Natural Bar Soap
We offer several varieties of natural bar soap to choose from. When looking at the ingredients of a natural soap you will immediately realize that there are not the harsh, drying chemicals you've been used to in traditional soaps.
Benefits of Natural Bar Soap
Natural skin care products date back to the time of ancient China and Egypt, where sophisticated techniques were practiced not only in natural soap bar making, but in tailoring soaps and skin washes to particular skin types or to a specific skin condition.
Ayurvedic practice, which dates back to a similar age of history, is an Indian traditional medicine which adopts extracts from different plants to treat ailments. These ancient traditions are being revisited in the present day as an increasing number of people realize that plant extracts are in many cases more harmonious with the body and more effective in treating the skin than chemicals.
Modern soaps are increasingly containing antimicrobial or antibacterial ingredients, which generally mean that they include certain chemicals which unfortunately have some serious health implications. Whilst there is quiet panic over hospital outbreaks and epidemics such as bird and swine flu, little media attention is being paid to the dangers of over-sterilization, not least the backfiring effect it can have on the immune system. Antibacterial chemicals such as triclocarban (TCC) and triclosan have been linked to hormone disruption and cancers and, ironically, have also been found to encourage resistant strains of super-bugs by elimination of less resistant strains.
There are also severe environmental implications by not using a natural soap: these chemicals are bio-accumulators and are found in increasing proportions in river fish - these chemicals do not break down but, like mercury and lead, accumulate as they move up the food chain, the top of which are us humans.
Triclosan, one of these two offenders, has also been shown to produce dioxin when exposed to sunlight. Dioxin is becoming an increasingly high-profile chemical with the World Health Organization (WHO) linking it to cancer, birth and developmental defects, and immune dysfunction. Most people would argue that, because these products are legal, they cannot be harmful. However, time and time again throughout history hazardous chemicals have been removed from popular use only after decades of reassurances of their safety.
In summary, unless you are using a natural bar soap, we do not know what these chemicals do and it is only after years of studying their effects that we can say with certainty what damage they cause.
Conversely, health scares relating to natural soap bars and their plant-derived additives are pretty much non-existent. Traditional natural soap bar additives include olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba, honey, shea butter, aloe vera, green tea and even algae, thereby utilizing their medicating and therapeutic properties.
Some Ingredients Used in Natural Soap Bars
These ingredients are tailored in natural soaps towards different skin types. Whilst dry skin can be helped using natural oils to lock in the skin's moisture, ingredients such as witch hazel and tea tree oil are well known to help balance oily skin and to treat pimples and spots in conditions such as acne.
- Jojoba oil is known for its gentle nourishing of the skin.
- Shea butter has been found to have similar properties as well as regenerating skin and promoting healing from sun damage or of wounds.
The reliance of the modern world on chemicals that we know very little about is almost unbelievable in the modern 'enlightened' age. The FDA recommends that you read the ingredients of all of the products in your home that come into contact with your skin and hair. If you are suffering from continual nagging health problems or allergies, try throwing out your antibacterial and chemical products and opting for natural soaps instead. You will give your immune system a boost and, by reducing your exposure to dangerous chemicals, you will safeguard your body against the long term damage they can cause, to not only you but your children too.
- Witch hazel has also been successfully used to treat psoriasis and eczema due to its antibacterial properties.
- Algae, although a less common ingredient, has similar properties in clearing pores and healing pimples.
- Vitamin E is commonly used as a preservative in natural bar soap but has the additional benefit of being a powerful antioxidant.
History of Natural SoapAccording to legend, in 1,000 B.C. a group of women in Sappo Hill, Rome were washing their clothes in the River Tiber at the base of a hill. Prior to the women arriving, animal sacrifices had taken place at higher elevation which caused animal fats to run down into the river and create a soapy clay mixture. While in the process of washing the garments they became noticeably cleaner. The women rightfully attributed the cleanliness to their newly discovered substance. Clearly, when animal fat was soaked down through the wood ashes and into the clay soil, a fabulous, natural occurrence took place. Soap was named from the place where the myth originated.
Empirically, it is known that soap has existed for somewhere around 2,800 years. Archeologists have uncovered clay tablets from Ancient Babylon with evidence of soap making recipes and images that portray bathing with soap. Bathing in soap however was not common and in fact did not become a part of anyones personal hygiene regimen until later centuries of the Roman era. Babylonians typically created soap using, alkali, cassia oil and water. Cassia oil, sometimes known as Chinese Cinnamon, has a very strong, intense aroma along with antibacterial properties. It can also be very irritating to the skin. Therefore, even though the general benefits of Cassia oil are endless, this particular blend was exceptionally good for washing wool and cotton in preparation for weaving and disinfecting pots and pans as well as other cooking utensils.
Naturally Processed Soap - Great for Skin
Soap, naturally processed, is one of the very best things one can put on their skin. It cleans and moisturizes yet is gentle and non-agitating.
Sadly, soap recipes began to become adulterated over the years. Sometime around the 18th century bathing became fashionable. For years prior to this, it was actually considered dangerous and unsanitary due to silly superstitions.
Because of the high demand for 'domesticated soaps' companies in Europe began producing new soap concoctions by changing and adding ingredients based on the region. It wasn’t until the early 19th century however, that soap companies started appearing in Colonial America. When greedy, commercial companies discovered the shortcuts and figured out how to cut expenses when making 'soap' the quality of the product suffered tremendously. Cheap detergents were added into the process as well as synthetic fragrances. This resulted in the irritation of consumers' skin along with dryness and rash.
In real, genuine soap, fats are saponified by alkaline salts. Saponification occurs as a chemical reaction when a highly alkaline salt meets water and fatty acids. In contemporary soap making sodium hydroxide (lye) or potassium hydroxide is used along with a combination of oils or fats. Because each kind of fat has different properties, the reaction differentiates depending on what which fat or oil is used. For example, soap generated from Coconut oil results is a rich lather but may be harsh on the skin. Whereas soap generated from Olive oil is gentle and soft. Palm oil generates a very firm soap.
Why Natural Soap is So Important
Soap makers are very creative and combine different oils for different purposes including beeswax, nut oils and vegetable oils. It's imperative that the right kind of soap be chosen for daily use. Because most popular commercial soaps in well known stores contain synthetic lathering agents, artificial colors, imitation fragrances and a very long list of chemicals that even ivy league educated people cannot pronounce, they market themselves as bath and beauty bars. Knowing that they are indeed not soap.
Cold processed soap is of the highest quality. The bars are made using a combination of oils, fats and lye. The lye causticity is removed during the saponification process thereby creating glycerine when the lye interacts with the oils or fats.
As previously addressed above, how hard or soft the bar ends up being all depends on the types of oils or fats used as well as how well the bar lathers. Conclusively, natural soap is the safest, healthiest way to clean and moisturize ones skin. It's also much better for the earth's eco-system. Natural soap causes no harm to oceans, lakes and drinking water. There are no chemicals in natural soap, therefore no cause for concern.
Natural soap is good for the body and good for the planet.