Soap is meant to make you feel clean. But, this can mean removing more than just dirt from the surface of skin.
“A soap can damage the skin by washing out the natural lipids on the surface. In fact, those lipids can control the microbes naturally,” writes Bold Sky.
This can leave skin vulnerable to breakouts, sores, and even a condition known as contact dermatitis.
“Detergents, soaps, cleaners, waxes, and chemicals are substances that can irritate the skin,” writes the Cleveland Clinic. “They can wear down the oily, protective layer on skin surface and lead to irritant contact dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis is common among people who regularly work with strong chemicals or detergents, such as restaurant, maintenance, and chemical workers,” the medical source says.
Unlike common soap formulations, coconut oil-based cleansers are gentle and mild on skin. They also contain abundant vitamins and nutrients that revitalize and repair skin, as well as natural anti-microbials that eliminate acne-causing bacteria.
“When skin becomes dry, it is vulnerable to infection,” writes site Livestrong. “The sebum glands produce oil that keeps harmful bacteria at bay while maintaining the good bacteria. Coconut oil has a similar pH balance and mid-chain fatty acid structure that affects the oil that is secreted by the skin.”
Similar to coconut oil, olive oil contains a high amount of healthy fats, which help keep skin hydrated, as well as a plentiful number of vitamins and other beneficial nutrients.
According to the Global Healing Center, olive oil has been used for centuries to promote a youthful appearance and overall good health.
“Unlike commercial moisturizers that can clog pores and exacerbate current skin conditions, olive oil penetrates deeply into the skin while providing a cleansing effect,” says the Global Healing Center.
Olive oil is also filled with antioxidants, which can help prevent signs of aging.
“Olive oil contains three major antioxidants: vitamin E, polyphenols, and phytosterols,” says the Global Healing Center.
According to the Global Healing Center, olive oil is also mild on pores, and will not cause clogging for most individuals.
Virgin Hemp Oil
While an illicit crop in the United States, hemp can still be manufactured in certain products, including soap.
Virgin hemp oil is known for having many skin-balancing and calming effects, in part because the composition of virgin hemp oil closely mimics that of our own skin’s sebum. This can help restore a natural equilibrium while helping to resist bacterial invasions and prevent breakouts. Being so similar in structure to our own skin, hemp is easily absorbed by pores, and can help keep moisture locked-in for longer.
Like paraffin wax makes feet supple, beeswax is able to soften skin all over.
Beeswax is a common ingredient in many all natural bar soap varieties, giving soap consistency and providing the skin with a layer of protection.
“Acting as a surfactant, beeswax, when blended into cold creams and other skin lotions, forms a protective barrier on the surface of the skin. This barrier, according to Koster Keunan, a global organic wax supplier, provides a film of protection against irritants while still allowing the skin to breathe,” says Livestrong.
This means, that while skin is receiving the moisture and nutrients it needs, pores are not being stifled beneath the weight of all that product.
Essential oils are an important staple of many natural products. Many times, they replace commercial fragrances, which can be comprised of a hodgepodge of chemicals.
“Fragrance is used on ingredient labels to include a range of chemicals to create a proprietary scent for specific products. Companies are allowed to keep the actual ingredients secret under the guise of proprietary information, but what it’s really hiding is potentially allergenic and carcinogenic ingredients,” writes Care2.
Officials recommend ditching labels with the term fragrance, and switching to natural body care products containing essential oils, which are also reported to more suitable for sensitive skin types.
“Essential oils are the fragrant components of plants– leaves, roots, flowers and fruits– and they offer a bounty of healing benefits for our bodies,” says Care2.