Victoria Zhang

Why Homemade Soaps are Better than Store-Bought Ones

Class of: 2022

Major: Communication Design BFA

Medium: Paper

Faculty: Alaiyo Bradshaw and Laura Lanteri

Integrative Studio

Integrative Seminar

The essay argues the environmental and social effects of using commercial and homemade soaps to inform readers on the advantages of natural soaps and the health risks of store-bought soaps. It also correlates to my studio project which is a collage piece that illustrates the social and environmental impacts on communities after a hurricane.

Soaps are an everyday necessity. We use soaps whenever we need to feel good, smell nice, and prevent sickness. Ever wonder what’s in your soap? A mystery recipe for harmful chemicals and artificial ingredients. In truth, most of us have no idea what components are inserted and created during the production. Soaps are just assumed to be these magical erasers that gets rid of bacteria, stains, and funky smells. Behind the mask are severe health and environmental problems, so why trust your beauty and health on a company’s factory-produced soaps? Easy, you don’t. Make your soap.

Just like how takeout is never as good as homecooked food, store-bought soap’s quality can never be compared to homemade ones. Companies that produce soaps use fragrances that cause skin irritations and allergic reactions (1).

Unfortunately, as the world increases knowledge on hazardous chemicals bad for the people and environment, companies continue to use such ingredients in their soap recipes. Soap companies use filler ingredients in their soaps by adding more chemicals irrelevant to the use of the product, so they can cut the cost of using anything expensive.

Of course, if commercial soaps are not as good as homemade soaps, but why would most people use them? Convenience and cost are what turns the wheel for soap companies to succeed. There’s no way you can make natural soaps at home using the same time as buying some at the store, just like how less than 60 percent of the US population votes, mostly because they have no time, people prefer to purchase ready-to-use products at the store than to try making it on their own (2). These huge factories not only create cheap-quality soap that can serve only one purpose but also air pollution (3). Similar to all other products produced at a factory, they release toxins and chemicals in the world.

Those who have never made soap get confused as to know where to begin. Don’t worry there are online recipes, videos, and guidebooks that can help a beginner in soap-making! Once you’ve made your first successful batch, you will never go back to using commercial soaps again. The gentle moisturizing oils that calm your aching hand with your choice of a natural flavored scent can renew your entire body. Forget the antibacterial soaps or the so-called natural organic ones.

Ever since I started making soaps, they are incomparable to ones bought at stores. My family has been using my soaps for more than a year. Homemade soaps are not only better for your skin health wise, but sensitive skin people prone to allergies can also be relieved every time they wash up. I never worried about any allergic reactions to the soap because I know what’s in it. These soaps have the shape, color, texture, and smell to your preference; the soap-making process also makes the product and experience memorable. From the first time trying out my handmade soap, store-bought chemical-infested soaps have no future in my household, and it shouldn’t be in yours as well.


(1) The Canadian Press . “Antibacterials Pose Risk to Health and Great Lakes, Report Says | CBC News.” CBC, July 11,

(2) DeSilver, Drew. “U.S. Trails Most Developed Countries in Voter Turnout.” Pew Research Center (blog). Accessed December 3, 2018.

(3) Potrich, Margherita. “Air Pollution: Detergents and Soaps Pollute as Much as Cars.” Ecobnb (blog), March 11,