What exactly is soap?
A product is defined as soap by the FDA when the bulk of the nonvolatile matter in the product consist of an alkali salt of fatty acids and the products detergent properties are due to the alkali-fatty acid compounds.
In other words, soap is created when fats or oils are mixed with an alkali, such as lye. A chemical reaction called saponification occurs and soap is the resulting product. Lye is the catalyst in this chemical reaction and a necessary ingredient in the soap making process but soap that is correctly made, contains no lye in the finished product.
You want to buy handcrafted soap because unlike commercial soap it is made with better quality oils and has not had the glycerin removed. The glycerin is the wonderful property in soap that makes it so moisturizing.