Why should I care about Soap? Your skin is the largest organ in your body and has the tough job of protecting you from harsh toxins in our environment. What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it. Using a high quality bar of soap will cleanse and moisturize your skin keeping it in tip-top shape without added chemicals or toxins. One of the biggest misconceptions is that all soaps are created equal. There is more to soap than just eliminating offensive body odor.
A commercial bar of soap today is not the same as it was 30 years ago. In an effort to cut cost and maximize shelf life, commercial bars are filled with toxic ingredients. Since your soap helps you to stay fresh and leaves your skin smelling clean, it is easy to assume that its ingredients will be innocuous or even positively good for you. Unfortunately, many of the chemicals that are added to soaps are capable of seriously damaging the human body. Prolonged use of some can produce serious side effects.
The most common toxin found is antibacterial soap is triclosan. Triclosan is a pesticide that has antibacterial properties. It is used to get rid of potentially dangerous bacteria that have built up on your skin during the day. Triclosan has been banned in Europe since 2010 but still used in the U.S. Unfortunately, it is this antibacterial action that makes triclosan one of the worst contributors to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance (which encourages the evolution of resilient bacteria that are extremely difficult to kill).
Another important reason to avoid the toxic soap ingredient triclosan is that it is a potent endocrine disruptor and carcinogen. Triclosan has been proven to have a particularly strong influence on the male and female sex hormones. Without getting technical, for men it will reduce you testosterone production and for women it is an estrogen inhibitor. When sex hormones are not functioning on high levels, you find that the pituitary glands, thyroid hormones, and cholesterol levels are also severely impacted.
So you see it's not just soap, it is using products that are good for and good to your skin. An easy fix to this would be to avoid these chemicals by replacing your commercial soap with certified organic soaps. An organic bar of soap on average had no more than six ingredients, all of which you should have no difficulty pronouncing. A commercial bar will list at least twenty ingredients which you will not only butcher the pronunciation of, you will have absolutely no idea of what those ingredients are (unless you are a chemist).
Look out for next week's article to discover the eight most hazardous chemicals that are commonly added to soap.