About Living Clay®
Benefits of Using Real, Natural Soap
next time you walk down the soap isle at your favorite store
enjoying the fresh, clean scents and the bright colorful packaging,
pay attention. Look at the labels. The vast majority of the
products on the shelf don’t say ‘soap’ on their labels. They might
be called beauty bars, moisturizing bars, or body bars, but not
soap. That’s because, these bars aren’t actually soap and can’t
legally claim to be; they’re detergents. The manufacturers have
removed most of the ‘good’ stuff that occurs in the soap making
process, and replaced it with synthetic lathering agents and harsh
chemicals. These cheap, plentiful detergent bars are not only bad
for your skin, they’re bad for the planet, too.
What’s so bad about it?
Commercial soap manufacturers make it a practice to remove the
glycerine that is produced during the saponification (soap-making)
process. The glycerine is a highly profitable substance, often sold
to other companies who use it to make lotions and moisturizers,
which your skin, now dried out from the harsh detergent ‘soap,’
produced bars contain synthetic lathering agents, artificial colors,
and a slew of chemicals we can’t even pronounce. Antibacterial and
antimicrobial soaps often contain triclosan. Triclosan is a toxic
chemical that is known to cause cancer. According to the National
Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides (NCAMP), manufacturers of
a number of triclosan-containing products claim that the active
ingredient continues to work for as long as 12 hours after use.
Consumers are, therefore, exposed to triclosan for much longer than
the 20 seconds it takes to wash their hands or face.
Always remember that your skin is porous and absorbent. It absorbs
whatever it comes in contact with, much the same as sticking
something in your mouth. Chronic use of chemical laden products
will cause the body to store the chemicals in the body fat or even
the brain. With enough accumulations of toxins in the body, illness
These nasty chemicals
and toxins are now finding their way into our eco-system. Every
time that lather goes down the drain, those pollutants are going
with it. A recent report by the UK’s Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
revealed that synthetic chemicals from soap, body washes, shampoos
and other healthcare products were sneaking through the filters at
water purification plants. The list of offenders included
phthalates which are linked to reproductive disorders in both humans
and animals, and parabens, a preservative with links to cancer.
What’s the alternative?
natural, organic, handmade soap. There are several small businesses
selling extremely high quality, all natural, organic soap – yes real
soap. Sure, these soap bars generally cost more than the detergent
bars you’ll find at Wal-Mart. But the difference is these soap bars
are actually good for your skin, and are good for the planet.
Choosing the right soap
because it’s handmade doesn’t mean it’s good for you, however. You
need to understand a few things about the soapmaking process to know
what to look for.
There are basically three ways to make soap. One common way is
called “melt and pour” soap. There are even melt and pour kits you
can buy to make cute soap shapes with your kids. These are
generally glycerine based transparent soaps. They’re not as harmful
(usually) as the commercial bars, but they’re not what we’re looking
other two methods are “hot process” and “cold process.” The hot
process method utilizes heat after the saponification process has
taken place, while the cold process method does not. The cold
process method takes the most time, but is undoubtedly the best
method for producing the highest quality soaps.
we need to discuss the ingredients. Cold process soap bars are made
using a combination of oils or fats and lye. Lye sounds a little
scary, but all the caustic qualities of the lye are removed during
the saponification process. When the lye interacts with the oils or
fats, it creates glycerine. The type of oils and fats used make a
difference in how hard or soft the soap bar ends up being, and how
well it lathers.
handmade soaps, just like with commercially manufactured bars, you
need to read the labels. You want to find soaps that use only pure,
organic oils or fats. If plants are used in the bars (many bars
incorporate seeds and petals from various plants) they should be
certified organic. Avoid any bars that use artificial colors or
fragrances. These are synthetic chemicals and you don’t want them
on your skin or going down your drain. If you want a colored or
scented soap bar, look for one that uses organic essential oils and
natural, organic colorants.
Another nice ingredient to find in your soaps is Bentonite clay.
Bentonite clay is often used to increase lather in soap bars. It
has the added benefit of being a natural detoxifier. Bentonite clay
binds with and removes toxins from your body, and it’s extremely
To sum it up, the best soap for your skin and our
planet is a handmade, organic, all natural cold process soap bar.
Once you’ve tried one of these lathery treasures, you’ll never again
be satisfied with ‘store-bought’ bars. So do yourself and your
world a big favor and start using REAL soap.
Kim Deleary, “Your
Skin Absorbs Whatever You Put On It,”
(accessed April 21, 2009)
“Toxic Chemicals from Shampoo, Soap May Be Seeping into Drinking
(accessed April 21, 2009)
Smart Soapmaking, Anne L. Watson, 2007, Shepard Publications
Mike Adams, NaturalNews.com, “Toxic chemical triclosan
commonly found in anti-bacterial soaps, toothpaste products,”
(accessed April 21, 2009)
and we will answer promptly.