In earlier times soap makers traditionally used animal fats in making their soaps, most likely because this was an accessible ingredient that was easily available, most often from pigs. Today most handmade soap makers will use vegetable oils such as olive, palm oil, cocoa butter, Shea butter, and almond oil to name a few. Most commercial soap making companies today still use animal fats because it is much cheaper than using vegetable oils.
Animal tallow is believed to cause clogged pours which can lead to several different skin problems such as acne, eczema, blackheads, and psoriasis. The animal fat does allow the soap bar to become hard allowing it to last longer, however vegetable oils are a great natural substitute that makes the soap just as hard, and no animals have to die for the result. Though vegetable oil base soaps are more expensive, they are much healthier for your skin.