Why use natural soap? There are many reasons. For one, it is what humans have been doing for thousands of years – What did your ancient ancestors do to clean themselves? Did they run to the local grocer to pick up soaps with harsh chemicals and dyes? Or did they make their own soaps? There have been archaeological digs from thousands of years ago that have uncovered soap and soap making materials. Our ancestors used natural materials like alkaline salts, plant oils, ash and vegetable oils to produce their soaps.
Natural Soap Doesn’t have Triclosan, Parabens, or Sulfates
Another reasons to why we should use natural soap is that many soaps made today are antibacterial or have antibacterial properties. And antibacterials are probably harmful. The antibacterial craze has been recent and it hasn’t been good for our species. Many antibacterial soaps contain the chemical triclosan. This chemical causes germs to mutate in order to be resistant to these antibacterial soaps (bad in the long run). Triclosan, and other similar chemcials, can also make you sick (bad in the short run). There’s no evidence that antibacterial soap even cleans your hands better than natural soaps.
So why expose your body to substances that can contribute to an increase in allergies, negatively affect your hormone health, or even cause disease? The short answer is that we shouldn’t. We should just use natural soap. It doesn’t have to be homemade natural soap. It can be soap that is mass manufactured but it doesn’t contain triclosan, parabens, or sulfates. There are large companies out there that claim they make safe products. Of course sometimes their promises don’t measure up to reality they promise. The Honest Company was just busted for using sulfates in their products, even though that was a product they promised they never would.
Natural Soap Feels and Smells Better
What’s better, the smell of fresh, real cherries or the smell of synthetic cherries? When I hear the phrase “black cherry” I think of those horrid car air fresheners or the scents they use in outhouses to mask the smell.
How about fresh lime or a synthetic lime? Chopped vegetables or a bathroom cleaner? For me it is no contest. Natural ingredients smell better. Granted, there are better and better smells being invented in the labs that are starting to smell less synthetic. But even more than the smell, they just feel better. I would rather smell someone that washed with Irish Spring or Dial over someone that doesn’t wash at all. But a natural soap like lavender, grapefruit, oats or honey, or peppermint aren’t even on the same level as a cheap bar of synthetics. Knowing that my body has been cleansed with olive oil, coconut oil, and/or palm oil is much more satisfying than whatever a fake bar of soap has.
I’ve never met anyone that has used a natural bar of soap and doesn’t say that natural soaps don’t feel better on their skin. I don’t know how else to describe it. I made some soap for my Dad. And he kept asking for more. He originally started on natural soaps way before I was ever interested in them. He didn’t really have a choice. He would develop rashes if he used the soap more 1 day in a row. There was even one point where he stopped soap altogether. He used apple cider vinegar for a while. It probably got the job done but you sure knew when Dad had gotten done with a shower! Talk about strong! And after that he moved to a bar of pure sea salt. To be honest I’m not sure how that worked out for him. But he eventually found a natural soap that worked for him. And he felt better using it. He doesn’t care so much about the smell, obviously if he’ll use a strong undiluted vinegar. But he found that his soap, and eventually mine, made his skin feel better.
Natural Soaps Make you Healthier
Natural soaps make you age less. There are many double-blind studies to back this up. Whatever evidence I do have is anecdotal at best although there is some data online that seems to suggest this is true. But I have seen those that take care of their skin with natural soaps and products and I have seen those that don’t. And the difference is staggering! There might be more to it than just soaps because someone that will take care of his/her face with natural products is probably also prone to eating well. Time gets us all in the end. But if you want to slow down the journey I would recommend going with natural soaps (and maybe even natural foods).
And many natural ingredients reduce inflammation. Many have found that preventing or reversing inflammation is all about listening to your body. And in more cases than not inflammation is caused from chemicals and synthetics introduced in the last few decades. From listening to your body you can begin to learn first-hand what increases or reduces your body’s inflammatory response. My bet is that you will have a much easier time using natural ingredients and using natural soap.
Even If You Understand the Labels You Often Don’t Know What you are Buying
Like we mentioned above, artificial soaps have more chemicals in them than one can reasonably keep track of. Parabens, Sulfates, Triclosan are particularly harmful. Parabens alone are believed to be an ingredient in over 75% of all cosmetic products. Long term effects of Parabens, Sulfates, and Triclosan have increased the chance of some women to be at a greater risk of some forms of cancer. Respiratory damage has also been linked to parabens. Propylene glycol is classified outright as a penetrator and skin irritant. The International Journal of Toxicology found that not only did Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate cause skin irritation, a 15% solution caused depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, and death in four out of 20 animals.
Another trick word that shows up in many of the commercial soaps and body washes is “fragrance”. Basically fragrance can mean anything the company selling the soap wants it to mean. It is a filler ingredient that is meant to protect the company from giving out their secret ingredient. Most of the time it is just another word for harmful chemicals.
Why Do Not Many People Ever Go Back After Using Natural Soap?
Natural soaps may have a lot better chance of preventing allergic skin reactions. Why? One of the leading theories is because it has been what we as humans have been doing for so long. There will still be those allergic to the random oils. Just like there are those that are allergic to nuts or shellfish even though they are products of natural. But natural soaps have been shown to be the best soap for sensitive skin. Far more people are allergic to the chemicals that humans have invented in the last few decades. In fact natural soaps are better at treating poison ivy, rashes, and burns than the cheap bars. Part of the reason is that many natural soaps have essential oils. Essential oils are distilled from the plant in a way that that is 100% of what the oil is. If you have lavender oil then you have near 100% oil made from the lavender plant.
Why wouldn’t you use a natural soap? Well they are more expensive. There just is no way that a handcrafted natural soap can be made as cheaply as factory bar that is made in batches of thousands. Also natural soaps are made with expensive organic oils. You won’t find anything like that in a bar from one of the big corporation bars. But other than the price the only reason you wouldn’t want to use a natural bar is because you don’t want your skin to feel smooth or would prefer harsh chemicals to natural scents and oils. Or is there a reason more than that? Let me know.
The best evidence I have for using natural soap is my own experience. Natural soaps feel better and seem to work better. But even more than my experience I have never met anyone that has tried natural soap that has gone back to Dial, Irish Spring, Dove, etc. Of course that doesn’t mean that they use natural soaps 100% of the time. Even I don’t travel with my soaps. But after going natural it seems that no one goes back.