Eczema, Psoriasis and Sensitive Skin.
We are always talking to people who’s lives are blighted by skin reactions to detergent and commercial soap (same thing really). A lot of those people don’t even realise the soap they are using is contributing to their problem. Here is a short piece which might help sufferers to make an informed choice when looking for their next soap.
Dermatitis. What is it and why are we talking about it in relation to soap?
Well it is a symptom not a disease. It is the inflammation of the skin. Redness, scaling, itching and so on. Allergic Contact Dermatitis happens when you take in an allergen through your skin resulting in said inflammation. So not everybody suffers from it. But for those who do, its a nightmare. Obviously, it occurs when you rub something your body doesn’t like, onto your skin. e.g. Soap.
If you have sensitive skin, eczema or psoriasis then here are a couple of things to look out for in commercial soap.
Sodium lauryl sulfate or SLS is commonly put into commercial soaps and shampoos and even toothpaste. It is a detergent which means it breaks up oils and happens to be good at lathering up. It is not an allergen but here is how it contributes to dermatitis.
It breaks down ALL the oil on your skin. Good you say? Well no. The oil your body produces is there for a reason. It keeps your skin from drying out and protects it from infections and allergens. So by using products with SLS in them you are opening your skin up to attacks from allergens and drying it out, both resulting in dermatitis. On top of this, repeated exposure can cause you to become allergic to things you were never previously worried about.
Fragrance? How vague is that?
Look on the ingredients. If it says Fragrance or Parfum or some other vague term, then you can be sure that it is covering up for a mix of Esters, Ketones, Aldehydes and many more chemicals. Fragrances do not contribute to cleaning but they are one of the most common Contact Allergens in soap.
What we tell our customers
Your best bet is to go fragrance-free or at the very least, look for Essential oils you know you are not allergic to.
Always look at the ingredients.