Considering the fact that natural ingredients like tea tree oil can soothe, moisturize and fight acne-causing bacteria, it’s no surprise there’s been a clear shift toward them. Harsh soaps typically get their strength from chemicals even though natural ingredients are just as powerful in fighting bacteria while also soothing the skin. Natural ingredients are much more compatible and beneficial to your body overall, especially in comparison to manufactured and potentially toxic compounds.
Harsh soaps typically get their strength from chemicals even though natural ingredients are just as powerful in fighting bacteria while also soothing the skin. Natural ingredients are much more compatible and beneficial to your body overall, especially in comparison to manufactured and potentially toxic compounds.
Aim for simplified formulas with fewer ingredients and do your homework. Make sure the labels aren’t falsely claiming “natural” or “organic” and aim for certified products which are guaranteed 95% organic by the USDA. Avoid synthetic additions, which are most common in aromatic soaps which have artificially enhanced fragrances.
A tried and true way to guarantee the quality of your soap? Make it! You can find out what natural ingredient combination works best for you while knowing exactly what’s in there. By going DIY you can also easily check for allergies with a patch test before wider use because another great place for it is in your body wash! Here are some 4 great ingredients that you can try out first:
1. Olive oil
High quality, natural olive oil has the same effect of petrolatum in that it protectively coats the skin and locks in moisture. It also has antioxidant properties, which promote healing and provides fatty acids which give a moisturizing boost!
Vitamin E in Olive Oil helps protect against aging, restoring skin smoothness. It protects from ultraviolet light and the Hydroxytyrosol prevents free radical damage to the skin. It doesn’t clog pores and penetrates deep into the skin, providing a cleansing effect.
2. Coconut Oil
Unlike vegetable oil, coconut oil has a long shelf life and a high amount of saturated fat. The fat from the oil penetrates the skin and moisturizes deeply - all while the antibacterial and antifungal properties balance the skin and fight acne.
Lauric acid in the oil acts as an antibacterial agent reducing the risk of bacterial infections that worsen acne. The oil retains the moisture content making the skin smooth to the touch. It acts as a physical barrier against agents such as dust and environmental pollutants while sealing in moisture. It is safe, effective, and hypoallergenic.
3. Castor Oil
A little goes a long way for castor oil whose main purpose is to help your natural ingredients stick together and work up that lather! It’s also high in fatty acids that help remove anything clogging your pores. It also has a lot of healing properties such as healing skin inflammation caused by sunburns, acne and dry skin. It fades blemishes by penetrating deep into scar tissue, plumping it out while encouraging growth of healthy tissue around it, helping blemishes to fade away.
It prevents stretch marks and reduces pigmentation due to the fatty acids which hydrate skin while stimulating growth of healthy tissue giving blemish free supple skin.
4. Aloe Vera
This is not only great for your skin, it’s great for the consistency of the soap! Aloe vera is anti-infectant and fights bacteria as well as anti-inflammatory, soothing the skin. Substituting water with aloe vera juices in a soap recipe also help the consistence and lather of your finished product!
It treats acne and lessens the visibility of stretch marks due to the hormones Auxin and Gibberellins in the aloe vera. The Gibberellin acts as a growth hormone that stimulates growth of new cells that allow the skin to heal quickly and naturally with minimal scarring. The antioxidants beta carotene, vitamins C and E improve skin's firmness and keeps the skin hydrated, and doesn’t leave a greasy feeling.
Beware of Petrolatum
Petrolatum is a widely used ingredient in soaps targeted for those with sensitive skin. The claimed benefits are in it’s ability to seal off the skin with a thick, impenetrable layer which retains moisture and promotes healing.
There’s been an uptick in natural ingredients versus petrolatum - while it is considered non toxic and only highly refined petrolatum is found in beauty products, there is a rising concern in its possible connection with cancer. Petrolatum at a lower refined level has the potential to be contaminated with carcinogens polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.