Soap and Detergent are not created equal…

I did not know this.

But check out this article:

Most ‘soaps’ are not soap but detergent:
Usually these products are labeled as beauty, facial, or cleansing bars, and sometimes even as soap. Detergents are made from petroleum products and consist mainly of surfactants, foaming agents and alcohols.

This is news to me. But it makes sense, if you think about it…and ticks me off, when these “detergent bars” are most likely the ones that proclaim in their marketing campaigns, “Soap can be so drying…but such and such beauty bar doesn’t contain soap and has all these awesome moisturizers…” (I haven’t researched that, by the way, it just sort of makes sense.) Soap in its “real” form involves using lye to saponify some form of fat, often beef tallow (boo) or coconut or palm oils.

Considering where the bulk of beef in the U.S. comes from, I think I’ll stick with the coconut oil stuff instead. Wouldn’t you?

(I still haven’t dared to actually make my own soap, though I’ve tried the melt-and-pour route a few times…)

And here is another article, suggesting that the “drying” factor of soap has less to do with soap itself than with the fact that a) the industrial process removes the glycerin, and b) all kinds of other things, fragrances and foaming agents and such, are added to the soap which themselves cause the drying issue.  Feels like yet another case of the industry saving us from a problem it creates for us in the first place…no wonder so many people are starting to go “soap free” and loving it.


Posted on January 20, 2011, in health and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’ve been making my own soap lately. The difference is amazing. Since I render my own tallow and lard from the animals we get locally, that is actually one of the next fats I want to try. I actually think the home rendered tallow is better than the coconut oil from someplace tropical.

  2. Wow, you’re way ahead of me! Yeah, I can absolutely see where local and know-where-it-came-from tallow could be a very good option…my “beef boo” was more about what we know about most industrial beef, which is where a lot of the commercial soap manufacturers get their tallow, as I understand it…

    Do you use cold or hot process for your soap? Is it hard to do?

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