Soap is simply any skin cleanser made from the salts of animal or vegetable fats. Coconut oil or palm kernel oil is frequently added to make a soap lather better. This then is the formula of your so-called basic toilet soap. Toilet soap generally tends to be slightly alkaline. Cleaning with plain toilet soap and water removes most environmental and natural skin surface substances, such as dirt, cosmetics, oils, bacteria, dead skin cells, and sweat. Except for so-called “soap less soaps”, which contains synthetic detergents, most kind of soaps advertise differ only in addition of other, often non-essential, ingredients.

Ivory soap is probably the industry standard for plain basic soap. For people with normal skin, Ivory will usually do the job of cleaning efficiently and inexpensive. But for the people with very sensitive skin, or other skin conditions, it may be too drying and irritating.

Super fatted soaps contain extra amount of oil and fats, such as lanolin, olive oil, cocoa butter, neutral fats, or cold cream. The inclusion of oily ingredients is supposed to prevent the usual tendency of soap to dry out your skin. Recent evidence lends some support to this claim. Super fatted soaps attempt to perform the delicate balancing act of removing grease and grime from your skin while depositing a cold cream or fat in its place. It is actually a testimony to cosmetic chemistry that a product can be composed of ingredients that have two directly opposite tasks and still remains useful. Nevertheless, for the most part, super fatted soaps do pretty much what they are designed to do. These soaps apparently do a good enough job to cause some people to complain about feeling “greasy” or “unclean” after using them.

For these people, I usually recommend soap less soap, which will be discussed later. I have found dove soap, purpose soap, basis soap, and oilatum soap all to be satisfactory super fatted soap.

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