Read the Label
I was shocked when I picked up a box of a well known "Pure and Gentle Soap with Natural Oils" and read the label and compared the ingredients to MY pure and natural, handmade, cold-process, goatsmilk soap.
My official (INCI) soap label ingredients are Goatsmilk (Caprae Lac) Olive Oil (Olea Europaea), Coconut Oil (Cocos Nucifera), Sodium Hydroxide. I translated it into the same format as Pears below so you can see the difference.
The INCI list (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) is a mandatory nomenclature on cosmetics since 1999. Created in 1973 by an American association, the INCI list aims to standardize the ingredients present in a product cosmetic.
Fresh Goatsmilk, Sodium Cocoate, Sodium Olivate, Glycerin.
Water, Sorbitol, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Rosinate, Glycerin, Sodium Palmate, Sodium Stearate, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, PEG-4, Sodium Laurate, Alcohol, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Metabisulfite, Sodium Sulfate, Perfume, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Lauryl Alcohol, Tetrasodium EDTA, BHT, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Cinnamal, Eugenol, Limonene, Linalool, Linalyl Acetate, CI 12490, CI 47005.
Many of these ingredients - expanded on Pears Wiki page - are chemicals of concern for cosmetics as listed in the Skin Deep database. It made me a little sad as the company is over 200 years old and they used an innovative hot process method with potassium hydroxide rather than sodium hydroxide.
...the soap was first produced and sold in 1807 by Andrew Pears, at a factory just off Oxford Street in London. It was the world's first mass-market translucent soap. Pears began to experiment with soap purification and eventually managed to produce a gentle soap based on glycerine and other natural products. The clarity of the soap gave it a novel transparent appearance, which provided a marketing advantage."
Choice asked Active Premium Beverages, the company behind Active Organic Goat's Milk Hand Soap, why the product is labelled Goat's Milk Hand Soap when it doesn't list goat's milk in the ingredients, and whether they were aware this creates a misleading impression.
Lots of soapmakers selling goatsmilk soaps are not even soapmakers! Make sure you ask for the ingredients if you are buying goatsmilk soaps. People are buying this, this, this or this and selling soaps as handmade.
Melt and Pour goatsmilk "soap"
Aqua, Goats milk, Glycerin, Lauric Acid, Propylene Glycol, Pentasodium Pentetate, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Laurate, Sorbitol, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Stearic Acid, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Titanium Dioxide.
5 reasons to use Natural Soaps
Don't let misleading claims put you off using natural soaps, just find a trustworthy soapmaker as the benefits for your skin and health are significant.
1.The skin is your largest organ absorbing and reacting to EVERYTHING that you put on it. Using Natural Soaps reduce your exposure to synthetic chemicals. Make sure you read the labels on ALL your cleaning products, you will be shocked at what is in them, even in baby shampoos and bodywashes.
2. The glycerine produced in the natural soap making process will keep your skin in its best condition as it is a natural humectant attracting moisture to your skin. Commercial soaps remove the glycerine and sell it separately and detergents/shampoos add synthetic moisturisers instead.
3. One product has five uses in the bathroom alone. Lathering up your body (1) and hair (2) in the shower, used as a moisturising makeup remover (3), or a shaving cream (4) and finally cleaning the sink (5)
4. Smudge Soap is better for the environment as it is made predominantly with natural ingredients sourced locally reducing air miles and is septic tank safe.
5. You can use it to clean your whole house. The foaming soap makes quick work of stainless steel cooktops and benches, you can also dilute the liquid soap with water in a spray bottle to clean a range of surfaces and even spray on the floor before mopping.