Guest post by Linda Boyle
Soap. We all use it. And have memories of it from our earliest childhood. Whether it was having our first bath or washing our hands before dinner, we all remember the lovely clean smell of soap. Some of you may have even acquired a taste for it after Mom had to wash your mouth out!
We all notice the aromas coming from the isles of the grocers and the vast selection of soaps available to us but how do you make the decision of which one to buy. What is going to be the best for my needs? And what is soap anyway? Is it 99.9% Pure? or ¼ Real Moisture Cream, or maybe its Zestfully Clean? They all sound great. And soap is soap. Right? What difference can it make?
Most of these bars aren’t even “real” soap but more of a detergent based cleaner with preservatives and added chemicals. Real soap is the result of the chemical process called saponification, whereby fatty acids (oils) chemically react, using a bit of heat, with sodium hydroxide (lye). This reaction produces soap and glycerin. And that’s it. That’s soap.
True soap contains all of the glycerin produced. Most commercial producers of soap remove the glycerin, process it and sell it. It is then used in numerous products in the food industry, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and added in body creams and lotions.
The “soap” that is remaining still does its job and cleans but it has lost the essence of what soap can actually do for your skin by cleaning but not stripping your skin of its natural oils. The glycerin contained in real soap is a humectant and leaves a natural layer of moisture on your skin that creates a barrier that helps to draw moisture to it.
Commercial soap labels may contain tocopherol or cocamidopropyl betaine or my personal favorite pentaerythrityl tetra-di-t-butyl hydroxyhyrocinnamate ..... Huh??
Can’t say it....Don’t want to use it !!
It’s so much easier to read the label of real soap. Olive oil, Coconut oil, Palm Oil and maybe Mango Butter... Yummmmm... hungry yet? You could literally consume all but one of the ingredients used to make real soap, that being the lye. Sounds good to me.
I'm stepping up on my ‘Soap Box’ for a minute……. I think part of my passion for making soap, ‘real’ soap, is to provide options to those that have mild to severe sensitivities to the commercial products. Today we are seeing a pronounced increase in cases of eczema, asthma, disruption in the functions of the endocrine system and cancers, especially in children. But why? What has changed? It’s the chemicals, loads of chemicals that we are exposed to daily.
I was raised here in Guelph and I don’t recall any of my school mates with ‘puffers’. Peanut butter and jam sandwiches were a lunch time staple. Now we see not only classrooms but entire schools banning ‘peanut’ products from coming through their doors because of severe allergies. Over sanitizing with Antibacterial soaps containing Triclosan which has been suspected of being a hormone disrupter for years, is finally being addressed in all antibacterial products according to the FDA. Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration announced Monday that they are revisiting the safety of triclosan and other sanitizing agents found in soap in countless kitchens and bathrooms. Recent studies suggest triclosan and similar substances can interfere with hormone levels in lab animals and spur the growth of drug-resistant bacteria.
It has been suggested that washing with soap and warm water has the same germ fighting effect as using an antibacterial soap. Wow, right back to where we started.
All of these so called improvements in products seems to have only complicated and confused our bodies own ability to protect and defend itself. Natural and pure is certainly the way to go and using ‘real’ soap is a great start.
I will now jump back off my ‘Soap Box’ and get back to creating some soapy goodness in the Soap Room!
Just thoughts, Linda
My passion, or you might say obsession, for soap making came about only a few years ago. While seeking alternatives for household cleaners and laundry products, I discovered the craft of soap making. I soon came to realize the benefits of “real” soap and how much better and safer it is for your skin, the environment and funny enough, your wallet. My crafty nature kicked in and before you know it, my basic rustic soap bars started to look more like something edible.
My passion has led me to create Serenity Soaps, a home-based business, creating natural soaps and bath products. We have a very natural soap line, but also the Fun and Fancy soaps too.