Stearic Acid. Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate. Have you checked the ingredients on the back of your soap bottle lately? The list sounds terrifying. Who wants to bathe with things like Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate? Not many of us. Most Americans are making the shift to natural soap to avoid these ingredients. However, many companies are laughing to the bank because most people take their word that a product is “natural.” Just because a company slaps the word on their product’s packaging, it doesn’t make it true. That is why it is essential to check the ingredients and determine for yourself if a product is genuinely natural. Here are four ingredients to always look for in your natural bar soap.
The first ingredient listed on the ingredient list means it is what the product is mostly made up of. If your soap’s primary ingredient is not water, you may want to consider not using this product. Pure and natural soaps always use water as their main ingredient. However, be sure that the water used is distilled. It means the water is purified through heat and not just regular tap water. Having distilled water in your natural soap ensures that what you are using on your body is safe and clean.
Natural Fatty Oils
Think coconut, shea butter, olive, almond, or castor. These oils are all-natural and also fantastic for your skin. They provide moisture and shine while also cleansing. If your natural soap does not include some natural fatty oil, it is most likely stripping and drying. Beware of strange ingredients pretending to be oils like petroleum. Natural soaps should be healing your skin, not hurting.
This may sound weird, but it is not. It makes perfect sense. If you consider your soap to be natural, then it has to be made up of plants—one of the most natural components of our planet! These plants add moisture, exfoliation, and the scent of your soap. You shouldn’t use any natural soap that doesn’t use a healing plant. Plants to consider are rosemary, lavender, sandalwood, indigo, lemongrass, oatmeal, and eucalyptus. Look for natural soaps that use 2-3 healing plants. This way, your skin reaps the benefits of more than one plant.
Not as scary as sodium lauroyl isethionate, is it? Sodium hydroxide is a common compound found in most soaps. It is necessary even in your natural soap. It’s the ingredient that “gets you clean.” However, it is essential to note that sodium hydroxide should not be the main ingredient in the ingredient list. It should not come first on the list. Sodium hydroxide should be an added ingredient that helps the soap “sud” on your skin, so you get that clean feeling when you bathe.
All-natural soaps are not created equal, though they all may wear the label of “natural.” Companies bank off of the fact that you may not read the label and, instead, accept the product for whatever they tell you that it is. Now that you are aware be sure to always ingredient check any products claiming to be natural, especially natural bar soaps. If a product is not made of most or all of the ingredients listed above, it is not natural after all, and you can leave it on the shelf!