Bad Soap, Good Soap - How to find a truly natural bar?

07:12 Pamper Point 2 Comments

How to best start a new month if you have just decided you are going to switch to natural skincare? Begin with cleaning up the basic toiletry  - like soap. Regular  soaps, even though effective in removing dirt and refreshing the body, they strip skin's natural protective lipid layer which results in dryness, itchiness, ageing and various irritations.

What to look at when picking a quality natural soap? Firstly, you need to decide what type of soap you are happy to use. Is it going to be plant oil or animal fat based? Is it going to be made from natural ingredients or will you allow some synthetics in it? Finally, do you want your soap simply cleanse or would you prefer it to have other benefits for the skin?
All of these questions are important to identify what exactly goes on your skin during bath time. Considering the fact that  my readers' preference would be as natural as possible, please find a few points below to help you pick the best option.

1. Avoid soaps that have lard or  tallow. (Sodium Tallowate) These are two animal derived fats used traditionally in soap making but they will draw all moisture out of skin and strip it from the protective film our skin naturally produces. You don't want that.
2. Plant derived oils commonly used in soap making are palm kernel oil (Sodium Palmate) and Coconut oil (Sodium Cocoate). Although made from plants, during a saponification process ( chemical reaction between oil and alkaline i.e. sodium hydroxide commonly known as lye ) they also draw the good oils out from our skin making it highly vulnerable to harsh elements.
3. Sodium Isethionate, Sodium Lauryl Isethionate are detergents. They are synthetically obtained ingredients and are the worst cleansing choice for someone who wants to improve their skin condition. 
4. Castile Soap is used to name a soap  made from vegetable oils. Originally, it would be a soap made from 100 percent olive oil. It is kinder to the skin but because it doesn't lather easily, it is often mixed with detergents, foaming agents and other oils which makes the end product not natural and not good for your skin at all.
5. Look out for addition of moisturising butters like shea, kukui, cacao, 
6. Make sure the fragrance always comes from natural essential oils.  Just term "fragrance" won't guarantee natural origin of the scent.
7. Colourants are often used to make the bar more attractive to the eye but they are not recommended for a health conscious individual. As soon a you read a colour and the number next to it, expect a big load of toxins in the form of dye mixed with a fair amount of parabens as a preservative. The only colourants you can allow in your soap of choice should be those from plants, herbs, spices and clays  that on top of an appealing colour, they offer skin nourishing and conditioning action.

 To conclude, as traditionally made soap will usually have negative effect on  texture and moisture levels of our skin, it would be best to switch to other cleansers. Have you heard of African Black Soap? This is a brand new take on what's traditionally known as soap for the American or European consumer. No alkaline chemical solutions are used in production of this soap. Instead, it is made from locally harvested plants (shea tree bark, cocoa pods, palm leaves, plantain) that are dried, roasted and with addition of natural butters and water, you get a beautiful, all natural and organic cleansing bar with a litany of benefits. Here are a few:

1. It is made from the purest components available and full of essential minerals, vitamins and antioxidants beneficial to our skin.
2. It is free from dyes, synthetics, artificial fragrance and preservatives
3. It is renowned for its healing properties, treating various skin conditions such as eczema, acne and 
4. It naturally foams into a rich lather
5. It is safe to use on face and extremely effective when used as makeup remover.
6. It gently removes impurities revealing healthy looking, radiant complexion
7. It protects skin's natural lipid barrier and is gentle enough to use on sensitive skin

Be aware that there are many fake black soap bars available now. They are usually dyed with charcoal and are made in Europe and USA. Authentic African Black Soap will be light to dark brown in colour with white patches. If in doubt, it makes sense to contact the seller and ask how they source their black soap.

Our "go to"  retailers would be AKOMA  and SHEATERRA ORGANICS
You can check them out by following the above links

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  1. I am obsessed with making all kinds of DIY soaps & products outta my black african soap- that stuff is beyond amazing! Loved this read & all your tips- great info!!!

  2. Hey, Thank you for stopping by. So great to know you also are a big fan of natural black soap. :-)