We check expiration dates for all sorts of food and beauty products, but you’re probably not checking your bar of soap. What is the shelf life of soap? Does it ever expire?

You might not know that most soap is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Yes, soap can expire, especially if it’s handmade. However, your soap is probably still effective even after the expiration date. Read on to learn more about soap expiration dates and why you should pay attention.

How to tell if your soap has expired

As the pandemic has taught us all, soaps don’t have to be antibacterial to be effective. They’re surfactants, which means that they break the surface tension of water. When you lather up and wash your hands for 20 seconds, the soap traps dirt, oils, grease and bacteria and viruses. They slide right off your hands and rinse down the sink.

Another way soaps help kill germs is by destroying the lipid structures in viruses. The COVID-19 virus is easily destroyed by basic hand washing.

Most manufactured soap has a two to three-year expiration date, but it may last longer than that. As long as the soap creates a lather, it’s working. If, however, your soap doesn’t seem to be creating a lather, it’s probably not killing germs and cleaning effectively.

When it comes to natural and handmade soaps, the expiration date is usually around a year. That’s because natural ingredients can become rancid or moldy. When you buy soap from small soap makers, only buy as much as you can use within a year. In fact, some handmade soap makers recommend using their soaps within three months of purchase.

Another indication of soap expiration are orange spots on its surface. This means that the oils in the soap have gone rancid. It might still be effective, but it’s not going to smell good.

Scent is a good indication of whether either kind of soap is still effective—especially when it comes to handmade soaps. Essential oils are volatile: they evaporate when they’re exposed to air. If your soap no longer has a scent, it’s probably past its prime. You can use it to see if it lathers, but you won’t get the same experience or efficacy.

Finally, some soaps may appear dry and cracked. This is also an indication that they’re past the expiration date, and probably should be tossed.

Natural, handmade soaps for you

When you want the benefits of high-quality, handmade soaps, be sure to visit Soaps & Scents. Our mission is to provide beautiful and delicious-smelling soaps made with natural ingredients. They’ll keep you clean without sacrificing comfort or cost.

If you have questions about our expiration dates, and how much soap we recommend purchasing at one time, reach out to us today. We’ll be happy to answer all of your questions—and match you with the perfect scents for your home, office and for gifts. Shop online or contact us through our form.

Soft skin is healthy skin—and using lotion is one of the best ways to ensure your skin looks and feels great. You can use it on a regular basis to soften dry, rough skin, get rid of scaly knees and elbows and lock in healthy moisture.

Why use lotion?

Lotions are good for all skin types, even oily ones—although if you have particularly dry skin, you may want to use a body cream or body butter to moisturize. Typically, lotions contain humectants, which attract and seal in moisture, as well as emollients, which soften and smooth the skin. Lotions often contain fatty acids and vitamin E, which protect the natural skin barrier and maintain healthy skin.

You’ll get best results if you use lotion after your shower, when your skin is clean and damp, and your pores are open. Most lotions can be used on the entire body, but may cause your face to break out—use facial moisturizers for that purpose.

Benefits of using lotion

Here’s a closer look at some of the advantages of incorporating lotion into your skincare regiment:

  • Keep your skin hydrated: When you live in a hot, dry area, your skin has a harder time retaining moisture. Your skin can get chapped and cracked from dry air, wind, heat and even the cold. Lotion helps seal in moisture to improve hydration, reduce irritation and prevent further damage.
  • Maintain your tan: Love that golden summer glow? Lotion helps maintain your tan, so apply daily after your shower to make it last.
  • Soothe extra dry or rough spots: Elbows, knees, random scaly patches and skin conditions like eczema can leave your skin feeling more like a Martian landscape than a human body. Lotion helps soothe and heal these areas, making them feel as smooth and soft as the rest of your skin.
  • Enhance your natural skin tone: With regular use, your skin becomes healthier, which means it will glow from the inside out. When you regularly moisturize, your skin will not only feel better, it will also look better. Whether you’re hitting the beach or want to look great in a little black dress, regular moisturizing is key.
  • Smells great: If you like scented lotions, choosing a high-quality version can replace perfumes and other scents. It’s a subtler way to achieve a signature scent. Plus, depending on the scent, you might enjoy some aromatherapeutic effects. It’s like going to the spa for five minutes every day.
  • Get rid of calluses: Calluses can form on our hands and feet, especially if you work a manual job, play sports frequently or wear ill-fitting shoes. These rough, hardened areas of skin are your body’s way of protecting the skin—but they don’t exactly look or feel great. Lotion helps soften and remove the dead skin, so you have baby-soft skin everywhere.

When you’re ready to choose high-quality scented lotions, Soaps & Scents has a great selection. Our products enhanced with vitamins, nutrients, aloe vera and glycerin to promote healthy, soft skin. Shop online or stop by today to start reaping the benefits of using lotion!

Both bathing solutions are common. Is one better than the other? Is one product a clear winner in the bar-soap-vs.-body-wash debate? What exactly are the differences between bar soap and liquid soap? As you choose your personal cleanser, use the following guide to decide which is best for you.

Differences between bar soap and liquid soap

The main difference between these two products is the ingredients used to make them. Liquid soap is made with potash (potassium hydroxide). Bar soap is made with lye (sodium hydroxide). Bar soap also contains higher quantities of superfat and glycerin.

When it comes to effectiveness for cleaning, there is not much difference between bar soap and liquid soap. There are, however, unique pros and cons to each type of soap.

Bar soap pros

  • Cost-effective: Bar for bar and ounce for ounce, you will typically pay less for bar soap than liquid soap. If you’re looking for the most budget-friendly option, bar soap is probably your best bet.
  • Environmentally friendly: Due to the natural ingredients found in bar soap, this is the greener option of the two. If this is a top priority for you, you may want to choose bar soap over liquid soap.
  • Pure ingredients: Some manufacturers produce bar soap with minimal, pure ingredients. There’s usually no need for chemical preservatives or other extraneous ingredients, so you get just what you need to get clean.

Bar soap con

  • Skin dehydration: Bar soap contains a harsh ingredient that can dehydrate your skin; therefore, washing with a bar soap can remove natural oils from the body and leave it dehydrated. If your skin has ever felt extra tight or “squeaky clean” after bathing with bar soap, this is why.

Body wash pros

  • Moisturizing: Unlike bar soap, which can dehydrate the skin, liquid soap is better for moisturizing. It does not contain the same drying ingredients as bar soap, so if dry skin is a concern, you may be better off choosing liquid soap.
  • Hygienic: Liquid soap may be slightly more hygienic than bar soap, depending on how the bar is stored and used.

Body wash cons

  • Chemical ingredients: Liquid body wash contains preservatives, so it may include harsh chemicals that you don’t want on your skin or in the environment.
  • Cost: In many cases, liquid soap is more expensive than bar soap, so this might not be the most budget-friendly option.

Find the right soap for you

Want to learn more about the differences between bar soap and liquid soap? Visit Soaps & Scents today. We have been making beautiful handmade soaps for over 20 years, so we are your go-to experts for all things soap. We offer bar and liquid soaps in a variety of fragrances and even some fun soaps such as our Ducky or Cupcake soaps. We make everything by hand in small quantities, and all of our soaps are free of animal products. If you haven’t had a chance to try our wonderful soaps and products, you’re in for a treat! Stop by today to find the perfect cleansing solution for your needs.