Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Are You Using Natural Soap?

Bubbles, a shower and water, a well lit bathroom and an attractive model taking a shower. These are the elements of a typical ad you'd see for a cleansing beauty product. It makes you curious to try out. It makes you have that "what if" in mind and when you see it on the supermarket stalls, a box or two goes in the cart. Have you made the right choice? So it seems. All your senses say you got it right. But is it natural?

We've been so used to what we see on TV, almost everyone thinks that those bubble causing bars with naked women on commercials are superb. Well, it is a fact that they are indeed. Made by chemists, science whizzes and product consultants, being clean is getting better and more affordable for all. These smell very appealing and most of the time, people attest the benefits advertised are true. But try reading the label, you'll realize that the bar you use is in reality a cocktail of substances that need a scientific dictionary to define. Even if one can define the ingredients, understanding them is far more complex.

There are arguments that these shouldn't be called soaps anymore. Merriam Webster defines soap as "a cleansing and emulsifying agent made usually by action of alkali on fat or fatty acids and consisting essentially of sodium or potassium salts of such acids." Basically it means soap is the result of mixing oils or fat are combined with alkali. A soap would just have a few ingredients namely fat or oils, alkali, water and fragrance ingredients. Nothing else. Should the fats and alkali be absent, you call it detergent. It doesn't mean that if it makes bubbles and cleans the skin, it is soap. Detergents do that too. Possibly, what you have in your bathroom, what you use in your skin are detergents.

Characteristically, detergents are cheaper to produce compared to soap. It is even less time consuming to make since the process can be fully automated. Detergents are more stable (non-reactive), so quality is more consistent and persistent. These products also last indefinitely since they're difficult to break down naturally and they rarely contain organic substances.

On the other hand, natural soaps are like food. They spoil if kept too long. It reacts to a lot of environmental variables like temperature, humidity, sunlight and others. Here in the Philippines, because of the climate, natural products have a shorter life span. There are lots of instances that it behaves differently than expected. Even in the creation and preparation of soap, a lot of things can go wrong. Simply put, soaps are tedious to make and more chances of failing in it.

But soaps are extremely beneficial. A well-crafted soap pampers skin like no other. The amazing properties of the oils or fats that soap are made from are retained, including glycerin, a by-product of soap making that makes skin smooth, silky and soft. In some industrial settings in the past, glycerin is removed from the soap to make other products like lotions, moisturizers, dynamites and others.

Some traditional soap makers even increase the fat and oil content of their soaps for a more nourishing wash. Others go natural all the way by adding essential oils in their soap for their therapeutic properties, which is really good for the skin. Although the skin is a known excretory organ and by far it is the biggest and heaviest, substance can be absorbed through it. In using natural soap, you're guaranteed that no synthetics come in contact with your skin, unless fragrance oil is used to scent it or it was spiked with some chemicals to improve its performance and consistency.

If you're concerned about getting chemicals in you're skin and tending to go to naturals, check the ingredients every time. Like what was mentioned earlier, soap is simply oils or fat, water and alkali put together plus essential oils for added indulgence and luxury. It just so happened that here in the Philippines, Casa de Lorenzo makes soap of these kind, more particularly, Castile Soaps. 

Check our website now for all natural soaps.