Let's Talk About Soap
Oct 25, 2021
Soap works by dissolving the dirt on the surface of your skin.
As sweat and dirt mix with your body’s natural oils, it can settle on your skin and breed bacteria. Soap breaks this oily layer apart and lifts pathogens away from your skin.
Germs, or microbes, are everywhere. Literally, everywhere. In the air, soil, water and on every surface, including your body. Most microbes are harmless and some are important for human health, like the ones that live in our gut. But there are several germs that cause problems, and these are the ones we prefer not to have on or in our bodies. Our first line of defense against those harmful germs is soap.
The ancient Babylonians are credited with being the first people to make soap. Their recipe for animal fats, wood ash and water has been found carved into clay containers dating back to 2800 B.C. They likely used the concoction for washing wool and cotton so the materials could be woven into cloth and not so much for cleaning their bodies.
The ancient Egyptians developed a similar recipe for soap, which they used for treating sores, skin diseases and personal washing. The Romans also made soap, but it wasn't until the later centuries of the Roman era that soap was used for personal hygiene; prior to that, soap was a physician's tool for treating diseases.
The basic recipe for soap hasn't changed for thousands of years. It's still a combination of fat or oils with an alkali — basic ionic salt — and water. When those ingredients combine in the proper proportions, they go through a chemical process called saponification, which results in soap.
In the process, a room-temperature lye solution (sodium hydroxide in water) is mixed with animal or vegetable oil. As the ingredients react with one another, the mixture thickens and heats up. Before it gets too thick, the mixture is poured into a mold where it solidifies, and the saponification process is complete. The last step is to let the soap sit, or cure for a few weeks, which allows excess water in the mixture to evaporate resulting in a harder, longer lasting bar of soap.
Soap doesn't kill germs on our hands, it removes them.
Germs stick to the oils and grease on our hands (sounds yucky, but it's totally normal). Water alone won't remove much of the germs on our hands because water and oil don't like each other, so they won't mix. But soap likes both water and oil. When you wash your hands with soap, the soap molecules act as a mediator between the water and oil molecules, and bind with both of them at the same time. Then when you rinse everything off, the soap carries away the germs with the water.
For the most effective hand washing, you must use soap and you must be thorough. How long you should scrub depends on how dirty your hands are, but most health authorities recommend at least 20 seconds, or as long as it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice. And don't forget to scrape underneath your fingernails. That area is prime real estate for germs.
Is antibacterial soap even better? Nope. Antibacterial soaps have added ingredients like triclosan or triclocarban, which are hydrophobic molecules that can penetrate bacterial cell membranes and kill the bacteria. Sounds impressive, but studies have shown that antibacterial soaps are no more effective than regular soaps at removing bacteria.
Cost-effective and eco-friendly.
With bar soaps, you tend to get more bang from your buck and if you keep your bars dry, they can last for weeks or months. Compared to body washes which get used up more quickly. And buying less product doesn't just make your wallet happy; it means less packaging, energy, and resources in the supply chain. (happy planet)
Liquid body wash also contains water—considering 5 billion people will be affected by water shortage by 2025, it's certainly something to consider. On the other hand, bar soaps have a waterless formula, which can support that environmental preservation. With bar soap, you'll perhaps save water, save product, and save the planet—a trifecta of sustainable triumphs from the shower alone.
Minimal, purer ingredients.
When formulated by clean and natural manufacturers, bar soap usually just contains the active ingredients you need; because the formula doesn't include water, there's no need for any chemical preservatives to stop bacteria from breeding. What you're left with is just a high concentration of pure ingredients.
Get Naked Soaps are made with Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Almond Oil, Olive Oil, Castor Oil, Aloe Juice, Clay, Sea Salt and Pure Essential Oils. Some of our soaps contain walnut shell and poppy seeds for gentle exfoliation but we also add rosemary, citrus rind and rock salt for embellishment. Some of our soaps are coloured naturally with Charcoal or clay and some are coloured with mica (Some soaps contain mica colour which is a natural mineral tinted with lab colourants).
Soap or Not?
Many commercial soaps aren’t Soap… they are synthetic detergents.
Detergents originated in 1916 Germany, and the commercial “soap” we know today came into existence during WWII. Detergents are synthetic (often petroleum-based) cleansers that strip your skin of the natural oils that your body needs for healthy skin and can lead to skin disorders and rashes.
Commercial Soaps Contain More Than Just Soap. Even if you do find a bar of real soap at the store, it might not be all that great for you. Many commercial soaps contain chemical-based colorants, dyes, fragrances, lathering agents, preservatives, and other “things” we can’t pronounce. These additives can wreak havoc on our sensitive skin and hair, and pollute our drinking water.
Some commercial “soaps” and body washes even include triclosan, which can promote cancer’
Commercial Soap Lacks Glycerine
With all of the work commercial soap manufacturers put into adding “things” to their product, you wouldn’t think they would spend time extracting from it… but they do. Glycerin is a naturally occurring byproduct of the saponification process (that’s the chemical reaction that we call soap making). Glycerine is a humectant—meaning it draws moisture from the air to your skin—leaving your skin soft and moisturized.
Commercial soap manufacturers typically remove the glycerin from their soap, and sell it separately, or use it in a second product—moisturizer. Yup, they take one good bar of soap, extract the moisturizer, and then sell it to us as a second product (both of which may contain harmful chemicals).
Liquid soaps generally contain harmful surfactants.
Surfactants degrease and emulsify oils and fats and suspend soil, allowing them to be washed away. There are several types of surfactants that can be drying and sensitizing for skin. When those are the main ingredients in a facial cleanser, body wash, or shampoo, they should be avoided; the most common among drying, sensitizing surfactants is sodium lauryl sulfate. Cold process soap is very different compared to soap made from surfactants. Cold process soap is made with natural oils and produces lather naturally. Lather from most store bought soaps come from surfactants or dete
Yep. If you want to escape to paradise with just a backpack, then shampoos won't get you in trouble with airport security. Take your shampoo to Bali and nourish your hair while you nourish your mind. There’s no need to worry about potential leaks, spillage, or explosions.
Our love for the traditional bar of soap is returning. Research group Kantar found that UK Shoppers are moving away from liquid soap towards the more nostalgic, aesthetic and crucially, environmentally friendly facets of bar soap. The urge to reduce plastic usage was one of the driving factors behind people ditching liquids, and 70 percent of people said they regarded shopping more sustainably as a key consideration.
Get Naked got started in early 2020 during lockdown when our little family indulged in some random 'art' sessions. We started with water colours, played with candle making and then one day we stumbled on a you tube video about making soap. We quickly developed a passion for more knowledge.
We discovered essential oils and we became more obsessed. We started to add clays, flowers, herbs and we played with colour and textures and we became enchanted by the endless design possibilities.
Our designs are evolving and inspired by our extraordinary coastline. We aspire to zero waste wherever possible. Our range is expanding with beach bars, scrubs, kitchen soaps and amazing pebbles.
The team at Get Naked are passionate about soap making, design, and doing our part to help preserve this beautiful planet.
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