Who wouldn’t like to flaunt beautiful, flawless skin? Good skin tone is everyone’s fantasy. The fact is that these penchants are achievable with newer and better skin products (viz) soaps, cleansers and moisturizers storming the market every day. Today, dermatology is at its best and there’s an entire beauty industry functioning on the concept of providing soft and supple skin, glowing complexion and even skin tone. And it all began with the humble soap.
Origin Of Soap
Soap has been around for nearly 5000 years. Its origin is believed to be from the resin of conifers, though later, some civilizations across the world used a mixture of animal fat and ash for general cleaning purposes, while others used vegetable oil and ash. Though the Romans were believed to be the first to introduce bathing as a ritual, bathing with bath soap was pioneered in the Ancient Middle East. Since then, soap has been used not only to bathe but also to treat skin ailments, clean injuries during war times and wash clothing.
Bathing though prevalent, was not a rigmarole till much later in the 1900s. As it started to catch on, soap-making became a household chore, and people experimented with ingredients like olive oil, glycerin and perfume for softness and fragrance. The modernization of society and the need to bathe every day birthed the commercialization of the soap industry. Today, society’s desire to look and feel beautiful has made it one of the most flourishing businesses the world over.
Evolution Of Soap
Bath soap was invented to clean the body of dirt and grime. For a very long time, most of the modifications made on soap focused on making the cleaning aspect better. Synthetic compounds and petroleum byproducts were used to achieve this goal. Bar soap, as it was called, witnessed a rapid and dramatic transformation in the 1900s, and by 1950 there were detergent soaps too.
The toilet soap that exists since the 1950s was intended to be a luxury variant of the bar soap with better cleansing and moisturizing benefits. However, as a basic cleansing soap and with a pH level of 10, it causes severe damage to skin lipids and proteins. Toilet soap is not the soap of choice for people with delicate and sensitive skin as it strips off natural oils and moisture, making the skin look dull, dry and itchy.
Mild Glycerine Soap
Glycerin soap succeeded the toilet soap and has since, been a huge hit for its all-natural properties, helping the skin lock in moisture and aiding in anti-ageing. It has lesser cleaning benefits compared to toilet soap, but with a pH level of 8 to 8.5, skin damage is also lesser. However, glycerin soap has humectant properties and may not be suitable for people with oily skin.
Synthetic and Detergent combine to define Syndet bars. Syndets are good surfactants and cleansers as they work on the surface of the skin, loosening dirt and oil that can be washed away with water. With a pH balance of 6 to 7, they are mild, gentle, skin-friendly and do not leave an alkaline residue. Syndet bars are recommended for people with irritable skin conditions, and users have benefited significantly from regular use.
Ultra-Mild Syndet Bars With Amino Acid based Surfactants And Moisturizers
The importance of beauty and skincare in the 2000s boosted the rise of the cosmetic industry, leading to the launch of various path-breaking bath-soap formulas. The cosmetic world has moved away from alkaline soaps and harsh sulfates and has introduced amino acids that are crucial in delivering sulfate-free, extremely skin-friendly, ultra-mild syndet bars with increased moisturizing effect, least damage to skin lipids and proteins and with a pH level of 5.5. These bars are suitable for dry and sensitive skin types as well as babies’ delicate skin.
Choosing Your Soap
Back to basics, different skin types require different skincare. Choosing a soap begins with understanding one’s skin type. So, whether it is dry, oily, irritable, flaky, sensitive or delicate skin, there is a bar of soap on the shelf for you. And today, though there’s a soap for every skin type, the search continues, to better the best.