Unappreciated dermatologists, shunned by younger generations who prefer the shower gel, soap deserves to be rehabilitated. What are the benefits of natural soap? Nothing cleans better than him. Provided you use it wisely and not on all skins. No other beauty product approaches us so closely. It glides on the skin, marries the full and hollow of our body, leaving in its path a velvety and fragrant wake that only the most intimate can breathe. From Marseille soap, which smells clean and fresh, to “cosmeto” soaps, through aromatherapy ranges, it comes in an infinite variety of shapes, scents, and colors. If it has long suffered from a bad reputation (the soap abyss and scours the skin …), we now know that associated with moisturizing body care, it is the most sensual and the most natural daily care.
Discover questions and answers about natural soap and its use. Discover the benefits of natural soap.
1. Are There the Benefits of Natural Soap in Comparison with Shower Gel?
This is especially true for Marseille soap and Aleppo bread (see box opposite), very pure soaps, made from vegetable oils and containing no additives, which is not the case shower gels. But beware of imitations! If Marseille soap does not benefit from a registered designation of origin, its saponification process is quite framed. Some tips to distinguish it: it must contain at least 72% of vegetable oil (olive or coconut palm). Check the labels. The list of ingredients mentioned in the case should, therefore, include the following names: sodium palmate (palm oil), sodium cocoate (coconut oil) and sodium olivate (olive oil). There is also a little water (aqua) and sodium salts (sodium hydroxide). And nothing else.
The real Marseille soap is cream when formulated with coconut palm oil, or green if it is olive oil. Flee all artificial colors. The real Aleppo soap contains about 75% olive oil and 10 to 20% laurel oil. If it contains coconut oil or palm oil, it is counterfeit. It is also recognizable by its appearance: irregular cube, natural ocher color with green highlights, but if cut it is bright green inside.
2. Are There Real Differences Between Soaps?
This word can refer to four different products. The traditional soap, or toilet soap, is obtained after a saponification reaction of animal fat (tallow, lard) or vegetable (olive oil for Marseille soap) on a mineral base (soda or potash). Surgras soap is a traditional soap enriched with nourishing agents (sweet almond oil, shea butter …), but in limited quantity (not more than 10%), otherwise, it loses its foaming power. Liquid soap (not to be confused with washing cream or shower gel) is always soap. The only difference: it is more diluted, contains more water and a little more additives (texture agents, anti-scale agents such as ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid or EDTA …).
Dermatological bread, also called soap without soap or syndet, is made from synthetic washing agents (surfactants). Up to 25% of other compounds, superfatting or active, can be incorporated. Its foaming power is weaker.
3. Can All Skins Use Soap?
A traditional soap always pulls the skin a little. If it is too detergent, it can remove the hydrolipidic film. But he is not the only one responsible: the high temperature of the water and its limestone content are also guilty. Also, it is better to apply, after the toilet, hydrating milk or vegetable oil. If your skin is sensitive, if you have skin problems, use a dermatological bar. If you have dry skin or if you are over 70 (skin dries over time), use overgrown soap. If you have no problems, traditional soap is perfect for the body, but prefer a dermatological bar or a specific product for the face. Forget a little “the cult of pH”. “An acidic or alkaline pH does not mean that preparation will be irritating to the skin,” explains Pierre Grascha, research and development director DEB Group Ltd. The pH alone is not a sufficient indication to choose a soap, too many elements modify it in a formula (perfumes, surfactants, preservatives …). Above all, the term “neutral pH” is a chemical term that has nothing to do with safety.
In addition, the skin has an excellent buffering capacity: it will correct itself its pH. »Prefer soaps containing washing agents of plant origin (olive, palm, cotton, sweet almond …), and non-synthetic (surfactants) or animal oils (watch for the indications on the cases” without animal fat ” “). Prefer formulas without perfumes or dyes (they bring nothing in terms of efficiency), or preservatives (absent in traditional soaps or surgras).
4. Is the Soap Better Than the Shower Gel?
The washing agents of a traditional soap are very powerful, hence this unique sensation of cleanliness. Its cleaning power is superior to that of the shower gel. It is, in essence, bacteriostatic and fungistatic: it prevents the development of bacteria and fungi. Our advice: forget the washcloths, real nests with microbes, because they macerate always in a humid environment. Wash yourself with your bare hands.
As it rinses very well, the soap leaves no residual film on the skin: water pearls on the surface of the epidermis, which allows to dry very quickly and find the real touch of the skin. With a shower gel, the skin stays moist longer.
5. How Long Does a Soap Stay?
The average life of soap of two hundred and fifty grams, one shower per day, is two months (for one person), one month for a shower gel. A soap that melts quickly is not a good soap. Same if it splits in time. If it softens very quickly, it is that it contains too much water and has not dried long enough during its manufacture. His “heart” did not have time to harden. Also avoid glycerine soaps, which melt quickly.
Once started, a soap (traditional or surgras) is kept about twenty-four months. Perfectly stable, it ages well and loses none of its qualities from one year to the next. As long as you keep it well, outside the stagnant water.
6. Do Scented Soaps Irritate the Skin?
Everything depends on perfumes! Synthetic odorous agents are a little more irritating than natural essences. But perfumes, in general, increase the risk of cutaneous reactions. Avoid these soaps if your skin is fragile. Otherwise, they offer a real moment of pleasure in the shower and are always appreciated as a gift. This property is the benefits of natural soap which we have not to forget.
7. Can an Exfoliating Soap Be Used Every Day?
Like a tube or pot exfoliation, the exfoliating soap, enriched with vegetable or marine particles that “scrape”, is used on the body two to three times a week. Less tender than an exfoliating cream, it is not recommended for sensitive skin.
8. Do the Mucous Membranes Need a Specific Hygiene Product?
If you do not have any particular problems, you can use your usual soap, preferably without dyes or perfumes (the mucous membranes are more reactive than the skin). On the other hand, an intimate hygiene product can be useful in cases of vaginal dryness (after menopause or childbirth, when taking antibiotics or anti-acne treatment). Then prefer a foam texture (no need to scrub) or gel, softer.
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Soap Crafting : Step-By-Step Techniques for Making 31 Unique Cold-Process Soaps
By (author) Anne-marie Faiola
In Soap Crafting, The Soap Queen (a.k.a. Anne-Marie Faiola) shows how to make beautiful handmade soap through full-color step-by-step visual instructions and 31 recipes that make it easy to navigate the process.