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The Perks of Using Real Soap

handmade bar soap made in hong kong with natural ingredients.

What is “real soap”? Wait…. is there “fake soap”? Let’s look into the definition of SOAP first. Soap is made by combining an alkaline solution (often lye aka sodium hydroxide) with oils and go through a process called saponification. Soap made in this way contains naturally occurring glycerin, a humectant that attracts and retains moisture. Lye (sodium hydroxide) might sound scary or chemical but don’t worry, all the caustic properties of lye no longer exist after the saponification process is completed. Soap normally has a relatively higher ph level and people tend to think it is harsh to the skin. It is true that our skin is normally mildly acidic but soap's ph level doesn't harm our skin as people thought. Skin's ph level can adjust itself after using soap and there isn't much to be worried about unless you would like to use soap on an infant. Infant's skin is much more delicate and it is recommended to use ph neutral and unscented products.

A lot of commercial soap manufacturers (not all of them though) remove the glycerin that is produced during the saponification process and add synthetic lathering agents (commonly used ones are sulfates surfactants), synthetic fragrance, and artificial colors. Most of these ingredients are potentially harmful to our body because your skin will absorb whatever comes in contact with them, and these chemicals might also be toxic to our nature. Plenty of synthetic ingredients from soap, body washes, shampoos, and other beauty products were and are still sneaking their way through the filters at water purification plants. These products usually don't carry the name of "soap" because they didn't include lye in the ingredients. They often market it as "solid shower gel" or "beauty bar".

A natural soap bar would be using pure animal or vegetable oils (or fats), pure essential oils as a fragrance, and natural colorants. Different oils (or fats) have a different composition of fatty acid and provide different properties to a bar soap as well as different benefits to our skin. For example, shea butter is extremely nourishing and moisturizing due to its high percentage of oleic acid, at the same time high percentage of stearic acid in shea butter makes a harder bar soap that would last longer. Just remember, when you choose a natural bar soap, the ingredients are usually extremely eco-friendly and super sweet to your skin as well.

Hope you enjoy the GLOW!


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