Och Vegan Handmade Natural Soap 160g
Och Vegan Handmade Natural Soap 160g

Vegan Natural Soap, everything you need to know

Soap exists in several forms and various natures: surgeries, industrial, artisanal, organic, and natural.

As we know, soap in liquid form generates waste because of plastic containers. It also contains substances that at best do not cleanse the skin, at the worst turn out to be toxic.

Between palm oil soaps and those containing petroleum-based ingredients, we tell you everything about this cosmetic that is not always clean.

What do we mean by “soap”?

The solid soap

At the base of any solid natural soap, there is what is called “saponification” or to be more precise, basic hydrolysis in an alkaline medium.
Saponification is a chemical reaction, but natural, obtained by mixing a basic reactant (fat) and an alkaline reactant (soda or potassium).
As a result of this transformation, soap and glycerin are obtained.

Glycerin acts in particular on the hydration of the skin. Being hygroscopic (absorption of humidity in the air) it is appreciated in cosmetics because its occlusive properties protect the skin from external aggressions (wind, cold, pollution, etc.). It is found under the name of “glycerin” or “glycerol”, it is an alcohol which has beneficial properties for the skin.

Where the shoe pinches are the origin of glycerin. It can be vegetable (recommended for cosmetics), synthetic (from the petrochemical industry and therefore polluting) or of animal origin.
There’s no way to know just by reading the ingredients where the glycerin comes from.

There are two major soap-making processes:

Cold saponification

Cold saponification is a so-called “total” chemical reaction, ie it stops when one of the two reactants is exhausted. In this method, the two components are oil and soda.

This process requires an excess of oil to ensure no soda in the final soap. There will therefore remain in the latter unsaponified oil, this is what is called a “surges” soap. Surges can also be obtained by adding fat at the end of saponification, just before solidification, when all the soda has been transformed.

Hot saponification

Saponification of the “cauldron method” includes two reagents according to the same principle as cold saponification (a basic reagent and an alkaline) namely oil and potash.

The shower gel

A shower gel is a soap composed mainly of water, it then contains surfactants and gelling agents. This product contains the same ingredients as its solid counterpart but with the addition of glycerin and water. The natural alternative to industrial shower gel exists, just mix a natural soap with water and vegetable glycerin by heating everything.

However, in industrial manufacturing, the addition of water implies greater use of preservatives to prevent the development of micro-organisms (bacteria and fungi).


The pH of dermatological bread is close to that of the skin. It would leave intact the hydrolipidic barrier and the natural balance of the skin, subject however to the type of surfactant used in the formulation. Indeed, some surfactants are more aggressive than others (avoid sodium lauryl sulphate for example).

What do the regulations say about ingredients in cosmetics?

This only excludes any traces of products used during the manufacturing process.
Substances present below 1% may, however, appear out of order.

The labels can be very difficult to decipher and that is why, in addition to the claim “the fewer, the better”, we cannot easily advise anything other than to be attentive to the substances decried, to find out about scientific research as well as existing alternatives.

Why do we say “no” to industrial soap?

Palm oil or “Sodium palmate”
It’s production has a very good yield but actively participates in massive deforestation throughout the world. These are often intensive monocultures greedy in hectares.

Some brands claim that their palm oil comes from sustainable forests, but the fact is that controls and checks on “sustainable” production do not exist. This is therefore only a matter of good faith on the part of the company.

Mineral oils from the petrochemical industry

They create a greasy film on its surface and give a false sensation of softness. The skin breathes less well, it is even possible to observe a few more rashes.

These names designate some substances to avoid:
Paraffinum Liquidum
Cera Microcrystalline
Words containing methicone or siloxane
mineral oil

Hydrogenated oils

The hydrogenation process profoundly changes the fatty acid structure of the oil. In the cosmetics industry, hydrogenated oils are more stable, keep better and are easier to apply. Unfortunately, hydrogenation deprives the oil of certain benefits necessary for hydration.

They are difficult to identify, some contain the word “hydrogenated” and others do not.
Here are some examples:

Esterified oils

Esterified oils are very often used for so-called “dry” oils. This process makes it possible to obtain a fatty substance that is more resistant to time, which goes rancid less quickly. Unfortunately, this chemical transformation depletes the oils in vitamins and fatty acids, which are beneficial substances for the skin.
Like hydrogenated oils, esterified oils are quite difficult to flush out.
However, there are recurring ones:
Cocoglyceride, coco-caprylate or caprat: derived from coconut oil,
To identify natural vegetable oils, find the name of the plant followed by “oil” in the list of product ingredients.


But these additives are very controversial. They could promote the development of breast cancer and have negative effects on the endocrine and reproductive system.
To date, the ASNM and EFSA studies responsible for regulating the marketing of substances have not officially concluded that there is any danger.

animal fats

In cosmetics, animal fat does not damage the skin, but neither does it benefit it, unlike vegetable oils. The consumer, therefore, pays for an “empty” ingredient. The use of animal fats is, therefore, more a matter of ethics than of health.
Beef fat is identifiable as “Sodium tallowate”.
Handmade soaps often exclude animal fats from their composition.

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