First off, let me start by explaining why artisanal soap is more subject to melting than regular store bought soap.
Artisanal soap keeps all the glycerin that is produced during the chemical process. This results in your skin feeling good after using the soap but it also puts the soap at risk of attracting too much moisture and becoming a goopy mess that lasts less than a week in the shower.
In addition to this, the combination of oils used to prepare an artisanal bar of soap influences just how much it will ultimately last. As a formulator I have to think about bubbles, conditioning, moisturizing, cleansing properties and durability. If I want more bubbles I usually have to choose an oil that doesn't make the bar of soap last long; on the flip side, if I want a very moisturizing bar, bubbles usually suffer....or hardness. So it is definitely a juggling act.
Moisture is key, the more moisturizing a soap is, the more it attracts moisture to itself...hence it can melt easily in the shower (a very wet environment).
So here are a few tips to make your bar last longer:
- Make sure your soap dries in between uses - don't let it sit in water for long
- Store your soap on a well drained soap dish, away from standing water
- If you are not going to immediately use it, store it in a dark, dry place, like a linen closet or underwear drawer
- Finally, use a wash cloth, loofah or puff instead of rubbing the soap directly on your skin - this will extend the life of the soap bar so much more!