Now more than ever, consumers are thinking more consciously about the production process and origin of the products they’re shopping for. Making informed purchasing decisions based on how our favorite items are made is (or should be) a huge factor in how we shop for ourselves and our loved ones.
Conscious consumption leads us toward wise environmental practices like being cruelty-free and choosing natural vegan soaps over other types for their nourishing skin care benefits, and for the fact that they’re kind to animals.
This awareness can ultimately create a healthy society full of people who choose environmentally conscious living, which will also help wider communities thrive. So, if you’re looking for a way to shower more naturally with products that are good for you and the planet, shopping for vegan-friendly, plant-based soaps is a great place to start.
There are many benefits associated with replacing conventional soaps with natural soaps. But it’s important to know what to look for beforehand since, unfortunately, many brands practice greenwashing or misleading labeling. Here’s what’s worth knowing before making the switch.
Should my soap be organic?
If you’re looking for a gently scented, natural soap that’s kind to your skin and environment, then organic is the way forward. Not only are organic soaps better than their chemical-laden counterparts, but they are also much easier (and often cheaper) to produce.
Organic soaps contain plant-derived base oils and other necessary fats, rather than “natural” or synthetic ingredients. This means that no harmful chemicals are found in these soaps, which can often irritate your skin. The lack of harsh toxins also means less environmental damage is caused during production. What’s more is that many companies that commit to organic also set sustainability high throughout the manufacturing process goals, from growing their own ingredients to packaging and responsibly discarding of waste.
What are the benefits of vegan soaps?
Kinder to the skin
For starters, most vegan-friendly soaps are free of parabens, sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) and triclosan, which are present in conventional soap products and can irritate and cause damage to your skin long term. Organic, vegan-friendly soaps are made with nourishing natural oils that can help moisturize stubborn itchy and dry patches.
Cruelty-free is the way to be
If you’re not familiar with some of the ingredients we’re referring to, a quick Google search will yield pages of results. A couple include tallow (animal fat) and animal-derived milks, such as goat’s milk. Instead, plant-based soaps use natural sources of fat like coconut oil, which is then augmented by botanical herbs (essential oils from plants, flowers, spices and fruits) for natural fragrance, rather than synthetic ingredients.
Better for the environment
As mentioned, businesses that manufacture natural soaps often care about animal welfare, human welfare and eco sustainability. That’s why they go the natural route. For the brands that use unnatural ingredients, there’s often production runoff that can destroy wildlife and poison rivers. Since natural soaps are made with biodegradable botanical-based ingredients (like aloe vera), they break down more quickly after use, which means they’re less likely to harm water cycles or other living beings in lakes nearby after you wash your hands.
Your skin is your body’s largest organ. It absorbs lotions, soaps, serums, etc. into the body. Plant-based ingredients are effective in promoting healthy skin. Organic oils, butters and herbs are combined with flowers to create a rich lather that removes dirt from pores – while also providing relaxing aromatherapy – leaving your face clean and smelling great at the same time.
Support small business
There are so many small businesses dedicated to making artisan soaps. We love The Right to Shower, Plantlife and Sappo Hill. When you shop small, you’re showing the marketplace that there’s demand for the item you’re purchasing. In this case, it’s natural, vegan-friendly soaps! Thanks to you, the small biz is more likely to remain open and continue producing quality products.
Soaps are expected to be antibacterial. Many that market themselves a such, unfortunately, contain chemicals that can put you at risk for health issues (cough, parabens, cough). Non-synthetic ingredients, such as peppermint, cleanse skin without harming its vital systems.
Natural soaps often contain more antioxidants than conventional soap, which help repair damage by free radicals on our bodies’ cells (especially those deep in wrinkles). Another fun fact, natural soaps have a higher pH level between 9-10 instead of 7-8, where most commercial brands land.
Variety is the spice of life
The soaps that fall into this category are often made in small batches, which gives consumers access to a variety of scents, sizes, colors, textures and shapes. So whether you’re shopping for yourself or a friend, you’re sure to find something that feels personalized.