BENEFITS OF HANDMADE SOAP

Choosing ingredients for our products

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Many people suffer from sensitive skin these days, because of the increasing pollution in the environment around. The skin is exposed to a lot of harmful substances which get absorbed, and lead to various skin disorders. Choosing the right skin care product becomes a very important task, as nobody wants to use something that will cause further irritation to the skin.


Bright coloured packaging, alluring scents, bold labels, and numerous claims attract customers to products!

Next time your strolling through the body care isle at the chemist, or purchasing soap from the supermarket, take note of the ingredients listed, and take a look at the labels. the vast amount of products lining the shelves are not actually soap, can't legally claim to be; they're detergent, they might be called beauty bars, moisturizing bars, or body bars, but not soap.

During the manufacturing processes, a great number of beneficial ingredients are removed, the same beneficial ingredients which are found in cold processed soap making process, like glycerin. Companies remove these products to sell for a profit, replacing the products removed with synthetic lathering agents and harsh cheap chemicals.

These cheap, plentiful detergent bars are not only bad for your skin, but they're also bad for the planet, too.



WHAT'S WRONG WITH COMMERCIAL "SOAP"?


Commercial soap manufacturers are usually big corporate businesses wanting to make a a big a profit as possible.

Removing glycerine, a product produced during the saponification stage in soap making , is a highly profitable byproduct. Glycerine is on sold to companies who use it in the manufacture of lotions and moisturizers, which is sold onto the consumer to use on their skin which has now dried out from using harsh detergent body bars. With the glycerine content removed, sometimes a small amount added back later, synthetic lathering agents, colours, fragrances, and other agents are added into the mix. Antibacterial and antimicrobial soaps often contain triclosan. Triclosan is a toxic chemical that is known to cause cancer. According to the National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides (NCAMP), manufacturers of a number of triclosan-containing products claim that the active ingredient continues to work for as long as 12 hours after use. Consumers are, therefore, exposed to triclosan for much longer than the 20 seconds it takes to wash their hands or face.


Ongoing use of chemical laden products, not just detergent bars, will result in the body storing these chemicals in the body fat or even in the brain - enough accumulations of toxins in the body, can result in in a number of illnesses. The skin is the bodies largest organ, a porous layer of cells which has the ability to absorb what comes in contact with it if the particles are small enough.

It is these chemicals and toxins which can now be found in our eco-system. Every time you use a detergent bar, body wash, shampoos and other products, these chemicals are going down the drain or into septic tanks. The filtration system at the waste water plantations may not always filter out these chemicals, and they are sneaking though and out into the environment affecting our flora and fauna. Phthalates are one of these chemicals, linked to reproductive disorders in both humans and animals, and parabens are also getting through the filtration, a preservative, which is linked to cancer.



WHAT'S THE ALTERNATIVE?

Choose REAL soap, while they may cost more then those in the supermarket, the difference is these soap bars are actually good for your skin, and are good for the planet. Although just because because it's handmade doesn't mean it's good for you, you need to understand a few things about the soapmaking process to know what to look for.

While no soap is all natural or organic due to the use of sodium hydroxide, a chemical necessary in the production of soap, however during the chemical process which takes place during saponification, this results in soap and glycerine.

There are basically three ways to make soap. One common way is called "melt and pour" soap. There are even melt and pour kits you can buy to make cute soap shapes with your kids. These are generally glycerine based transparent soaps. They're not as harmful (usually) as the commercial bars, but they're not what we're looking for here. They may still contain synthetic surfactants and chemicals used during the making of these "soap" bars.

The other two methods are "hot process" and "cold process." The hot process method utilizes heat after the saponification process has taken place, while the cold process method does not. The cold process method takes the most time, but is undoubtedly the best method for producing the highest quality soaps.

Now, we need to discuss the ingredients. Cold process soap bars are made using a combination of oils or fats and lye. Lye sounds a little scary, but all the caustic qualities of the lye are removed during the saponification process. When the lye interacts with the oils or fats, it creates glycerine. The type of oils and fats used make a difference in how hard or soft the soap bar ends up being, and how well it lathers.

LET'S SUM IT UP!

The very best reason to use handmade soap is the ingredients; Typically handmade soap is made of vegetable oils and butters that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients that are essential to healthy skin.

The best soap for your skin and our planet is a handmade, cold process soap bar using natural vegetable oils and butters. Once you've tried one of these lathery treasures, you'll never again be satisfied with 'store-bought' bars. So do yourself and your world a big favor and start using REAL soap.


REFERENCES

Kim Deleary, "Your Skin Absorbs Whatever You Put On It," http://skin-nail-care.suite101.com/article.c... (accessed April 21, 2011)

"Toxic Chemicals from Shampoo, Soap May Be Seeping into Drinking Water," Medindia.com, http://www.medindia.net/news/Toxic-Chemicals... (accessed April 21, 2011)

Smart Soapmaking, Anne L. Watson, 2007, Shepard Publications

Mike Adams, NaturalNews.com, "Toxic chemical triclosan commonly found in anti-bacterial soaps, toothpaste products," https://www.naturalnews.com/022178.html(accessed April 21, 2011)