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Commercial Soap vs Homemade Soap

From a gold colored commercial soap label

I found what I could on each ingredient. Those items under “soap” is the chemical name for the actual soap. I typyically do not use animal fats.

Active Ingredient –

Benzalkonium Chloride 0.10%: Antibacterial agent.  Effectiveness unknown and judgement by the FDA has been postponed to collect more information on the effectiveness.

Inactive Ingredients Soap

Soap (*Contains One Or More Of These Ingredients):

  • Sodium Tallowate*:  Beef fat that has reacted with sodium hydroxide (soap)
  • Sodium Palmate*:  Palm oil that has reacted with sodium hydroxide (soap)
  • Sodium Cocoate*:  Coconut oil that has reacted with sodium hydroxide (soap)
  • Sodium Palm Kernelate*:  Palm Kernel oil that has reacted with sodium hydroxide (soap)

Aqua (Water, Eau): Water

Talc: A naturally occurring mineral often found with asbestos. There is a weak link between talc and ovarian cancer.

Coconut Acid: during the saponification process (oil reacting with sodium hydroxide) a by-product of coconut oil is glycerin. The acid form reacts and makes soap, but no glycerin.

Palm Acid: Could find nothing definite about why it is added or what it does. It could be a by product or it could be added. Unclear.

Palm Kernel Acid:  Opacifying, cleansing, emulsifying agent

Tallow Acid:  Skin conditioner from tallow or beef fat.

Glycerin: Natural by product of the saponification reaction. Softens skin and considered beneficial. Unclear if added or the natural by product. Glycerin removed from most commercial soaps.

PEG-6 Methyl Ether:  is a polyethylene glycol ether of Methyl Alcohol, solvent

Sodium Chloride: Table salt. Can make soap harder

Parfum (Fragrance): Generic term for fragrance oil which could be one of 3000 different types

Tetrasodium Etidronate: Another chelating chemical. Suspected by some to be a carcinogen.

Pentasodium Pentetate: Chelating chemical to bind metals which inhibit soap lather. Considered safe for cosmetics.

CI 19140 (Yellow 5): 1 in 10,000 people allergic to it.

CI 45350 (Yellow 8): Not for internal use. Approved for external use products. May be derived from animal sources.

CI 14700 (Red 4):  Banned from food products, must be approved for external use. Considered a potential carcinogen and ADHD in children.

Coumarin:  Naturally occurring or synthetically produced scent linked to contact dermatitis and allergies.

Butylphenyl Methylpropianol: Artificial fragrance, fresh floral scent

Linalool:   Fragrance ingredient, some allergy concerns

Benzyl Alcohol: a bacteriostatic preservative.

Eugenol: naturally occurring scent found in clove oil; also manufactured synthetically. Has been associated with allergies and contact dermatitis.

Hexyl Cinnamal: can cause contact allergies in fragrance-sensitive consumers

Citronellol: Fragrance, considered a potential allergen.



Bee’s Wax and Honey All Natural Soap

Coconut Oil – Organic – Extra Virgin [Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil]:  Adds to the hardness of the bar and the cleansing action of the soap

Olive [Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil]: Softens skin

Avocado [Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil]: Rich in vitamins A, B, D, and E,

Castor [Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil]: Makes the soap lather and bubble well

Water [Aqua]

Lye (NaOH) [Sodium Hydroxide]:  It is completely consumed by the saponification reaction and NONE is found in the finished soap)

Beeswax: Helps harden the bar

Honey – Clover:  Adds to the lather and acts as humectant. (Draws moisture in)


Other additives that I use

The above ingredient list does not have added color, essential oil or fragrance oil. But if I did add those items, then they would fall into the following types.


Oxides: Powdered pigments that may be natural or humanmade.  They are a fine, inert, and body safe powder. They wash cleanly off tub enclosures.

Micas: A natural mineral often colored artifically. Work best in glycerin soaps. It gives the glycerin soap a shimmer.

Food coloring:  I only use it with glycerin soaps in the crystal shape

Oils that make the soap smell nice

Essential oils: They come from natural sources. Typically from a plant. Examples are: peppermint, spearmint, frankincense and cedarwood oils. I typically use theraputic grade essential oils which are what is also used in aromatherapy.

Fragrance oils: May or may not contain all natural ingredients. I try to limit my offering with fragrance oils because I don’t know what is in them. If you have sensitive skin, avoid fragrance oils. Examples include are: Grape, seashore, and rose fragrance oils.

I will tell you if I am using a natural essential or fragrance oil.