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In general, handmade soap is gentler than most commercially processed soaps. You might find that with handmade soap you’ll have more options to choose from without irritating your skin. With so many choices, it can be hard to know which to try first. Here are a few tips I like to share for those wanting to know where to start.
First, if you are allergic to anything, whether it’s a skin sensitivity, food allergy or any other type of allergy, you need to check the ingredients and avoid anything with that substance. For example, if you are allergic to coconut or soy, avoid products that list those as ingredients.
Next, look for simple, unscented formulas with few basic ingredients. I would recommend any of SubEarthan Cottage’s Basic Soaps as a starting point for those with sensitive skin. Start slowly when using a new soap or formula. I recommend doing a patch test if your skin is very sensitive. At the very least, try washing your hands or another less sensitive body part for a few days before trying it on more delicate areas such as your face.
Once you’ve found a basic formula that works well for you, if you’d like to try something “fancier”, look for a soap with a similar formula plus one or two additional ingredients. Again, I would test the soap on a less sensitive area for a few days before using it all over.
Finally, if you’re not ready to commit to a full bar without testing it first, many soap maker’s offer samples, so don’t be afraid to ask. I do offer 0.5 oz samples for $0.50 plus the cost of shipping.