What’s the difference between Artisan hand-crafted soap and Commercial brand-name soap I buy at the store?

There are many differences depending on the brands you buy. Some brands are better than others, but it really is answered by comparing how the soap feels on your skin after using it. For most people, commercial soaps leave the skin feeling dry. Others may feel itchy, or find a powder is left behind. Hand-crafted soaps leave your skin feeling moisturized, or like you have used a skin cream or moisturizer.

One of the byproducts of the saponification process is glycerin. Glycerin has many uses outside of soap and therefore many manufacturers will extract it from the soap and sell it or use it to produce moisturizers and creams. Sun Island Body Care leaves the glycerin in the soap. This makes the bar softer and is much better for your skin.

Some commercial soap manufacturers will use man-made ingredients, or chemicals in place of, or in addition to natural ingredients. Chemical-based soaps are called detergents.

For more information about the merits of hand-crafted soap versus commercial soap, check out this PDF document titled "Why Handcrafted Soap?" produced by the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open this document.


Boutique01In recent years, a movement has begun. It’s a movement that takes consumers away from large, impersonal big-box retailers and introduces them to the people doing business in their very own cities. These are local farmers, craftsmen, antique dealers, and other product providers, with items made locally and sold on a small scale.

When a consumer supports his local business owners, he enjoys benefits he can’t possibly get from shopping at national chains. Here are some top reasons to support your local entrepreneurs:

Improve your family's health.
Buying local foods has numerous health benefits for your family. When you buy from local farmers, you have access to fruits and vegetables that you know are chemical-free, as well as grass-fed meats, fresh eggs, and dairy from cows that feast on local green grass each day. There are also benefits to eating raw local honey, which is thought to help battle allergies.
Related: How the Farm-to-Table Movement Is Helping Grow the Economy

Improve the local economy.
When a consumer buys local, significantly more of that money stays in the community. In fact, one Chicago study found that for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 remained in the city while only $43 of each $100 spent at a chain retailer.
Local business owners often have the incentive to support other local businesses, patronizing local establishments for both business and personal reasons. Chain businesses, on the other hand, tend to get their supplies from corporate, as well as having store managers and employees that aren’t as personally invested in buying local.

Know the people behind the product.
When you personally know the people behind the business where you’re buying local products and services, you enjoy a connection you would not otherwise have. Along with the rest of the community, you celebrate when a favourite local business succeeds and you mourn when it’s forced to shut its doors. This personal investment isn’t quite as present when a chain business closes, aside from feeling disappointed that you have fewer businesses within convenient driving distance.

Keep the community unique.
Local businesses give a community its flavour. Towns across America have similar chain restaurants, grocery, and department stores but that diner down the street where you have breakfast every Saturday morning is one-of-a-kind. The combined presence of your town’s many local businesses makes it different from every other city in the world. By supporting those businesses instead of chains, you ensure that uniqueness is preserved as a part of your community.

Better customer service.
If you’ve ever dealt with a large corporation, you know getting help can be a nightmare. You’ll call a 1-800 number, only to be transferred seven times and put on hold. Even when you speak to a customer service representative, that person is so far removed from the decision-making process, there’s little concern that the company will lose you as a customer.
When you shop locally, the business owner is usually directly connected to every employee in the store. That leads to a personal approach that often means any problem you have is taken seriously.

More personalized service.
Having the owner nearby also means that personally knows his customers. He knows the products you buy or the services you request on a regular basis and can tailor services to make your experience even better. A local gardening shop owner may learn about a new product on the market that can help you with a pest control problem you mentioned on one of your visits, for instance, and can order that product as part of his selections.

Buying local has benefits beyond mere convenience. When you support local business owners, you get a better level of service, as well as help make your community a better place to live. This is in addition to the health benefits and access to unique products that you usually can’t find with chain locations.



Sun Island provides a free soap bag with every purchased soap.

Nylon Soap Bag 1
What are the advantages of using a soap bag?

Soap bags provide the following advantages:

  • The nylon bag will increase the foaming action of the soap. This foaming action supports the next advantage.

  • Increases the life of the soap. This is achieved by increasing the foaming action as well as allowing the soap to dry when you are finished with it. By hanging the soap up and allowing it to dry the soap will last longer and saving you money!

How to use a soap bag:

  1. Remove the soap from its carton and place into the soap bag.
  2. Wet the soap and rub it in your hands until the desired amount of foam is attained. scrub your body with the foamy soap bag to exfoliate and cleanse the skin.
  3. When finished, hang the soap bag out of the way of running water, allowing it to dry.
  4. Discard the soap bag when the soap has been used up. Smaller pieces of soap can be added to your new soap and soap bag to ensure it is fully utilized.

Product Claims Disclaimer

Any therapeutic claims about specific products or ingredients on or through the Sun Island Body Care website have not been evaluated by Health Canada or the United States Food and Drug Administration and are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

The information published on our website is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice. Product offerings, services, information and other content provided on this site including information that may be provided through links to third-party websites are provided for informational purposes only. Please consult with a physician or other health care professional regarding medical or health related diagnosis or treatment options.

Sun Island Craft Show Booth

You can find Sun Island Body Care products at the following locations:

Craft Shows, Artisan Fairs and Festivals

You can find us selling at various craft shows, artisan markets, and festivals across Eastern Ontario, and Hastings County. You can find event details in our Facebook event calendar.

Seasonal Markets

We will not be selling at any seasonal markets for the 2023 market season. You can still purchase from us through our online store. We will be posting the dates, times and locations for the seasonal markets for the 2024 Market season.

Stores & Outlets

We are actively growing our retailer marketplace! If you're a retailer and would like to add our products to your store, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
We offer a competitive dealer wholesale program as well as custom private labelling.

Online Store

You can purchase Sun Island Body Care products from our online store.

At our Studio

We handcraft all of our products in our soap studio located in Plainfield, Ontario. If you are unable to visit any of our sales venues or want to replenish your supply, give us a call at (705) 321-1860 and arrange an appointment at your convenience.