The Dirty Truth About Soap
You should give serious thought to what you’d put on your skin — as much as you would to what you eat. Why? Your skin is a living, breathing organ that is your body’s first line of defence against harmful substances.
Your skin is a protective barrier for your body and is meant to absorb substances that are good for you, like Vitamin D from the sun.
That being said, your skin can also absorb substances that are bad for you.
When your skin absorbs harmful chemicals, their toxins can go into your cells, tissues, and muscles. Over time this can even weaken your immune system's ability to do its job.
Soaps and cleansers are designed to remove dirt, sweat, sebum, and oils from the skin. They do so with the use of surfactants, chemical agents that surround dirt and oil, dissolving them and making it easier for water to wash them away.
While the surfactants found in soap are meant to leave the skin feeling fresh and clean, it’s not always the case. Some surfactants have an adverse effect causing the three signs of damage (dryness, redness, irritation) but undermining the skin’s natural barrier function.
By doing so, toxins, bacteria, and other unhealthy substances are able to penetrate deeper into the skin where they can do long-term harm.
Here are some tips for taking better care of your skin:
- Choose soaps with natural ingredients and pure essential oils.
- Taking body showers (you know, the days where we don't wash our hair) and only using hot water. Soap isn't needed on our bodies every day - hot water can have the same refreshing effect we are looking for. If soap is needed, it doesn't need to be used all over your body. Apply it only to places that expire quickly! But use mild organic soap as these places are usually the most sensitive.
- Stop over-washing your clothing. Too many of us are washing our clothes more often than we need to. Deterrents are very strong and stay in the fibres of our clothes which will rub against our skin all day. A lot of fabric just needs spot cleaning and doesn't need to experience a laundry cycle after every wear.
- Switch your household cleaning supplies to vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. You'd be surprised at how well these substitutes work! Remember that the surfaces we are cleaning with bleach and other harsh chemicals are constantly touching our bodies through our hands and feet.
So what's the bright side to all of this? By using less you save more! Products and clothing will last longer and you will be spending less money - so it's a win-win!