The Skinny on Soap

Soap — the Deep Dive

Skin is permeable. Body products are absorbed by the body like food. Medically, skin is a route of administration, and yet many people rarely consider the ingredients used in everyday skincare products. Not us. We encourage customers everyday to know if their body products are safe and effective. Why? Because people with skin problems find us first. We solve problems for people. That's what we do. If a side benefit to healthy skin is beautiful skin, that's a bonus. Clear, clean, healthy, well conditioned, ultra-hydrated skin is our specialization. We make skin glow.

There are methods to our madness. sammysoap is a soap factory that thrives year after year with little advertising because we create value in people's lives. Even socially conscious businesses like sammysoap will falter and stagnate if products are not superior in quality and value. We have grown almost exclusively by word of mouth, thriving in the crowded, competitive market of everyday beauty consumables. So you've read this far, now keep going because the "soaps" available to you vastly different in effectiveness, health benefit and pleasurability. 

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

People have always understood that cleanliness correlates to health. Soap has been made the same way for millennia. Fat touches lye and a chemical reaction begins. Many steps and hours later, the result is soap with retained glycerin, a process that had been perfected the world over for hundreds of years. Then for the first time ever, in the 20th century, soap and soap making experienced a significant change of formula.

Though glycerin was isolated and named by French chemist in 1811, the US military discovered that glycerin stabilized explosives in the middle of the 19th century. First, glycerin was used in liquid nitro, then dynamite. Glycerin grew in military importance throughout the early wars of the 20th century and by WWII it was requisitioned from American soap manufacturers for the war effort.

The soap manufacturers sold their glycerin to the government and repurposed industrial degreasers in their consumer soaps. Soap manufacturers substituted detergent for glycerin and they never looked back.

American soap companies now understood that the glycerin in soap was a stabilizer and that it was food safe. So they never reversed themselves. Not only were dams and highways being built all over the country but mining was booming, and many other businesses and militaries wanted gylcerin. Cities were growing, too, and with them, modern retail. The processed food market had born and manufacturers wanted to extend their products' shelf lives. Soap makers developed vast and comprehensive secondary markets for their gylcerins. They created a problem that they could solve with their "new and improved" soaps, striping their customer's skin with detergents then selling water-based or petroleum products to combat "dry skin." They created line extensions for their detergent brands— moisturizers! Not only did their brands gain retail shelf space for their newly created products of necessity, but consumers needed to buy more product in an endless circle of new skincare regimes: strip -> moisturize -> strip -> moisturize -> strip -> moisturize. Water-based moisturizers contain antii-fugals or mold inhibitors— alcohols. Commercial moisturizers are designed to lift, cool and plump skin but they are really drying skin out.

You also may not have noticed that mass market soaps are labeled euphemisms like facial or moisturizing bar because they are not legally soap. They are detergent products masquerading as soap, and the companies that make these cheaper, harsher, toxic, synthetic detergent soap-substitutes try hard to smear the good name of real soap. Detergent pushers want to pretend that their labs create high performance products that are superior to soap. Not even close. Their products may contain hormone disruptors, carcinogens and neurotoxins that are outlawed for consumer use in much of the world.

Real soap is lye soap, the colloquial term made popular by American pioneers. Technically, real soap refers to the cold process method of using lye to turn fats into soap. It's an alchemy called saponification. Lye mixes with fat and the two things become a third: soap with retained glycerin. This ancient method of cold processed soap making can be produced using any kind of fat — wood ash with fat drippings from a roasted animal, any kind of lard or animal tallow, vegetable oil, etc. Many mass market "all natural" soaps are made with slaughterhouse bi-products. In America, a product can be labeled "all natural" and be 20% junk. Products can be labeled "organic" and be 5% junk. Consumers have to see the words together: 100% all natural to know that it's a synthetic free product. We don't use beeswax or goat's milk, either. sammysoap makes only 100% plant soap— the cleanest, most gentle soaps available. No artificial anything.

sammysoap has worked hard to perfect cold process soap making and considers our soap to be the best anywhere. Our soap's creamy dense, luxurious lather is formulated to penetrate skin cracks and crevasses for superior cleaning and skin conditioning— not all lather is the same! Who knew? Synthetic sudsing agents actually do not clean as well as the small, dense lather of a perfected soap like ours, and sammysoap's 90+ artisanal soaps are made exclusively of the highest quality plant ingredients— leaves, buds and oils pressed from the flowers, bud, roots, leaves and stems. Humans have evolved on Earth with these plants and produce the enzymes to break them down and use them like food. sammysoap products are made of the same vitamins, minerals and amino acids as the human body and since human skin is permeable, our ingredients are painstakingly sourced from around the world for therapeutic, sustainable, and fair trade values and practices.  And of course, our gentle 100% vegan soaps are cruelty free.

Our commitment to health extends beyond product to packaging, which is almost exclusively green and certified. We reuse, repurpose and recycle throughout the company. And in addition to all that, we give customers an extrinsic reason for buying soap. Not only is our soap better for your skin, whole system health and the planet, but buying it supports jobs for atypical workers. sammysoap is a job creation machine for adults with intellectual disabilities disguised as the world's best soap company.