There are a lot of amazing soapers out there, I've watched them on YouTube, checked out their products and have been amazed at the creativity of some of these folks.
One thing they all seem to have in common, at least the ones I've seen, is the benefits of the oils used in homemade soaps. While some soapers concentrate on the colors and scents of their soaps more than others, they all seem to want to make a moisturizing bar of soap.
That's pretty much it in a nutshell. Moisture. Every handmade bar of soap I've ever used is much kinder to my skin than anything I've ever purchased (liquid or bar soap) at the store. When I first started making soap back in the day my son, Howie, put it best when he said that using my homemade soap didn't make his skin feel like an old dried out rubber tire. High praise from a teenager.
Many companies are removing sulfates (ester of sulfuric acid) and parabens (Para-hydroxybenzoic acid, used to make plastics, and work as a fungicide) from their products. It's good to see these things disappearing from products we use on our skin. From what I understand these things were used as preservatives which is, admittedly, a necessary thing when making large quantities of liquids...even soap.
There are so many more natural options out there when buying soaps in bar or liquid form. But I still have people try my soap because store-bought natural soaps make their skin dry. My only thought on this is, a bars healthful, conditioning benefits aren't necessarily due to what soap companies have taken out of their soaps, but maybe it's also about what they don't put in their soap in the first place.
I know what the ingredients are in my soap, some I purchase from the grocery store because they are the only non-GMO and/or organic ingredients I can find. Some I purchase online from reputable companies. I use the same ingredient's for Joy's Handcrafted Soaps that I use for making soap for my family. I don't have enough of a turnover to buy things in bulk. Oils can go rancid, who needs that?!
I don't use micas for color because I'm not sure what makes the colors in the various micas. UPDATE: I have found a reputable soaping company online that does list their mica ingredients and am considering delving into the psychedelic world of soap colorants and I will always list the ingredients of the micas in my soap descriptions.
I don't use fragrance oils because I don't know what's in them. If I can't list all of the ingredients from the things I use I don't feel like I can let my customers know exactly what they're getting.
The soaps in the Joy's Handcrafted Soaps shop are made from natural oils, colorants, essential oils and exfoliating ingredients. I use as many non-GMO, organic products that I can find.
I hope you'll give them a try and enjoy using them as much as I enjoy making them.