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What Is Triple Milled Soap?

What is triple milled soap? Well, in the nightclubs of the soap world, she’s thicc, she grinds fine, and she lasts a lot longer than your average bar. But is she the right choice when curfew hits and you’re looking for someone slick to take home?

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What Is Triple Milled Soap?

Triple milled soap (a.k.a. French milled soap) is the overachiever of the sudsy bathroom products world. Unlike regular soaps, its ingredients are pressed through mesh rollers three times before they’re added to soap molds—hence, “triple” milled.

So why the extra steps? Triple-milling, done correctly, removes excess air and water from the soap solution, which creates a denser bar. It also tends to grind out impurities, while doing a much better job of mixing in scent and color additives. Bathroom-goers enjoy the resulting creamier texture, and the bar’s longevity.

Is Triple Milled Soap Better?

This boils down to a matter of personal preference, but triple milled soap does have a “premium product” reputation, within the realm of reasonably priced soaps (for the best of the best though, the benefits of natural soaps is still king).

Most triple-milled bars have a rich, shampoo-commercial-esque lather. The scent is also more subtle—some users even describe it as less “chemical-y.” 

The catch here is that, because the triple milling process is expensive and intense, it’s rarely produced as an artesian or handcrafted soap. You’re not going to find a local organic soapmaker who has the resources to triple mill their products. 

So, is it “better” in the sense that someone put love and care into each individual bar? No. But you’ll probably enjoy the texture, lather, and scent more than your regular commercial soap.

Does Triple Milled Soap Last Longer?

Yes! Triple milled soap is dense. As we mentioned earlier, milling removes excess water and air, so the bar won’t break down as quickly as your average dime-a-dozen supermarket soap bar.

There’s even a good chance that it’ll outlive that clump of hair sitting in your shower drain. Depending on the brand, one bar lasts anywhere from three to six months—longer, if you’re not using it daily.

Some devout triple-milled users even complain that they never finish a bar before buying another. The good news here is that, stored in a nice dry area, it has a near-indefinite shelf life. You might lose some fragrance over time, but the quality should remain.

If you have commitment issues, this is not the soap for you.

What Is The Difference Between French Milled Soap And Regular Soap?

We’ve already mentioned a few differences! For starters, one bar of french milled soap is going to last longer, hold a thicker lather, feel creamier against your skin, and hold a gentler scent.

But I know, I know, the real question here is the cost difference. Because it’s usually mass produced, most French milled soaps are surprisingly affordable. On the low end, you can get a bar for as little as two dollars. Mid-range triple milled soaps go for five to ten, and one bar of high-end triple milled soap can start to push into the $20-30 range.

But before you write off the mid- to high- priced French milled soaps, don’t forget that it has a longer usable lifespan, and a longer shelf life. You’re investing in a soap that’s going to stick around for at least a few months. That’s a good return on your investment!

Is French Milled Soap Good For Your Face?

Yes and no. The short answer is, if you’re going to use a triple-milled facial soap, please, please, pair it with a good moisturizer.

As we touched on briefly, triple-milling does a fabulous job of removing impurities from the soap solution, so it’s great for sensitive skin. While other soap bars might contain traces of lye (horrible for your skin!), triple milled soap almost certainly contains no lye remnants.

This does come with a few catches. First is that your average triple-milled bar probably has less glycerin as well. Glycerin is the moisturizing component of soap. It’s composed of the fats and oils that help your skin stay soft. So, when triple-milled soap makers lower their glycerin content, soap-users skip out on those moisturizing properties. Hence, pair it with a facial lotion.

Secondly, lots of sneaky advertisers label their soaps “French Milled” when they’re actually selling rebatched soap. This means they melt down and mold existing cold-process soaps, rather than starting from scratch.

Oftentimes, these melted down soaps are the bars that didn’t turn out “right” on the first try. It’s likely that they contain the exact impurities that you’re trying to avoid by buying triple-milled. So be sure to check the label for sulfate ingredients, and find a brand you trust.

Triple Milled Soap vs Handmade Soap

You’ll rarely (if ever!) find a handmade triple milled soap. Because the milling process is intense and expensive, it’s usually mass-produced.

Handmade soaps imply a more local, artesian flavor. They’re generally only made with organic ingredients, and they often have “honest, hardworking family business” vibes. This does translate to a higher cost, but users enjoy the rich scents and superior skin benefits of a handmade soap.

On the other hand, triple milled tends to be more affordable, but the scent is softer, and there’s a chance your triple milled bar might contain detergents or synthetic agents. You’ll have to be a bit more careful reading an ingredient label for a triple milled bar than a handmade bar.

Handmade soaps are also likely to contain more glycerin than triple milled, which is what makes them kings of the soap world. We’ll talk about what that means in a second here!

Triple Milled Soap vs Glycerin

It would be misleading to say that triple milled soap isn’t a form of glycerin soap—all soap is glycerin soap! The real difference here is the amount of glycerin proportional to other ingredients.

Pure glycerin soaps contain no scent or color additives, so they’re even more gentle on the skin than triple milled. They’re also great moisturizers for people with dry skin. (On the flip side, glycerin soaps are not necessarily fabulous for people with oily skin. If that’s the case for you, do a patch test before you rub it all over your face.)

Glycerin also helps create a “thinner soap,” as opposed to the thick lather of triple milled. Life hack here: use a pure glycerin soap for a closer facial shave, but a triple milled soap for a nicer body scent.

Triple Milled Soap vs Cold Process Soap

Triple milled soap is essentially the little brother to cold process soap.

The two share a lot of initial processing steps: both use oils and lye to spark a chemical reaction that creates the soap base. They sit around for a while afterwards to cure without any added heat (unlike hot-process or melt-and-pour soaps).

From here, a cold-process soap maker simply puts that sudsy solution into a mold and lets it harden. Instead, triple-milled manufacturers run that same soap base through the milling process to add color and scent, and mold a denser bar.

Cold process soaps contain more natural ingredients than triple milled bars, but they also run the risk of leaving lye remnants in the soap. However, you’re also more likely to find a handcrafted cold process soap than a handcrafted triple milled soap.

Both are high quality and better than your regular everyday soap, but cold processed soap is always going to be better (note: cold processed soap is the same thing as handmade soap).

So if you had to choose between triple milled vs cold process soap (aka artisan soap), always pick the cold processed soap.

Frank Edwards is a men's grooming & style expert who is "internet famous" for being able to simplify complicated grooming routines into easy, yet effective rituals any man can do. As a professional analyst, he has spent years researching the biggest brands, products, experts, best practices, and breaking news in the space. He takes this analysis, tests it out on himself, and then documents everything in his writing. As a result, his experience-based articles are considered by some to be the gold standard in men's grooming and men's style.