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  • #16
    http://ewg.org

    On the skin deep portion on this site you can see toxicity ratings of beauty products. I use kiss my face olive oil soap, Huron naturals for hair, desert essence on my face. Love all of it. And the toxicity is very low. That has been a great resource. So many natural items are toxic.
    "I came to live out loud!" -Emile Zola

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    • #17
      Thanks guys, I really appreciate all your replies!

      Why am I asking about soaps? I have sometimes oily, and sometimes dry, acne prone skin. With the right diet (primal!) it's slowly going away; but I'd love a soap that actually helped the process. People warn against using 'harsh soaps' but how are you supposed to tell harsh from gentle? Everyone advertises their soaps as 'gentle', and 'mild', and 'soothing'.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Traveller View Post
        Thanks guys, I really appreciate all your replies!

        Why am I asking about soaps? I have sometimes oily, and sometimes dry, acne prone skin. With the right diet (primal!) it's slowly going away; but I'd love a soap that actually helped the process. People warn against using 'harsh soaps' but how are you supposed to tell harsh from gentle? Everyone advertises their soaps as 'gentle', and 'mild', and 'soothing'.
        In the end, every soap - mass-market, swanky luxury brand, or hippie Eco-conscious brand, has the potential to be harsh to one's skin. The Ivory stuff that some deal well with makes my face really unhappy, for ex. Even small-batch, cottage industry stuff could potentially burn your skin if the lye in the soap isn't properly cured/added/hardened. Personally, I have been a fan of Marseille soap (savon de Marseille) ever since I met it in Europe as an 18yo - Olive oil (nowadays sometimes palm oil instead), sea water, lye/soda ash, a long hardening time, and that is it, unless real herbal extracts are added for scent. No triclosan, no "moisturizers", no perfumes, no artificial colors, no detergents.

        Soapmaking is fascinating. For example, I already know that my skin prefers soaps with an all-vegetable oil base to those made with tallow ("sodium tallowate" in the ingredients list); each different oil or fat used produces a soap that has a distinct "feel". And that I like my soap NOT to be superfatted, which means that either the glycerin that all soap making releases is left in, or that extra oils were added at the very end (like jojoba), or that a wee bit less lye than would actually be needed to turn all the oil into soap is used which results in some oil remaining in the soap - I prefer to moisturize separately as needed, but I have always used superfatted soaps on my kids. And that I really, really love a bar in the hand as opposed to liquid.

        I suggest you read a library book, perhaps from the children's section (no insult intended here - I start many researches personally this way, then I move up), on soap making. It will demystify a lot. And once you know a bit about soapmaking, all those terms on the wrapper will be more understandable - or recognized as useless hype. But in the meantime, start reading labels and chasing down definitions - as in food, the fewer ingredients, the better, and no artificial anything, simply because artificial ingredients just do not need to be there.

        Also - there ARE ways to wash facial skin other than soap. Natural pastes and washes using herbs, honey, milk, etc are an entire universe unto themselves! Have you ever tried using soft pastes made from kaolin clay, almonds, and lavender/rose? I love that combo, and it really, really works on me - you will use soap much less. I have read more than once, from varied sources, that you should not put on your skin anything you would not be willing to eat, and I am coming to believe it is almost always true. I love me some soap, definitely, but my mixed-up skin does much better as I tone down the soap use (and pay attention to Primal!). I have oily + sensitive skin, prone to acne - ugly combo.
        I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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        • #19
          I make my own soap. Dead easy. And fun. But i only use it to wash my hands or the armpits if they need it but hardly ever on my face. Oil cleansing is great and steaming with herbs. Also using floral waters like plain rose or lavender water.

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          • #20
            I've used african black soap and it was lovely.
            I'm working my way through a home made batch now (lard-based, very softening, probably superfatted).

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            • #21
              NorthernMonkeyGirl, thanks for chiming in. Yes, I might try gently washing my face with it. Can't find it in my health shops, however. Great. I hate international shipping.

              Now, because of my sometimes dry skin, to find a moisturiser...

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              • #22
                Well, I've purchased a bar of Dr. Bronners unscented soap, and a bar of african black soap. If this doesn't work, I think I'll just give up, and get used to going around looking like I lost a battle with swarm of bees.

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                • #23
                  Dr. Bronners or pure Castile soap. also been two months without shampoo. What a revelation. It's great- you can shower more often without hair drying out.

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                  • #24
                    Thanks for that, Hobbit.

                    Have you noticed any healing effects from dr bronners? Relief from acne, psorasis, dry skin, etc?

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                    • #25
                      I have heard African Black Soap is a blend of Cocoa and Palm Oil.It is very helpful in fighting Fights eczema.

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                      • #26
                        Honey is my favourite face wash. Just wet your face and massage a dime sized amount of honey into it. Make sure to rinse well afterwards or you'll find sticky spots later - lol! It really helps to lessen blemishes and I find I don't need moisturizer anymore either.

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                        • #27
                          Almost all soaps are too drying for me. I tried not using them for a while, but it's honestly a hard habit to break! I don't use any soap on my face.

                          This is the shampoo bar I use from time to time, but mostly I use this spray. Unless I swim in chlorinated water, I don't really need to "wash" my hair, I just get it wet, but it's very short so I can get away with a lot. I can use coconut oil or any other "hair oil" kind of thing after a shampoo since my hair is very short. It never worked well for me when it was long. I think it's because the water at my apartment is too hard.

                          I have peppermint castille soap, but it's too minty to use in some areas of the body O.o
                          Depression Lies

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                          • #28
                            Thanks guys, your posts are all appreciated!

                            I tried using honey for a while, Mamame, but for some reason it didn't moisturize very well for me.

                            I found a small bottle of jojoba oil in a whole foods store yesterday, and I used it last night. It sunk in pretty well, unlike the macadamia oil. I've read that for some people jojoba causes breakouts. I seriously, seriously hope I'm not one of them.

                            Does anyone else use jojoba oil?

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                            • #29
                              From all these replies it is clear that everyone is different. I do not use soap but use shampoo which I am considering trying to go without as well. Since I stopped using soap (I wash my hands throughout the day with warm water) I have not caught a cold or that dreaded flu that was going around a few months ago. Also, it seems that my skin is perhaps a little softer, etc. However, everyone is unique and must try things for themselves with no pre-dispositions. I use a Lufa (sp?) for a little exfoliation and that's all.

                              "In the wild" we did not have soap or many of the other things that it seems we just can't live without. I wonder how we survived in Paleolithic times to now.

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                              • #30
                                Hi paleodog,

                                Yup, until about 3 weeks ago I didn't use any soap (except for washing my hands) at all. For both face and body it was just water, and I had no complaints. For about 7 months all was great, but then I started breaking out. I didn't want to use any soaps or cleansers on my face because it felt un-primal (made-up word alert!).
                                I get your point about how people in the wild keep clear skin, and in the paleolithic times, but I think we also have to take into account our daily environment. All the chemicals that we're exposed to almost every day, our ancestors didn't have anything like that. Dishwashing soap, laundry detergents, hand soap, etc. Perhaps for some people, daily contact with these things is just to much for our skin to handle by itself, and needs some help from natural soaps and remedies.

                                Just, you know, a theory.

                                Thanks for posting!

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