Soap has been reinvented a hundred different ways. From foaming hand soap to waterless hand cleaner, the options are endless. There’s nothing wrong with innovation, but Jon Bresler, CEO and founder of LAFCO believes that traditions exist for a reason.
Luxury brand LAFCO is built on the time-honored traditions of European homeopathy and botanical skin care. From bar soap to scented candles, LAFCO products are thoughtfully crafted from premium-quality ingredients, designed not only to look and smell good, but to make customers feel good as well. When it comes to LAFCO bar soap, Bresler comments, “I had to develop a bar soap to give LAFCO customers a high-quality, healthy cleanser as an alternative to inferior and practically toxic bar soap I witnessed infiltrating the market.”
Every LAFCO product is created with integrity and authenticity in mind, but our bar soaps go above and beyond even the highest industry standard. Read on to learn more about the LAFCO soap difference.
The Problem with Generic Bar Soap
The soapmaking process has ancient origins and, traditionally, soap was made with animal fat or tallow. This rich fat yielded a creamy soap that hydrated in addition to cleansing the skin. As consumer interest in cruelty-free products grew, however, soap makers began developing new recipes that substituted the animal fat for vegetable fat like coconut and palm oil.
According to Bresler, “the reality is that using coconut oil in soap making is terrible, and using palm oil is only slightly better, because neither contains enough monounsaturated fatty acid to allow any soap maker to create a healthy, moisturizing bar.”
Not only are many of the ingredients used in commercial soap making today less beneficial for the body, but some of them are downright harmful. Personal care products including soaps are often made with synthetic ingredients and loaded with preservatives. Bresler suggests that these ingredients may be related to the rising prevalence of sensitive skin and chronic skin issues like eczema and dermatitis.
Here are some of the harmful ingredients found in many commercial soaps:
- Sulfates – Common sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) are used to produce the lather and bubbles in soap. These ingredients strip the skin of its natural oils, increasing penetration in the skin’s surface. This can cause irritation of the skin as well as the eyes and lungs.
- Parabens – Typically used as a preservative in cosmetics and personal care products like soap, parabens are known to mimic estrogen, disrupting the function of natural hormones in the body. This can lead to early onset of puberty as well as reproductive issues in men and women.
- Triclosan – A commonly used antibacterial and antifungal ingredient, triclosan was banned in personal care products but can still be found in traditional hand soaps. This chemical can negatively impact the immune system and has the potential to trigger allergies and asthma.
- 1, 4-Dioxane – You probably won’t see this ingredient on the label because it’s actually a by-product of the soapmaking process. This chemical causes irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat and has been linked to liver and kidney disease.
- Fragrances – Many people shop for soap and personal care products by fragrance, but you have to be careful where those fragrances come from. A generic term like “fragrance” on the label could be hiding a cocktail of dangerous chemicals and cancer-causing toxins like phthalates.
Seeing the horrifying ingredients used in commercial soaps inspired Bresler to find a better way. By returning to the time-honored European tradition of artisanal soapmaking, he developed a superior product that adhered to his own high standards. The resulting LAFCO bar soap is “rich enough for shaving and gentle enough to wash your face” in addition to being hypoallergenic.
How is LAFCO Bar Soap Made?
Traditionally, bar soap is made with three basic ingredients: oil, water, and lye. Mixed together in the right proportions, these ingredients combine through a chemical process known as saponification which creates soap. Additional ingredients like fragrance and color can be added, but they aren’t necessary for the chemical process that creates bar soap.
LAFCO bar soap is made with the hot process method. To begin, the base oils and lye are combined and heated into a liquid mixture to which water is added. As the mixture heats, steam is injected to encourage the process of saponification. From there, the mixture is solidified and ground into ribbons of soap which are fragranced and milled before being shaped into bars.
What makes LAFCO bar soap unique is the attention to detail through the entire production process. After shaping, the bars are aged for 4 weeks to make sure they are dense and long-lasting.
What About the Ingredients?
Soap can be made with a variety of fats or oils, but they are not all equal when it comes to the finished product. Many generic bar soaps are made with palm oil, a product that has a devastating impact on the environment, or other inexpensive and low-quality oils.
LAFCO bar soap features 75% olive oil to provide the ideal balance of oleic and linoleic fatty acids to hydrate and moisturize the skin. Olive oil soap cleanses the skin gently without stripping away the skin’s natural oils. It also contains powerful antioxidants to repair free radical damage and beta carotene to simulate new cell growth. Our bars contain a small amount of coconut oil as well to harden the bar, ensuring the optimal cleansing experience.
Though olive oil is the primary ingredient, LAFCO bar soap is superfatted with argan oil. Superfatting involves adding extra oil during milling to increase the moisturizing qualities of the bar, boosting the benefits for your skin. Argan oil is rich in omega fatty acids and antioxidants, shown to boost collagen production and support skin repair.
No bar of LAFCO soap would be complete without its signature fragrance. Unlike generic soaps that use synthetic fragrances, LAFCO fragrances are perfume-grade and derived from essential oils. All LAFCO soaps are hypoallergenic, vegan, cruelty-free, and free from BHT, sulfates, and parabens.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of LAFCO Bar Soap
Every bar of LAFCO soap is formulated to gently cleanse the skin with a rich, creamy lather, leaving your skin feeling clean and luxuriously fragranced. Here are some simple tips you can follow to get the most out of each bar.
- Store your soap on a surface that doesn’t retain water – a soap dish away from running water that encourages air flow is best.
- For showering and bath applications, use LAFCO bar soap with a loofah or washcloth to get more lather while using less soap.
- When using bar soap in the shower, make sure your hands are clean before you apply it to your face – you want to avoid spreading bacteria from your hands to your face.
- Make sure your bar of soap has time to dry out between uses – it doesn’t hurt to keep it in a soap dish outside the shower to dry and grab it when you’re ready to shower.
- Try using LAFCO bar soap as a replacement for shaving cream – the rich lather is ultra-hydrating and thick enough to protect your skin.
- Use warm water instead of hot water when using bar soap – hot water takes longer to build up suds and may cause the bar to dissolve faster.
LAFCO bar soap is artisinally dry aged and quadruple milled to deliver a unique and luxurious experience. Crafted with premium natural ingredients including refined, perfume-grade fragrances, each bar provides a long-lasting, natural scent along with rich hydration and a deep cleanse.
View the LAFCO bar soap collection or use the Fragrance Finder to be paired with your perfect fragrance. Whether you’re looking for something soothing to include in your bedtime routine or a fresh, invigorating scent to ready you for the day, LAFCO has you covered.