A 100% glycerin soap is actually a misnomer and is something that most people looking for a 100% glycerin soap do not understand. Glycerin is “a sweet syrupy trihydroxy alcohol obtained by saponification of fats and oils” or a byproduct of the soap-making process. Most commercial companies actually extract the glycerin from their “soap” and sell it off as a byproduct for use in other bath & body products, lotions, lip balms, or melt-and-pour soap. They then add other cheap chemicals and additives to their soap in order to create a bar that people might like and sell off the expensive extracted glycerin.
Glycerin alone cannot make a bar of soap. It is chemically impossible. In order to make a glycerin “soap”, other chemicals, surfactants, and cleansers are added in order to give a glycerin “soap” bubbles and cleansing. Glycerin is a water soluble humectant, which means a preservative is also usually added. Now I do understand there are a lot of people who swear by a 100% glycerin soap, and I do not want to offend those of you who use a 100% glycerin soap. I am only trying to educate you on what you are actually using or buying.
On the other hand, cold-process or even hot-process soap is actually soap (saponification of oils) that has had the glycerin retained in the naturally occuring chemical process of soap making. This is why handmade soaps are really superior to the so-called “soaps” that are sitting on your grocery store’s shelves. Besides the retention of 100% of the glycerin in handmade cold-process or hot-process soap, there are other beneficial oils, fats, or butters that are used due to each individual property of that oil. So in essence, people using either cold-process or hot-process soaps are, in fact, using a 100% glycerin soap!
Bet you didn’t know!