Sunday, August 19, 2018

Why I Quit Using Soap And What I Use Instead!

I struggle with dry skin. Hitting my late 40's has not helped! I don't think my problem is an uncommon one, so I thought you might like to hear my story.

( And, if you are in a hurry just scroll to the bottom for my 7 point advice on how to help your dry skin. )

As most of you know I was in the hospital for two weeks after my spinal fusion. During this time I was not able to shower or bathe. Yes, that's right...yuck.

For those of you never lucky enough to have to go through something like this, let me explain... it's called a sponge bath. Nowadays, they have antimicrobial wipes, and yes, they resemble diaper wipes. Scrub down with a wipe and use dry shampoo, stick on a little deodorant and Viola, you're ready to go! So to speak. LOL.

What I didn't know that while a was staying as clean as I could, I wasn't exfoliating my skin with the normal routine of showering and living an active life. Also, I have very dry skin.  I'm a lotion freak! In a normal day, I apply lotion to my arms and legs after every shower and I obsess with hand lotion. But, in the hospital, lotion took a back seat to, well, everything else.

By the time I came home and could take a shower, my skin was a hot mess! Dead skin looked like scales on my legs.  Especially around my ankles. ( I know this is disgusting, sorry for those of you with a delicate constitution, but sometimes life is indelicate!)

I started by showering with my usual liquid soap and bath poof followed by, of course, my favorite body lotion. After a few days, I didn't see much improvement and I switched the poof for a exfoliating glove. Still no real improvement. I could tell I needed some crazy exfoliation intervention!

I decided that some sort of body scrub would be my next plan of action! I mean, my skin would actually hurt it was so dry. That's one less frustration that I could live without.  After pricing several luxury lines who made body scrubs, I left even more frustrated with the prices. I mean, I didn't even know if it would work! Then I decided to try swinging by Tuesday Morning and seeing what they had. This way I could do a little experimenting at a better price!

Sure enough, I found exactly what I was looking for! After looking through dozens, I decided to go with one that caught my eye with a small statement. "NO BAD STUFF"

The brand was Urban Hydration and they had several salt or sugar scrubs. Each one of them with a different plant with medicinal properties, coconut oil and Vit A, and Vit E. Since your skin is actually the largest organ in your body I tend to go for simple and natural if at all possible. I always wonder what toxins we are absorbing through our skin through lotions and cosmetics, but that's a subject for another day.

I started with a lime salt scrub. Nothing else. No soap! I just used a little plastic spoon to put a scoop in my hand and I just scrubbed. No puff, just my hand. The results were amazing. I finally found something that did the trick. After a couple of days, I could see that the results. Less dead flaky skin. After my shower I would pat dry and apple my favorite lotion,  Gold Bond CoQ10.

About soap....

So what do I mean by soap? Soap, basically is fat and salt. Most of us used to use a bar of soap and now we frequently think of liquid body wash.

The Technical Side...
Let's skip the technical jargon and just throw out this interesting fact..."the cleansing action of soap come from its unique ability to surround oil particles, causing them to be dispersed in water and easily rinsed away. (History Of Soap.)  In other words, every time you was with soap you are striping all of your natural oils in your skin. And then we throw artificial oils and chemicals on our skin to put the oil back. Hummmmm.

And, in case you are one of those people who think more is more when it comes to lather and suds, you might be wrong. Gasp! After reading many technical articles so you don't have to;-) it's unanimous that suds do not equal cleaning power! The suds come from the surfactants and they strip your body of its natural oils.  If you have dry skin avoid chemicals ammonium lauryl sulfate and sodium dodecyl sulfate (sodium laureth sulfate.) This is what makes the suds!

Instead look for a low suds cleanser. (In a broader scope this can apply to dishes and laundry.) Some of us recognize these in our facial cleanser, think Cetaphil. Or our HE washing machines-low sud detergent. 

Summery in a nut shell...

Okay so what I take away from this is soap strips oils from the body i.e. dryer skin. Maybe if you work as a mechanic or something of the equivalent you might need soap, but for most of us reading this article, we are just not that dirty.

  1.  Low sud body wash and face wash are the way to go. 
  2. Suds do not equal cleaning power. 
  3. Stay away from surfactants.
  4. Unless your really dirty, take it easy on your skin
  5. Never use real hot water to shower, warm is best
  6. Pat yourself dry do not scrub
  7. Invest in a healing lotion
So I hope some of this information was helpful! It's sounds silly but it has made my skin so much softer and smother. I don't have to rely on lotion as much and I feel better about my skin. Please let me know if you have any products that are your favorites! I would love to hear about them.

Happy Decorating!

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