The Artisan Difference

December 02, 2019

The Artisan Difference

When it comes to handmade soap or mass produced commodity detergent bars, we are well versed in the age old question:

“Is It Really Worth the Price? ” 

While the personal care and body products you find on grocery and drug store shelves are undoubtedly convenient and often times economically efficient, they lack the finesse only found in those which have been made by human hands. This finesse encompasses a level of skill that artisan soap makers have been formulating and perfecting for millennia; skills which are not utilized in bars mass produced using continuous batches and machinery convenience, and most importantly, as outlined in this article, harsh detergents and dangerous chemicals.

The same methods that keep mass produced bars convenient and economically efficient on the store shelves are the same which go directly against the art of soap creation, an art that has been perfected over the course of thousands of years. The mastery of soap making dates all the way back to the time of Babylon, and excavations within the region have found that Babylonians were perfecting their soap making recipes as early as the year 2800 BC. Now, what exactly does this have to do with the comparison of artisan soap making versus mass-produced? Probably more than you’d think!

Because soap making is a craft that has taken thousands of years to develop and perfect, certain skills associated with the creation of soap have been simultaneously developed as well. These skills require human hands, personal techniques and unique recipes developed over each soap maker's careers to translate into high-quality artisan soap, and they’re not quite replicable by the machines actually producing the bars you’ll find on your average store shelf. Rather than being made individually in small batches using a process tried and tested throughout the ages, soap factories will typically make huge and continuous flowing batches with the aid of hundreds of hands or heavy machinery. 

To Us, It's Personal

After all, what's more personal than what you use to cleanse your body's largest organ, your skin?  With commodity soap batches so large, it would be a physical impossibility for the soap to experience the same quality assurance, personal care, and developed technique as one would find in an artisan product, and therefore may not be able to meet the quality criteria set for a product that is to be placed on the skin. With artisan soap, you can rest assured that what you're putting on your skin is something that has been created with personal care.

Isn't All Handmade Soap Created Equal?

This is perhaps the most enduring and frustrating myth in the artisan soap crafter's community.  Each artisan soapmaker spends countless hours of testing tens of ingredient combinations before they are satisfied with the properties of their own unique recipe. 

Soapmaking oils each have different fatty acid makeups and the percentage of each of those fatty acids contributes specific attributes to the quality to the finished soap bar. The eight ingredients in Island Thyme Soap Company's base recipe; coconut milk, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, organic and sustainably sourced palm and palm kernal oil and mango butter were selected to produce the best combination of desired luxury soap attributes. We wanted to formulate a long lasting bar that would create a generous creamy lather for gentle cleansing.

It should be beautiful, gentle, long lasting and smell amazing.

When comparing natural, handmade, and traditional artisan soaps with the mass-produced varieties so often lining store shelves, a simple and similar comparison to make would be that of a microwave dinner to a home cooked meal. While one may offer economic efficiency and convenience, the other provides you with a way to translate tradition, skill, and artistry into a form of body pampering and nourishment, which is precisely the artisan way!

Your skin knows the difference between luxurious handmade soap like the true soap crafted by Island Thyme Soap Company, and now you do too!





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