After I published my articles about soap, I received a question/comment about soap stripping the skin of natural oils. I thought this was an important issue, so here’s my answer to that one.
Will Soap Dry Your Skin Out?
There seems to be some information floating around about the danger of soap drying out skin. The issue can be a confusing one because of all the propaganda that the skin and hair care product industries have distributed in their attempts to sell their products. Unfortunately, much of the information out about soap drying out skin is not real helpful to those who want to keep youthful skin or returned damage skin to health. A quick look at the issues involved with soap use should clear up your skin questions pretty quickly.
Our bodies produce and coat our skin with natural oils. These oils are important in the functioning of our skin cells, but it can cause a few problems for skin health, too. This fact is more important to understand today than ever before. At one time our earth was natural and pure. Today we are exposed daily to over 6,000 toxins in our food, air, water, and living environments. Today we are seeing increases of bacterias and viruses which continue to become more dangerous as they become more immune to our efforts to kill them. As these elements keep hammering our skin to gain entry to our bodies, our skin’s health becomes more and more important to, and more difficult to, maintain and optimize.
Just as oils in our cupboards become rancid, so will the oils on your skin due to exposure to harmful elements. While the oil on our skin is vital to our health, it also makes a great adhesive for environmental toxins and germs. Many toxins do not merely adhere to skin, they actually soak into the body from it and thus gain entry without being filtered through our liver and other detoxifying organs. Toxins that gain entry to the body via skin are therefore much more toxic than those we ingest through our food and water. Germs also adhere to skin oils and multiply, some finding entrance through areas in which the skin integrity is compromised and through our pores. As long as oil which has collected these elements stays on the skin, your body is in a very compromised state. Skin oil needs to be washed off frequently to get rid of the collection of these toxins.
It is also, at this point, important to understand the purpose of soap. The purpose of soap is not to moisturize. It is to clean. A good soap made without toxins will do just that. Anti-bacterial ingredients are not necessary, and actually are poisonous and can cause much havoc to your liver and other vital organs. You do not need anti-bacterial agents. Soap should merely be a tool to help wash away oils contaminated with toxins and bacteria. Choose your soap very carefully and make sure you know what every ingredient in the soap does and make sure it has no toxic chemicals. Wash your skin with a wash cloth, soap and water. Once you are done, you need to moisturize and you need to do that without fail.
Do not fail to realize that skin needs moisture to stay supple, too. Moisture and oil must not be confused. Right after washing you skin will feel and look just a little plumper from the water used to wash. That water will evaporate rapidly though, leaving skin dry and tight. By adding a layer of moisturizer right away after washing, you can avoid that dryness. If you have dry skin, you may want to use a bit of oil after washing, but it is best to let the skin breathe naturally and replace the oils from your own metabolic process. If your skin is dry, that is a signal that you need to fix what is wrong with your metabolism. If your metabolism is running smoothly your body will replace the oils you washed off fairly quickly. Eating enough of the essential oils for your body goes a long way to maintaining the correct flow of oil to coat your cells. Omega 3 oils from krill oil and raw, ground flax seeds will provide vital oils for your body to use to replace skin oils.
Another issue with washing skin is that it takes time for your skin to metabolize Vitamin D3 you get from sun exposure. If you know you can get more sun exposure daily to keep a layer of this vital vitamin/hormone on your skin, washing will not set you back on your supply. If you know you are going to be unable to replace that layer daily, you might have to choose between hearty washing and just a light wash with plain water for a day or so until you can get more sun exposure so as to get rid of as many toxins as you can without disturbing your Skin’s vitamin D resources. If you have been exposed to a lot of toxins, you might well decide to wash heartily and take a Vitamin D3 supplement that day. Make sure you study the facts about your needs for this vitamin and how to take it for maximum absorption. Skin without enough Vitamin D will not stay healthy very long – and neither will any other part of your body.
Natural skin oil is vital to good skin, but once those oils become polluted, they do nothing more than harm your body. Washing your skin with non-toxic soap is a very important part of any skin care regime. It’s not a non-toxic soap that hurts your skin, it is not continuing with a good after wash care regime that will cause any negative long-term effects that you would see from washing alone.
©2010; Sally Taylor: Sals Secrets Revealed
The question crops up again and again. How should I be removing my makeup. It’s a good question, too, because improper makeup removal can be a disaster for keeping skin supple and healthy.
There are two main mistakes people make removing their makeup. One is that makeup isn’t removed completely. The other is that the wrong products are being used for removal. Both can be disastrous for skin integrity. Both will clog pores and coat skin so it can’t breath properly. Makeup removal doesn’t need to be a science, though and can be done in much more skin friendly ways than skin care product manufacturers will lead you to believe. It can be done more cheaply than they will tell you as well.
Many manufacturers want you to believe that soap is harmful to your skin. Some soaps are, but it is because they are loaded with toxins. If you look specifically for soaps that are toxin free, there is no problem with using soap on your face. Soap and wash cloth are very good and effective tools for cleansing makeup and airborne toxins from your skin. Light scrubbing with a wash cloth will remove makeup, dead skin cells, and many impurities that other methods of makeup removal will leave behind. Always remember that soap is not meant to moisturize your skin, it is meant to clean it. Make sure you rinse soap from your skin thoroughly. You can’t be over cautious washing soap away. All the extra water will do is help to flush pores clean of debris.
To make sure you have not left residue on your skin and to close your pores, wipe your skin with hydrogen peroxide to remove any residue that may have accidentally be left behind. A hydrogen peroxide molecule is actually nothing more than a water molecule with an extra atom of oxygen. The extra oxygen in the peroxide can be absorbed by skin cells and will give them a terrific boost. Peroxide can dry your skin on its own, just as soap and water can, though so you must always – let me repeat that – you must ALWAYS use a water soluble, toxin free moisturizer after cleaning your skin. It is important to make sure your moisturizers are water soluble to ensure they are not coating your skin in ways that defeat the purpose of washing your makeup off in the first place.
Never use a cleansing creams to take off makeup or air pollution residue. These products are sold by making people believe that soap is bad for your skin and that their products will keep skin soft and supple. Cleaning and moisturizing are NOT, and never will be, a single step process. You must clean first, and then moisturize. One step processes will leave residues that will choke the vitality out of your skin rather rapidly. You may think you are just aging badly when in actuality you are just completely smothering your skin cells and clogging pores. Removing mascara should be done before general makeup removal and it takes a little more effort to remove it than face makeups do.
Some mascaras can be removed with soap and water as well. If you are like me, you are using more high intensity mascara than that which washes off with water. I don’t savor the idea of getting caught in rain or some quick emotional outburst and wearing black streaks down my face as a result. There are some products on the market that are built for mascara removal, but most are nothing more than oils you can buy more cheaply or they are a mix of some pretty harsh chemicals. If you are using a mascara that can’t be removed without chemicals, it’s just plain time to rethink what you are doing to yourself. If you need more power than soap and water to remove mascara, use olive oil or coconut oil to remove it. Put a generous coat of the oil on your lashes and let it sit for awhile. Adding some warmth to it by blowing heat from a blow dryer can speed up the process if you are in a hurry to remove it.
When taking the mascara off, do not pull at your eyelashes. If the oil has not worked completely even gentle pulling can pull lashes out. Rub the oil off with a cotton ball or wash cloth. Do not use paper towels or toilet paper to do this as there are wood fibers in paper that can clog pores and otherwise irritate your skin. If light rubbing does not take your mascara off, then dab more oil on your lashes and give it more time to work. After mascara is removed, the residual will be removed when you wash the rest of your makeup off of your skin.
No matter how well you remove makeup, your pores will capture and build up some elements over time. It is important to remember to clear your pores once or twice a week no matter how well you take your makeup off. Once debris does get lodged in pores, washing just isn’t enough to clean them out and the result can be very unwelcome. Steaming can help quite a bit to clean pores out. There are also face masks you can use for more heavy duty clogging problems. Masks that have to be washed off are often more powerful than peel off facials. By using a non-toxic facial periodically with a good facial mask, your skin will keep its integrity for years longer than you may be expecting. That kind of surprise is worth the effort.
2010 © Sals Secrets Revealed
It is commonly held to be true that soap and water should never be used on the face or neck. This myth was started, and effectively so, by skin product manufacturers. It is not only nothing more than myth, it can also be harmful to your skin to believe it.
Skin care product manufacturers make a lot of money selling you cold creams and “special” cleansers deemed to be good for your skin. They have gone through much expense to make women believe that soap will destroy your skin in order to get you to opt out of buying that bar of soap and buying their products instead. If you take a look at what they are selling, however, you will find that what you are buying is a lot of problems for your skin down the road that you will need more products to correct. Unfortunately, as your spending escalates, your problems do as well.
Cold creams are an unfortunate purchase for anyone. Not only do many of these contain toxins, which in themselves can ruin skin integrity, they also are a terrific way to clog pores and choke skin cells, and some even provide excellent breeding grounds for bacteria and fungus to grow. To reverse pore clogging and remove film you need more products to effectively get the creams off of your skin and out of your pores. While you can remove the creams with some astringents, toxins from the creams will absorb into your cells and tissues where they will not be so easily removed. If the cream is actually toxin free they will not remove toxins from your skin completely as the cream itself will leave a film residue on your skin. Astringents can be purchased to remove the creams. These actually will do nothing more than what manufacturers say you should avoid using soap for in the first place. Now you not only have absorbed any toxins the creams may contain, you have also spent quite a bit more than you needed to. It is a vicious and expensive cycle.
Cleansers which work more like soap, such as body washes, are actually not any better than soap and may also contain harsh chemicals or toxins. Those without toxins are not much different than soaps without toxins – just more expensive. If you have an endless supply of cash that might not bother you. As for me, I’d rather have the extra money to spend on other wants rather than wash it down my bathroom drain. The amount I can save buying an inexpensive bar of non-toxic soap instead of a non-toxic body wash will buy me a month’s supply of a supplement that will work to rebuild my collagen to keep my skin integrity solid and beautiful.
The truth is soap is made to clean your skin. That is what it does. It was not meant to moisturize skin. That is why you need to use a moisturizer after you wash your skin. You may have been warned that scrubbing with a wash cloth will pull your skin and cause it to wrinkle. Nonsense. If your skin integrity is good it can take a bit of scrubbing. If your skin is stretching from a bit of scrubbing you need to pay attention to your skin integrity rather than buy more cleansing products. Scrubbing helps ex-foliate and remove debris from the surface of pores so it is actually good for your skin to scrub a bit. If you scrub too hard, of course, you can cause raw patches, but you don’t need to scrub hard if you are keeping up with proper daily and weekly skin care.
Some soaps are harsher than others and you will want to use soaps that do not irritate your skin. Make sure to read the ingredients of the soaps you purchase to make sure you are not using soaps with toxic ingredients. Remember that high prices do not necessarily mean a safer product. Some soaps also can leave a bit of a film on your skin. Soap film can be easily removed with just a splash water with vinegar or salt mixed into it, so soap films are not as big of a problem as manufacturers would like you to believe. Soap film is more easily washed away than many residues from cosmetic products.
Once you dry your face and neck be sure to use a moisturizer. You would need the moisturizers if you used cold creams which always require astringents to remove properly as well so you are not losing ground. Soap is not meant to moisturize, so if you are buying soaps that promise to do that you are wasting your time. As stated, some soaps are milder than others, but soap is on your skin for just a moment and any moisturizers in soap would be washed off before they have time to penetrate. A good moisturizer is one that is water soluble and absorbs quickly. If you have dry skin, you might also want some emollient oils in your moisturizer. If your skin is oily, make sure you are using just plain moisturizers. As with soaps, make sure you buy a moisturizer with no toxins. Health food stores will have many – but do not assume just because you found it in a health food store it is toxin free. Check the ingredients and if you have questions, leave it on the shelf.
Never – never – never use ANY product that is anti-bacterial. Bacteria can be washed away effectively with soaps, which is how a soap works against bacteria in the first place. If you are worried about bacterias, rinse with vinegar or salt water which both effectively work against bacteria and fungus without exposing you to poison, which is what “anti-bacterial” agents are.
When planning what to use to cleanse your skin with – remember what your goal is. It is to clean your skin. That is what soap does. Do not confuse the goal of cleaning with the goal of moisturizing, fighting wrinkles, or clearing acne. There are ways to do all of the things you need for your skin using natural items kept in most households. You can find out all of these methods in Secrets of Beautiful Skin and Hair Revealed.
2007-2008 © Sals Secrets Revealed