Many people claim that homemade soap is suitable for their skin. There are many benefits of using homemade soap, including a more natural scent, higher quality ingredients, and fewer chemicals. But are these homemade soaps effective?
Homemade soap is better for your skin because it’s made with all-natural ingredients, including rich moisturizing natural glycerin. It also contains vitamins and fatty acids that are beneficial to your skin’s health. In some cases, homemade soap may even provide relief from skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and sunburns.
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Some people claim that their homemade soaps have helped them with acne or eczema, but is there enough evidence to support this claim? But not all handmade soaps are the same; some work better than others for different skin types.
So what does this mean? Similar to how not every type of skin works well with every cream available on drugstore shelves (similarly), it may take trial and error before finding one’s perfect home remedy for curing specific ailments like acne or dryness.
Why is homemade soap harsh to the skin?
All soaps are made by a conventional method in which fat or oil is mixed with an alkali (i.e., lye). Once the two get saponified the lye gets neutralized.
But soaps that retain too much alkaline may be harsh on the skin. They may also kill the healthy bacteria on the skin’s surface and strip away its natural oils.
Naturally, the pH of our skin is slightly acidic, which is around 5.5pH. However, most of the homemade soaps can be as high as 11pH.
When using soap with high pH, the skin will produce excess sebum to maintain its desired pH level. If the soap residue is not washed off properly from your skin, the pH of your skin will not be able to go back to normal. Soap residue can even bind with the lipid matrix of the skin cells making the skin oilier.
The skin’s protective layer is composed of fatty acids and essential amino acids. When the skin gets severely damaged which disrupts or damages this layer, many skin problems arise.
This change in the integrity of the skin’s protective layer results in dryness, itching, inflammation, and skin irritation. In this case, you may also suffer from acne, eczema, rosacea, or dermatitis.
A homemade soap that is formulated accurately and cured adequately has a lower pH, and therefore it is not harsh for the skin.
Is natural soap better for the skin? If so, why?
Many people prefer using natural soaps. They believe that natural soaps are better than commercial soaps available in supermarkets.
Here are several reasons that make natural soaps superior to commercial soaps.
Presence of Antioxidants:
Natural or organic soaps retain their antioxidants during the soap-making process. These antioxidants help rejuvenate the skin and make it more soft and supple. They also help slow down the aging process.
The pH of organic soap is not lower than commercial or chemical-based soaps. Therefore they are gentle on your skin. As a result, people who use natural soaps do not often complain about irritation or skin infections.
Availability of Glycerin:
Glycerin or glycerol is essentially present in a natural source. This magical ingredient has excellent moisturizing and cleansing properties. In addition, glycerin improves the texture of the skin, making it less prone to infections.
Commercial soap manufacturers remove glycerin from their soaps to improve their shelf life. Instead, they use this glycerin as an ingredient in lotions and creams. If you have sensitive skin, you should use a natural soap that contains glycerin. All-natural soaps contain glycerin and will protect the skin from everyday damage.
The use of Preservatives:
You may have noticed that organic soaps have a shorter shelf life than commercial soaps. And there is a reason. Organic soaps do not contain chemicals that diminish bacterial activity.
The use of chemical additives in commercial soaps makes them usable for years without going bad. But are these chemicals safe for the skin? They all have specific side effects, and they may slowly damage your skin.
On the other hand, organic soaps contain essential oils that work as natural antibacterial substances. Oils such as tea tree, peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, and lemongrass have significant benefits for the skin. They are also biological healing agents that will provide treatment to your skin.
Addition of Healing Agents:
Several herbs, flowers, and plants have their own soothing and healing properties. When added to organic soaps, they will moisturize and cleanse your skin. They also provide relief from skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and sunburns. Unfortunately, these healing substances are not present in commercial soaps.
Does homemade soap help with acne?
Not all soaps can help with acne however if your acne results from highly oily skin, homemade soap with a coconut oil base might your best option. Coconut oil has the most potent cleansing properties. However, it does not moisturize your skin.
Soft oils such as olive oil, meadowfoam oil, and rosehip oil have immense moisturizing abilities. However, when used alone in soap, they may leave a greasy feeling after a bath. That is why they are usually combined with coconut oil. You can mix coconut oil with oil and the butter of your choice for the best results.
Here are some other ingredients that you should look for if you have acne-prone skin.
Tea tree oil
One of the most effective ingredients, tea tree oil, is widely used in natural anti-acne soaps. Tea tree oil has powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties that help remove all sorts of germs from the surface of your skin. It also helps reduce the redness of the skin and restores the skin’s natural oil balance.
Tea tree oil is as effective as benzoyl peroxide for treating acne. However, the side effects of using a tea-tree oil containing soap are negligible.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil helps reduce inflammation of the skin. It is an effective remedy for treating redness and blotchy patches of skin. It also restores the skin’s moisture perfectly. It means that the skin is neither too dry nor too oily after using soap with lavender essential oil.
Goat milk is rich in vitamins such as vitamin A, riboflavin, Niacin, B6, and B12. In addition, the lactic acid present in goat milk is an alpha-hydroxyl acid that rejuvenates the skin and removes dead cells.
Goat milk is suitable for all skin types. It has soothing effects, and that is why it is ideal for people with sensitive skin. In addition, the antibacterial properties of goat milk proteins help cure acne.
Bentonite clay is soft natural clay suitable for people who have acne-prone skin. The silky smooth lather produced by bentonite clay soap unclogs blocked pores and gently exfoliates the skin.
Dry skin can be managed but not reversed.
Healthy skin is your first line of defense against viruses and bacteria. When your skin is dry and itchy, there are greater chances of catching all sorts of skin infections. If your skin is naturally dry, you can not cure it completely.
However, dry skin can be easily managed by a proper skincare regimen. First of all, you should use homemade soaps that are free from fragrance. Some commercial skincare products are too harsh for your skin. Especially if you have dry, sensitive skin, you should choose soaps that are free from fragrance.
Some commercial soap manufacturers label their products as “unscented.” However, these products are in most cases not safe for use. They contain certain chemicals that conceal the undesirable odors of other ingredients.
People with dry, sensitive skin must avoid skincare products containing the following ingredients:
- Alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA)
Now you know what you should not use when you have dry skin. But what if your skin is already dry? Luckily we got that covered as well. Here is what you should use to treat dry skin.
Coconut oil and Coconut Oil soaps
Regularly applying coconut oil to your skin keeps the skin moisturized. Coconut oil has excellent emollient properties. Its saturated fatty acids hydrate and soothe dry patches of skin. Using a natural soap with a coconut oil base is perfect for managing dry, rough, and sensitive skin.
Another effective remedy for dry skin is the use of oatmeal soaps. Studies have shown that colloidal oatmeal relieves itching and soothes skin irritation. In addition, oatmeal has great anti-inflammatory nutrients and antioxidants present in it. That is why all the natural soap makers create oatmeal bars for sensitive skin.
If the skin cannot heal even after using natural soap, you should see a doctor get prescription treatment to manage your dry skin.
Should you switch to homemade soap?
The short answer is YES without a doubt! But this answer will not satisfy you so let’s dig deeper into this topic shall we?
One of the biggest and most common reasons behind the rise in skin problems such as excessive dryness, acne, skin infections, and increase visits to the dermatologist is the usage of commercial soap.
Now we’ve been using commercial soaps for so many years so why did the recent year’s things change?
That is because today’s commercial soaps are loaded with synthetic detergents and do not contain anything that would be beneficial to your skin, instead, it’s damaging.
Ever heard of sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium Laureth sulfate, and triclosan?
The first two are foaming solid agents also present in detergents. The last one is a pesticide listed as an antibacterial agent on your soap. Then comes a comprehensive list of artificial dyes and fragrances that make commercial soaps more attractive for consumers. I guess this should be enough to convince you that the soap you bought the other day is not as natural as the manufacturers claim it to be.
10 Reasons to Use Natural Soaps
Natural soaps refer to soap products made from natural and organic ingredients. Unlike commercial soaps, they do not contain chemical additives in their formulation. Instead, natural soaps are made from plant-based oils, essential oils, natural dyes, natural fats, and other unique ingredients derived from herbs, flowers, and foods.
Here are ten unique benefits of using natural soaps instead of commercial soaps.
- Natural Soaps are Healthier:
The organic ingredients that constitute a natural soap will cleanse and moisturize your skin naturally. Fortunately, natural soaps are free from chemical additives that may cause specific skin and health problems.
Most commercial soaps contain petroleum-based lathering agents, toxic preservatives, synthetic fragrance oils, and harsh colorants. In addition, your soap may have Parabens, Sulfates, and Triclosan.
Most of these chemicals increase the risks of hormonal disruption, skin diseases, severe allergies. In addition, the excessive use of these potential carcinogens may even cause certain cancers.
- Organic soaps offer an exciting variety for consumers:
Commercial products are mass-produced, and therefore they lack variety. They only have typical fragrances, shapes, and colors. Natural soaps reflect the creativity of the manufacturers. You can find your favorite flavors like coffee and cinnamon.
You can choose grainy oats soaps or smooth soaps. You will never get bored by using natural soaps.
- Natural Soaps do not require animal testing:
If you are against the cruel animal testing of cosmetic products, natural soaps are your thing. These soaps are made with simple ingredients extracted from plants. That is why they do not need to be tested on animals.
Commercial products that contain chemicals often go through animal testing before reaching supermarket shelves.
- Natural Soaps are Environment Friendly:
The ingredients of a natural soap break down quickly down the drain, and there they are easily decomposed. Likewise, the chemicals present in the commercial soaps turn into toxic waste in the drainage. When the gutters find their way in rivers, streams, and oceans, they disrupt the marine ecosystem.
When you use organic biodegradable soaps, you have the satisfaction that you are not damaging the environment.
- Organic soaps are rich in antioxidants:
Antioxidants are nutrients found in plants that prevent the activity of free radicals. They are vital for avoiding human cell damage. The good news is that natural soaps are rich in antioxidants. They help revitalize and rejuvenate the skin. Antioxidants also delay the aging process of the skin, keeping it fresher for longer.
- Natural Soaps are rich in glycerin:
Glycerin is a natural substance formed during soap making process. It is very beneficial for the skin as it keeps the skin hydrated. In addition, it protects the integrity of skin cells, meaning that there are lesser chances of allergies and infections.
Unfortunately, glycerin is removed from the commercial soaps and used as an ingredient in lotions and creams. That is why commercial soaps are very harsh for the skin, and they rip off all the natural moisture from them.
- Natural Soaps have a tremendous impact on the economy:
By using natural soaps, you support independent producers. It helps in the regulation of cash. Many people earn by selling their creations. Secondly, as the ingredients in all-natural soaps are organic, the fresh produce is utilized better.
- Natural Soaps are free from preservatives:
Natural soaps have a limited shelf life because they have organic ingredients. In addition, the components of a natural soap are perishable; primarily, the fats and oils used in its production may go rancid after a specific time.
On the other hand, commercial soaps contain toxic preservatives that prevent them from expiring for a more extended period. However, these chemicals are harmful to human health.
- Natural soaps contain natural antibiotics too:
The commercial soaps advertised under the label of “antibacterial soaps” contain harsh chemicals like triclosan, sulfates, and parabens. Unfortunately, these antibacterial agents are linked to the increased risks of certain cancers, hormonal imbalance, and other health disorders.
Therefore, using a natural antibacterial soap that contains essential oils such as tea tree, lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus is the best way to get rid of bacteria from your hands and body.
- Natural Soaps for Aromatherapy:
Natural soaps contain essential oils for fragrances. Each of these essential oils has its therapeutic qualities. According to studies, essential oils direct the release of neurochemicals in the brain. As a result, they help soothe your mind, body, and soul.
The fragrances present in commercial soaps are synthetic, and they do not have any relaxing properties.
Why is the pH of your skin so important?
Potential hydrogen or pH is the measure of the acidity level of substances. Understanding and balancing your skin’s natural pH is crucial for overall skin health.
According to a study published by the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, ideally, skin pH should remain just below 5pH. However, the average of most adults is around 5.7pH to 6pH.
The acid layer of skin is its first protective barrier. It prevents the skin from damage due to alkaline-based aggressors such as soaps and surfactants. It also inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria and other parasites on the skin’s surface.
Not all homemade soaps are made equal
Buying a homemade soap is not the solution to all problems. It is essential to choose the soap that is suitable for your skin type. When you look to buy a homemade soap, you have a lot of choices. It is because every soap maker has its soap-making formulas.
It would help if you understood the properties of all ingredients present in a homemade soap to understand what is best for you. Every soap maker has its secret formula. That’s why we say that not all homemade soaps are made equal.
Oils are the essential ingredient of soap. Different oils have different properties. Some are suitable for sensitive skin types, while others lather healthy—research about the best oil that suits your skin and then byway the soap rich in that oil.
Other ingredients added to natural soaps, such as oats, goat milk, and essential oils, all have specific healing properties. Choosing the ones that are ideal for your skin condition will let it cure fast.
Using natural and organic soaps is a long-term investment that will pay off for your family’s health. Skin is your largest organ and serves as a protective barrier against environmental factors. Therefore it deserves the best treatment.
Using chemical-laden soaps will strip the skin of its natural oils, making it more vulnerable to irritation and infections.
The use of organic soaps helps the skin condition your home and your environment free from unwanted toxins.