“Traditional” v.s. Cosmetics soaps EXPLAINED


Traditional v.s. Cosmetic soaps EXPLAINED!

Did you know there was a difference in between the commercial soaps we have grown to love are not actually considered "soap" or even have that term included on it's labels. Many of us just go to the grocery's store to pick up our favorite soap brands and never think about what's on the label. In fact, majority of the soap brands on the shelves today are considered synthetic detergents, in other words it isn't considered soap. What do you think this means in terms of your skin-health? What's traditional soap vs popular body cleansers you may be use to. In this blog today we will be exploring the topic more throughly answering all those questions I've posted above and many more.


What's considered a traditional soap vs cosmetic soaps?

According to the FDA there aren't a lot of true soaps out there and the definition of true soap is a bar of soap that just cleanses the skin. Doesn't have any additional synthetic chemicals that will alter the skin or add anything to the skin in any way. There are lots of cleansing bars, beauty bars, body washes on the market that have chemicals that are responsible for various types of skin cancers. The FDA has a clear guideline for categorizing whether its traditional, cosmetic, or drug. On the other hand FDA considers it Cosmetic if the product has any synthetic detergents, these products are always more potent smelling, bubble, or lather more. Even though these products tend to help set a mood of aromatherapy in our wash time it can also alter the skin harmfully. Some of these products have the word soap on the labels but are not considered true soap according to the FDA regulation.


What's the regulatory definition of soap?

This is a great question and to meet the FDA's definition of traditional soap the product must meet three conditions. What it's made of? In order for a product to be considered soap it must be composed of mainly "alkali salts of fatty acids" the reaction you get when you combine fats, oils, with an alkali such as lye. What ingredients cause its cleansing action? In order to fit this category the "alkali salts of fatty acids" must be the only material within the product that causes its cleansing action. If the product contains synthetic detergents its automatically considered a Cosmetic, however you are allowed to still use the word soap on the label. Last condition is How is it intended to be used? It must be labeled and marketed as just soap. If the intended purpose is to moisturize, make the body smell good, exfoliate, or deodorize the body its automatically considered a Cosmetic. Also, if the product's intended purpose is for anti-bacterial, treating/preventing diseases it's then considered a drug the product can still have soap on the label.


How to tell the difference between non-traditional soaps vs synthetic detergents?

The proof is in the label and by familiarizing yourself with different common synthetics used in Cosmetics you will inform yourself enough to make the right decision when shopping for soap. With the way FDA guidelines are set up these synthetic detergents are allowed to have the word soap on the label; so our investigation must go deeper into the actual ingredients being used in the creation of your favorite soaps. Ever pick up a product and it had a grocery list long of products, and a lot of those products were not oil base? That's a pretty good indication that this product isn't considered a traditional, true, or ordinary soap. When looking on the label another common tale-tell sign of synthetic detergent are ingredients that may have long names. Also pay attention to the order the ingredients are listed. The more concentrated or higher the percentage in the product the more of this ingredient will be absorbed into your pores. I will give you a few common ones below and a brief description on each of them. You want to keep in mine that a traditional soap label is really easy to read all the ingredients are common oils with the exception of the lye being used.


  • Parabens: One of the most commonly used to preserve products, the most common in Cosmetics are methylparabens, propylparabens, & butylparabens. Typically there's always more than one Paraben used in a product to provide protection against a wide range of microorganisms. The mixture's reaction has been linked to possible carcinogenicity as well as Estrogenic effects from being exposed to continued use of parabens as preservatives. It's a medical fact that Estrogen stimulates breast cancer and absorption through the skin is 5x more concentrated than an oral dose.

  • Phthalates: Dibutylphthalate (DBP, DEP, Butyl) Helps skin care absorb into the skin it's been classified as a "human carcinogen" by the EPA. This ingredient is considered toxic

  • Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate: Known as a foaming agent and one of the most common ingredients in shampoos. This ingredient is a major concentrated floor cleaner, engine degreaser, additive for car washing detergent. With it's dissolving abilities it removes the protective oils your skin products naturally which can cause your skin to be dry, irritated, and become flaky.

You want to know what's in ingredients that's being used to make the product work the way it does. One great reason why is that synthetics can alter your skin or introduce toxins into your body these chemicals can change the overall health of your skin over time. Don't take our word for it next time your at your local grocery store pick up some of your favorite soap brands and check out the label you may see some of these common synthetics in use. I hope you've enjoyed reading this blog and that it was informative in terms of helping you to make an educated decision in terms of purchase skin care products until next time folks.


Happy Shopping!


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