Should you use a soap?

If you have already been to a store'apothecaryyou have certainly touched / felt / used a soap. You know that little rectangular thing that's frothy and smells good. Have you ever wondered, "What is a soap?" If you've ever been to a pharmacy, you've probably gone over the shelf body cleanser... where there is more than 1000 choice of liquid cleansers, creamy, bar, wipe, gel. Have you ever wondered what is the difference?

Anatomy of a cleaner

Indeed, it is very complex all that ... and that is why we will simplify everything for you! What is important to understand is that the primary purpose of a cleaner is to remove sebum residues, bacteria and dirt. It does not matter its shape, smell or price. It sounds obvious, but in this complicated cosmetic world, it's better to remember it. The cleaners are built for the majority, on the same basis. What changes are the ingredients used to build this base.


The crucial constituent is the surfactant used. In addition to cleaning, it is mainly him who is responsible for the sweetness of the product. Some surfactants are softer than others and should therefore be preferred. The bar soap (or bread) is super beautiful, it is vintage, it foam, it usually feels good, but it is the majority of the time, too irritating. The problem is that its content is very alkaline. Its pH is generally between 8 and 10 (while the skin has a pH of approximately 5.5) and its use increases that of the skin and irritates its protective barrier.

The cleaning bars wanted to solve the problem by removing from their product the ingredients that made the soap too alkaline and changing the manufacturing process. It was a nice idea! The problem is that the majority uses to keep the bar cleaner, ingredients that are irritating, in addition to being difficult to rinse. Personally, I stay away from bar soaps, except to decorate or leave a good smell in the bathroom. However, it is a choice I make, and I respect certain members of my family who persist in using them!


Finally, there are the cleaners that are not in bars. Whether in gel, liquid, cream, foam, their principle is the same. Although some use very irritating surfactants, their manufacturing process does not directly lead to a high pH, ​​which is ideal for the skin. After, everything is a matter of taste. It must be kept in mind, however, that foaming agents are generally irritating and fragrances too. Again, personally I use a facial cleanser that is very gentle and fragrance-free. As for the body wash, let me take one that contains a light fragrance ... everything is a question of balance!


- Baumann, Leslie. Cosmeceuticals and Cosmetic Ingredients. McGraw-Hill Education. Kindle Edition.

- Corazza M, Lauriola MM, Zappaterra M, et al. Surfactants, skin cleansing protagonists. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2010; 24: 1.

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