I love progress, where would we be without it? I mean really, running water and heat are pretty awesome inventions, however, could there be such a thing as a little too much progress? Sure we know that processed commercial foods aren’t exactly always food. We know to shy away from preservatives, food dyes with heavy metals and other questionable multi-syllable chemical ingredients. We also know that clothing isn’t just cotton, silk or wool any more. Fleece and nylon are pretty much plastic and those with sensitivities know to stay ways from them as well… but so many of us never really think about our personal care products.
Soap washes off, so what’s the big deal?
Well, actually your skin, is the largest organ in your body and can also absorb anything you put on it. So, yeah, it washes off, but not before it absorbs some of what you put on it, and when you start looking at things like your ‘chemical body burden’ and stats claiming we have hundreds of different chemicals in our blood stream at birth, it might be time to pay attention to your personal care routine.
Soap is soap…. not really.
Just like food, clothing, etc. soap is no longer just soap. Even the FDA states, 'Today there are very few true soaps on the market. Most body cleansers, both liquid and solid, are actually synthetic detergent products.’
So what’s the difference?
Genuine soap is a mixture of oils (fats) and lye which cause a reaction called saponification resulting in soap and glycerin. Different oils, butters and fats add different qualities to the soap. The glycerin in this soap is what attracts moisture to your skin and aids in smoother skin.
Alternately, commercially produced synthetic soap and detergents right off the bat they separate the glycerin from the soap to sell at a higher price or use in more expensive products. After removing the glycerin, they add in synthetic foaming agents and artificial fragrances to mask the absence of glycerin.
Natural cold process soaps typically take 6 weeks to fully cure. They are often handmade just like our New Earth Handmade Artisan Soaps. These soaps do not contain artificial fragrances or synthetic dyes, but rather essential oils and botanicals for color.
If soap makers could skip the 6 week curing process and extract the glycerin for higher profit and use the byproduct as cheap synthetic soap, it's no wonder small handmade soap makers were squeezed out of the market.
What does this mean for your skin?
Typical commercial soap contains sodium laurel (SLS) sulfate (a drying skin irritant), and possibly sodium laureate sulfate (SELS) (cheap carcinogenic foaming agent) not to mention dyes which contain heavy metals and artificial fragrances which typically contain phthalates, and endocrine disrupter. Furthermore, if it's labeled antibacterial, it probably contains triclosan, a chemical classified by the EPA as a pesticide. (FYI - 40 years of research by the FDA has shown antibacterial soaps are no more effective than natural cold process soap!)
What makes natural soap even more awesome?
So many of the natural ingredients in cold process soap are so good for your skin to begin with. New Earth soaps uses a blend of coconut oil, which moisturizes, disinfects, and has anti aging properties, shea butter, known for skin healing properties, olive oil, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, castor oil, which creates a great natural lather, prevents dry skin and fights acne-causing bacteria as well as essential oils which can range from antiviral properties to skin calming for conditions like eczema or acne. Natural soaps don’t just clean you, they make your whole body healthier and help lessen the toxic load.
In short natural soaps are a great way to lessen your toxic load and really do something great for your skin. They won't dry out your skin or cause irritation because all the ingredients are NATURAL! They don't contain synthetics or chemicals that will enter your blood stream via your skin and they just smell better! Essential oils derived from actual plants will leave you feeling fresh and smelling great vs artificial fragrances which can be questionable at best.