So many books have been written on it, many speakers and philosophers have discussed it in length songs and poetry modeled after it's allure and yet Human Psychology is such a mystery. We associate a palpable feeling and sometimes a physical appearance or texture with cleanliness. For example, if we use soap and it leaves us dry and skin needing moisturizer we immediately think "Wow, that soap cleaned my skin well." The dried me out is a mere afterthought. When in reality the degree of clean has nothing to do with dry skin thirsting for moisturizer.
The magical thing about a handcrafted soap or scrub is its ability to maintain hydration and still cleanse your skin. The emollient, hydrated feel isn't your soap leaving a residue. It is a natural soap that is unlike your store-bought "detergent cleanser." The experience is most certainly a different one. But a much better one for your skin. The many synthetic ingredients in commercial grade soap bars are unnecessary. Over the years the expectations from our soaps and creams have been set by mass producing companies and slowly but surely handcrafted products build by conscientious small businesses are winding back so we can experience a more natural clean which is less abrasive to skin and more nutritive in the long run. In the long run, you will feel more hydrated and your skin more in balance and less dependent on moisturizers and balms because the less is more quality of naturally derived raw materials and small batch components can get you there.
It's important to recognize the difference, and only prolonged use can get you there.
Know What Works
It’s fairly easy to forget that topical skincare cleansers and moisturizers can threaten our internal health. Our skin is the body’s largest organ and products that are applied to the skin are absorbed into our system. There is good news and bad news here, which would you like first?
Ok, bad news it is!
The bad news is that most skin care lines are stuffed full of potentially harmful chemicals and synthetic additives.
The good news is as consumers became more in tune and educated so does their demand for more natural products, more and more companies are coming out with high-quality, natural makeup and skin care lines with safe ingredients. And with this increase in supply the lines in quality and what is natural and well made become blurred.
As a conscientious consumer, paying attention to the details of what is in what you use every day is now more critical than ever before. Our health and the very sustainability of our planet depends on it.
Nothing But Bad
In nail polishes avoid formaldehyde or formalin
In soaps avoid triclosan and triclocarban
Avoid retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, retinoic acid and retinol in daytime products like lotions and sunscreens and avoid ethanol or ethyl alcohol in at least 60% alcohol in sunscreen.
Look For Simplicity
There are many things to avoid, but it is much easier if you knew what to look for in your soaps and scrubs. Look for natural oils like Olive, coconut, palm, neem, comfrey or Babassu... Butters like cocoa butter, shea butter mango macadamia nut and for clays and natural colorants.
In your scrubs look for light and airy oils like almond, grapeseed sunflower comfrey, hemp avocado meadowfoam.
For hair related conditioners and beard oils and balms look for Jojoba, Argan rose hip among other protein loving oils.
You want to stay away from parabens and preservatives. A general rule of thumb is anything you can’t pronounce needn't be in your bottle of shampoo or face cream. (With the exception of Latin-based ingredients list) Example Cocos Nucifera is just coconut oil, don't be afraid of that.
Cut Through the Myth
Be wary of cleansers that promise you the world. Like diet pills that promise you a sculpted body, they are nothing but a myth. Most cleansers and soaps only touch your skin for a brief amount of time. A soap doesn't have enough time to improve skin tone or instill nourishment. What is can do is strip away impurities and a good soap will do it without stripping away your skin's natural barriers and hydrations. What this means is when looking for a cleanser, the simpler the better. Pick something that'll get the grime off while leaving your Ph balance and existing hydration intact. We have several great soaps that do just this. Mystic Sun Soap Bar is a great addition to any skin type. Cleansing without stripping is a calendula infused soap's specialty. The clarifying clean is always a simple and nothing does it better than caffeine. The Coffee Bar Cup-A- Josephine is a caffeine-infused clarifying soap. When you are looking for a great soothing soap for sensitive skin look no further than Cleopatra a goat's milk, locally sourced honey from the apiary near us and colloidal oatmeal make this soap worth the time you carve out of the day to use it.