I'm often asked this question and I love it! I love it because it's an opportunity to talk about my soaps and explain why I choose the ingredients I do. Being able to pick and choose which ingredients I put in my soaps and therefore on my body is one of the main reasons I became a soap maker.
For almost all my body and face bars I start with olive oil, coconut oil, rice bran oil, castor oil, cocoa butter, goats milk and tussah silk fibers. These luscious ingredients form the base of most my soaps and on their own create a very moisturizing bar. I then get creative and depending on the soap I want to make, I'll add special ingredients that are known to benefit skin in one way or the other. These special ingredients determine what's the best soap for a particular skin type or problem.
Before I go any further, I would like to say that for most skin just changing to a good handmade bar of soap will bring noticeable benefits. Many store bought soaps and body washes contain petroleum products and other harsh chemicals and discontinuing use of them clears up many skin problems. However, if you're still having skin issues, perhaps the special ingredients I've added to some bars will help.
I'll start with the most common skin problem, dry skin. I have a number of bars that work great for this ailment.
- Oatmeal Calendula For dry itchy skin, it's hard to beat colloidal oatmeal.
- Calamine, Oatmeal, & Honey For very dry skin added calamine is another defense.
- Eucalyptus Peppermint Studies suggestion the eucalyptus essential oil may strengthen the skin's natural moisture barrier.
- Indigo Peppermint Basil Indigo is great at relieving redness and irritation and soothing dry skin.
- Coconut Oil Free Lavender Eucalyptus This bar has no coconut oil in it so extra olive oil is used making for a very moisturizing bar.
The following bars work great for acne and oily skin.
- Cinnamon The antiseptic effects of cinnamon fight bacteria that cause acne.
- Tree Love with Activated Charcoal
- Safflower Anise Both safflower and anise help fight acne.
- Indigo Peppermint Basil Antiseptic and antibacterial properties of indigo powder make it great for healing acne scars.
- Himalayan Salt Has anti-inflammatory properties that heal and soothe skin.
- Orange Poppyseed Oh the power of those little poppyseeds! They are full of antioxidants that reduce skin inflammation making them a good choice for eczema and rashes.
- Oatmeal Calendula Colloidal oatmeal binds to your skin and locks in moisture and relieves itchy skin.
- Lavender Lavender essential oil reduces redness, soothes and calms skin irritations and can help heal rashes.
- Patchouli Cedar Sage Patchouli and cedarwood essential oil have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties while sage relieves annoying skin coditions.
- Pine Tar Pine tar is great at relieving itchiness. It's also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
I hope this list is helpful and can serve as a reference whenever a particular skin issue arises. Check out this post where I tackle the question "what's the best shampoo for....?"