Positive and negative health effects of soaps

Soaps are not a modern invention but rather one that predates back to Ancient Egypt and Babylon;  various extant records indicate that people often combined animal fat, vegetable oils with various alkaline to create soaps. In fact, ancient Egyptians bathed regularly using these soaps; bathing was a popular pastime and still continues to be except that we use the modern version of those ancient alkaline bars. Today, we use a wide variety of soap products, from anti-bacterial soap bars to ones which are supposed to soothe and moisturize your skin.  Since we use soap products, both bars and liquids widely, perhaps it is time that we took a closer look at some of the positive and negative effects of soaps.

Positive and negative health effects of soaps

The positive effect of soaps

  • Cleanliness: Soap products make it possible for us to clean ourselves each day; the fact remains that our skin is often exposed to various natural elements and that’s without even taking the dust pollution into effect. As a result, our skin pores become clogged with sweat, grime and various foreign particulates. And taking bath at regular intervals, preferably at least once a day can help us keep our skin pores clean and this should even help improve our overall complexion as well.
  • Hygiene: Hygiene is yet another reason that we use soaps daily; we may often have to wash our hands with anti-bacterial soap products each time we head to the washroom. The fact is that the anti-bacterial soap can help keep the various pathogens at bay and help ensure that your health does not get impacted. There are several cases where a major health outbreak had often been caused because someone forgot to wash their hands. Several health conditions from Flu to Chickenpox can be spread on contact which is why it is essential that we clean our hands regularly, by using anti-bacterial soap products.
  • Disinfectant: Soaps can also act as an effective disinfectant; this is why doctors often wash any open wounds with disinfectants to remove foreign microorganisms from the same. Similarly, a good anti-bacterial soap can act as an effective disinfectant by removing nearly 96% of foreign matter from the skin. This can help protect our skin from any infections and even help protect others as well. Incidentally, a good soap often comes with a good PH which is effective in removing bacteria from our skin.

Negative health effects of soap

  • Dry skin: Soaps often come with an increased PH which while being effective in removing bacteria from the skin can cause it to dry up. Dry skin conditions can cause your skin to become more easily bruised; that’s why we need to go for soaps that come with some amount of moisturizer or we can always apply a moisturizer after we finish taking our bath.
  • Allergic reactions: These days, soaps are more chemicals than anything natural and naturally some of them are bound to cause our allergies to flare up. One of the early indications that we have an issue with the soap in question is when our skin breaks into a rash and even develops hives. That’s an indication that we are allergic to that particular soap and need to consult a doctor to help mitigate the allergic reactions.
  • Harmful to the environment: Most of the dust on our skin is removed thanks to the soap that we use for the sole purpose of cleaning it but in the process, we may be causing more harm to our environment in the process. Soaps are made of chemicals and the resulting runoff from our bath which often consists of soapy water, dust particulates, grease and various chemicals is often released directly into the local environment. It may not seem like much but this is bound to affect the environment to an extent.
  • Removes essential oils: We all have different skin types but the one thing that we can count on is the fact that our skin requires is essential oils in order to function seamlessly. The issue though is that frequent soap use can remove some of these essential oils from our skin and leaves us drier than ever before. The issue though is that these essential oils cannot be replenished which is why it is important that we take care when it comes to picking out the right soap to use.

These are some of the positive and negative health effects of soaps.


Alan Behrens

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