If you’re used to getting out of the shower or bath with dry, itchy skin, it could be time to check the ingredients of your favourite soaps and bodywashes.
While cold weather and low humidity can also be to blame for flaky skin, skincare expert Dr Sarah Villafranco, a physician turned soapmaker at Osmia Organics, agrees harsh soaps are also the culprit, as they’re packed with chemicals that not only destroy the Ph balance of the skin, but also the planet, as they get washed down drains and into the environment.
If you notice ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate and fragrance in your favorite shower suds, chances are it’s doing more harm than good. Thankfully, the latest trend is natural soaps, made by hand using traditional methods. Not only are they usually made with love, they’re also great for your skin and better for your health.
Benefits of using natural soaps and bodywash:
1) Commercial soap companies often remove the glycerin molecules in order to make a harder bar and make room for other chemical additives. This is why soap often leaves skin feeling dry and flaky.
2) Commercial soaps often use harsh chemicals (like sodium lauryl sulfate), synthetic fragrances and preservatives (like tetrasodium EDTA) that can flare up allergies and sensitivities, leaving the skin red and itchy all over. Natural ones, on the other hand, use simpler, gentler ingredients that won’t irritate the skin. Think essential oils, such as geranium and juniper berry.
3) Commercial soap, especially the liquid kind, often uses plastic and other environmentally inconsiderate packaging materials. Most organic skin care and beauty companies however use more eco-friendly packaging.
4) The suds that rinse off your body and go down the drain often wind up in the environment. Additives found in commercial soaps (like the ones that make soap lather and smell nice) can lead to birth defects in animals. In addition, septic systems depend on bacteria buildup within the tank in order to break down waste for settling and dispersal to the soil. Using a chemical-laden soap (especially an anti-bacterial one) harms the natural bacterial action.
With so many different natural skin care and cosmetic companies on the market, it’s becoming easier than ever to make the switch to environmentally aware products, without sacrificing luxury.
Dr Villafranco’s soaps can be found at www.osmiaorganics.com