Soaps and Cleansing Lotions - Health Tips

Thoughts on Soaps and Cleansing Lotions by Dr. Nelson Novick, MD
December 2019
Toilet soap, which is available in opaque bars, is plain old soap and is composed of the salts of animal or vegetable fats and olive oils (tallow). Palm kernel or coconut oils are often added to enhance lathering. About half of all currently available toilet soaps are milled soaps. Milling is the process by which soap chips are thoroughly blended and then compressed by machinery into bars to ensure that moisture is removed and the basic ingredients and additives are evenly distributed. Ivory is probably the best- known brand of toilet soap.

In general, toilet soaps do what they are supposed to do—that is, they help to clean off grease, grime, and cosmetics. They also tend to be quite inexpensive. However, these soaps as a rule are rather alkaline (basic, as opposed to acidic) and have the potential to be irritating; overusing them can lead to irritation by affecting the skin’s acid mantle. Fortunately for most people with normal skin, natural skin acidity returns to normal very shortly after the soap is rinsed off. If you have especially sensitive skin, or if you are using drying acne medications, however, you may find basic toilet soap too irritating.

There is an additional problem with toilet soaps for those who live in a hard-water area—that is, one where the water contains naturally high amounts of calcium or magnesium minerals. Sticky and potentially irritating residues resulting from the chemical interaction between toilet soap and hard water may be deposited on your skin and in sink basins. If you choose to use toilet soaps under these circumstances, I advise you to rinse your skin with copious amounts of water. Using synthetic detergent soaps (pages 34—35) or conditioning your water are alternatives.

Source: Vivacare
Last updated : 2/10/2023

Soaps and Cleansing Lotions - Health Tips originally published by Vivacare