Someone recently asked me,
"So when customers ask what makes handmade soap special, what do I say?"
She wanted to give the best answer possible, and picked up her pen while she waited for an answer. There's more than one reason why handmade soap is superior to commercial, but if I had to explain it in a minute or less, I'd say this:
The biggest difference between handmade soap and commercially made soap is the copious glycerin content, left in handmade soap.
Glycerin is a humectant. Humectants attract water from the air, onto our skin. A master of hydration that leaves us feeling soft and comfortable, it's a natural by-product of the chemical process that produces soap.
Commercially made soaps produce lots of glycerin too, but it's not retained. A lucrative industry, most of it is skimmed off and sold for other purposes. Glycerin is versatile and completely non-toxic, so manufacturing companies use it for everything from pharmaceuticals to printing. The problem is, extracting it from the finished product is one of the reasons mass-produced soaps makes us feel so dry and tight after showering with them.