natural soap is but how does it compare to commercial or regular soaps?

Natural soap and commercial soap differ in various ways including their composition, manufacturing processes, and effects on the skin.

We should understand these differences in order to help us make informed decisions about which soap we should buy.

As we’ve discussed already natural soap is made from, well, natural ingredients such as vegetable oils, essential oils, plant extracts, and natural colourants.

Organic soaps are usually made by artisan soap makers, they are handcrafted locally in small batches making use of quality ingredients which retain all the beneficial properties of the raw materials.

Unlike commercial soaps, they don’t contain synthetic chemicals, artificial fragrances, and harsh additives.

This allows them to be gentler on the skin, a big positive if you are someone who suffers from sensitive skin.

Natural bar soaps tend to retain and even enhance your skin’s moisture levels helping your skin to remain soft to the touch.

On the other hand, commercial soap is mass-produced using a combination of synthetic detergents, chemical additives, and fragrance oils.

Even though soap lather is not required in the cleaning process many commercial soaps create a rich lather giving the effect of being a good cleanser.

The rich lather and strong fragrances are what people perceive to be good however they are generally created by synthetic chemicals and artificial fragrances.

Harsh surfactants (found in many commercials soap) like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) have the opposite effect to eco-friendly soaps where the skin is stripped of its natural oils which leads to your skin becoming dry.

From an environmental perspective, commercial soaps tend to contribute to water pollution as the synthetic chemicals get washed down the drain.

I would say at this point we don’t truly understand what this is doing to our water courses but it could easily be causing harm to our aquatic life.

Commercial soaps tend to come in cheaper packaging, and although the big soap manufacturers are getting more eco-conscious, many commercial soaps are still wrapped in plastic.

Natural handmade soap on the other hand tends to be packaged in recycled and/or recyclable materials such as craft boxes. The ingredients of the soaps are natural and are biodegradable meaning you can be sure you’re not adding to the environmental crisis we currently find ourselves in.

What are the Benefits of Natural Soap?

Below I’ve listed my top 5 benefits of using natural soap.

1. Gentle on the Skin

are natural soaps better gentle on skin
Natural Soap is Gentle on the Skin

In my opinion, the best benefits are the ingredients found in Natural Soaps such as vegetable oils, shea butter, and coconut oil go a long way to avoiding stripping your skin’s natural oils.

2. Nourishing and Hydrating

Natural handmade soap help to improve the hydration of your skin making it feel soft, smooth, and supple. They contain essential oils, herbal extracts, and vitamins that provide additional benefits to the skin which all help to restore and retain your skin’s moisture balance.

3. Eco Friendly

As with many organic products, natural handmade soaps have biodegradable ingredients, clever recyclable zero-waste packaging and local craftsmanship all make natural soap bars far more environmentally friendly than other commercial alternatives.

4. Avoids Harsh Chemicals – Only Natural Ingredients

Another one of the benefits is that harsh chemicals commonly found in commercial soaps are not present in natural soaps reducing the risk of irritation, dryness, or allergic reactions.

Handmade soaps are made with organic ingredients that have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

5. Versatile and Customisable

Artisan soap makers are now making natural handmade soap in all kinds of shapes, colours, sizes and fragrances to suit everyone’s taste.

This way you can get a soap that will match your bathroom decor!

What are the Drawbacks of Natural Soap?

So I couldn’t answer the questions “Are organic soaps better?” without considering the potential disadvantages as well.

I’m going to warn you though – in my opinion, some of these are a real stretch as these soaps really are that good.

1. Limited Shelf Life

Without all the fancy preservatives there is a theory that eco-friendly soaps won’t last as long as commercial soaps however I’ve personally found that if I store them correctly, especially between uses they will last a long time.

2. Higher Cost

So this drawback is most likely true but for me, paying a higher price for natural soaps is so worth it.

With all the advantages including health, performance and eco-friendliness, you’ll also be supporting local soap makers.

3. Soap Variability

With artisan soaps, no two bars are the same as they are made in small batches.

So they may differ in size or shape and colour and if consistency is important to you then natural bar soaps may not be for you.

Personally speaking, I love the fact that they are all different.

4. Limited Availability

There’s no doubt that you can’t just pop down to your local shop or supermarket and pick up organic soap bars.

This and the fact that local soap makers just don’t produce the volumes that commercial soap companies d means that availability is limited.

You may need to go that extra mile to find some lovely soaps.

5. Potential Allergies or Sensitivities

We’ve already learnt that natural soap is generally considered gentler on the skin, but there is still a possibility of developing allergies or sensitivities to certain natural ingredients.

Some people may have specific sensitivities to botanical extracts, essential oils, or other natural ingredients commonly used in natural soaps.

It’s important to read ingredient labels carefully and perform patch tests if you have known allergies or sensitivities.

Common FAQs

Is Natural Soap Good for Your Face?

Natural soap is good for your face as the natural ingredients are much less likely to cause itching and dryness, it will leave your face feeling soft and hydrated. Natural soaps are now available in many variations including soaps for different skin types as well as specifically for your face.

Does Natural Soap Actually Work – Is it Good?

Most people that try natural soap find that it works so well that they will not revert back to using commercial soaps. People report that the soap is gentler to use and their skin is much softer as moisture is retained. It also aligned with their values eco-friendliness and of shopping locally.

I know I certainly won’t be switching back to commercial soap any time soon.

How Long Should a Natural Soap Bar Last?

With continual use a natural soap bar should last anywhere between three and six weeks however this depends greatly on various factors such as size, ingredients, usage, and storage conditions. This average is no different to commercial soap bars where the lifespan is similar.

Does Natural Soap Kill Bacteria?

are natural soaps better kill bacteria
Natural Soap will Remove Bacteria

Handmade natural soap with ingredients like essential oils or plant extracts can have some antibacterial properties however it’s important to note that the use of soap does not effectively kill bacteria but simply removes it from your skin.

In general, regular handwashing with soaps organic or not, along with proper hand hygiene practices, is an effective way to reduce the risk of spreading bacteria and other germs.


I hope this article goes someway towards you making a decision to switch to natural handmade soap.

I can assure you that in my opinion the benefits substantially out weight the drawbacks making organic soaps a real game changer for your natural beauty routine.

By embracing natural handmade soap, you can enjoy the benefits of nature’s ingredients while promoting a healthier lifestyle for yourself and the environment.

It’s a win-win!

Products Featured in this Article

For products featured in this article visit our Eco Friendly Recommended Products page.

Best Eco Friendly Products - Our Recommendations
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Best Eco Friendly Products - Our Recommendations
  • Best Eco Friendly Products
  • Tested and approved by our team
  • Only the best products make the list

Here at greenerlyfe we've tested hundreds of products and pride ourselves on only sharing the best with you. No email or password needed - just visit the page.

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2 thoughts on “Are Natural Soaps Better? Why switching is a game changer

  1. Eli Richardson says:

    I found it very interesting when you explained that natural soaps don’t contain harsh chemicals that cause allergic reactions. My girlfriend has very sensitive skin, and since she’s moving into my home in a few weeks, I’d like to get a welcome home basket for her. I’ll look for natural soaps and other skincare products for her.

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