We often hear that soap bars are bad for our skin. But is it really? Whilst at Bud Cosmetics last week, I posed this question to owner Eric Chew since he used to make his own soaps in Australia. And his answer? It’s not true. It really depends on the soap content.
Soaps with glycerine are good for sensitive and delicate skin
I’ve since learnt that clear soap bars made from natural glycerine are actually good for sensitive and delicate skin as well as children. Glycerin is a humectant which attracts moisture to our skin, and leave skin feeling soft and hydrated while permitting it to breathe. It also contains healing properties and is thus good for those with sensitive skin like eczema and psoriasis.
Combination of vegetable-based oils provide moisturizing base
In addition, many natural and organic soap bars today are made from vegetable-based oils, such as olive, coconut, and palm and these when combined with the glycerin and water, provide a moisturizing lotion base and are not drying on the skin when used.
No artificial preservatives and harmful ingredients
You may also like to know that such soaps typically do not contain artificial preservatives that can irritate skin. They are also free of synthetic ingredients often found in mass-marketed soap such as Isopropyl Alcohol, TEA, Propylene Glycol and Triclosan that are suspected to be harmful to health and can cause severe skin irritation in some people.
No artificial fragrances and colorings to irritate
Such soap bars also not contain artificial fragrances and colorings which can cause skin irritations. Instead, they usually come with pure essential oil fragrances with aromatherapy benefits and some of these natural fragrances also have anti-fungal, and anti-microbial properties as well. I also learnt that properly made natural soap bars have no measurable free alkali, which is apparently the most common irritant in soap.
Soap bars could be milder than liquid soaps
So soap bars are not necessarily bad for our skin. In fact, some could even be milder in formulations when compared to liquid soaps. You just have to look at the ingredients and find out about the formulations. As long as it doesn’t make your skin all tight and dry, it should be fine.