Cleansing your body is an essential part of your everyday routine. There are a myriad of options available in stores, such as body wash, soaps, body gels, scrubs, shower bombs, etc. One of the most common items is simple soap and it has been in use for centuries. You can either get it as natural soap or a commercial one from the stores. You can also make your DIY soap at home using all-natural ingredients.
Most skin cleansing products you purchase from the supermarkets, such as body bars, body washes, beauty bars, etc., aren’t actually soaps. In fact, they could be correctly called detergents as they can easily make suds in the water. Due to their foaming properties, they appear to be performing a great job cleaning but could be harsh on the skin and often cause skin problems. They could also be bad for the environment as they are made in factories without fair trade practices.
This article will discuss the benefits of using a natural soap, especially for your skin’s health.
Natural soaps aren’t made with synthetic ingredients found in commercial soaps, such as parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, triclosan, and phosphorus. These chemicals are said to have adverse effects on one’s health and could be carcinogenic. Factory soaps also use preservatives to increase the shelf-life of the products and artificial fragrances or coloring agents. In contrast, natural ingredients such as shea butter, coconut oil, clays, etc., are skin-friendly and can be used to alleviate skin problems.
Environment and Sustainability Factors
Natural soaps are biodegradable, whereas the synthetics such as phosphorus and dyes used in commercial soaps can get into the water systems as they don’t naturally break down. That, in turn, harms marine life, wildlife, and foliage. Moreover, many artificially created fragrances that mimic natural fragrances are made up of so many ingredients that aren’t even disclosed on the packaging. Palm oils used in most commercial soaps aren’t ethically sourced as they’re harvested from deforested areas, which is bad for wildlife such as pandas. Usually, natural soaps are palm oil-free, or the oil is sustainably sourced. You’ll also notice the packaging of commercial soaps is heavy and results in wastage of materials. In comparison, natural soaps come in minimal packaging and sometimes even eco-friendly packaging.
Natural soaps are made with organic plant oils or butter, among many other natural ingredients. Therefore, they aren’t abrasive on the skin when it absorbs these oils. At the same time, factory-made soaps use ingredients that make them akin to detergents, as they strip the skin of its natural oils and cause various problems starting from dryness and rashes. Glycerin, a naturally found product in plants, is hydrating and soothing for the skin. During the natural soapmaking process, called saponification, the ingredients naturally produce glycerin in the process.
Commercial soap makers are notorious for removing glycerin from the soap to decrease the shelf-life. They can then use the glycerin in other skin-moisturizing products, such as a lotion. Think about it, why would you want to partake in their profiteering strategies that end up harming your skin as a result?
You’d be surprised how many of your skin problems will go out of the window once you switch to natural soap and skincare products. Most skin problems occur due to dryness, such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, etc. and can be alleviated by using certain natural ingredients.
The scented natural soaps are made with essential oils widely used for their aroma and therapeutic purposes. The benefits go beyond just scent. When you take a shower or step into a bath, the fragrance of the essential oils can help relieve stress and rejuvenate your spirit. Various neurochemicals get released in the brain, and that’s good for your mind, body, and soul. Artificially created fragrances can imitate the scent of a natural one but can’t offer the same therapeutic advantages.
Natural soap is a surfactant, which means it can naturally produce a rich lather without having foam boosters. Commercial soaps use synthetic materials or lathering agents, such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), as they are quite inexpensive to add. These ingredients can be harsh on the skin and cause dryness and other problems.
It’s the small businesses that normally sell handmade soaps. By purchasing their products, you are supporting local businesses and community members. Factory-made soaps are made with machines reducing the need for labor. Also, natural soaps aren’t tested on animals and, depending on the ingredients, can be suitable for vegans/vegetarians. Always check the ingredients before making a purchase.
While at first, you may find a bar of commercial soap cheaper than a handmade one, there’s a reason why a natural soap could be more pocket-friendly in the long run. Factory-made soaps don’t add enough oils or glycerin to the soaps to increase the shelf-life. As a result, your skin gets dry and itchy, and you end up using moisturizers that are also loaded with chemicals. That creates a cycle of over-consumption to relieve the skin problems caused by the cheap soap. Also, liquid body washes have the main ingredient as water. In contrast, natural soap has very little water. You’re getting better quality and value for money when you’re buying natural soap.
There are many benefits to using natural soap as opposed to artificial soaps. You can buy natural soaps from most health stores. You can also make your soap at home using the ingredients found in your kitchen, without incurring any additional cost. Soap making can also turn into an interesting hobby, and you can get fun and creative with it!