While I love shopping, I also try to embrace the simplicity in life. Enjoying nature without technology, reading a book with pages I can smell and physically turn, and one of my absolute favorite things in the world – handmade soap.
From my experience working in beauty retail, I’d gained knowledge here and there about certain ingredients and how they affect your body. One little fact stuck with me to my adult years – shower gel, with all its chemical ingredients and strong, fake floral and fruity scents – once down the drain actually take 300 years to break down. 300 years!
So in recent years, I made a conscious decision to start looking at homemade, all natural skincare. I haven’t made the complete switch, as these things must take time, but skincare seemed like a great to start.
There’s something very rustic about handmade soap. Something so simple, yet it feels utterly luxurious to lather up a wonderfully smelling bar and feel so clean after using it. It conjures up thoughts of old actresses lathering up a cake of soap. The earthy and nature-found scents create romantic reminders of pioneers in covered wagons or ladies of the Jane Austen era using such forms of soap to cleanse themselves. For a history buff like me, that alone makes it such fun to buy them. The techniques modern soap makers employ often are the same ones used by generations before. It’s a well-maintained craft I can appreciate.
My hoard of handmade soap has grown in the past few years. Some people stock up on shower gel when it goes on sale. When I find a soap maker I like, I stick to them and I’m loyal for life. Three of my favorite soap makers are Little Egg Harbor Soap Company from Marmora & Historic Smithville, New Jersey, Fire Island Soap Co. from Bay Shore, New York and my local Cream City Soap Company in Milwaukee, WI.
Scents like Rosemary Mint, Lemongrass, Tea Tree & Bamboo Charcoal, Lavender and Eucalyptus and Verbena & Sea Salt are hard to come by on drugstore beauty shelves. Buying them allows me to get to know the owners and what they stand for as a small business. I feel great knowing I’m supporting local/small businesses and that what I’m using on my body is natural and derived from plant-based materials, it’s safe for the environment and gentle on my skin.
I encourage you to check out the links below to my favorite soap makers and give bar soap a try!
Little Egg Harbor Soap Company: http://lehsoap.com/
Fire Island Soap Co. http://www.etsy.com/shop/FireIslandSoap/about?ref=announce
Cream City Soap Company: http://www.creamcitysoapcompany.com/