In a commercial soap, it is difficult to control the ingredients and the quantities because of the large production. In a handmade soap you’re buying a soap that is made with specified ingredients – there is more control about what you’re using on your skin. Many oils and/or butters are used in handmade soap. In commercial bars of soap there is a short list of oils or acids to make soap, but there are plenty of detergents.
Commercial soaps have fragrances but these could be artificial and even cause severe allergic reactions, adverse skin conditions and more. Handmade soaps are available unscented as well as with fragrances too. But the fragrances are usually phthalate-free and of course often feature essential oils with all their benefits. Sometimes the aroma of the essential oils is not noticeable because essential oils are volatile oils and they could evaporate over time.
Preservatives, especially parabens are used in commercial soaps while the good news is that most of handmade soaps don’t include any type of preservatives - ours do not. Others can include antioxidants, for example Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Rosemary Extract or Grapefruit Seed Extract Oil.
Remember that when you buy a commercial soap, you’re making someone richer. But when you buy handmade soap, you’re supporting a family and you’re receiving a product that has a story to tell.