With Great Lather Comes Great Responsibility.
Before we get too deep, quick soap lesson: Soap bars are made from a process called saponification. Simply put, a combination of fats and lye create soap when mixed together. Depending on the artisan, they may choose certain base ingredients and additives to create a desired scent, bar performance, or color. In the case of "hot pour" soap (think the White Bird Bar or the Green Bar your Grandpa showed you) the base ingredients and additives include alcohols, detergents, surfactants and the cheapest ingredients you cannot pronounce typical of synthetic soaps. Sure they cost $0.50 per bar, but you pay less now and pay more later when you skin is out of whack.
Cold process soap is a natural alternative to the detergents and harsh ingredients that come with many "hot pour" synthetic cleansers. There are many skin advantages with cold process soap for Men's Health, but the main drawback you hear is the bar's comparative longevity. However, this is only an issue if you do not know how to take Proper Care of your soap. We will discuss the numerous ways you can extend your bar's life and many you can do for free or you likely already have!
First, why may the bar not last as long? Mileage may vary but it depends on the chosen fats for the base. Depending on the desired performance, a soap maker could use a higher percentage of "hard" or "brittle" ingredients that do not melt as quickly compared to "soft" ingredients. The easy way to think about the soft to brittle gradient is soft are liquid at room temp vs brittle that need some strength to break apart. A 100% brittle soap bar formula would last the longest and a 100% soft the least, but the brittle formula would not create as good of a lather or may not have much moisture where the 100% soft may lather and moisturize well but would not last very long. The key is finding the perfect balance of performance and longevity.
Let's get to the good part: How To Get More From Your Soap Bar. Luckily there are a number of things you may have at your house already. We will also offer some no cost or minimal cost suggestions.
No Cost Options:
- Cut your bar in half. This allows for less soap to be exposed to water at a time.
- Store your bar away from direct water flow. You may be done using it but water may still be hitting it!
- Kind of weird sounding but have one bar per person if possible. Two people using the same bar showering once a day will severely change your bar life.
"Little Goes A Long Way" Options:
- Wash Cloth or other small towel- adds minor exfoliation
- Loofah- heavier exfoliation to remove more dead skin
- Most think of those plastic colorful ones you can find at the dollar store or most other retail locations. Cheap but you get what you pay for.
- Silicone versions have hit the market in recent years. Lather well but do not exfoliate much if at all in my experience.
- We recommend natural versions that are grown in the US. Did you know they are in the cucumber family? Pretty cool!
- Place your bar in a soap sleeve.
- Basically do not use your hand to lather.
- Use a soap holder. If you have one, be sure it allows for a lot of air flow. If you do not have a soap holder or need one that has better air flow, check out our Soap Holder. A dry bar is a happy bar.
- Try our Soap Anchor. It raises your bar off your soap holder creating even more airflow while reducing the chances of awkward soap drops. Get a Grip.
- These options can extend bar life up to 2x when combined!
There are a lot of options to get more out of your soap bar. If you want to upgrade your shower experience and lather with luxury, check out our Proper Soap Bar. It perfectly balances longevity, performance and a subtle yet manly scent using essential oils. We made the worlds first plant based goat's milk soap bar, all the benefits of goats milk soap lovers look for but better!