How safe is hand soap? The confusion about the word soap

Hand soap

The BEST soap choice for the skin and for the environment is a pure soap bar. You may prefer a liquid. Pump. Squirt. Scrub. Rinse. No mess. Are hand soap bars not passe? And ‘heaven forbid if you have to use the same soap bar as a stranger’. Before you toss the bar idea, you need to know the difference between a liquid and a bar and between a soap and a detergent.

Charcoal Clay hand soap

Real soap is natural. Detergent is synthetic

Detergents became popular during and after the world wars, when animal and vegetable fats were in short supply and chemists were forced to use substances that were not all natural. Like sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide (soap) versus sodium laurel sulfate (detergent).

Detergents pollute. They may be powerful, clean easier and need less water to work. They give a great lather. I can see the attraction. Commercial establishments use liquid detergents. Business, institutions, public washrooms. They do not use real soap. Too costly. We pump, squirt or wave our hands under the magic spout and the detergent foams out. Fast. Convenient. But at what cost to our skin and our environment?

The confusion about the word “soap”

We toss the word “soap” at everything that cleans, whether bar or liquid. We use the term “dish soap” when it is NOT a true soap. We use the term “hand soap” for everything that resides near a sink, bar or liquid. Most liquid are detergents, not real soap.

But natural soap can be liquid. It is “latherless” You stand there at the sink, proud that you purchased an eco-friendly natural soap in a pump container. You pump, squirt, wash. Where are the suds? You may squirt more trying to create suds. But it does not happen. You may be disappointed.

People want lather. We are used to lather. Without lather we think we are not cleaning. But this is erroneous thinking. You are cleaning. It is healthy for your skin and for the environment. If you prefer liquid, buy natural and go without the lather. Eg. Dr. Bronners.

People do tend to use more liquid to clean than if a bar was offered. Liquids also cost more in packaging and disposal.

A real soap BAR is the best choice

But do not buy a detergent bar. Detergents can be made into a bar looking like real soap. A clever disguise. The manufacturers use terms like: “moisturizing bar”, “beauty bar”, “anti-aging bar”, “cleansing bar”, “deodorant bar”. Beware. They are laden with chemicals, fragranced, scent free. Not good for the skin or the environment.

It is a given that your skin appreciates real soap more. A true soap on a soap dish can look quite inviting beside the sink, especially real soap on real soapstone.

If you are concerned about the marketing claim that bar soaps are not sanitary, don’t be. Studies have shown there is no detectable amount of bacteria on people’s skin when soap sharing. Soap kills bacteria. It has been a fact since the first soaps were traced back to 2200 BC

Maybe soap bars are not offered commercially, but at your own sink you have a choice

At Earth to Body we make true soap bars. We love them because they do not poison our bodies, our rivers, ours streams. We love the handmade pure cold processed method and the healthy ingredients we select. Our bars are eco- friendly and work well in lake waters. No pollution. Zero waste. Take a look under our Bath and Shower section. Come by the shop and smell the soap.

We stand behind our products. We give great customer service. Visit us at Subscribe to our newsletter. Visit our store: La Boutique Earth to Body, 89 Lucerne, Pointe Claire, QC, H9R 2V1. Email [email protected]

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