Why You Need to Know What’s in Your Soap

Why You Need to Know What’s in Your Soap

Dec 18 , 2022


Nourish Products

You’ve probably been using soap since before you can even remember. Like brushing your teeth and eating food, using soap is something you do every single day without even thinking about it.

But, here’s why you need to think about it a little—and how we’ve done it for you :)

Some very common ingredients in soap can actually be bad for your skin. Seems silly, right? We’ve broken down five ingredients you never want to see in your soaps because they can cause dryness, irritation, and sometimes severe health problems. Here are some common soap ingredients that can be harmful:



soap bubbles on black background
These are strong cleaning agents that can take away the natural oils from our skin and cause irritation. Sulfates are often used to make soap foam, but they can be too harsh for sensitive skin. Whether from laundry detergent, soap, or shampoo, the sulfates can cause reactions in sensitive people.

Sometimes, sulfates like SLS and SLES end up removing too much oil, washing off the skin's protective barrier and causing redness and dry, itchy skin. Dermatitis and edema


Artificial Fragrances:

Fragrance being poured into hand

Some soaps have added fragrances to make them smell nice, but these fragrances can irritate our skin, especially if we have allergies or sensitivities. While we all want to use soap that smells good, it’s important to lean toward products that are fragrances with natural ingredients, like essential oils, to avoid rubbing harsh chemicals on our skin.



Rubbing alcohol used to clean smartphone
Some soaps contain alcohol because it helps to stick layers of the bar together, but alcohol actually dries out and irritates our skin. This ingredient is more prevalent in cold process soaps, but it’s very common to see alcohol in your every day store-bought bars as well. Avoiding soaps with alcohol is especially important if you:
  • live in cold climates
  • have sensitive skin
  • have a history of eczema, psoriasis, or other skin conditions
  • are using the soap for your children, especially babies!



Chemicals in beakers

We hear about these all the time, but what are they? Parabens are chemicals used to make soap last longer, but this benefit comes at a steep price.

When looking at soap labels, look for words like Methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. These are three of the most common paraben ingredients in cosmetic products, all of which have been linked to health problems like hormone disruption and cancer.



Hand holding suds from soap

This is a germ-killing chemical that is sometimes added to soap. However, triclosan is an endocrine-disrupting chemical. That means it can harm your endocrine system, leading to issues with proper hormone function. Some animal studies have shown that exposure to high amounts of the ingredient may cause a decrease in certain thyroid hormones, resulting in natural hormone disruption and even antibiotic resistance.


To summarize:

It's best to choose soap that is made with natural ingredients and does not have sulfates, artificial fragrances, alcohol, parabens, or triclosan. These types of soap are usually gentler on our skin and less likely to cause irritation or dryness.

If you have specific skin concerns, this is where buying natural, hand-made soaps becomes even more important. A soap-maker will be able to provide you with higher-quality ingredients than the bars you see in your grocery store.

Remember: soap should be gentle but still effective at cleaning.

Check out our selection of natural soaps here!

Leave a comment