Every hygienic step of the day seems to involve soap in some way, which is why going through day-to-day life without using soap at all sounds hard. The harsh chemicals that are found in soap (lye, traditionally) are not just in personal hygiene cleansers. From what we clean our clothes with to how we care for our homes and dishes…if it involves cleaning something, it involves soap to some degree. That is to say, if one were to go about their daily routine without thinking about it, they’d probably use soap at least a few times.
The problem is that soap has been scientifically proven – countless times I may add – to be terrible for your skin. First and foremost, it’s usually way too alkaline so it strips away ‘good’ bacteria and lipids, breaking down your skin barrier. This leaves you vulnerable to infection, inflammation and a host of immune-related issues. Enter in psoriasis, eczema, rosacea and pretty much every other known skin disorder.
Are they directly caused by soap? Not usually. Are these skin conditions in some way related to consistent soap use? Usually.
Step 1: Realize the Challenge
So, as a result, this whole concept of living soap-free has become not only a passing trend, but an important lifestyle choice – particularly if you’ve already developed a recurrent skin problem. Then again, the challenge of living soap-free returns because of the heavy saturation of harsh chemicals in our mainstream products.
The truth is that, with a bit of exploration and creativity, living without soap is not only much better for your health – it’s also much easier than you may think.
Using lotions, face cleansers, deodorant, shampoo and moisturizers are all a part of a well-rounded skincare routine. But most of them are either made with soap or other depleting ingredients, like SLS. There are a couple of fantastic alternatives to chemical-laden products. And, when it comes to personal hygiene, the first and easiest step in going soap-free is to explore safe, already-made care alternatives.
Step 2: Try “Soap-Free” Products
This may sound counterintuitive. Don’t you need soap to actually get clean? False! It turns out that while soap dissolves the bad bacteria and oils that you need to get rid of, it goes too far, penetrating the skin barrier. There are many other ingredients out there, both natural and synthetic, that cleanse without stripping skin.
There are also several excellent companies out there that are making great soap-free solutions. Sebamed is one of them. Everything from their body lotions, face creams and shampoos to their deodorant, body washes and female cleansing options are made, yes, without soap. They’re also pH balanced.
Step 3: Find & Replace
Whether its Sebamed or another brand that works for you, find cleansers and moisturizers that jive with your skin. Once you do, replace all of the chemical and soap-containing personal hygiene products in your home with soap-free solutions.
You can do this slowly or all at once. Remember that many products out there like the Sebamed Liquid Face & Body Wash, for example, come in large sizes and are formulated for use on basically the whole body. This means you can divvy up a large bottle into (hopefully environmentally-friendly) separate dispensers for hand wash, body wash, face wash, etc.
Of course, there are lots of other great soap-free options. Probably the most popular one is making your own cleansers and lotions. As a first step, however, I wouldn’t suggest it, especially if you need to make the soap-free switch right away for health reasons. Plus, if you are as busy as I am, taking the time to find the perfect (and safest) home recipes is likely not ideal.
So start with already tried and true, science-backed and clinically proven soap-free solutions and then go from there! Your soap-less journey is just beginning.