FAQ Friday: Soap for Sensitive Skin

Sensitive Skin Needs Love Too!

FAQ FridayGreetings and salutations, Sudsers! Mrs. Soap & Clay here with this week’s edition of FAQ Friday. First up, a few updates. I am still sans printer which makes labeling my products tough. SO…I am having a naked bar sale  – all soaps are $5 each! Coupon code is GONAKED and is extended through the weekend, so stock up!

Also, the giveaway for three months of soapy love packages is still underway. I’m super anxious to pick a winner and thank everyone who has entered! We are still short of our contest goal, though, so if you could pretty please send everyone you’ve tagged a message and ask them to like our Facebook page, I would appreciate it!

Sensitive Sally Skin

raspberryAs some of you may know, I have a shop in Tacoma, WA smack dab in the middle of the historic Freighthouse Station. I get lots of questions from travelers and building wanderers in search of an adventure when they walk into my shop. I’m often asked to recommend a soap best suited for sensitive skin. Short answer: all of them! Because that seems like a bit of a non-answer, let’s explore why I can recommend every bar of Soap & Clay soap for even the most Sensitive Sallies among us.

The thing is, I am a Sensitive Sally. I have an olive complexion that is easily damaged and when it is (acne, cuts, sunburn, etc.), it loves to pigment and scar. I’ve spent boatloads of dollars and more time than I care to add up on lightening products and treatments. The Soap & Clay kidlets also have sensitive skin; growing up in the cloudy PNW means they don’t get enough sunlight to fight mild eczema and the occasional kerotosis, so when I started formulating products, I knew that I needed to make them super effective but also gentle enough for all of our skin ailments. I know what you’re thinking right now: cool story bro. But what does this have to do with MY sensitive skin? Glad you asked!

I’ve been frustrated with the “sensitive skin” product world because, while they don’t make my skin freak out, they also don’t do much else. And they usually smell boring. And thus my mission was clear: create effective products that work for the most sensitive skinned among us while still inserting a bit of fun into our daily cleansing routines.

Skin AbsorbHandmade = Less Skin Irritation

In reality, moving to a carefully designed handmade soap from commercial cleansing products will alleviate most sensitive skin concerns. There are a number of reasons as to why this is. Commercial bars are formulated in a specific way to achieve big batch production, long shelf life, and a super low price point. One of the additions in commercial bars and body washes is water, which means the benefits of the oils are heavily diluted, so it’s less effective while it’s pulling needed moisture from your skin during use. They then add synthetic bubbling agents (because water doesn’t lather up very well), and these synthetic bubblers dry out the skin and cause irritation. They also add preservatives to ensure a long shelf life, which can irritate all skin types. 


freighthouseSynthetic additives aside, the biggest difference between commercial bars and handmade soap is the glycerin. In commercial production, companies remove the glycerin (a naturally occurring, skin loving humectant that is a result of the saponification process) and either sell it individually or use it in high-end skincare products. Handcrafted soapers don’t do this; the process to remove glycerin is long and yields an inferior product. We haven’t talked about glycerin in a while, but it is perhaps the most important difference between commercial soaps/body washes and handmade soap. See, glycerin is a humectant, which basically means that it binds to moisture in the air and uses it to moisturize the skin. For most sensitive skin ailments, the added moisture is a welcome relief. For more information on the benefits of glycerin for sensitive skin, check out this blog post.


I touched on the benefits of clay in last week’s FAQ Friday, but for a quick recap: clay is awesome for sensitive skin. The negative charges in clay bind to the positive charges in toxins and free radicals, gently pulling from the skin while leaving skin nourishing minerals behind. Clay is also super soothing; not for nothing are mud baths an extremely popular spa treatment. And as I add clay into each and every batch of soap I make, each Soap & Clay bar is loaded with mud. But you still get clean. I know, it’s weird to me too.Black & Tan

Now you see why I can confidently recommend every bar of soap in my line, but if you’re looking for soap super-specifically designed for super-specific Sensitive Sallies among us, check out C’mon Get Happy, The Lavender Bar, Black & Tan, and Raspberry Stout. These four bars are made with very gentle oils and are infused with skin loving colloidal oatmeal. Also, be on the lookout for the new beer soaps line in the next few weeks, as beer is a great addition for sensitive skin applications.

Enjoy the rest of your day, Sudsers – the kidlets and I are on our way to the shop to do some more work on the expansion!

Happy Sudsing!

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