If you are having any skin problem, then the choice of soap and shampoo is always a matter of concern for you. If the skin problem is as complex as psoriasis, then it becomes more vital. The reason being- psoriasis is a long term problem and you have to make sure that the chosen soap and shampoo is effective on the problem and at the same time, it doesn’t impose any side effects on your skin if used in the long term.
A good soap for psoriasis would be effective on the skin patches without getting harsh on your skin. It shouldn’t have an overdose of synthetic chemicals which can make your skin dry and cause irritation.
How a good soap and shampoo helps
Psoriasis is an auto-immune disorder which is related to your internal body metabolism. It is more than just the psoriasis patches on your skin. Increased level of body toxins, genetic issues, food insensitivity, too much consumption of alcohol and tobacco, chronic constipation and indigestion, high level of stress, over consumption of steroids and antibiotics- everything plays a role in it. Hence, just working on the skin patches is not enough. You have to follow a restricted psoriasis diet and a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle implies- regular physical exercise, less consumption of alcohol and tobacco (smoking), regular food habits, proper sleep and stress management.
Read more: Psoriasis and Diet
Remember- skin patches on your skin are just an indication that something is wrong inside your body. Hence, go for Inside-out healing and streamline your internal body metabolism.
But, we all are living in a society where we have personal and professional responsibilities to fulfill. Hence, external care of psoriasis is also very important so that we can cover our skin patches to an extent. It would help you to maintain your self confidence and not getting too conscious about your psoriasis. Safe and effective shampoo, soap and oils can help us with it.
How to select a Soap for Psoriasis
The day psoriasis entered in your life, those ordinary bathing soaps sold in departmental stores lost their significance.
Do you know that logically these ordinary soaps are not even “soaps”. Yes, you heard it right- technically, they are not soaps. That’s why their labels would say as bathing bars or beauty bars.
Your skin is porous and absorbent by nature. Although the psoriasis patches can clog your skin pores, still they are porous enough to absorb these harsh chemicals from the bathing bars. Use of these chemicals stuffed bathing bars is a big NO for you.
Choosing between Natural (herbal) and Artificial soap
After rejecting the ordinary bathing bars, you have two options to choose from:
- Artificial soaps with chemicals like coal tar, salicylic acid, triclosan
- Natural or herbal soaps which are either handmade or machine made.
Most of these chemicals based soaps are designed to attack on the psoriasis patches without caring much about your skin. They contain harsh chemicals to rub the psoriasis flakes off the skin.
Coal tar and salicylic acid- these two chemicals are very common in these soaps. Coal tar is a petrochemical product- a by product of coal processing. It can strip off the natural moisture from your skin to make it super dry, if used regularly. If you have ever used coal tar based soap or shampoo before, you must have experienced the severe drying effect of coal tar. Long term use of coal tar based soap and shampoo can make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
Salicylic acid is a popular stain remover. It is used to remove stains from metallic parts. How can you expect it to be gentle on your skin?
Triclosan- a popular antibacterial agent used in artificial soaps is toxic in nature. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) classifies it as a pesticide and considers it unhealthy for human health and environment. FDA (Foods and Drugs Administration) calls it a drug. Dr Christine H. Farlow, author of the book “Dying to Look Good”, advises never to use any product containing triclosan.
If your psoriasis patches have cuts or open sores, then these chemicals enter in your body and harm you. These soaps contain sulfates like sodium laurel sulfate (for foaming) which is a known skin irritant. Artificial fragrances used in these soaps are derived from petrochemicals or alcohol based. The ingredients in these fragrances can be absorbed by your bloodstream making your blood impure. These fragrances are drying in nature also.
Natural (herbal) soaps
Natural/herbal soap preparations, fortified with healthy fats, herbs and essential oils are mild on your skin and quite effective on psoriasis patches. These soaps not only retain the body moisture, but, oils and herbs in these soaps can increase the moisture level of your skin. The best thing about natural/herbal soaps is- they can be used in the long term without any fear of side effects.
Ingredients of a natural/herbal soap
A good quality natural soap would be made by using cold pressing method. It means- no external use would be used throughout the process so that the inherent properties of all ingredients remain intact.
A typical natural soap would have below ingredients in different compositions:
- Oils like coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, castor oil, palm oil
- Herbs like chamomile, turmeric, aloe vera, lavender, lemongrass, tea tree oil, jajoba oil, neem
- Natural colors like cinnamon, turmeric, beet root
- Essential oils for fragrance
- Soap base (caustic soda lye)
- Clays like silica, fuller’s earth (multani mitti) for extra cleansing effect
- Other stuff like honey, dead sea salt, oatmeal, goat milk, cocoa butter, shea butter
Read more: Dead sea salt and mud for Psoriasis
Coconut oil not only moisturizes your skin,but, it is a natural foaming agent also.
Are you worried about the harsh nature of caustic soda?
Don’t worry. No caustic soda would remain in the soap because it reacts with the oils and get consumed through the process of saponification.
Glycerin, a byproduct of saponification, is generally removed from the cheap, ordinary soaps. Their manufacturers would sell it to make some extra money.
Some useful tips for external skin care
- These natural soaps may make less foam than synthetic ones. Hence, apply a thick layer of natural soap on your skin and rub it gently for more time. It would ensure efficient body cleansing.
- Avoid hot water bath. Hot water can increase the skin inflammation. Use warm or normal cool water instead.
- After bathing, gently dry your skin with a fluffy (soft) towel. Don’t rub the towel too harshly.
- Immediately after drying the skin with a towel, apply a suitable moisturizer. It would ensure that your body doesn’t lose its natural moisture.
- Take omega 3 supplements. Omega 3 fatty acids help in reducing the skin inflammation and itching.
Read more: Benefits of Omega 3 for Psoriasis
From where to buy
Always rely on natural soap of a trusted brand. If you know already, then go for it. Otherwise, check out the below natural, handmade soaps available at Amazon: –
|USA readers||India readers||UK readers|
|Activated Charcoal Soap||Click here||Click here||Click here|
|Dead Sea Mud Soap||Click here||Click here||Click here|
|Oatmeal + Goat milk + Honey Soap||Click here||Click here||Click here|
|Aloe Vera soap||Click here||Click here||Click here|
Holistic healing of psoriasis includes- positive changes in your diet and lifestyle along with the use of dietary supplements and herbs. But, holistic healing takes time. Hence, use of a safe and effective soap and shampoo would help you to manage your psoriasis so that you can enjoy your social life with confidence. Opt for a natural soap for psoriasis which can cleanse your body effectively without getting too harsh on your skin. A natural soap would be free from petrochemical based ingredients and artificial fragrances.