What's hiding in your soaps?
Bath and body products have come a long way over the ages. From soaps to body washes to shower gels and to bath salts, they have all changed the overall bathing experience. Soaps have been the most primitive and most popular of all bath and body products. The reason we are discussing this topic today is that commercial soaps are made up of many chemicals, and since we use soap on most parts of our body it is imperative to discuss what goes into the soap and its effects on our skin.
Our skin is the largest organ of the body which easily absorbs whatever we lather upon it. Lately many people around the world have been conscious about what goes into their skincare products. Many brands are coming up with chemical free skincare products and/or are minimizing chemicals in their skincare products. And soaps being popular even they have undergone changes in terms of variety and methods of customization.
The soap industry has a new way of customising soaps according to personal needs through melt and pour soap making process. The process involves taking melt and pour soap bases, melting them in a pan/container on a stove or in the microwave and adding colours, flavours..etc. They are easily available in market for small scale, large scale, commercial and personal use. Many people nowadays like to customise soaps according to their needs that is desired shapes, ingredients, colours, flavours etc. The soap bases are easy to melt unlike commercial soaps and can be moulded in any shape and can be easily mixed with colourants. Due to the ease and hassle free procedures, melt and pour soap bases are becoming increasingly popular.
These melt and pour soap bases are also known as glycerin soap bases. These glycerin soap bases are mostly transparent in nature. We find a lot of transparent soaps in the market today but most of them are not good for the skin. Always read the ingredients' list before buying as most of them contain alcohol.
Why is alcohol added to soaps and why is it harmful for the skin?
Alcohol is mostly added to the soap to increase the transparency. Being a cheaper option it is widely used. Alcohol is also used as a penetration enhancer. Skincare experts alcohol dries the skin because it is easily evaporable. It strips the oil from skin, which in turn makes the skin secrete more sebum thus worsening the condition. Alcohol also gives a stretchy feeling to the skin and tightens the pores. When skin is dried out, the skin barrier is weakened which further aggravates the skin problems and may cause irritation.
Another option for soaps these days have been bodywashes, which in turn lately, are being customised according to personal needs. To make body washes and facewashes liquid bases are used.
What are parabens and why are they harmful for the skin?
Parabens are used as preservatives in liquid bases and skincare products, as they prevent the growth of bacteria, fungus over a period of time. Parabens are widely used because they are cheap and effective. Parabens have been under the lens of medical experts for a possible link with cancer. Parabens are also one of the harmful estrogen mimicking ingredients found in beauty products. So it is better to avoid them whenever possible.
Since most of the people don't know what goes into their skin through their favourite skincare products and the harmful effects over the years. As they say 'Prevention is better than cure', it's better to be aware of what's harmful for the skin and what's not by knowing the ingredients' list.