Did you know that there is a difference between soap and detergent? Did you know

that soap can have health benefits? Did you know that soap can affect your disposition and mood?

Let’s start with definitions and clarifications. First detergent – any group of synthetic, organic, liquid or water soluble cleaning agents that, unlike soap, are not prepared using fats and oils, and are not inactivated by hard water. Now, soap – a substance used with water for washing and cleaning, made of a compound of natural oils or fats with sodium hydroxide or another strong alkali, and typically having perfume and coloring added.

Most commercially manufactured soaps are typically classed as “detergents.” They contain a long list of artificial ingredients, many derived from petroleum. The FDA puts it this way, “Today there are very few true soaps on the market. Most body cleansers, both liquid and solid, are actually synthetic detergent products. Detergent cleansers are popular because they make suds easily in water and don’t form gummy deposits. Some of these detergent products are actually marketed as “soap” but are not true soap according to the regulatory definition of the word.”

Soap such as that produced by Savon Bath Treats is more than just a product used for cleaning. Dependent on the oils and ingredients used, there can be an array of healthy benefits. As an example, did you know that richly aromatic pine tar soaps have been shown to provide natural protection against mosquito, chigger, tick and other insect bites. Prior to WWII, the ingredients in Packer’s Pine Tar soap was recognized by the Army Corp of Engineers as the insect repellent of choice.

Take a moment and look at the ingredients of “soaps” and body washes at the supermarket. Glycerin is usually absent except in higher end body lotions. Glycerin naturally draws moisture from the air keeping skin hydrated. In commercial products glycerin removed and then added to more expensive products whereas in the natural process of making soap, saponification, this ingredient remains with the soap.

Almond oil is an often used ingredient in natural soaps. This oil is quite beneficial for treating dry, inflamed, or irritated skin.  As a bonus it contains vitamins and minerals that can be partially absorbed through the skin. Jojoba oils contain conditioning as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Avocado oil is rich in an array of vitamins A, D, & E, amino acids, and protein. It is ideal for people with sensitive skin.

A touch of spearmint in soap creates a cooling sensation that can relax stiff, sore or tense muscles. It also improves the texture of oily skin. Grapefruit extracts have been shown to alleviate oily skin and treat acne. As a bonus it can be beneficial for treating stiffness and cramps in the muscles. Lemon oils have anti-fungal properties that have also been used to kill bacteria. There is ample evidence to indicate that it can also ward off insects and even reduce the severity of body aches.

These are just a few of the differences between commercially manufactured soaps, and hand made soaps such as those offered by Savon Bath Treats. So are you ready to jump start your day and add some zest to your morning shower?

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America