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Ingredients Matter

Jul 13th 2016

Handmade soap is usually more expensive than store-bought soap, so it needs to be better than store-bought – enough to make it worth the higher price. This means we have to use higher quality, more expensive ingredients, slower, more costly processes, and pay very close attention to quality control. Our reputations and our livelihoods depend on it!

The ingredients used in making high quality soaps are expensive. The base oils are expensive, and so are the rare essential oils that give soaps their amazing scents and therapeutic properties – rare oils like frankincense, lavender, ylang ylang, bay, cardamom, geranium, and hundreds of others.

Some soapmakers try to sell more soap by lowering their prices. But to maintain a profit they also have to lower their costs by using cheaper ingredients, and spending less on overhead like equipment upgrades, QC testing, employees, and customer support.

They replace the better, more expensive base oils with much cheaper alternatives like soy oil, canola oil, olive oil pomace, and even lard (pig fat).

These cheaper oils will make soap, and it will bubble and clean, but the physical and therapeutic properties are far less. The soap will be softer (it won’t last as long), the lather will be less fluffy and stable, and it may be less moisturizing. It may even dry out your skin. You can definitely feel the difference.

Some soapmakers try to lower costs by replacing expensive natural essential oils (the oil extracted directly from natural plants and flowers) with fake “fragrance oils” that are artificially produced with manmade chemicals. (Essential oils can represent as much as 50% of the cost of making soap.) Fragrance oils are much cheaper than natural essential oils, as much as 90% cheaper.

Lavender essential oil, for example, costs between $4 and $7 per ounce, depending on the type of oil (French, Bulgarian) and the quantity purchased. Fake lavender “fragrance oil” costs around $2.20 per ounce. You can save a lot of money using fake fragrance oils, but discerning customers DO notice the difference. Also, fragrance oils have none of the therapeutic properties of real essential oils.

Your skin knows the difference between good soap and bad soap. Your nose knows. Your brain and body knows. Don’t buy cheap soap. Spend a few extra dollars for the highest quality ingredients, good quality control, artisanal manufacturing, and the amazing therapeutic benefits that come from the best ingredients.

Cosgrove & Lewis Luxury Handmade Soaps are made from all natural ingredients in small batches, using no animal products. They are vegan, kosher, and halal. Contact us at,, or by phone at (901) 251-0664.