The choice of hygiene cosmetics on store shelves can impress even the most fertile imagination. Manufacturers offer solid and liquid soaps, shower gels with various aromas, additives, attributing almost miraculous properties to their products. Some consumers make their choice based solely on personal preferences, while others carefully weigh the pros and cons of shower gels and regular soaps.
From what, from what …
The properties of shower gels and soaps are determined by differences in their formulations. Both products are based on surfactants (detergents). The content of detergents in soap is higher, so it has a higher washing ability, which means it better removes dirt, sweat, and sebum from the skin.
Ordinary soap, as a rule, is made from natural vegetable or animal fat (recently vegetable oils are mainly used for the production of soap) or from fat substitutes, alkali, thickener (table salt), stabilizers, and various additives designed to increase foaming. Also, fragrances, antiseptics, dyes, softening and moisturizing components, preservatives are added to the soap, which increase the shelf life of the product. However, even without all these additives, soap, consisting only of alkaline salts of fatty acids, has high detergent properties.
The gel is easier to remove from the skin due to its high water content; in hard water, it almost does not form an unpleasant plaque.
Shower gels are most often made on the basis of synthetic detergents - sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate. The chemical composition of gels is often more complex than the composition of soaps, but the alkali content in them is lower, which means that the effect of these products on the skin is less aggressive. In addition, manufacturers usually try to soften the effect of even small amounts of alkali in gels by using special additives, including citric acid.
Health is most important
Due to the high alkali content, soap often dries the skin, so its constant use can harm the owners of sensitive, prone to dryness and irritation of the skin, cause the formation of small cracks, wrinkles and premature aging. For people with oily skin prone to acne formation, solid soap can be used without hindrance.
Soaps tend to have lower levels of synthetic colors and fragrances that can cause allergies than gels.
The gel in the bottle has practically no contact with human skin - the required amount can be simply poured onto the palm or onto a washcloth. People take a bar of soap with their hands, sometimes lathering themselves not with foam on a sponge, but with the whole bar at once, while bacteria remain on it. Although bacteria cannot live long on a bar of soap, the humid environment in a soap dish becomes an ideal breeding ground.