When it comes to great skin care, women often ask if they can wash their face with “soap”. The answer depends on the definition of “soap”. If the beauty bar used contains detergents, sodium Lauryl Sulfate, or other chemicals, then skin will feel dry and rough. While what is in the bar is important, what is not in the bar is just as important.
Most commercial products for washing your face and body are produced using the a continuous fully boiled process. In this process, the oils, fats, and other reactants are brought to a full boil for saponification. Once saponified, salt in introduced to the process and the excess liquid drained off. This excess liquid carries away with it much of the impurities and color compounds in the fat. It also removes practically all the natural glycerine created by the process of saponification.
Glycerine has an important quality when it come to the care of your skin. Glycerine has the ability to attract and hold water molecules from the surrounding environment. Glycerine is used in medical and pharmaceutical and personal care products, mainly as a means of improving smoothness, providing lubrication and as a humectant. It is an important ingredient in soap because it prevents skin dryness with its moisturizing properties. It draws moisture up through skin layers and slows or prevents excessive drying and evaporation. Topical pure or nearly pure glycerine is said to be an effective treatment for psoriasis, burns, bites, cuts, rashes, bedsores, and calluses. So if the beauty bar you use has had the glycerine removed and contains detergents, then it will leave your skin feeling dry and rough.
But what about artisan soaps like Green Hill Soaps? We make soaps using the “cold-process”. Our oils and butters are not boiled in the process of making our soaps. This has two very important benefits for your skin. First, all the glycerine produced in the process of making our soap, remains in the soap and available to your skin. Second, artisan soap makers tend to add a bit more oil and a bit less lye, to ensure all the lye is consumed in the saponification process. The result is that there is an excess of oil when the soap is made and that is called “superfatted”. The excess oil provides skin conditioning benefits, especially if the soap is made with significant amounts of olive, castor, or coconut oil, or shea butter.
If you use a soap with natural glycerine and superfatted with quality conditioning oils, then your face and skin should feel smooth, soft and invigorated. If not, well you know how that feels.