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NOW READING How The Right Bar Soap Can Actually Soothe And Moisturize Your Skin (According to an MD)
January 6, 2021

How The Right Bar Soap Can Actually Soothe And Moisturize Your Skin (According to an MD)

News Flash! Bar soap can calm and moisturize your skin when it’s formulated the right way – a top medical doctor sits down with Beautytap to share everything you need to know about this classic beauty staple.


 

If you’ve ever found yourself in a boutique shop that sells specialty soap, you may relate to what I’m about to say. Strolling through an artisan shop is like walking through a gallery. Every creation has its own aesthetic appeal, whether it be its color, scent, or shape. From slices wrapped in simple cigar bands to those cradled in gift-worthy boxes, the artisan makes choices every step of the way with your pleasure and his or her own in mind. 

 

 Moisturizing Soaps
Rustic style handmade soap

 

For over 20 years, I’ve had a fondness for handmade soap and have gathered up favorites in all of my travels, so speaking with Sarah Villafranco, MD of Osmia Organics rekindled a love that’s been quietly smoldering in my periphery, especially when she explained that “The chemistry of soap is pure science: if you get it wrong, you end up with #notsoap.”

 

Soap Versus #Notsoap

 

At its most basic level, soap is a combination of water, oil, and sodium hydroxide (lye). “All soap is made with lye,” Dr. Sarah explains, “but the molecules rearrange in the [saponification process], leaving only hydrating glycerin, cleansing soap molecules, and skin nourishing clays or oils in a finished bar of cold-process soap.” 

 

Osmia Rose Clay Facial Soap
Osmia Rose Clay Facial Soap

 

Many commercial soap producers speed up the hardening process to get their products to market, but doing so often includes incorporating harsh chemicals that cause the irritation consumers often experience in the form of dryness. Osmia cures their soap for 6–8 weeks. “The pH of the bar should be fairly stable after a week, so the ‘mildness’ should be the same from that point forward. But the hardness of the bar increases with cure time, making them last much longer in your shower.”

 

Bar Soap Doesn’t Have to Strip Your Skin

 

If you’re using body wash or have an aversion to bar soap due to the stripping or drying feeling it often leaves behind, you may think all soap is the same. Commercial producers take a lot of liberties with their formulas, and some of those choices make their products less than optimal. “Most commercially produced soap has had ingredients added or removed for one reason or another, for hardness, color, or fragrance,” says Dr. Sarah, and the end result is a bar that is “more irritating and less nourishing for the skin.”

 

The  Right Soap Won’t Cause pH Panic

 

Many skincare enthusiasts use pH strips to test their cleansers to ensure that the product won’t harm their skin. Cleansers can run from acidic to alkaline, and cleansers that produce thick clouds of lathery foam tend to skew toward the alkaline side of the spectrum. While fun to use and play with, that foam often produces a “squeaky clean” sensation as well as residual tightness. Osmia’s lather hovers around pH 8, but Dr. Sarah reminds us that “you rinse it off with water that’s probably closer to 5 or 6, so the mild alkalinity is not an issue. Grandma’s lye soap from the 19th century probably lathered up at a pretty drying pH of 10 or 11 since she didn’t have her chemistry quite right, so that’s another reason soap got a bad rap!”

 

Ready to learn more about Osmia  and what sets their soap apart from other brands? Stay tuned for part two!

Tracy is a "quality over quantity" word girl fascinated by eagles and life in a small SoCal mountain community. She believes in the now, has written professionally for 30+ years, and worships at the alters of serum and Sulwhasoo.

Beautytap

COMMENTS 33

kimblackwell


Verified Expert

I became a believer in bar soaps when my friend Joanna Vargas added them to her line. Her skincare products are the absolute best, with amazing efficacy AND are totally clean/non-toxic to boot.
I love the Miracle Bar, it was the first bar she introduced and even though it's indicated for oily/acne prone skin, I didn't find it drying at all, with a silky lather and texture that feels lovely and leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth. She also has the Ritual Bar and the Cloud Bar (for dry, sensitive skin) but since ever since using the Miracle Bar, I... Read more

jonniskincare


Verified Expert

I see thee DIY generation of beauty continuing to make soup bars at home and I do preach it is not so easy to make a well-balanced soap bar. These formulations must be steller and take a lot of effort to make a creamy, hydrating bar of magic.

madlovebeauty


Verified Expert

These are just gorgeous soaps, a pleasure to behold! This editorial really pulled me in because I have avoided bar soaps for a while now, and with this reasoning too! I know many others who feel the same. It is fascinating as well, to see how these things can evolve. A reminder of why Its so important to continue ones beauty education and connect with other like minded people in a community like this. 🙏

tracyteel


Verified Expert

I'm so happy it's making you rethink bar soap. I avoided using bar soap on my face for decades, but the facial bars from Osmia aren't stripping, and they're great as a second cleanse in the evening after removing makeup with an oil cleanser.

jennabswit


Verified Expert

Wow those are beautiful just to look at!!

tracyteel


Verified Expert

Dr. Sarah's Osmia soaps really are beautiful, and they last a long time when kept on a soap saver (which helps the water drain off). I ordered nine different sample bars and am really enjoying how gentle and effective they are.

tracyteel


Verified Expert

Just a few of my Osmia soaps! P.S. I bought these myself as I do with most beauty products. I'm currently finishing up the bottom bar, which is coffee-mint and exfoliates beautifully without the need for a washcloth. If you've ever used a bar of oatmeal soap with the scrubby bits in it, you'll love this one. P.S. This 5-pack came with a soap saver inside, which keeps the bars dry and makes them last longer.

stephaniekinard


Verified Expert

This article was very especially interesting considering that I make cold process soap and own a very small business. I started using natural soap years ago and have never looked back.

One of the reasons that commercially made cleansers are so stripping to the skin is because those items have the glycerin removed. During WWI Germans along with others, started removing glycerin to manufacture explosives. Cheaper alternatives were added to compensate for the removal of glycerin (which is a natural by product of cold processed soap). Many mass produced soaps are technically detergents. Those humectants that are removed in... Read more

tracyteel


Verified Expert

Great response, Stephanie! Can you send me a link to your business? I'd love to try something from your line.

stephaniekinard


Verified Expert

Sure! I'd love for you to try some soap of mine. I sent you a direct message, but thank you for this article.

madlovebeauty


Verified Expert

This is a great response. Thank you for sharing. Id also love to get you business info.

I love bar soaps and recently bought a new soap dish for it, but during the pandemic I switched back to liquid soap as I didn't feel the bar soap would stay as sanitary. I wonder what other people think about that. Osmia Organics I never heard of but they look like they would be great gifts.

tracyteel


Verified Expert

If you want to try their 5-bar sample set, Cliff, it comes with a soap saver. It's a little plastic tray with holes in it, so the water drains away, and the soap doesn't disintegrate or linger in water in a traditional soap dish. From my research, keeping your bar soap sanitary isn't something to worry about. Washcloths, loofahs, and Italy towels (those scrubby ones from Korea) will hold germs longer since they take longer to dry. In part two of my series, Dr. Sarah also mentions the importance of working up a good lather. This is also recommended... Read more

sunshine33


Verified Expert

I grew up on bar soaps- with brands like Dial. It’s interesting to see the trend come back. I’m trying bar shampoo and conditioner- not sure I love the texture but it’s definitely more sustainable.

tracyteel


Verified Expert

I didn't even know bar shampoo existed until a few months ago. What's your favorite brand? I have fine, highlighted hair and am always looking for a better moisturizing shampoo product.

sunshine33


Verified Expert

Hi like HiBar. It's a new sustainable hair company.

tracyteel


Verified Expert

Thanks for the recommendation! I'll add that to my list. I'm thinking of trying a few different brands to do a comparison article. I appreciate your help! :)

I'm in a band and use heavy makeup. What's a good kind of soap for me? Thanks.

tracyteel


Verified Expert

Great question. Mostly, it depends on your skin type. If you're wearing heavy oil-based makeup, I'd recommend using an oil cleanser first to break down the makeup (oil attracts oil). After that, you can choose from among three types of Osmia bar soap. The Black Clay is great for all skin types; the Rose Clay is good for drier skin; and the Pumpkin bar is good for mature or dull skin because it contains honey and camellia oil. Feel free to follow me here, and I'll send you some additional information as well. P.S. What kind of music do you... Read more

Good to know that I chose the best bar soap for my skin. I prefer bar soap than liquid soap because it feels lubricious.

tracyteel


Verified Expert

Do you have a favorite from Osmia, Kathy? I'm using the coffee-mint body bar and rose clay facial bar (and loving them both).

yes, love the Oh so soap of Osmia since it's for all family members. My kids use it too!

tracyteel


Verified Expert

Great choice for your entire family. :)

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