What to look for when choosing your soap
The Romans already knew how to make use of the cleansing effects of soap. Nowadays, the question you often ask yourself in front of the soap shelf in the drugstore is: which one? Solid or liquid? Which soap is more hygienic, more ecological and doesn’t dry out the hands? Well, we have gathered a few facts for you.
Liquid vs Solid
Liquid soap, with a pH value of about 5 (similar to the skin), is usually gentler on your skin than a soap bar (pH value of 9 to 10). However, solid soap is significantly better for the environment because it uses much less packaging. It’s often assumed that liquid soap is more hygienic than solid soap however, that’s not the case. In 1988,  researchers contaminated bars of soap with bacteria and then used them to wash their hands; no germs were left behind. In fact, bacteria can just as well accumulate on the pump dispenser of liquid soap! And any visual blemishes on a soap bar can be avoided by correct handling: clean your soap dish regularly by removing soap residue and excess water. If you still prefer the soft, leatheriness of your liquid soap, why not invest in a reusable soap dispenser? That way you’re reducing the amount of plastic waste you create, rather than repeatedly purchasing smaller (and often more expensive) bottles.
Chemical vs Natural
Conventional soaps often contain chemical additives such as dyes, fragrances, preservatives and fillers. These might smell pleasant or feel smooth, but they are not necessarily good for the environment or, in fact, good for people. With natural soaps, the focus is, as the name suggests, on natural ingredients, meaning that only plant extracts, vegetable fats and essential oils are used in the production process. You should also look out for palm oil in the ingredients list, as acres of rainforest are still being destroyed every day to harvest it. Unless a trustworthy source specifies that the palm oil came from a sustainable source, you might want to look elsewhere.
Our top 5 eco-friendly hand soaps
We’ve gathered together our 5 favourite hand soaps, designed for everyday use. They’ll leave your hands feeling moisturised and nourished, even on the 14th wash, and they’re environmentally friendly too! * Please note, we do not receive any compensation for this article, we simply wanted to share the soaps we love!
#1 STOP THE WATER WHILE USING ME!
This Hamburg-based company is on a mission to protect, save and donate water. STOP THE WATER WHILE USING ME achieves this through their considered choice of ingredients, refill systems and water initiatives. [Only available via 3rd parties in the UK.]
Lush soaps don’t just smell delicious, they’re true all-rounders. Each soap is handmade using a palm oil-free soap base containing essential oils. They never test on animals and the soaps come ‘naked’ (no packaging required).
#3 Dr Bronner’s
Dr Bronner is an all-star soap. They never use synthetic preservatives, detergents or foaming agents. All ingredients are organic and certified fair trade.
Ecover’s liquid hand soaps are organic and vegan, and they’re never tested on animals. They’re made from plant-based ingredients with 100% recyclable packaging. They also offer refills in5-litre sizes!
#5 LUCY BEE
Lucy Bee’s Natural Palm Oil Free Soap Bars are made from 100% organic coconut oil and are free from artificial fragrances and artificial preservatives. Also, they were voted # 1 Ethical Best Buy by the UK Ethical Consumer Magazine! That’s as good as it gets…