Soaps to avoid

Fruit, vegetable, and herbal soaps

Fruit, vegetable, and herbal soaps are soaps or detergents to which various “natural” ingredients have been added. The special ingredients are supposed to make you think health, and the great outdoors, about which you hear so much these days. However the basic working ingredients of these kinds of soaps are much the same as those contained in any other soap. The fruit, vegetable, or herbal additives are strained, sterilized, and treated with alcohol and preservatives as part of the manufacturing process, and are then mixed with fragrances and coloring in order to make them resemble, once again, the real thing. Even if there were some proven benefits to washing your skin with fruits or vegetables in the first place, the nature of the soap manufacturing process eliminates them. What remains of the fruits, vegetables, or herbals in these soaps after the manufacturing process only superficially resembles any product of the fresh, great outdoors? These soaps serve no especially useful function and are certainly not worth the often considerably higher prices charged for them. The bottom line: Fruit, vegetable, and herbal soaps really do little for your skin, but much to lighten your wallet.

Abrasive soaps

Abrasive soaps are cleansers that contain tiny particles that serve to mildly abrade your skin. They are essentially intended to rub off the very top surface only and are usually recommended for tough cleaning jobs. For most people, however, they can be too harsh and too drying. I sometimes recommend them for periodic use to people who complain of exceptionally oily skin. On skin with acne or certain other types of inflammation, abrasive soaps can frequently be quite irritating and should be used only upon the advice of a physician. By incorporating a washable cleansing cream or lotion into your skin cleaning routines, you have greater latitude to tailor those routines to meet your changing needs throughout the year.

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