Soaping seems to go hand in hand with showering. Even if you are among those people who don’t shampoo their hair, chances are you still use soap to wash your body.
Unfortunately, studies are gradually proving that the soap manufacturing companies – even the big ones – produce products that are actually detergents for the skin. They just smell better, so consumers will be attracted to them. But this is not the only reason why you should stop using soap.
Why is Soap Bad for You?
Contrary to popular belief, germs are not the real enemy when it comes to cleanliness. We have that notion that germs are dirty. While there is truth in this belief, our bodies actually need dirt. When we come in contact with dirt, our microbiome or the microorganisms in our body decipher which of the germs are good and bad for your well-being.
There are good germs that crawl all over your body, so that you can have healthier skin, better digestion, and improved immunity. But this is probably not enough reason for you to quit soap. Most of us are used to soaping while showering that stepping out of the bathroom without soaping the body feels like a mistake. But it is not. In fact, science explains why:
1. Soap can lead to skin damage, which can result to weaker immunity.
There are several layers of the epidermis or the outer layer which we can see as the skin and they are the following in this specific order:
- Stratum corneum
- Stratum lucidum
- Stratum granulosum
- Stratum spinosum
- Stratum basale
When you wash with soap, your stratum corneum gets damaged. As with the order above, the corneum is the first line of defense against pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses. Unfortunately, the more you use soap, your corneum will get damaged and this will take about two weeks to be repaired. Since you probably use soap at least every other day, you are removing the antimicrobial lipids in the corneum. Your immune system needs this lipid to work at its optimum level. But because those lipids get removed every time you wash with soap, this can lead to weaker immune defense.
2. Soap gets rid of the acid mantle.
Soaps have high levels of pH, which removes your skin’s acid mantle. This so-called mantle is important because it makes your skin resilient to foreign elements that can invade your body.
3. Soap may remove vitamin D on your skin.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is found in the skin once UVB radiation and 7-dehydrocholesterol interact with each other. Experts say that vitamin D requires about 48 hours before it gets absorbed after sunbathing. When you use soap, you are stripping away vitamin D before it enters the body.
If you go soap-free you probably worry about body odor. But many have tried this and they received no complaints from other people.