Which soap bar for sensitive skin?
Today I had a long chat with a client who was sick and tired of paying a ridiculously high price for products that weren't working for her skin. Despite the price tag (or perhaps because of the price tag) most 'high end' formulations are complicated, with synthetic fragrance, colour, preservatives, emulsifiers etc. Often the complexity is more about shelf life and formula stability than soothing the skin.
This client had already tried one of our soap bars with good results but was struggling to work out whether there was anything else in our range that might also be good for her skin.
Naturally, our range seems completely straightforward to me. But of course it would, considering I not only formulated, but actually created the products with my own hands. It was good to talk through the selection process with a client to help her make a decision.....and I realised she might not be the only person who would like some clarity.
Ok - let's start with the big picture.
Generally speaking, ALL of our handmade soap bars are so different to a standard grocery store soap bar AND high end department store soap bar that if you've been using these and make the switch you'll be amazed how much more comfortable and soothed your skin will be.
So, if you consider yourself to have 'normal' skin but don't like the tight itchy skin you get from many solid and liquid cleansers choose ANYTHING that appeals to you from our range of handmade soaps.
But what if my skin is sensitive?
Good question. If you said your skin was sensitive I would ask you whether you have a particular allergy or sensitivity to CERTAIN ingredients.
If you know exactly what you're allergic to or sensitive to, we'd show you our sensitive skin range because we've specifically formulated bars in this range to minimise the potential for allergic reactions (I'll come back to this below).
If you don't know of any specific allergens or sensitivity triggers I'd recommend the bars in our goats milk soap range. This range is formulated to be gentle to the skin and you can select from a range of essential oil blends (from citrus or lemongrass right through to lavender and rose geranium). If you're still a little concerned, the goats milk range also includes one unscented bar. If that bar works well for you, you might like to trial some sample sized bars with essential oils, because there's a good chance you'll tolerate them well.
Sometimes we find that it wasn't really YOUR skin that was sensitive, it's just that many products make you feel like you're sensitive. Many of our clients find that dryness and sensitivity disappear when they make the switch to our goats milk range.
Now, back to those of you with known allergies or specific sensitivites.
It's really helpful to know what ingredients trigger your allergy or sensitivity, because the ingredients in our sensitive range are so simple that we can quickly work out whether they might help.
There's four bar in the range and ALL of them are based on pure olive oil - no other oils. This is what's known as a Castile soap (100% olive oil).
The range includes two non-dairy bars:
The two sensitive skin bars with dairy are:
So, you can see that the ingredients are simple and mild. For the record, I'm not making any medical claims. What I'm saying is that if you can identify your allergens or sensitivites and our Sensitive Range does not include those known allergens you might just have found a simple, natural answer to your search for a cleanser.
Right - that's the easy answers. Now to the tricky questions.
We meet many people who tell us they suffer from Psoriasis or Eczema and this is where the whole topic gets complicated. I cannot, in good conscience and by LAW state that my products are good for Eczema or Psoriasis. I know, I know - you've heard plenty of people at markets, in pop up shopping centre stalls and elsewhere tell you their product is good for Eczema and Psoriasis. Unless their product has passed through the Therapeutic Goods Association process and been approved for these medical conditions they cannot make these claims.
I'm always pleased when people tell me a balm has given them relief from their condition or an activated charcoal soap bar has help soften rough skin, but can I tell you what I think is REALLY happening when they use our products?
I believe that the skin will naturally heal itself if we're able to remove the CAUSE of the irritation. I think that in many cases, switching to a simple, natural product that is gentle to the skin and doesn't contain a heap of synthetic additives ALLOWS the skin to heal itself.
Do I think our products will help in every case? Absolutely not. As you know, sometimes the skin reflects internal problems that could be caused by diet or some other medical condition. The best our products can do in this case is gently cleanse without causing further dryness or irritation. Sometimes a product with shea butter (like a balm)will be helpful for someone with eczema (as proven by research), however I also believe that for some people it won't help.
These are complicated conditions and sometimes the answers or solutions are just as complicated. On the other hand, a simple switch away from synthetic products and sulphates can make a big difference. If you suffer from either of these conditions, you'll already understand that the best you can do is research, listen and trial ideas until you find what works for you.