Posted by kevin1234 on 10/23/2011 to Soaps
It is against the law for these commercial bar makers to call their products soap, if in fact they do not contain actual soap. The nature-based ingredients that have been used for decades, even centuries, of soap making are not often used by big manufacturers because they cost more than cheap chemical detergents.
Synthetic lathering agents are used in combination with harsh chemicals, like Triclosan. And while lye is used, as in natural bars, the best part of it is removed. To get a good hard bar, the manufacturers remove the glycerin content (created as a byproduct of mixing lye with the other products).
Glycerin is what makes a natural bar of soap soft and is also what moisturizes the skin. In fact, commercial manufacturers sell the glycerin they remove from their detergent bars to makers of moisturizing products.
A natural bar of soap contains none of the artificial ingredients found in commercial bars. Real soap moisturizes your skin with glycerin and leaves no toxins on your skin, which can absorb through your pores.
Natural soap is made of lye and fat (oil), but the caustic nature of the lye is destroyed in the saponification (soap making) process. The byproduct is the moisturizing glycerin.
Additives are scents, beneficial ingredients like oatmeal, and/or coloring agents. Look for those that use only natural versions.
One last important consideration is that using natural soap helps protect the environment. The UKs Royal Society of Chemistry released a report announcing the finding that chemical byproducts of detergent bars persist in the water supply even after filtration. These byproducts include parabens, known carcinogens, and phthalates, which can lead to reproductive disorders. Spending the extra money to buy a natural bar of soap can thus lead to healthier skin and a healthier environment, at the same time.