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Which Bar is Better? How to Choose the Right Natural Soap

How to Choose the Right Natural Soap

Natural soaps beat the everyday drugstore options for more reasons than you might think.

Sun damage, pollution and the number of products we apply on our face take a toll on the skin. Which makes keeping your face clean and free from the residual product or dirt essential. But following a proper cleaning process is easier said than done.

Different brands of soap flood the market, mostly alkaline soaps and fat are still used as the main ingredient with the other ingredients mixed in or replaced to meet the needs of different skin types.

Today’s soaps are made with different needs in mind. Some are specialized to help moisturize the skin; others are specifically made to control breakouts or other skin conditions, while several other soaps have been developed to make your bath time more enjoyable through aromatherapy.

With this large number of options from natural to commercial, it becomes difficult to choose a soap that really good for you. Having proper knowledge of various soaps and understanding your needs can help make the purchase a bit easier and more useful.

Soap is one of the things we use every day, and it should be noted that each type of skin, its soap. Making it crucial to define your skin before choosing your soap to avoid obnoxious or even unhealthy surprises.

Below are some tips to help you choose the right natural soap.

Butters, Oils, Fat Bases 

Natural soaps contain all kinds of ingredients that are good for you, but how do you choose the right natural soap, the one that best suits your skin?

Natural soaps are a very versatile product; they allow an infinity of ingredients that combine with more or less difficult to obtain rich products that hydrate, improve and take care of the skin.

Natural soaps preserve the integrity of the oils, fats, and butters. Coconut, caster, palm or olive oil goes in, saponified (made into soap) coconut oil, caster, palm, or olive oil comes out. Shea butter goes in, and shea butter comes out. Because of this, the oils, fats, and butters maintain their vitamins, minerals, and skin-loving qualities in the final soap product.

We love the nourishing elements of Indigo Wild’s goat’s milk and oil bars. Nubian Heritage brings the benefits of shea butter to the surface. Dr. Bronner’s brings the aged art of Castille Soap to use with their all-in-one collections. A Wild Soap Bar utilizes sunflower oil and other vegetable oils to bring you highly effective bars. Check out all our Soap Makers.

What Natural Soap is Best for Me?

It is without exception the great doubt for those who start to try natural soaps. And it is not a casual question; considering some soaps work very well on some people but not so much in others.

For a good answer to that question, you have to know a little about the ingredients that make up each soap and also know your skin type even possible problems you have had on the skin.

Let’s learn the facts first:

Which lathers best? This is a trick question, both bars and liquids tend to make the same volume on bare hands. Regardless, you’ll get more suds for your buck and conserve the soap longer if you use bar soap.

Which lasts longer? Bar soaps by far outlast liquid soaps. We tend to overuse liquids and to further sustain a bar’s lifespan, you need to store it in a dry, well-drained spot instead of a damp dish, so it doesn’t get gooey when not in use. Hands down the best soap stand for your bar is the Spire Soap Stand. This soap stand is guaranteed to keep your bar high and dry. You’ll never go back once you start using this little spire of hope!

Which is more sanitary? A lot of people believe that liquid soaps are much more sanitary than bar soaps, but let’s debunk this myth now and forever. Numerous studies have shown that even though there are a tiny bit more bacteria on a used bar than that of a brand new one, it all gets rinsed off as it’s being used, right along with the dirt and muck on your hands. In other words, we can call this one a wash.

Which is best for the environment? Bar soaps most always come in less packaging, which is a big plus in our book. They are minimal, effective, and ready to use. Plus you don’t have to figure out if the plastic is recyclable or not. We need a less-plastic problem world.

What Type of Skin Do You Have?

It is better to know your skin type before using different soaps or other natural cosmetics. There are four types of skin in general, dry, oily, mixed and normal skin. The latter is considered the ideal skin because it is neither too dry nor too oily.

Dry skin lacks lipids and oily skin has an excess of sebum. Dilated shine, pores, etc. characterize it. For various reasons skin can become oily by pollution, cosmetics, and hormonal reasons, etc.

Mixed skin, for its part, is the combination of two types of skin. This skin type is characterized by the dry or normal skin on the cheeks and oily skin on the forehead, nose and the chin (the T zone).

Goat’s Milk Soap, Calendula Soap, and Soap of Castile 

Almost any of the natural soaps will work very well in those people who have dehydrated skin considering they always provide extra oil content. However, inside them, the best ones will be those that contain very moisturizing oils (argan, olive, coconut, evening primrose, sunflower, and palm) or butter such as shea butter that provides a lot of hydration. Argan, Candela, Bitter Orange, Oats, Castile, Cucumber or Goat’s Milk are examples of these soaps.

Lavender Soap, Mint Soap, Chocolate Soap, and Green Tea Soap

Mint and chocolate soap are always recommended for people with a tendency to oily or acne. The balance of the skin which in cases of acne is what fails precisely is being restored by the help of cocoa butter. With the unmistakable aroma of lavender soap and the with the tea tree or green tea soap also work very well.

Witch Hazel and Sunflower oil soap are recommended for people with skin problems such as eczema or psoriasis, considering, its combination of plant extracts and essential oils significantly improves the effects of these ailments.

It should also be noted that some natural soaps manufactures are not limited to vegetable oil, but they may include animal oil. Besides, be sure to read the labels when buying natural soap or any product to understand the ingredients. Natural soaps provide excellent moisturizing properties for the skin and the well-being they bring to the body.

Shop all Soap Hope Soap Makers

The Many Health Benefits of Rosemary (Pt. 2)

A couple weeks ago, we waxed poetic about the many benefits that rosemary brings to the table. If you missed out, click here and feel free to catch up on things.

Back? Good. Now that you’re here, we can go over even MORE advantages to using rosemary.

Rosemary – An Awesome Antioxidant

Rosemary is an antioxidant, rather than a preservative.

Technically, a preservative is a synthetic chemical that prevents decay and spoilage. An antioxidant is a naturally occurring element that helps to slow oxidation, which causes decay, spoilage and cellular breakdown.

Rosemary contains over a dozen antioxidant elements, including vitamin E, which makes it extremely useful in preserving organic products.

Synthetic preservatives will help a product last longer but can be dangerous to your health. Antioxidants slow the process of decay and spoilage without harming you or the environment; in fact, antioxidants are extremely beneficial to your health.

All About Oxidation – How It Affects Your Food, Body and Soap

Knowing about cellular breakdown is not just for chemists; oxidation affects us on a daily basis and has serious health implications.

WARNING: SCIENCE AHEAD.

atom with electronsTo start with, atoms need an even number of electrons to maintain stability, which allows whatever material they compose (organic or mineral) to function properly.

During the oxidation process, light and oxygen come in contact with an atom, which causes it to lose an electron and become unstable. Unstable atoms with an odd number of electrons are called free radicals, the kind of elements that cause decomposition and decay.

The term “free radicals” is often used when talking about the health benefits of pomegranate juice or green tea. On a chemical level, free radicals are like atomic thieves. To become stable again with an even number of electrons, the free radical must steal an electron from another atom. This causes a chain reaction of unstable atoms stealing from each other.

In organic matter, these unstable atoms can cause an entire cell to die, leaving leftover unstable atoms whizzing around to wreak havoc on an ever increasing number of other atoms.

This process causes organic material to decompose and eventually spoil. The oxidation of oils (called lipid oxidation) in all-natural soap can cause it to disintegrate and lose its cleansing and rejuvenating effects – unless a natural ingredient like rosemary is added to stop the process.

Free radicals are especially harmful because they cause this chain reaction of electron thievery and cellular death in human systems as well – the results of which include cancer and premature aging.

Antioxidants like rosemary stop the chain reaction of oxidation by “donating” one of their own electrons to the free radicals, which keeps atoms stable and cells healthy.

For this reason antioxidants are attributed with the ability to increase product shelf life, prevent cancer, lengthen life spans and slow aging.

Next time you buy pomegranate juice at the grocery store or order rosemary products from Soap Hope, you’ll know why antioxidants receive so much attention.

Antioxidants and Skin Care

In order to keep every ingredient all-natural, soap makers use antioxidants like rosemary. All-natural soap products contain essential plant oils, olive or coconut oil, or goat’s milk, which means they contain lipids, leaving them vulnerable to oxidation.

hand washingFor longer product shelf life in all-natural products, an antioxidant is a powerful alternative to synthetic preservatives. When used as preserving ingredient, antioxidants like rosemary are used in small extract amounts.

Applying products topically can affect your internal systems as well; what is good on the body is good in the body.

That’s why we’re such big fans of ingredients like rosemary in our products. Here are a few of our favorites!

 

 

 

Why we love castile soaps

If you do a quick Google search on castile soap, you’ll find it has just about as many uses as a Swiss army knife.

Soap making has a long history, spanning several centuries and a variety of production methods.

The chemical process for making soap has not, however, changed all that much. Fats are boiled with alkali, which then produces soap (yay!) and glycerin.

Castile soap: a brief history

The quality of soap produced is especially dependent on the ingredients used. Early attempts, for example, relied on ash. In Spain, the salsola plant was burned to produce an ash called barilla.

“This, used in conjunction with locally available olive oil, offered a good quality soap which, by salting-out or “graining” the boiled liquor with brine, allowed the soap to float to the surface, leaving the lye, vegetable colouring and impurities to settle out. This produced what was probably the first white hard soap: Jabon de Castilla, or Castile soap, also known to pharmacists as Sapo hispaniensis or Sapo castilliensis.

Eventually, “castile soap” became the generic name for the hard, white, olive oil soaps, which we still use today.

Soap
“Aleppo soap 03” by Bernard Gagnon

Castile soaps can also be made with coconut oil, palm oil, or any other quality vegetable-based oil — and castile soaps also come in liquid form. The liquid soaps use potassium hydroxide to saponify the vegetable oils, while the hard bar soaps use sodium hydroxide.

Just like the food that we eat, it’s crucial that the products we use on our skin are nutrient-rich. Which is why we’re especially big fans of castile soap!

Made of goodness

Castile soap is made with olive oil, which contains all kinds of fatty acids and antioxidants, along with vitamins E and K — all good things!

Vitamin K has been found to help prevent the calcification of our skin’s elastin (the protein that gives skin the ability to spring back). Fatty acids are known to reduce the body’s production of compounds that cause inflammation.

All kinds of remedies

massage-389716_1280

Castile soap (as mentioned before) uses olive oil, which has long been used as a remedy for skin care and health. Greeks, for instance, used olive oil during massage, to help prevent injuries, relieve muscle fatigue, and eliminate lactic acid buildup. Olive oil has also been recommended as a treatment against skin diseases like eczema and dandruff.

Versatile AND healthy

peg-238525_1280Castile soap doesn’t just clean and nourish your skin — you can use it for washing laundry, cleaning carpets, and scrubbing your vegetables!

There are a host of reasons to love and use castile soaps, and we’ve only named just a few here.

 

How else do you use your castile soap goodness? Comment below!

 

Some of our favorite castile soap products: