30 October 2008

No, it's not soap scum

I don't mind saying, this burns me. I saw an ad last night for Dove Beauty Bar claiming that soap leaves soap scum behind, but their "beauty bar" rinses clean. That's not soap scum that real soap leaves behind. One of the by-products of the soapmaking process is glycerin, which is a humectant. Humectants, like glycerin (honey is also one), draw moisture from the air to your skin, moisturizing it with water, nature's most perfect moisturizer. You want soap to leave glycerin on your skin. This is a good thing. Dove Beauty Bars aren't soap. Yes, they may look like soap, but chemically, they're not saponified oils; they're detergent bars. If they were real soap, there'd be no need for them to add "1/4 moisture cream" or to push their lotions.

When you use real soap like the ones I sell, two important things happen to your skin. One, the soap molecules bind with dirt and germs on your skin. Soap doesn't actually stick to skin, so in binding with the dirt, it lifts the dirt to be washed away when you rinse the soap off. Two, the soap leaves behind a thin, invisible layer of glycerin. The glycerin draws moisture from the air and brings it to your skin, so you get clean and moisturized in one step.

Now, there is a caveat to this. If you live in a very dry environment, the glycerin will draw moisture out of your skin, leaving it dry. You'd need to follow with a moisturizing lotion. One trick I use to get the maximum benefit from the glycerin as we head to dry winter months here in North Carolina is... Well, I make my morning routine work for me. After my shower, I take my vitamins and floss and brush my teeth. While I'm doing that, I leave the bathroom door closed, trapping the steam from my shower in the bathroom with me. While I'm tending to my teeth, the glycerin from my soap is drawing that moisture in the bathroom to my skin, making it silky and soft. I seldom have to use lotion and if I do choose to use it, it's for the scent.

1 comment:

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