Michael Holloway BSc, MSc.
Due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak we are all washing our hands more often. This can dry the hands and lead to skin rashes, irritation and a whole host of skin conditions. This happens because too much washing can strip away the skins natural moisturiser, it's sebum. Sebum is the skins natural preservative and waterproofer.
Many soaps can strip away this layer of sebum if used too often. Usually this wouldn't happen but currently we are all washing more often. So, what's the solution? Well, there are a few things you can do to keep your hands healthy during this time. Use a vegetable oil based soap instead of a supermarket soap. Supermarket soap is SYNDET (Synthetic Detergent) and is more like washing up liquid that a moisturising bar. Another thing that makes a difference is using a soap with natural fragrances instead of synthetic fragrances. Any soap containing real essential oil is better in this respect. Finally, use a good conditioner but don't overuse it as this tends to make the hands try to compensate for being TOO greasy. Also, consider using a tiny drop of argan, jojoba or coconut oil instead of man made moisturiser! These oils are natural moisturisers that have been used for thousands of years.
M.Holloway BSc., MSc.
During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic it is recommened to wash your hands more frequently. But how often should I wash my hands? The answer is more WHEN you should wash your hands. It is still true that you should wash your hands after going to the bathroom (even if you don't use the loo itself), before every meal and before and after preparing food. This adds up to at least 6 times a day and we think this is conservative. We suggest :
Every time you go outside
Before and after you touch someone else
Every time you bring in the post
Before and after shopping
After cleaning anything
Now it's easy to go overboard and delelop skin irritation (our skincare range is recomended here) so be careful of this.
In summary, we estimate that the number of times you may need to wash your hands on a given day currently may vary between 6 to 11 times per day. This number will obviously vary depending on your behaviour, your job (mum, care giver etc.) so use your discretion.
We are all washing our hands more frequently these days because of the changes brought about by COVID-19 virus. But what is soap made of? The vast majority of soap that we are all familiar with fits into 3 main types. Synthetic (Supermarket) soap, liquid soap and traditional soap.
Most of the soap that we buy from the supermarket is technically called a SYNDET (Synthetic detergent). It is a synthetic version of real soap.
PROS : cheap to make and buy
CONS : contains chemicals that strip the moisture from skin.
As the name suggests this is a soap that has been specially prepared to stay liquid at room temperature. It is more similar to supermarket syndet that traditional soap.
PROS : conveniently packaged to provide just enough from the dispenser.
CONS : contains chemicals that strip the moisture from skin.
Traditional soap is made using natural vegetable or animal fats and does not contain peterochemicals.
PROS : no peterochemicals, contains organic nutrients, more powerful cleaning, moisturises, better for environment.
CONS : more expensive to buy, more expensive to manufacture.
If you want to know more about the ingredients in soap click here.
You can quickly make your purchase in the checkout by using the Amazon ONE-CLICK. When you click on the Amazon link in the product description window, it will open the item in Amazon. You can then just order the item from Amazon and it will arrive as normal, FREE DELIVERY within 2-3 days.
If you've shopped with us before and you know what you want you can save time and by-pass the checkout with our PayPal Quick Bank. Quick Bank lets you instantly pay with PayPal and if your registered address is configured as your delivery address you don't need to enter all your card details, address details or shipping details.
Quick Bank is useful when you want to order something you've had before so don't need to read the item page or go all the way through the checkout! Just head over to the PayPal Quick Bank Storefront and select your product, pay with PayPal and you're done. Quick Bank uses PayPal so your purchase is safe and secure and guaranteed by PayPal.
By david holloway bsc, msc
Shampoo made from natural ingredients is growing in popularity. This is because there is robust evidence that synthetic shampoos are not as effective for your hair as natural products. Synthetic soaps tend to strip the hair of natural oils and try to replace them with products such as palm oil and silicon. They also contain parabens and SLS's which can make eczema worse. However our shampoo soaps may contribute to the growth of new healthier hair. Natural shampoo soaps can make the hair look and feel healthier and natural.
Dr Jason Yip states that natural shampoo may benefit those with a hyperallergenic scalp. However, he warns that oil, dead skin, sweat and hair products may build up. Therefore use enough shampoo from our shampoo bars to reduce the oil build up. Dr Kip only used vinegar and baking soda in his study instead of our shampoo which contains coconut oil, olive oil, macadamia and argan oil and produces much better results. Request a sample and please give it a go. You will save money, help the environment and have much healthier hair!
by Michael Holloway bsc, msc
Not all soap is the same. For example, did you know mass produced "cleansing" soaps can actually be the most damaging to your skin? Or that certain "old-fashioned" soaps have properties far superior to that of higher-priced brands? Soap can vary significantly, both in terms of it's chemical composition and it's clinical and cosmetic effects. By knowing what to look for you can find the soap best suited to your individual needs.
How Traditional Soap Is Made
Traditional soap has long been made by mixing oils (animal fat or vegetable oil) and water (most often distilled) with an alkali salt. The salt combines with the oils and undergoes a chemical process called saponification. Saponification is the process of turning oils, liquid, and alkali into soap. For making bar soap the alkali salt used is sodium hydroxide, also known as lye. Although this sounds abrasive there is no lye left in properly made soap. All of the alkali and oil have been converted into soap.
Historically, soap was made with tallow (beef fat) or lard (pork fat). Soap makers today still make soap in the same way, except modern soap is more likely to contain coconut oil, palm oil, rapeseed oil, olive oil, and other specialty botanicals, nutrients and/or vegetable oils than animal fats. Manufacturers also add fragrance, colours, essential oils, herbs, and other ingredients to theme the soap although many of these additions do little in the way of contributing to good skin health.
Only soap made in the traditional way, comprised of alkali salts of fatty acids (in more basic terms, oils that have been saponified with an alkali) is considered "true" soap. True soap is currently made by large manufacturers to small artisan crafters alike. True bar soap contains surfactants that reduce surface tension between oil and water. Surfactants tend to do the best job of capturing dirt and washing it away.
It was previously thought that true soap left the skin's pH unbalanced because soap is slightly alkaline with an average pH of 8 - 9. Human skin is naturally slightly acidic, with a pH of around 4.5 to 5.5. Research shows that, even after cleaning with soap, the skin returns to its normal pH very quickly. So using a pH balanced bar isn't really as important as previously believed.
Although there are many true soaps that are all-natural, many soaps on the market today contain synthetic hardeners, fragrances, or colorants. This isn't good or bad, just something of which to be aware. If you're looking specifically for an all-natural bar, read the ingredients.
Synthetic Detergent Bars
Most bar soap you buy at the supermarket isn't technically soap at all; It's syndet bar. Syndet is a hybrid of the words "synthetic" and "detergent." Syndet bars are made from synthetic surfactants. These surfactants are made from oil, fats, or petroleum products which are processed in ways other than traditional saponification.
Instead of alkali saponified animal fats and vegetable oils, syndet bars contain ingredients that include sodium cocoyl isothionate, sulfosuccinates, sulfonates, and betaines. However, just because this soap is made with synthetic ingredients does not mean it is bad for your skin; in fact, quite the opposite. These soap-free cleansing bars can be quite gentle. Dove (the very first syndet bar launched), Cetaphil, and Eucerin bars are all good examples of gentle syndet bars.
Although we as consumers call syndet bars soap, you will never see such bars marketed this way. To be considered soap, according to the U.K government, the product must be mainly alkali salts of fatty acids. So, manufacturers can call syndets detergent bars, cleansing bars, or beauty bars, but not soap.
Transparent soaps can be true bar soaps or syndets, with the addition of glycerin for added moisturising ability. The additional glycerin helps make them milder, but not all the time. The components of transparent soaps can still be irritating to the skin. It depends on the formulation and ingredients of the product in question. A transparent bar is not a guarantee of a mild soap.
Super-fatted soap is true soap that contains extra oil. This additional oil has not been saponified (hasn't turned into soap). The super-fatting improves the soap's moisturising abilities and makes it less irritating to skin. Some people however find super-fat soaps too heavy and not cleansing enough.
Combination bars are exactly what they sound like. They are a combination of different types of soap designed to maximise cleansing while minimise dryness and irritation. These bars commonly combine ingredients of super-fat soap and syndet bars. Many bars on the market today are combination bars.
choosing the right bar
Choosing the right bar for your skin can definitely feel overwhelming. However, knowing what you are looking for will help narrow your choices.
1. Decide what's important to you.
Are you committed to natural, vegan skin care products? Then a traditional handcrafted soap like our bath bars or Deli soap would be your preferred bar. (Just remember to read the ingredient list, not all handcrafted soap is all-natural or vegan.) Is it more important that the product be inexpensive and easy to find at most stores? Syndet bars will be your best choice in this case.
2. Do you need a face or body soap?
A bar with excellent cleansing abilities may work great on your body. But use that same bar on your face and it's likely to be too drying. As a general rule, you'll need a more moisturising bar for the face than the body, so plan on getting two different bars. Can you use bar soap on your face? Absolutely, as long as it is gentle and non-irritating.
3. Listen to your body.
It doesn't matter what type of bar you're using if it's leaving your skin feeling tight, dry, or itchy, it's not the right product for you. The right bar will leave your skin feeling clean and refreshed, but not stripped. Just because a bar works wonders for your friend, doesn't necessarily mean it's right for you. Everyone's skin is unique and reacts differently to soap and cleansers. If possible, try out samples of products before you purchase them (we provide free samples upon request). Really pay attention to how your skin feels, not just immediately after you're finished washing but after using the product for several days or weeks.
Your NHS dermatologist is an expert on skin, so will have some great suggestions for you. But to sum up, one type of bar soap isn't inherently better or worse than any other. Some true soap bars are gentle and some are drying; some syndet bars are gentle and some are drying. Don't get too worried trying to identify what type of bar you're using. If you like the way a soap bar makes your skin feel, you like the scent, and the price, then it's good for you.