What is a True Soap? And Why You Should Care.

Individually wrapped hand-crafted soaps

First, let’s talk about what a true soap is not:

  • Most “soap” products you see in stores are not true soaps.

These companies aren’t allowed to label their products as “soap.”

However, these products are allowed to be categorized as “soaps.”

Before I tell you why, imagine you’re in the health and beauty aisle looking at these name-brand bars. You're reading the label… and the ingredient list.

You notice the product label on the front states something along the lines of “beauty bar,” “lotion bar,” or “shower bar.”

Next, you turn the product over and read the ingredient list.

You wonder what those hard-to-pronounce words are, like “sodium cocoyl isethionate”, “sodium stearate”, “trisodium EDTA”, and so forth… (The list goes on!).

These are synthetic detergents and are known to:

  • Dry your skin
  • Contain substances that could be carcinogenic
  • Be cheap quality.

Heck, at this point, you’re wondering if a human being has anything to do with making this product.


For a product to be considered a “true soap,” it must contain:

  • An alkali (sodium hydroxide, aka lye) &
  • A fatty acid (olive oil, coconut oil, kukui nut oil, etc...).

And, I repeat: Most “soap” products you see in stores are not true soaps.

When lye and fatty acids are properly mixed, the solution is considered “saponified.” Some true soap labels will state “saponified” in the ingredient list, but “sodium hydroxide” or “lye" are also acceptable, according to FTC and FDA standards.

Don’t worry, lye isn’t present in the final product.

Why you should care about using a true soap:

  • You’ll feel good about what you’re putting on your body. Trust me: You’ll notice the difference in quality.

  • You’ll be able to reconnect with what really matters in your life: Focusing on prioritizing self-care and simplicity.

  • You’re probably supporting a small business, or entrepreneur, and the brand’s purpose.


White Squirrel Soaps are true soaps.

They are uniquely hand-crafted with different skin types in mind.

We use botanicals, high-quality oils, and always natural colorants.

Fun Fact:

True soaps tend to exhibit variability.

We can use the same soap recipe with the same exact variables (temperature, oil brand, humidity, etc.), and the batch will almost always come out a little different each time (darker/lighter color, shorter/longer curing time, etc.) – yet still delivering a high quality soap.