Almost everyone tries to detox at some point in their lives. But it’s usually food that is the focus. The fact is that feeding the body with the right food is only one part of the equation. You also need to feed your skin right.
The skin, your natural defense system against a barrage of external agents, is put to the test every minute of every day. Bacteria, dirt, pollutants, contaminants, chemicals — the list is endless. Now, instead of helping your skin build on its defense, most of us end up weakening it by using commercial soaps, shampoos, and other products. We end up forcing our skin to absorb these chemicals, thereby intensifying the stress it is already under instead of adding to its strength.
So, what are the harmful soap ingredients to watch out for?
Parabens are chemical preservatives found in a majority of commercial soaps. Derived from para-hydroxybenzoic acid (PHBA), they are used to prolong shelf-life and prevent the growth of bacteria.
But they are not very safe to use on the body as they often cause rashes, dry, itchy, and scaly skin, and in some cases, swelling, tenderness, or blisters. Parabens in shampoos tend to cause hair loss. Some studies indicate that parabens may disrupt hormones in the body as well as the reproductive organs.
Parabens may also interfere with hormone production and function in both men and women, and affect fertility levels as well.
Parabens adversely impact the environment too. These chemicals are believed to cause harm to marine life, especially coral, which they can kill.
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
SLS is a chemical surfactant surface active agent. It works to bind soap and water to create a rich foamy, frothy lather.
SLS, though, is harmful to the skin as it strips the skin of its natural oils, leaving you with dry skin, rashy, scaly skin, and sometimes even eye irritation. SLS is known to trigger allergic reactions, eczema, and dermatitis as well. SLS is one of the harshest and most irritating surfactants out there when it comes into contact with the skin.
SLS not only irritates the skin, but some studies have shown that it can penetrate the skin. Another study found the warmer the water used with SLS, the more irritating its effect on the skin. In amounts as low as 2% to 5%, SLS can cause allergic reactions.
What are healthy soap ingredients?
Handmade soaps are crafted with care and contain the purest and most natural of ingredients that promise to leave your skin feeling hydrated and healthy. Chemical-free handmade soaps are devoid of synthetic preservatives, artificial colors, and scents, and therefore, are as caring on your skin as they are on the environment. Your skin protects you. Time to return the favor.
- Handmade soaps contain healthy natural oils like olive and coconut, which help to nourish the skin and restore its natural PH levels.
- Handmade soaps contain ingredients like honey and haldi (turmeric), which serve as antibacterials.
- Handmade soaps use oregano and rosemary extract or salt and sugar as natural preservatives rather than harming your skin with parabens.
- Handmade soaps use fruit extract, aloe vera, and milk that help to create a lather naturally rather than by using harmful SLS like in the case of commercial soaps.
- Handmade soaps are made with a cold process that does not allow mold or bacteria to grow, thereby increasing their shelf-life naturally and chemical-free.
In short, handmade soaps are made with ingredients that understand your body’s requirements and sensitivities, and can therefore help to boost your overall health and wellbeing. Indulge in SLS and paraben-free skincare and give yourself a luxury bathing experience.