What is soap?
In the weeks after I started working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, I remember some of my colleagues saying that they had been washing their hands more frequently. Some of the same people also told me they were getting dry and itchy skin from all that hand washing. When I asked which soaps they were using, it was the usual brands you would see in the supermarkets or sometimes advertised on TV.
What you might not know is that many of the “soaps” you see on TV are not actually soap at all. Instead, they are synthetic detergents that contain artificial colourants that are sometimes made from petroleum products. And some artificial dyes and colourants can irritate your skin and eyes and can cause allergic reactions, also in mammals and fish.
Kinder to your skin
So how can you spot a synthetic detergent? The easiest way is to look at the ingredients. The one potentially harmful chemical you can find in a synthetic detergent is Sodium Laureth Sulfate also known as SLS. SLS gives a detergent its lather but can damage your skin and the environment.
Soap, on the other hand, has been around for thousands of years. It’s made using natural fat or oil, alkaline and water. The combination of these three natural ingredients creates a chemical reaction called saponification. That creates a natural substance that can cleanse your body of viruses and bacteria and it’s not damaging to your skin.
I noticed the difference immediately when I switched to using Pure Herba soaps. The natural ingredients in Pure Herba soaps have fats and glycerin that gently clean and moisturise my skin without causing irritation. While detergents need to add synthetic chemicals to moisturise or reduce irritation, the naturally occurring glycerin in Pure Herba soaps makes my skin smooth and soft without artificial chemicals.
Better for the environment
Have you ever thought about what happens to the water you use once you’ve washed with soap or a synthetic detergent? That substance washes down the drain and eventually out into the sea. The synthetic chemicals in detergent can build up in waterways and become toxic to aquatic life. However, the natural oils and fats in Pure Herba soaps are 100% biodegradable and non-toxic.