Looking to detox? You’ll have to do more than just watch what you eat. While eating right is a key component, many people don’t realize that cleansing the entire body begins on the outside - with your skin.As the human body’s largest and only exterior organ, your skin comes into contact with pollutants on the daily. On top of the dirt and bacteria it touches, skin also absorbs any chemicals in the soaps you use to wash yourself. The verdict: maybe commercial soaps aren’t so clean after all? Let's find out in our showdown of natural soap vs. commercial soap.
Main Ingredient Showdown
It’s important to be educated about harmful ingredients prior to purchasing soap products. You want to refresh your skin, not pollute it with chemicals. If you can’t pronounce the words on the back of the label - put the product down!
Harmful Commercial Soap Ingredients
- Parabens: otherwise known as chemical preservatives, these harmful ingredients are found in majority of commercial soap and beauty products.
- Phthalates: known to cause cancer, this additive is often used as a ‘plasticizer’- a fancy word for an ingredient used to produce plastic.
- Petrochemicals: made from petroleum, these chemicals should be considered unsafe for humans because little is known about the longterm effects they have on our health.
- Synthetic Perfume: artificial perfume scents, although they smell nice, are linked to allergies and hormonal issues. As well, synthetic ingredients such as perfume are likely to cause skin conditions and to aggravate existing issues such as acne.
- Artificial Coloring: commercial soaps are packed with artificial dyes that have been known to cause health problems and illnesses in humans.
Healthy Natural Soap Ingredients
- Healthy Oils: despite common belief - oil is actually an important ingredient in soap, especially if you have oily or acne prone skin. Added oils like coconut oil, grapeseed oil or olive oil help to nourish and moisturize skin and bring it back to its natural PH levels.
- Essential Oils: scented natural soaps are usually created with an essential oil to produce a natural, harm-free odor.
- Honey, Aloe, Oatmeal etc.: natural soaps are made with organic, biodegradable ingredients that are harvested, produced, or sourced in a safe and conscious way. Unlike chemical ingredients, a consumer can easily understand what these ingredients are and how their body will react to them.
How It’s Made
Soap makers can be anyone from multi-national corporations, to weekend DIY fanatics. The way they each produce soap, and the environments they make them in, can drastically affect both the quality and benefits of the soap.
Commercial Soap Production
- Mass Produced: most commercial soaps are produced by large multinational companies, with factories all over the globe. This mass-production results in copious amounts of environmental waste and degradation as well as poor living conditions for thousands of people worldwide.
- Factory-Made: commercial soaps are batch made by machines in large factories - in less than ideal conditions. Most consumers remain oblivious to the working conditions and cleanliness of the factories their soap is made in.
Natural Soap Production
- Locally Produced: natural soaps are often locally produced with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. These local soap companies benefit small communities financially and they also have a very minimal carbon footprint.
- Hand-Made: hand-made, natural soaps are rising in popularity due to the fact that it’s enjoyable to make, and beneficial to use. When buying handmade, consumers have the opportunity to meet the person who produced their soap and to educate themselves on the ingredients.
- Made with Care: if a soap company is only interested in making money, they usually won’t commit themselves to natural soap-making due to higher production costs for mass-producing. For this reason, most natural soap lines are consciously created by people who are passionate about health and the environment.
And The Winner Is...
It looks like the competition’s a wash between natural soap and commercial soap - natural soap is the clear winner!
With these facts, it’s not surprising that people who make the switch from commercial to natural soap almost immediately say they notice a difference in their skin and overall health. By avoiding synthetic ingredients like perfumes and chemicals with natural soap, you are able to boost your overall health and drastically improve your wellbeing.