Make a wise choice


Make a wise choice
It is good to be informed about bathing products, especially soaps, that we use on a daily basis. Choosing the right soap is especially important since it regularly comes into contact with your skin.

Ordinary commercial soaps have pH levels between 9 to 11, which increases the skin pH level, leading to problems. Remember that soap should not be directly applied to the skin. It should be mixed with water and the lather produced should be applied on the body. Extra care has to be taken while cleaning areas where perspiration or itching is more.
One should always make the purchase keeping the skin type in mind:

If you have dry skin, opt for natural soaps that contain aloe vera, cocoa butter, avocado or vegetable oils.

People with oily skin should use antibacterial soaps or soaps containing lavender, chamomile and thyme.  If your skin is very sensitive and prone to infections, medicated soaps are best to prevent and treat skin infections. Soaps that contain Vitamin E, jojoba oil are good for dry skin diseases like ichthyosis, eczema and psoriasis.

 Glycerin-based soaps suit people with a combination skin type.Let’s look at a few varieties of soaps that are available in the market:

Defenders: Antibacterial soaps have gained special importance recently. They form the first line of defence against micro-organisms and harmful agents.

However, excessive use of these soaps can cause dryness and irritation of the skin. There is a myth among Indian consumers that one should use anti-bacterial soaps for bathing; they do not know that some germs are good for the body.

 Skin clearers: Anti-acne or herbal soaps are used mainly on the chest, hands, legs and back where acne is more prevalent. It may be necessary to use such soaps twice a day. However, overuse can cause red, flaky patches on the skin.

Moisturisers: Soaps that contain olive oil, shea butter, paraffin or glycerine are the best moisturising soaps. Olive oil also has anti-ageing effect on your skin. Shea butter, also known as sheanut butter, contains vitamins and acts as a good moisturiser.

 Cleansers: Shower gels are similar to liquid soaps, but in a gel-based preparation and are used for cleaning the body while showering.

 Fragrances: Aromatherapy soaps contain essential oils, jojoba and sunflower oil, extracts of chamomile, jasmine and ylang-ylang. They are said to promote a sense of wellbeing and relaxation.

(The author is cosmetologist, Cosmetic Skin and Homeo Clinic, New Delhi)

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