Health Tips

Why I stopped using soaps?!

Abhyanga massage

Yes, what you read above is true. I stopped using soap completely since last 6 months. Before you count me as an unhygienic professional, I just want to clarify a few things. I still take a shower 1-2 times a day and change my clothes each time. I just stopped using those so-called modern soaps. Do you want to hear my story what made me stop using soap? Here we go.

What is Soap?

When the caustic soda is added to fat, glycerine separates out, leaving sodium oleate and the final preparation is called Soap. This process is called saponification. Classical soap consists of only those two ingredients. Classically strong alkali like firewood ashes are mixed with plant and/or animal fats to prepare soap.

Why to use soap?

The main purpose of using soap is moisturizing your skin. Vegetable oil as the main ingredient of the soap is to hydrate your skin. Skin being the organ covering the largest surface needs adequate nutrients and moisture to transport nutrients from outside to inside and expels toxins from inside to outside.

On a daily basis, skin shred many dead cells and toxins, which are fat-soluble every day. Soap was first manufactured for detoxifying our body to expel the fat-soluble toxins. In another word, soap is used to kill germs, balance the skin pH, kill the bad body odor and aids in pampering the skin.

What is the problem with Soap?

Full of Chemical Ingredients

The modern soaps are made up of fat, sourced from unknown origin animals or plants. It has unnamed chemicals but used for better aroma, softening effect, lathering, colors and solidity that don’t go well on our skin. These chemicals can cause endocrine disruption and even may turn carcinogenic. Besides, skin is the biggest detox organ also called ‘third kidney’ so we don’t want to coat or clot it with artificial chemicals.

Soap can make your skin too dry or too oily

Most of us in modern days have dry skin. One of the major causes of dry skin is the use of these soaps.

These use of soaps dry out our skin due to two major reasons,

  1. They have a different pH than our skin has (usually it is higher) and
  2. Soaping regularly strips our skin of its natural and protective oil called sebum.

Without a shadow of a doubt, cosmetic companies love it. While the soaps dry out our skin and they can sell lotions and moisturizer to your dry skin.

In fact, skin problems like Eczema, dermatitis, allergic reaction, psoriasis etc is already on the line of increasing due to this very fact of overusing the soaps.

Vitamin D absorption problem

Do you know how important Vitamin D is? Vitamin D deficiency is increasing every day. We need the Sun to produce an absorbable form of Vitamin D. The solar energy converts a chemical in our skin into vitamin D3 which is processed by our liver and kidneys to an active form of vitamin D.

Also, the sebum in our skin plays a big role in this vitamin D absorption. Just because we use soaps every day, we are potentially obstructing the vitamin D uptake. In fact, the researchers found, it takes up to 48 hours for the skin to convert vitamin D3 to active vitamin D. Apparently, when the skin loses its ability to absorb Sunrays, the conversion process delays further and leads to vitamin D deficiency.

Kills the healthy microbes

Please accept the fact, our skin is part of our micro-biome. It contains good bacteria that actually create natural antibiotics to fight off the bad bacteria like MRSA. This is main reason where skin-to-skin contact is important and it is beneficial for the newborns that are inoculating their micro-biome.

Likewise, no one will like to swipe the good bacteria from when they really understand the importance of healthy bacteria.

Not environment-friendly

All of the junk and rusty products are harmful to the planet and inhabitants. All these chemicals are harming our health and polluting the water, land and the entire environment.

 

Abhyanga massage

Ayurvedic Self oil Massage

What do I use instead?

Yes, I do apply cold pressed black Sesame oil before taking shower. Sesame oil is replacing the use of soap.

This is my discovery while trying to live Ayurveda. Ayurveda. i.e science of life which was founded 5000 years ago, which has clearly mentioned the hygienic rituals and routines.

Among many daily rituals, there is a ritual called Snehana or swa-abhyanga. It refers to applying oil over the body before taking a shower or any physical activity.

The discoveries of the soap are derived from this ancient process snehana process only.

Benefits of oil application:

Na cabhighaataabhihatamgatramabhyangasevina|

Vikarambhajateatyarthambalakamanivakvacith||

susparshopacitapaangaschabalavanpriyadarshana|

bavathyabhyanganityatvannaroalpajaraevaca||    -ca.su.5

Ayurveda Scholar Acharyacaraka says, “If a person applies oil to body every day can be healthy if any injuries, traumas or if he makes a strenuous effort in work no problem will creep. One who applies oil regularly to the body, the skin will be smooth to touch, will become healthy, improve strength, looks beautiful, gives good posture to the body and prevents early aging or hides the age being healthy.

This is clearly mentioned in the above verse how the use of oil on your body can benefit your health and wellness.

Also, oil application is the process of natural detox or purification, Use of oil on our body acts as a natural moisturizer, lubricate the skin, relax the muscle, nurture the nerves and strengthen the joints and bones. Just replacing the soap with any medicated oil can give you so many benefits.

Which oil to use? How to use?

Ayurveda suggests using oil according to your mind-body constitution. If you are not sure or unaware of your body type, commonly used oil is cold pressed black sesame oil or coconut oil.

Preferably warm up the oil before use it. Rub on oil from head to foot going downward towards the gravity, circular in joints and round structural organs.

Wash your body with luke-warm water after 5-30 minutes.

Conclusion

From my experience, you would have been clearly understood about the harmful effects of using soaps in the body. Using soaps not just impact your skin, but also leads to an imbalance in the body. Ditch using soaps, which is nothing but chemical and switch to healthy practice of using the oil to bathe. Resort to the old age practice to stay healthy, energetic, young and beautiful as well as maintain the equilibrium in the body.

About the author

Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari

An experienced Ayurveda Doctor, Panchakarma Specialist, Holistic Healer, Psychological Counselor, Yoga teacher, Health article writer from the land of Ayurveda i.e Nepal.

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