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Have we been too harsh on bar soap?

October 17, 2012 by Works with Water

For a long time bar soap has had a long, dirty reputation in the beauty industry with many marketers convincing consumers that soap removes necessary oils and unfavourably alters the pH level of skin.

 

Bar soap has also struggled in competing with the creams, foams and liquids that skin-care companies offer.

However, the scorn for soap might be outdated, said Patricia K. Farris, a dermatologist in New Orleans.

“Bars of the past contained alkaline and had a pH of 9 to 10 — which disrupted one’s epidermal barrier,” she said. “Today’s face bars are formulated to be non-irritating. They contain less than 10 percent soap and are made with ‘syndets’ — synthetic detergents that cleanse the skin. They also have a lower pH of 5.5 to 7.0, to match your normal skin’s level.”

Like many other personal grooming products, face soap has gotten a makeover — shedding chemicals, fragrances and preservatives. Bars seem to fill the bill at a time when natural and organic items are prized. And almost all have lower prices than bottled cleansers.

Dr. Dennis Gross, a dermatologist in New York, said: “People now have a choice on what delivery method they prefer. Many are choosing to go back to a bar. Companies are making them because overall they are more economical, have more environmentally friendly packaging, and there’s a demand for it.”

According to Brandi Halls, North American campaign and communication director for Lush.

“Bar soaps are hygienic because they contain no water, which is required for bacterial growth, Liquid soaps are predominantly water, a breeding ground for bacteria, and so they require chemical preservatives.”

But Lynn Fischer — director of global education at SkinCeuticals, pointed out: “Bar soap can sit in a dish of dirty water and be exposed to the air. Or your hands could have bacteria on them. Then it’s transferred to the soap, and that can go to your face.”

Despite such concerns, soap sales seem to be on the rise. Some people seemingly seek out soap simply because it provides a sensual and decorative.

Although if you are suffering from acne prone skin dermatologists advise not to wash your face too often — in fact, that may make it worse.

“Don’t wash your face too often,” Dr. Kent Aftergut of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas said in a statement. “Acne isn’t caused by dirt, so frequent washing won’t help, and scrubbing instead may irritate your skin to make acne even worse.”

Instead try fighting the bacteria associated with acne from the inside with help: clear skin

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/life_and_entertainment/2012/10/08/bar-soap-scrubbing-its-image.html

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