What's the best soap for your face?
Posted on 1st July 2020 at 22:20
What's the best soap for the face?
What's the best soap for the face is a common quesiton and with a huge variety of choices out on the open market, all with different claims it's hard to know which is actually the best.
Here at Seatree Cosmetics, we think natural soap is the best for your face and were going to tell you why using soap with no chemicals is the perfect solution to clean your facial skin.
The skin on your face is slightly different from the skin on the rest of your body. It has fewer skin cells and is thinner than other areas of the body. This thinness and reduced amount of skin cells makes your facial skin more sensitive than skin on the rest of your body.
So can you use natural soap on your face? Yes, of course you can. In fact, it is probably the best thing you can use to wash your face. Natural soap, which contains only natural ingredients, is better for your skin.
In common over the counter soaps and facial wash there can be a cocktail of different chemicals which can be harmful to your skin and even cause irritation. We've listed a few below with reasons why they can be harmful to your skin.
4 chemicals to look out for in soap
Natural soap is naturally gentle on skin as it doesn’t contain any chemicals. In over-the-counter soaps and body wash there is a cocktail of chemicals which can irritate the skin. One of the worst offenders (and also most common!) is an ingredient called sodium lauryl sulphate, also known as SLS.
Sodium lauryl sulphate is a chemical cleanser, usually added to soaps and liquid soaps for their super cleansing properties. The problem is that SLS is also a chemical degreaser, commonly used in washing up liquid and laundry detergent.
This degreaser works by breaking down oils, making them easier to wash away. This is an admirable quality in washing dirty dishes and clothes with stubborn stains, but when you use this chemical on your skin it breaks down the natural grease in your skin, also called sebum and allows this to be washed away.
Sebum is essential for good skin health as it ‘ties our skin together’ and prevents our skin from becoming cracked and dry. When you remove the sebum from the skin there are two ways your skin can react:
1. Continue to produce the same amount of sebum - if your skin produces the same amount of this natural grease it normally does, you will find your skin will become dry. This is because your body is not replacing the sebum that is being washed away. This can cause the skin to not have enough sebum to ‘tie’ together the skin cells, which is why you get dry skin.
2. Overproduce sebum - when the body or face does this we end up with oily skin. This is because the body has reacted to all your natural grease being washed away and gone into overdrive. The subaceous gland will now start to produce more and more sebum. When sebum is overproduced this leads to oily skin and spots.
When you wash your skin with soap containing SLS, this degreaser will break down the natural grease you produce and allow it to be washed away. The difference when using a natural soap is this soap cleans the surface of the skin, which is where the majority of the dirt and bacteria are that need washing away.
There are no chemicals in natural soap so no degreasers, which means you can wash your face and not disrupt the amount of sebum your body naturally produces.
Another chemical particularly prevalent in soaps, especially antibacterial products, is triclosan. Triclosan is the key ingredient in most antibacterial washes; this is because it kills most known bacteria.
What they don’t tell you about it is this antibacterial ingredient has actually been shown to promote the growth of resistant bacteria to this cleanser. Also when washed off and into our drainage systems, when this chemical is exposed to sunlight it can turn into dioxin, which is a highly poisonous and a potential carcinogen.
Studies have shown there is a link between this dioxin-polluted water being re-filtered into our homes for consumption and there are now high concentrations of these dioxins in breast milk!
Worryingly of all, those families choosing not to use antibacterial products within their household, 25% of them still had dioxins in their milk! Triclosan has also been shown to be an endocrine disruptor, which affects our hormones and our thyroid function.
Parabens are extremely common ingredients in the mass produced skincare industry. Parabens are used in the cosmetic industry as preservatives to give products a long shelf life.
The main problem with parabens are they are estrogen mimickers, and once they are applied to the skin and absorbed, they find their way into the bloodstream. This can lead to the body being tricked and reacting as if there is a large amount of estrogen in the body, by decreasing muscle mass, increasing fat, causing reproductive issues for both men and women and even starting puberty early.
In one study, in 2004 by Darbre, parabens were found in 100% of women with breast cancer and parabens continue to be linked to cancers to this day.
Fragrance is commonly used in soaps, shower gels and other cosmetics, even some which claim to be natural. You can find this ingredient on your labels and it will either be called ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’.
There is no need to break down the synthetic ingredients used to make the fragrance as it is covered by the European Chemical Agency and their policy states fragrances do not have to list every ingredient due to competition.
Several ingredients contained in fragrance are carcinogens, including phthalates which are used to make fragrances last longer. Because the ingredients do not need to be disclosed under European law there is no way of knowing what chemical cocktail you are putting on your skin.
When you use natural soap fragranced with essential oils, you will not be using any chemicals at all on your skin/face as essential oils come from the plant material, such as: the flowers, leaves, bark or fruit peel.
3 reasons we recommend natural soap for washing your face
We highly recommend using natural soap as your number one face wash as it contains only natural ingredients with absolutely no chemicals or nasty ingredients. It is also incredibly gentle and moisturising.
Natural cleansers in soap such as coconut oil, perform the job of cleansing your face, which is obviously one of the key things you are washing your face for. Natural soap removes the oil, dirt and grease from your face by suspending these undesirables in the foam and lather. When you wash the foam and lather away, the dirt, grease and bacteria suspended in the soap wash away as well.
Natural soap can contain anti-inflammatories which can reduce redness and improve the appearance of your skin. Some essential oils such as lavender and eucalyptus have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and when a truly natural soap is scented with essential oils you can benefit from their amazing properites.
Another amazing quality of essential oils within natural soap is that some are antibacterial, lemon essential oil is one of the most powerful antibacterial essential oils. These properties can help you if you suffer from acne, as bacteria can feed on pores blocked with dead skin cells and excess oil. These skin cells can then be infected with P.acnes bacteria which can lead to acne. For more on this subject read our dedicated post on this here.
Glycerin is the last reason we recommend using natural soap for your facial wash. This amazing ingredient is highly coveted by the moisturising industry because it actively draws moisture towards your skin. Glycerin is a substance that is naturally produced in the soap making process and can be removed from soap and sold on. In our natural soap, we keep all the naturally produced glycerin inside, as we know this ingredient will keep your skin soft, supple and moisturised.
If you have been using a soap or body wash with any of the chemical ingredients listed in the last section above, we recommend switching to and using natural soap for at least one month to allow your skin to rebalance to its natural status quo, and we promise you the results will definitely please you!
The one we recommend the most for a facial wash is our lavender soap, as lavender essential oil has an amazing amount of benefits for your skin. But any natural soap will be an improvement on chemical based soaps or body washes.
One last thing
One last thing to look out for is palm oil. Palm oil is in a large amount of cosmetics, soaps and body wash. In fact sodium lauryl sulphate is directly derived from palm oil. Palm oil in soaps and body wash is a cleanser, but can be incredibly drying, especially when used in large quantities.
When selecting your natural soap, make sure it is palm oil free, as the drying effect of palm oil can leave you with poor skin results. It is easy to identify as anything that says ‘palm’ in it will contain palm oil, such as sodium palmate.
Thank you for reading our article all the way to the end. But hold on a minute, if you’re thinking of just hitting the exit button or clicking back how about leaving us a comment to let us know what you thought?
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I hope you have enjoyed this article, and we have plenty more on our blog if you want to read more about why natural soap is so great.
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