Do you know what's in your bar of soap. Yes, the soap you use to wash your hands, face and body multiple times a day. Soap's soap, right? Isn't it all the same? No.
I was taught at a young age the benefits of a natural soap and the detriments of a commercial soap. Olive oil soap (a natural soap) is an ancient form of cleansing, nourishing, and protecting the skin from external toxins. It has been used by the Egyptians, Grecians, and Romans to cleanse hair and skin and even to clean clothes. My family, thanks in large part to my mother, has been using olive oil soap for almost 20 years.
Below is a comparison between olive oil soap and commercially produced soap. The results are eye-opening and we feel the need to share with our readers.
OLIVE OIL SOAP
It cleanses the skin without stripping the natural oils from it. Through the process of saponification, the byproduct, glycerin is produced. This highly moisturizing element is retained in all-natural olive oil soaps, helping your skin absorb moisture.
Olive Oil soap is recommended for people with sensitive skin and can help sooth psoriasis, eczema and rosacea. It's gentle enough to use on a newborn baby.
All soaps are made with fat. Olive oil soaps use the fat naturally inherent in olive oil rather than animal fat such as tallow or lanolin, which are fats from common farm animals.
Olive Oil soap contains only natural ingredients making it 100% biodegradable and not harmful to the environment.
It's rich in antioxidants
The soap contains healthful antioxidants that give nourishment and elasticity to the skin. These properties help protect against free radicals that can be very damaging to our cells. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by donating an electron therefore protecting the cells and tissues from damage and disease. It also contains Vitamin E which protects against UV light, fine lines and wrinkles.
It's hand-made with love and 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.
Commercial soaps have an excess amount of alkali which makes it hard to maintain its natural level of pH. Get this - commercial soap companies separate the glycerin (a crucial moisturizing component of soap) from their soaps to sell it as its own product for profit. (Why do you think most soap companies also make 'body lotion'? That's a whole other blog post though... and some food for thought.)
It's full of chemicals.
Parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, SLS – these are all unnatural ingredients found in most commercial soaps. Those words can look a bit intimidating, so here's the breakdown:
Parabens: These chemical preservatives can act as estrogen in the body, disrupting the endocrine system and creating unbalanced hormone levels.
Phthalates: These plasticizers/solvents are dangerous to the endocrine system and reproductive system in both men and women. They can cause infertility and problems in sperm development along with changes in hormone levels.
Petrochemicals: These chemicals are made from petroleum and should not be considered safe, as we do not know the long term effects they have on our health.
SLS (Sodium Laurel Sulfate) /SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate): An inexpensive chemical found in many personal care products, detergents, and engine degreasers (!). It is used in these products to create a thick lather which is something we've all grown accustomed to. It's lathering, so it must be cleansing right? Wrong. Studies have shown that SLS/SLES is a drying skin irritant that corrodes the skin's surface. Though it will create the lather, it will also strip your skin of it's natural oils and penetrate deep into skin's pores leaving skin dry and irritated.
It's artificially scented and colored.
Besides the 4 irritating ingredients mentioned above, commercial soap bars also contain synthetic fragrances and artificial dyes. Artificial fragrances, although they smell nice, are linked to allergies and hormonal issues. Commercial soaps are also packed with artificial dyes that have been known to cause health problems and illnesses in humans.
It's mass produced and factory made.
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. 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.
OLIVE OIL SOAP FOR THE WIN!
Your skin is your largest organ. It's just as important to be aware of what you're putting on your body as well as what you're putting inside your body. Always remember to 'feed your skin' - that's our mantra at olivespa, where we make all-natural home & body products using extra virgin olive oil. Check out our hand-made olive oil soap from olivespa, still being made by my mom (and now me) today!