Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Certified Soap Makers?

I am starting to see a lot of people adding to their websites that they are "Certified Soapmakers"
It would seem that their are different levels of the certification process.
In searching the web I have only found one site that offers certification for soap making.
While their intentions are good I think that it is unfair to those that have been making handcrafted soaps for years now.
Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild has developed the program, which is offered to their members.
The certification program seems very well covered.
I think even this soap maker of over 40 years, might learn a thing or two!
The only drawback would be that only people that make handcrafted soaps and follow the handcrafted soap industry would know what the certification process covers.
As it is stated on their website "to encourage and promote the highest professional standards among HSMG members."
Does that give HSMG members an unfair advanage ? Being able to add to their websites that they are certified soapmakers, without adding that it is for HSMG members only, it would make people assumed that there is a standard when it comes to making handcrafted soaps.
I agree that there should be a national standard for soap making, along with shampoo, sugar scrubs, body lotions, and all the other bath products.
I think the FDA covers most of it. I would much rather see a government certification program, if there are to be any.
I now have the choice of joining HSMG and pay to take their certification test, which if I passed would give me the right to say I am a "certified soapmaker" on my websites, blogs, facebook and twitter.
I did email the president of HSMG voicing my concern that "certified soapmaker" might give the general public a false impression that there is a set standard for soapmakers. She was kind enough to reply.
"As the only non-profit trade association for handcrafted soapmakers, we have developed the Certification Program to help the industry as a whole by creating a set of standards. Our logo as well as the HSMG Certification logos clearly have the HSMG symbol in them and are very similar to each other making it very clear where the program originated."
HSMG has even hired a
DC Advocate to help be a voice for handcrafted soapmakers and setting standards for soapmakers.
Should there be a national standard for soapmakers?
From the handcrafted soapmakers that I know, we all take pride in creating our handcrafted soaps. We know that selling our soaps, we have to be consistent with all of our products. I am sure that there are some soapmakers that take shortcuts just like any other industry. They will be the ones that will not get repeat sales, or they will stop taking shorcuts.
Now I could join and become a " Certified Soapmaker",
or I can choose not to and say "I am not a certified soapmaker", with over 40 years experience in making handcrafted soaps. Who knows one day I might, but until then I will still take pride in the way I make my soaps, knowing that only the best will be given to family and friends, because If my soaps are not good enough for my family to use then I know they are not good enough to be sold.
To all my fellow soapmakers that take pride in crafting the best handcrafted soaps I give you the title " Master Soapmaker!"


  1. Are these European or American Soap Makers? In Europe (and possibly in Canada as well) we have to be certified to sell soap. This isn't a "soap-certification" as such, but we have to have all of our recipes tested by a cosmetic chemist and only once he gives the all-clear are we allowed to sell a product. So, for me, it is important that I make it clear on my site that I am "certified".

  2. Canadians do not have to have their products tested unless claiming they are a sunscreen or have some sort of healing involved. Soap and cosmetic products only need be registered of their contents with Health Canada. There is no such a thing as a "certified" soap maker, here too it is something a guild made up to gain membership, and therefore likely money. There is no government regulated certification program for soap makers in Canada.