Are you choosing the right soap that answers to your skin? This is an important question to ask yourself.
The first thing to keep in mind is that you should never choose your skincare or cleaning products based on advertisements.
Let’s take a look at a few tips to help you pick the right soap for your skin.
Decide What’s Most Important for You?
Soaps are continuously produced and manufactured every day with local and internal brands competing to develop the “best” formulas for your skin.
The next time you walk into a store to find your next stop ask yourself this question – “What’s most important for You and Your Skin”?
Of course, the answers will be different for everyone.
Soaps Ingredients For Brightening Your Skin
Many brands especially in Asia have developed soaps that help to brighten your skin.
If this is something you want for your skin then these are the ingredients you need to look out for.
Helps to detoxify and brighten your skin. It is also an essential ingredient to repair your weak skin cells.
It’s a natural substance that is caused by the fermentation of glucose with fungi.
Kojic Acid has the property to reduce melanin pigmentation and reduce the occurrence of free radicals as well as adjusting the skin colour to be smooth and consistent.
Extremely helpful in reducing dark spots. Vitamin B3 helps to brighten, moisturize and smoothen your skin. It also helps to fade away traces or marks of acne.
Papaya is rich with beneficial nutrients for the skin such as vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin C.
These vitamins all help with exfoliating dead skin cells, smoothing and moisturizing your skin.Besides, papaya extract is more concentrated compared to milky acids and can penetrate deeper into your skin.
Helps to protect your skin from being exposed to sunlight. Additionally, it adds moisture to the skin and helps the skin maintain its health.
Antioxidants also give your skin more power to deal with free radicals. Soaps that contain antioxidants are helpful in adjusting the consistency of your skin tone.
Listen to Your Skin
You are always faced with many different skincare treatments and cleansing products as you walk into any cosmetic stores. A key to choosing your soap correctly is to know what your skin needs.
Therefore, knowing the type of skin you have and the nutrition it needs is a crucial start.
Choose soaps that contain glycerin in order to maintain the skin’s moisture as much as possible.
Additionally, avoid soaps that are mixed with sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), as they are known to dry the skin even more. Also make sure that your soap is not mixed with any perfume as this may cause irritation to the skin.
Look out for glycerin soaps that will help prevent the skin from being too dry. If the skin becomes too dry, the body will react by producing more oil and this will lead to clogged pores.
Also, stay away from soaps that are mixed with perfumes or chemicals as this can also lead to clogged pores.
Avoid using soaps that contain chemicals. Choose natural soaps that do not have a pH level that is too high as this will cause irritation to the skin.
People with mixed skin often have oil T-zone areas (forehead and nose) but dry cheeks. It is not recommended to choose soaps that focus on either oily skin or dry skin.
Rather, you should choose soaps that are mixed with glycerin as one of the ingredients as it helps to moisturize the skin without leaving it too oily.
Your options are a bit more wide compared to other skin types. However, always read the label to make sure that the soaps you are choosing are not mixed with chemicals that are not suitable for your skin.
It’s also important to note that many people with normal skin also face problems with clogged pores.
Consult A Dermatologist
The best way to take care of your skin and to find out what type of skin you have is to consult a dermatologist or skin specialist.
What to Look Out for on the Label?
Many soaps are advertised as being produced with 100% natural ingredients or natural extracts.
It’s easy to be fooled by these advertisements as they want us to feel more secure to choose their product.
To help you make the right decision, these are the 3 things you need to look out for on any soap label.
Find the TFM Value
This is the Total Fatty Matter that presents the fat content mixed in the soap. The TFM value tells us the quality of the soap. The higher the TFM value, the more its moisturizing properties.
Ideally, the TFM value should be less than 60%, but not below 40%. Toilet soaps often have more than 60% TFM value as they have better cleansing and moisturizing properties.
People with sensitive or allergy-prone skin should always look out for allergens and the synthetic substances that are included in the product.
If you know that you are allergic or reactive to certain chemicals then you should avoid such synthetic fragrances, preservatives or colours.
Some people may be allergic to certain natural extracts as well. It’s always a good idea to consult with a dermatologist to further understand your skin.
Last but not least, the pH level. The natural pH level of your skin is 4.5 – 5.5. The pH scale often ranges from 0 to 14.
Anything below 7 is acidic, and anything above 7.0 is alkaline. Soaps that are suitable for cleaning the body should have a pH value between 8 – 10.
Top 6 Ingredients to Avoid in Soap
Now that we know what to look out for before purchasing your soap, it is time to learn what ingredients to avoid.
Soaps that are mixed with fragrances should be avoided especially if you have sensitive skin.
Fragrances are absorbed through your skin and into the bloodstream that can trigger reactions or allergies.
Hence, choose soaps that are mixed with natural extracts.
This term may sound familiar as it is also often found in cosmetic products. Parabens have been associated with cancer and developmental toxicity.
In fact, parabens have been banned by many countries.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate, SLES (common foaming agent)
SLES is a foaming agent that is extracted from coconut oil, palm oil or various fatty alcohol compounds.
There are many health concerns related to SLES such as organ system toxicity, irritation of the skin and lungs. More than this, SLES cannot be processed by the liver and this can lead to chemicals building up in the body.
Even more concerning, SLES can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a hormone disruptor that is linked to breast cancer.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, SLS (common foaming agent)
Similarly to SLES, SLS is a forming agent that is also extracted from coconut oil, palm oil and is processed in the same way as SLES. In terms of its side effects, SLS is associated with dry skin, acne and rash.
Research has found that SLS is often worse than SELS as it takes the body longer to break down the residue. In addition, only 2% of SLS can lead people with sensitive skin to develop skin irritation.
This is the substance used in house paints. It’s main function is to inhibit bacteria, fungi and yeast. Allergic reactions such as skin rash have been associated with Methylisothiazolinone.
Acts in similar ways as SLS but does not cause as much irritation. Cocamidopropyl Betaine can kill bacterias but if mixed too much in the product it can lead to skin irritation.
It can also be found in glass cleaner and is often not mixed more than 1% in order to avoid skin irritation.
This is a substance commonly used as an antibacterial agent in soaps. Tricolasan has been linked to causing hormonal malfunctions, weakening the immune system and the reproductive system.
More than this, research has found that triclosan kills bacterias in the ecosystem once it reaches the sea resulting in a breakdown in the food chain. You will be glad to know that the FDA has banned this substance in 2016 for its serious long term consequences.
We hope that from reading this article, you are now confident to pick the right soap for your skin.
As you can see, selecting the right soap not only has long-term effects on your skin but can also lead to detrimental environmental consequences.
Unfortunately, cosmetic products can also be tested on animals such as rabbits and mice.
Hence, another thing to look out for is whether the soap you are buying is cruelty free. Taking a conscious decision not only helps to protect your skin from harmful chemicals but also saves the environment.