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Photo of dear heart natural handmade soap

Why choose handmade soap?


At Dear Heart we use the old-fashioned way of making soap called the Cold Process Method.

The Chemistry

We start by measuring and melting down the plant-based oils, then we prepare our water phase which contains rainwater and sodium hydroxide (lye). The sodium hydroxide when combined with the oil phase creates a chemical reaction known as saponification. The soap then takes around two weeks to cure but we leave it for an additional four weeks to ensure maximum mildness and hardness.

Does the final soap contain sodium hydroxide?

The answer to this is no. Sodium Hydroxide or "Lye" is used in the manufacturing process only, and it’s not actually present in the final bar after curing, which is why it doesn’t appear on our list of ingredients.

Why is handmade soap better?

Handmade soap contains all of the glycerin that is missing from commercially processed soap. During the commercial soap processing this precious bi-product is removed and on-sold as a separate ingredient. That is why, when you see a supermarket soap which has been used for a bit and then left sitting around for a while, it will develop a large crack down the centre. We’ve all seen that right?

In humid weather conditions you may also see tiny beads of water collecting on the outside of the handmade soap. That is the glycerin attracting water from the air.  It’s the amazing humectant properties that glycerin has.

Can I wash my face with soap?

The face’s acid mantle requires a different pH. That’s why we only recommend handmade soap for the body and hands. Although some customers use soap on their face, and swear by it, it just depends on what type of skin you have.

How to store handmade soap

Keeping your soap bars dry is the secret. We recommend using a self-draining soap dish so that your soap is not sitting in a puddle of water between uses. Take a look at our handcrafted soap dishes which are made right here in New Zealand.

How long can handmade soap be stored?

Dear Heart's handmade soap contains a small percentage of unsaponified oils. These excess oils are good news for your skin and it also means that you should use your bar within 12 months of purchasing it. Commercial bars last for many years because they are 100% saponified but the result is dry and tight skin.

We hope you come to love Dear Heart handcrafted natural soaps as much as we do!