Infotainment

What is soap - the difference between soap and hand wash

Did you know that much of what we take to be soap is really not soap at all? The vast majority of liquid soaps that we can buy in supermarkets or drugstores are so called syndets, or “hand wash” and thus actually chemically produced cleaning products. But what exactly is the difference between soap and syndet?


Very high standards: What our soap needs to be able to do

The fact of the matter is that such a small piece of soap has very high expectations to live up to. It has to free us from unpleasant odors, sweat and dirt as well as eliminate germs. At the same time, however, we do not want the soap or the syndet to harm our skin, for example because it dries out, becomes brittle or cracked after washing. The requirements – especially for a hand soap – are therefore quite high and the question arises as to which cleansing agent best fulfills the desired effect. Bar of soap, liquid soap or syndent. All these varieties can be produced both (partly) artificially and purely naturally.

All these varieties can be produced both (partly) artificially and purely naturally.
All natural: What natural soaps consist of    

Soap originates in Syria. The so-called Aleppo soap is considered a prototype for the classic bar soaps and originally consists of olive oil and laurel oil. Even today, pure natural soaps consist of vegetable fats such as sunflower and coconut, rape seed or palm oil. To obtain the desired consistency (solid consistency for core soap, softer for soft soap such as liquid soap), the fats are boiled with a caustic soda or potassium hydroxide solution. The alkalies are also responsible for the cleansing and foaming effect. For a pleasant scent, most soaps are also perfumed. In natural soaps, this is done by using fragrant oils or natural perfumes.  Yet to be clarified: What exactly is the difference between soap and syndet (hand wash). One thing is for sure: The syndets have replaced solid or liquid soaps over the years, partly because it is considered to be more hygienic. In addition, it is also easier to use because it is easier to dose. While solid and liquid soaps are produced in the natural form from vegetable oils and in some cases also with glycerol, syndets are produced in their natural form by plant-derived surfactants or vegetable washing substances. Therefore they often lack the nourishing components contained in regular soap.

Find out more about vegan cleansing substances.


Quite effective: Why syndets are so popular

In the1960s syndets (hand wash) conquered supermarkets and drugstores. They often consist of chemically produced detergent surfactants and are advertised as being particularly kind to the skin, as their pH-value can be regulating and adjusting to the skin. Because conventional soap is made up of caustic potash or caustic soda, it has an alkaline pH, which may cause the skin to dry out more quickly or temporarily affect the skin’s natural acid mantle. In a healthy skin, however, the pH is regulated by itself after a short time, which is why this undesirable side effect is usually not a problem. In addition, syndets – depending on the composition – dry the skin out even more. So it depends very much on the composition of the respective product. In the industry more and more manufacturers rely on syndets. One reason for this is certainly the cheaper sourcing and production of ingredients. The reasons lie, however, also in the application because they can be applied well and they foam well. Compared to natural liquid soap, the syndet also has the advantage that it does not clot on prolonged contact with air and thus the pump dispenser can not clog as a result. In addition, there are no coating properties that pollute the surface of the basin. These can be caused by natural soaps.

STUDIO BOTANIC Handseife Bubbles

When in doubt pro health: Why it pays off to use natural soap

Artificial Syndets are practical in many ways: they are easy to manufacture, comfortable to use and convince by a low price. Nevertheless, there are some arguments in favor of using natural soaps or natural syndets. For one thing, because in most cases they are more sustainable in terms of manufacturing, transport and biodegradability. On the other hand, because you can be sure of purely natural products that they are not harmful to health or in any other form harmful to the body. Especially with liquid natural soaps or special nourishing hand wash there is no danger that it dries out the skin of your hands. For allergy sufferers, natural soaps made from pure vegetable oils can also be of great advantage.

Find out more about vegan cleansing substances.

Especially with liquid natural soaps or special nourishing hand wash there is no danger that it strongly dries out the skin of your hands.

The HANDSOAP by STUDIO BOTANIC

The HAND SOAP by STUDIO BOTANIC is a natural syndet, which we upgraded with some particularly nourishing, natural ingredients,  so it is designed to cleanse and care. This is ensured by the special formulation, which is composed of valuable hamamelis leaf extract, high-quality vegan glycerine and herbal washing substances. The special vegan washing substances gently cleanse the hands and keep the skin smooth and healthy. Due to the moisturizing effect of STUDIO BOTANIC HANDSOAP, hands dry out less quickly compared to regular syndet / hand wash. The skin remains pleasantly soft and supple while washing. For these reasons, we do not want to call our soap ‘hand wash’ and instead call it by the distinctive name of HANDSOAP. A subtle scent of lemongrass oil creates a natural scent gained during a special distillation process leaving a pleasant fragrance on the skin after washing. In its pure naturalness, the original scent reduces over time. Due to its special formulation, the STUDIO BOTANIC HAND SOAP also leaves significantly less residues in the wash basin than conventional liquid soaps and of course the pump dispenser does not clog up either. All is smooth and all is well.

For these reasons, we do not want to call our soap ‘hand wash’ and instead call it by the distinctive name of HAND SOAP.
Studio_Botanic_Soap / Seife

More about our HAND SOAP.