Hand made (home made) soaps are nothing like store bought soaps. That's a good thing. But there are some things to keep in mind prior to buying.
Firstly, since there are no additives you can't pronounce there is nothing to PRESERVE the soap. You need to. Keep your soap bars aerated as best as possible. Use a soap dish that can let airflow around it between use. It keeps the bar longer. If you buy more then one bar. Keep the unused ones out of the sunlight. Store in a cool dry place. Where it can keep curing.
Every bar of goat milk soap will have natural Glycerin in it, unlike store bought where they remove the glycerin. To put where? moisturizers. (go figure)... Glycerin is an expensive product. This is why many store bought bars of soap are so drying. Goat milk soap is not drying, but moisturizing.
People think "moisturizing" and think clogs pores. Not true. All natural soaps will help keep the moisture your skin needs to combat any clogging. It's hydrating. What clogs your skin are the un-natural ingredients you find in a store bought soap.
When purchasing your all natural bar of soap, ask about cure times. The longer its cured the better. Some fragrances will take much longer to cure then others. Or even some recipes high in oils. Recently, I'm finding lavender is curing slower then vanilla. All the soaps should cure minimum 4 weeks. As they age scent might dissipate after a year, but the soap is still good. And once you start using it, the scent will permeate again.
If at any time the bar smells rancid. Toss it. Never buy a bar of soap that has an off scent. Unscented should actually smell a bit waxy.
Are you on hard water? or soft water? This will react to your bar. You will likely get a better lather in a soft water environment then hard. You will have to work a bit hard to get a good lather in hard water. Either or all natural soaps will help with whatever water your home uses.
Lye and lard seem to scare consumers away. WHY? We are conditioned by advertising that these two items are bad. NOT. You can't make a true cold processed bar of soap without lye. After the saponification process there is no more lye in your soap. After curing there is no more lye in your soap. One thing I do is superfat every recipe at least 5% sometimes 7% which means the recipe is not equal lye to oils, always more oils then lye ensuring the lye is gone at cure. You can make a bar without lard, but find that they are never as hard and long lasting without. As well, superfatting will make a softer bar. Lard helps keep it hard.
Ask about what they use to scent the soap. Essential oils or Fragrance oils. I enjoy using both. Some people are allergic to fragrance oils while the same scent as an essential oil is not allergy forming. I would think its the synthetic nature of fragrance oils. Here synthetic is not a bad term. Just a less expensive way to get your essential oils scent without the cost. ie. Eu d' Parfum vs. Cologne. Just one is more intensely infused then the other. Essential oils are always the natural plant extract, while fragrance can be a combination of plant and synthetic made. Essential oils are always more expensive then the fragrance oil. So when it doesn't matter to you on this, essential oil soaps will cost more on average.
If you have skin problems go back to basics. Start out with unscented. See how it works for you for a couple months. Then try an essential oil soap if you want a scented experience. Go back to basics with everything that touches your skin. One thing noticed is I use every thing "original". ie. Tide detergent. I look for original recipe, original scent on all products I can't live without. Even Bleach products now have "new and improved" or new scents to it. Stay away from this kind of advertising ploy. Stick with original.
Have any questions on soap and all natural soaps? Email me. In the meantime, buy handmade, buy local, support your farmers. And enjoy the fact that your bar of soap is made with love and passion, as simply as possible.