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The Best Soap for Eczema
Here is my experience with what I think is the best soap for eczema out there, which is goat milk soap.
I dread taking baths or showers. Although the act of bathing itself - soaking in the lukewarm water laced with epsom salt - feels good, I hate the aftermath; the inevitable drying of the skin that occurs within 20 minutes of applying the moisturizer on my skin.
Up until recently, I just didn't have much luck with soaps for itchy skin. Most of them, even the renowned Dove which has been the eczema soap of choice by many doctors I went to, didn't do much to exfoliate the dead skin cells off my skin or keep it moisturized.
I have mentioned before that I am a sucker for eczema-related products. I was on the lookout for an inexpensive and effective soap for eczema when the possibility of using goat milk soap fell under my radar. Generally, I don't like milk anything, including drinking it, but the testimonials by the fellow sufferers of dry skin and eczema sounded promising enough, so I purchased a bar and started using it. The theory behind this particular soap and how it would help reduce eczema seemed solid.
In short, I like it enough to continue using it. It doesn't exfoliate the dry skin away completely, but it does leave my skin feeling soft. A follow-up by a good moisturizer is a must, of course.
The Benefits of Goat Milk Soap
Although on the tad pricier side at approximately $5-7 per bar, goat milk soap has many benefits. A handmade soap, each thoughtfully crafted by the maker, retains many of the ingredients that commercial soaps lack.
Glycerin is a known "humectant," which means it helps retain moisture in your skin. Commercial soaps remove glycerin in the soap-making process, because it can be sold separately as a precious byproduct.
Homemade goat milk soap retains glycerin in the process so your skin can stay soft and smooth after use.
2. AHA (Alpha-Hydroxy Acids)
AHA is a type of chemical compound that often appears in skin care products, including exfoliation and chemical peel. It is known to help slough off dead skin cells.
Goat milk contains vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, which all help our skin to varying degrees. See Vitamins in Milk page for more information.
Goat Milk (or other handmade, natural) Soap vs. Commercial Soap
I don't like bagging on the so-called "commercial" products just because. I am not a gung-ho "everything I consume must be natural and organic," not because I have something against that philosophy, but mostly because it's largely inconvenient for me to live that way.
But judging by the way conventional, found-at-the-drugstore soaps have served me (or NOT served me) over the years, I figured it was worth my time to find out why they weren't working as they had promised. And my conclusion is that it must be the ingredients.
For example, the most recommended soap for eczema was Dove. I especially liked the cool feeling of Dove Cool Moisture Bar Soap, Cucumber and Green Tea. But I cannot, for the life of me, understand what these ingredients mean:
Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Stearate, Water, Sodium Isethionate, Coconut Acid, Sodium Cocoate, Sodium C14 16 Olefin Sulfonate, Fragrance, Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract (Cucumber), Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Dipropylene Glycol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Green 5 (CI 61570), Yellow 10 (CI 47005)
Compared to the ingredients of the goat milk soap I use, which are olive oil, goat milk, coconut oil, palm oil, sodium hydroxide (lye), shea butter, castor oil, sucrose, sea salt, the chemical-sounding nature of commercial soap seems unnecessary.
There is obviously a large market for commercial soaps and most people generally tolerate them well. But skin conditions like eczema require more vigilance and care. For me, ditching Dove and choosing goat milk soap as my soap for eczema was the first step in the right direction to overhauling my total skin care regimen. My eczema has improved since. While it wasn't solely due to changing the soap I use, I have no doubt that it had a big part.
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