7 Facts about soap that will make you find all answers about hand washing and hygiene.
There is a lot of discussion about handwashing these days. We did some research and found interesting facts that you should know.
The article in a nutshell:
- Hand soap is better for sensitive skin.
- Bar soaps and water are better than hand sanitizers.
- There is no evidence that antibacterial soap provides better protection.
- Liquid soap has synthetic substances.
- A lot of foam does not mean better cleaning.
- The best natural soaps use exclusively native vegetable oils (like extra virgin olive oil).
- Natural additives like activated charcoal, donkey milk, rosemary etc. can give extra properties to soaps.
- Perfume in soaps is great for our mental balance.
- Wrong skin care is "pro - aging“.
- Everyone with skin diseases should always consult their dermatologist first.
- Always buy cruelty free products that are not tested on animals.
- Natural soap meets all the requirements for hygiene, care and well being!
Here is why the above statements are correct:
Natural soap: Hygiene and care
First things first:
Soap as a healing and care product is over 4.000 years old, as a cleaning agent slightly younger.
The beginning of industrial production started much later, when artificial production of soap ingredients became possible, which was necessary to reduce the costs.
Today natural soap is experiencing a renaissance.
The reasons are that we know much more about the harmful effects of artificial materials for soap production on our skin and the environment.
There is an increase in allergy sufferers and people with highly sensitive skin who have to avoid artificial additives.
Natural soaps fulfill our claim not to use numerous synthetic chemical substances drying out our skin and polluting the environment.
This has become especially important in times of the pandemic with Coronavirus.
Science agrees that the most important measure is more frequent and careful hand washing for a sufficiently long time, because our hands play the major role in transmission of diseases.
Many questions have arisen about excessive hand washing. We have compiled the most important ones for you.
Soap and disinfection - how does soap work
1) Is soap really sufficient for disinfection? Does bar soap kill bacteria and viruses?
The answers are clear:
Soap is sufficient in normal everyday life.
This is how soap works:
- Bacteria are removed. Although it does not kill bacteria, it is an aid for their removal from the skin, so that they are rinsed with the water. In that way, up to 99% of all bacteria are removed if you wash your hands for ~30 sec.
- As far as viruses are concerned: Corona virus is an enveloped virus, which is almost completely inactivated with thorough washing. The virus is enclosed in a greasy shell which is broken up by soap, so the virus opens, breaks and can be removed with the water.
2) Is it better to use antibacterial soap?
On the contrary, antibacterial soaps are not safe for daily use, damaging the protective skin flora and causing allergic reactions.
Antibacterial soaps and detergents have been accused to promote resistance to common antibiotics.
3) Hand sanitizer vs hand wipes vs soap
Hand sanitizers are less effective than soap and make sense only when you cannot wash your hands, e.g. when traveling. In that case you have to use sanitizers containing more than 60% alcohol at least; for comparison: whiskey or vodka have 40%.
Also, with hand sanitizers, all the surface of the hands has to be covered and rubbing for about 20 seconds is absolutely necessary.
Wet wipes are the last in this series of effectiveness: they do not provide security.
If safe disinfection is required, special virucidal disinfectants must be used.
4) Bar soap or liquid soap?
Use soap bars!
The industrial production of liquid detergents uses many synthetic substances and a lot of chemistry is involved.
This is not good for our skin, especially not in these times when such products are very frequently if not excessively used.
In liquid soap vs bar soap comparison, washing performance may be the same (there is no difference in cleanliness) but there are numerous side effects:
Especially for sensitive skins or skin problems always soap bars are recommended.
Soap bars are better for our skin, and for the environment too. Their natural components are much better decomposed than artificial ones.
Also, dispensers use much plastics and refills means more waste. They are also more expensive, because they produce more liquid soap for one use than necessary.
Liquid soaps have been said to be cleaner, which, however, is not true. Soap bars do not spread germs! And please imagine the Germ colonization on the dosing pumps of the dispensers!
5) Is soap foam important in the cleaning process?
People believe that a lot of foam means better cleaning. This is not true.
Foam - generating substances are added in soaps because foam is popular.
This foam generating ingredients damage skins own protective substances and particularly for sensitive skin they should not be used at all.
6) What is the best natural soap?
The best natural soap uses exclusively native vegetable oils (natural fats like olive oil), no artificial color and no chemical additives.
That is why it should be the first choice: a perfect cleaning agent as well as a cosmetically effective agent. Above all, it follows the Hippocratic advice: do no harm!
Important to know: today the market offers many olive soaps (not extra virgin olive oil soaps). The problem is that pure extra virgin Olive oil is expensive, so it is preferred for consuming.
For soap, often inferior olive oil is used: even filtered oil used from frying, but at least heated oil. In this case there are not only no more positive effects, but also harmful, so prefer extra virgin Olive oil soaps.
7) What about soap additives?
There are many possible natural additives to soaps like donkey milk, herbs and active charcoal. What are their effects?
From all milks, donkey milk is the closest to human breast milk. Herodotus is quoted to have said : „it nourishes, strengths and stimulates“.
Throughout the centuries donkey milk has been used medically for nutrition of sick and underweight children.
Aside from that, donkey milk was also used as a means for aesthetic improvement of the skin.
Fun fact: The baths in donkey milk taken by Cleopatra became famous through the cinema. Historically, however, it was not Cleopatra but emperor Neros second wife Poppea in Rome.
No matter who was bathing - the bath has many effects now scientifically proven: it is refatting and it can be regarded in case of skin diseases like neurodermatitis as a forerunner of our today’s oil baths.
Beyond that, the so called Cleopatra bath contains e.g. a high proportion of coenzyme Q, one of the well - known "anti aging“ ingredients widely used in face creams.
Herbs have also been used since ancient times so, for example, Rosemary in ancient Egypt.
Herbs have well known medical effects and are therefore still used in phytotherapy today.
There are numerous studies which prove almost 25 different medical effects; the positive effect on the skin is probably mainly due to its antioxidant ingredients.
The effect of wine is also based on the same properties.
Activated carbon is charcoal subjected to a high temperature - steam activation process and is widely used in medicine, especially for absorption processes to remove toxins.
Activated charcoal while removing toxins from the skin it has an antibacterial effect.
Soap with activated carbon is especially suitable for oily skin, that is why it is preferred for skin impurities like acne (or today's face mask acne called Mascne). However, it should not be used with dry skin.
EXTRA HAND WASHING FACT: The little bit more, perfume in soap
Perfumes are not really necessary for soaps.
However, wellness has a lot to do with our mental balance. That’s why we should not underestimate this effect.
Everyone has to find the fragrance that is good for him or her.
Only one thing you should keep in mind when making your selection: in case of hypersensitive skin or skin diseases, it is better to choose natural soap without perfume.
Health, beauty and conclusion. Pro aging, anti aging, soap and Retinol.
What do dermatologists say about the effects on beauty?
Natural aging is a process that cannot be stopped by drugs or cosmetics.
So, If you want to keep your skin beautiful and not age prematurely, you have to live healthy!
There is a lot of talk about Retinol and vitamin A serum. Retinol is a form of vitamin A.
Retinol acts as an antioxidant against free radicals and has positive effects on the skin, e.g. it promotes the formation of protective horny cells in the uppermost skin layer.
Unfortunately, there are also risks with Retinol use. Overdoses can cause health problems, from skin irritation and dryness to problems in liver function and bone mineralization.
Since with good nutrition the necessary daily dose is achieved without additives, scientific societies recommend that you pay close attention to the dose when taking these product outside of your diet.
Since the uptake takes place also from the skin, more is definitely not more here!
So, if you want to use products containing retinol or Vitamin A serum for „anti-aging“ purposes, use them only in face and hand care products, not on large surfaces for body care! Also, using theses substances, you must pay special attention to sun protection.
The conclusion is:
- You need sun protection, no nicotine, little alcohol, enough intake of water and enough exercise.
- Food is important. Studies have shown that Mediterranean diet keeps the organism young (again, extra virgin olive oil is the base of the Mediterranean diet)!
- The third important thing is to avoid harmful substances included in many soaps.
- Soaps, ointments and creams may not be enough for „anti-aging“, but one thing is clear: wrong skin care is "pro - aging“! Good care can help to avoid pathological early aging and allow healthy normal skin aging, which takes place later.
Everyone with skin diseases should always consult their dermatologist!
But for everyone else: Natural soap meets all the requirements for hygiene, care and well being!
- Check: Alton Brown Explains Why Soap Is Better Than Hand Sanitizer During an Amusing Handwashing Tutorial
- FDA - Q&A for Consumers: Hand Sanitizers and COVID-19
- WHO - (pdf Poster): How to wash hands?
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