In an era of face-washes and exfoliators, we seem to have skimped on the simple bar of soap. But we could be missing out if we bypass these bars of goodness. Swati Basu Das tests some of the best on the market.
In our constant search for the right skincare, we continue to strive for the best products around to perfect our cleansing plans.
But, beyond your daily facial routine, you may find yourself in the middle of two extremes: whether to enthusiastically support the beauty bars or to write them off as a dead loss.
You may even wonder if the soaps really do wipe off harmful bacteria while adding goodness to your daily routine. Or do they simply eradicate the essential oil already present in your skin?
Well, the ‘clash question’ persists but it hasn’t put a stop to the use of soap.
In fact, many dermatologists say most soaps high in pH levels (acidic and alkaline factors measured) actually dehydrate the skin.
But as caring about the soap we use has become a given, there are some high-quality soaps worth paying a premium for.
And there are now more niche brands making their way on to the market with formulas for sensitive skin.
One, the natural sulphate and paraben-free formula, is just the right potion for your skin as it includes ingredients that are organic and completely natural. New organic extract and mineral-rich formulae are offering neutral pH levels to help nourish your skin while cleansing.
Opting for nourishing soaps to give your visage some va-va-voom is all about choosing the right beauty bar. Here are some options:
Charcoal soap: Charcoal soap is spreading its ripple in the skincare sector, and for all the right reasons. Activated charcoal efficiently extracts all dirt, unwanted oiliness and micro-particles that may otherwise harm your skin. Suitable for all, skin type charcoal soap makes the skin soft and supple and will maintain the skin’s essential oil. The exfoliating agents of charcoal will leave your skin feeling fresh, and alive.
Volcanic soap: Mother Nature’s natural skin purifier, volcanic ashes are the best-kept secret on the Greek islands of Santorini and Crete. A safe and age-old remedy to treat infections and skin problems, volcanic soaps are a veritable miracle in your bathroom cabinet. A super disinfectant, this cleansing bar protects the skin against the toxic effects of pollution and radiation. The natural sulphur present in the soap also slows down the ageing process.
Olive soap: The secret to a youthful, fresh look comes right from the kitchen. Olive oil is one unheralded ingredient that focuses on our health beyond other daily dietary products. A perfect skin moisturiser when added to the soap base (do not use it on its own), olive oil is ideal for people with dehydrated and sensitive skin. The powerful antioxidants present in the olive oil soap repair skin damages as well as relieving conditions like psoriasis and eczema. It also effectively heals inflammation and sunburns.
African black soap: Rich in antioxidants, African Black Soap is made from the ashes of the cocoa pod, plantain, palm leaves and palm oil. With all its organic ingredients, black soap firms and tones the skin while improving its texture and making it more supple and glowing. It effectively reduces inflammation, soothes dry skin and fades discoloration. Its anti-fungal properties are best known for deep pore cleansing.
Shea Soap: Shea butter is an invaluable asset when used as soap. It has been used for centuries to treat various skin ailments. Shea butter soap is an anti-ageing product suitable for all skin types. Without stripping the skin of its natural oil, the bath soap calms, moisturises and heals the skin. The fatty acid present in shea butter naturally controls the skin moisture.