….in soap, that is!
You could write an encyclopedia on how different men and women are, but recently I have seen some interesting discussions on how differently we look at soap and other skincare products.
Most women love to slather creamy, luscious goodness on their skin. Just look at the buzzwords in commercials for your favorite products….creamy, moisturizing, hydrating, emollient…you get the picture. I love getting out of the shower after using one of my luscious all natural salt or sugar scrubs and feeling the softly moisturized skin it left behind. My soaps are also generously super fatted to leave that same creamy feeling behind, and are full of yummy cocoa butter and shea butter. Love it….
Men? Not so, much….
I remember the first time I gave my business partner a bar of my soap to try. After a few days,, I asked him what he thought, and he complained that it left a film of something on his skin. I explained that it was not so much that it was leaving something behind, but that it was not over cleaning his skin, thereby stripping away the natural oils that protect the skin as commercial cleansing bars do. He got used to it, but still complains once and awhile.
Men don’t like lotions and potions and creams. They want to feel clean and fresh with nothing left behind.
So how to formulate a bar for men, that will give him the gentle cleaning of handmade soap without making him feel like he needs another shower? One solution I’ve found is adding kaolin clay to my recipe, either the white China clay, or French green (stay away from pink or rose, or you’ll defeat your purpose!). The clay seems to counter the superfatting and leaves a slightly less creamy feeling on the skin. Be careful with the amount you add to your recipe, as too much clay can kill the lather.
Another good option for men is a good salt bar like our wham! citrus salt bar. The salt added to this bar also cuts down on the creaminess, while gently softening the skin like a swim in the ocean. The punchy citrus scent doesn’t hurt, either!
I would also suggest a good scrubby, exfoliating bar, but one word of caution. Men who are blessed with a nice, hairy chest do not want to have things get caught in it while they are soaping up, so make sure you are using very finely ground ingredients that wash away easily!
So ladies, if you’re shopping for your man, clays and salts are the things to look for in a good bar of handmade soap.