It is not unusual to see handmade soap at flea markets, farmer's markets, craft fairs and through online sellers. These soaps are often incredibly colorful and contain interesting ingredients like goat's milk or rose petals. As pretty as they are, they are not designed for sitting in a display dish in the bathroom. They are carefully crafted for people to use and enjoy. Since some consumers may feel uncomfortable about using a product that is not as strictly regulated as the brands made by large corporations, it can be helpful to know how to be more assured of its quality.
There are Regulations Small businesses that sell handmade soap are regulated. Consumers can review the federal regulations to make certain the seller is meeting the requirements for labeling and other laws. There are also additional state regulations on cosmetic products that need to be followed.
Contact the Owner People that spend time creating unique soap recipes love to talk with their customers about their products. Asking questions about their methods, how long they have been in business and for recommendations about what soap to try is a great way to become reassured that they are dedicated to the quality of the products they produce. Another good question to ask is about the ingredients they use in their soap. There are more details that consumers may want to know that are not available on the packaging. For example, ask if they are using essential oils rather than chemical fragrances or if they use only organic botanical products. These are two factors that are very important when the company advertises their soap as all-natural.
Perform Allergy Tests Before using any new product on the skin it is always a good idea to do an allergy test. Make a small purchase or ask if samples are available. Apply the soap to the inside of the elbow and cover the area with a bandage for 24-hours. Reactions do not necessarily mean the soap is unsafe or poorly made, but that it is not a product the tester will be able to use.
Purchasing products with a familiar name on the label is not necessarily a guarantee of safety. Even corporations that manufacture hundreds of products will experience the occasional recall. Handmade soap is generally made with the highest quality ingredients, and just as importantly, natural ingredients. Most of these businesses take pride in their soaps and would not risk their reputation by sending out anything but the best they have to offer. Check out a soap retailer, like The Soap Market, for more information.