Commercial vs. Handmade Soaps

Natural, Artisan Bath & Body Products

With the outbreak of COVID19, we see signs everywhere “WASH YOUR HANDS, SAVE LIVES”. But ask yourself this, 

Do you love the skin you’re in?

Really, how do you feel about your skin? Not just your hands, but your entire body?

Our skin is the largest organ we have. It’s our first layer of defense against germs, and the first impression we give when we meet someone new. Yet, when it comes to taking care of our skin, many of us choose convenience over quality. We choose the soap that’s on sale or the one on the shelf that claims to have the most benefits. 

The truth is, our skin needs more than just cleanliness. It needs nourishment just like the organs inside our bodies. What we feed our skin is just as important as well. And I can tell you you’re not going to find the nourishment your hands, face and body need in any of the soaps on the shelves at the store. Here are the main reasons your commercial soap could be doing your skin more harm than good.


Many commercial soaps with fragrances contain harmful chemicals that can cause adverse reactions with the hands, face & overall skin. Common hazardous chemicals found in commercial soaps include benzaldehyde, benzyl acetate, sodium laurel sulfate (SLS), and ethanol. And unnecessary ingredients like the maltol, which is just a flavoring agent. 

Dove soap, “the people’s favorite,” is loaded with synthetic lab-made ingredients that have names that make my head hurt trying to pronounce. Of course, Dove isn’t the only “soap” using so many chemicals, ALL of the commercial soaps like Lever 3000 & Irish Springs are following suit.

Look closely at your commercial soap bar. You’ll notice Dove doesn’t even call itself soap, it’s a “cream bar” as stated on the packaging!

Voss Botanical’s handmade soaps are made of only therapeutic-grade essential oils, which are derived from plants. Essential oils have medicinal and aromatherapeutic properties that aid with natural, healthy skin. Fragrance oils, used in virtually all commercial soaps, are lab-made and must be used with caution on skin types. Voss Botanicals avoids using fragrance to ensure that our soaps are soothing to the skin and not irritating.


The key ingredient for moisturizing is glycerin. Glycerin is a skin emollient produced from the saponification process. Commercial soap companies remove the glycerin from their soap to force you to have to buy a separate moisturizer instead of getting everything your skin needs from the soap. It’s a set-up! Think of how many brands offer both soaps and lotions.

Voss Botanicals’ hand made soap naturally moisturizes without the complex ingredients of commercial soap. Our ingredients and process are simple: base oils & hard butter (coconut, olive, castor bean, sunflower & shea butter ), sodium hydroxide, and water, and this keeps the glycerin in!


When it comes to making soap, just like cooking, sewing, or farming, you want to have a connection to the process. It’s comforting knowing who makes your everyday essentials. Commercial soap companies have no connection to their process. For them, it’s all about making a buck regardless of if the product is beneficial or not.

Voss Botanicals respects the soap-making process. We make everything by hand in small, five-pound batches to ensure quality. 

The process of making hand made soap dates back thousands of years. The traditional way of making soap is through a process called cold process. The cold process method requires no added heat aside from melting the oils. Each ingredient is blended together to form a thick mixture of oil and water, which is put into a mold. After 24 hours it is removed from the mold, cut into bars, and allowed to cure for 4-6 weeks.

It’s a delicate hands-on process, more valuable than the soulless routine of commercial soap. The process of commercial soap is mass-produced in large scale factories with hundreds of machines involved. Detergents and synthetic ingredients are added for reasons that don’t benefit your skin, and the glycerin you need is removed & resold in the cosmetic industry. 

In summary

In this age of enlightenment, there is no reason to continue to be blissfully ignorant about what you apply to your body. Soap should be what we expect it to be, moisturizing and beneficial.

No matter what, your body is a natural living thing and it deserves to use the finest & quality ingredients. Commercial soap companies are just trying to capitalize on our health by using the cheapest ingredients to sell them at prices we love. But for so many of us who feel we have sensitive skin, these chemicals contribute to your skin problems. The truth is we all have sensitive skin! Just like your stomach, liver, & kidneys, our skin is an organ that needs extra care.

Big brands know this, but they’re banking on you, the consumer, not doing your homework. Now that plant-based products are becoming more popular, you’ll start to see more of these brands start to advertise “natural” or “simple” ingredients to get your attention. Be sure to read the labels and know what you’re putting into (and on) your body & what you use to wash your hands. 

Check out our top-selling, all-natural, all hand made soaps and make the switch.

Honey and Oats Soap:

Vanilla Coffee Bean Soap:

Cucumber Aloe Soap:

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