Stepping out of the shower without having used a soap feels awfully incomplete. Besides, the Sun God shines brightly over India and insists on people taking a nice cooling bath to remove the dust, pollution, sweat, and stench out. And so, using soaps in India has gained more importance than even before the Pandemic.
Soaps are made by mixing sodium hydroxide or lye with fatty acids such as oil. Most manufacturers use the cold-press method to create a soap to make the soap mild and skin-friendly. Soaps are used not just to cleanse your body and kill germs that settle on your skin, but they also add fragrance.
How Does Soap Work?
With the Pandemic locking the world down, you may have heard that washing your hands with soap is the best way to sanitize. But do you know how soap really works?
Soap has two aspects – one that loves the water or is hydrophilic and the other, which hates water or is hydrophobic. The part that hates water binds with the dirt, grease, oil, germs on your body, and with the help of the hydrophilic component, cleanses your body thoroughly.
This is one of the most significant reasons why soap is so useful for skincare. While cleaning out the dirt and grease, soaps exfoliate your skin, making it look clean and refreshed. So, think about all the filth layering your skin and causing skin-problems the next time you decide to skip using a soap. It will undoubtedly help you change your mind.
How Do I Select The Right Soap For My Skin?
Different types of skin react differently to individual soaps. It is crucial for your skin’s health that you know your skin type and choose the right soap. We can broadly classify skin types into five categories- oily, dry, normal, sensitive, and combination.
Oily Skin – If you have oily skin, it is because of irregularities in your sebaceous glands. Oily skin generally leads to acne. You should check the ingredients in the soap you buy and preferably look for sea salt, peach pits, oatmeal, or brown sugar in its composition. These ingredients are not too harsh on the skin and can clear out excess oil.
Dry Skin – The reason behind dry skin is the lower range of sebum, which is vital for your skin. If you suffer from skin dryness, look for soaps with glycerin, vegetable oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, aloe vera, avocado, or jojoba oil. These have moisturizing abilities and can work wonders on dry skin, especially glycerin.
Normal Skin – The belief that any soap can work on normal skin is a myth. If you have normal skin and use a soap meant for oily skin, your skin will end up becoming too dry. You should ideally look for herbal soaps that will maintain your sebum balance.
Sensitive Skin – It is tricky to find an ideal match of soap brand for those with sensitive skin. But the Indian markets have come up with plenty of options for those with sensitive skin. You can look for soaps that don’t have added colors, perfumes and have balanced pH levels.
Combination Skin – This skin type is often mistaken to be normal skin, but there is a difference. Combination skin means that some parts of your skin are oily while others are dry. You should use soaps that have more glycerin as they can moisturize your skin as it can maintain the balance between oily and dry skin.
Which Soaps Should I Avoid In General?
While there are some excellent soaps out in the market claiming to do a wide range of things, you have to choose wisely. As a general rule, you should not use any soap that has a high acidic content or high pH value. They can surely ruin your skin even if the soap-makers claim otherwise.
Any soap that is related to providing skin fairness or white glow should be avoided. These soaps tend to have a lot of chemicals to give you fairness, but they will damage your skin in return. So, avoid soaps which are pumped with too many chemicals.
Any soap that smells too good can affect your skin harshly. The perfumes and fragrance oils added to make a fragrant soap are loaded with chemicals and toxins that can harm your skin. Similarly, avoid using soaps with parabens as they can affect your hormones and cause problems.
5 Affordable And Fantastic Soap Brands In India
When it comes to finding a soap, Indian markets are flooded with cheap to expensive options. Here is a list of five affordable and skin-friendly soaps that you can use to give yourself a thorough cleanse.
Lux is one of the oldest and most popularly used beauty soap manufactured by Unilever and endorsed by many celebrities. Lux has a range of soaps for every skin type. They launched Lux in 1990. Lux, in Latin, means ‘light.’ It was brought to the Indian markets in 1929.
General Features Of Lux Soaps
Lux is gentle on the skin. It can give the necessary moisture to your skin.
Lux has a wide variety of soaps. You can choose the one that is apt for your skin type.
The soaps are long-lasting, but it also depends on how many times a day you shower.
The soaps lather well and give you a thorough cleanse.
Dove was launched in the Indian market as a moisturizing soap that gives women a glow. Their tagline, ‘It’s not love, it’s Dove,’ caught on well and is used by masses to date. Instead of getting celebrities to endorse the product, Dove decided to let real women talk to the audience to make it more believable. The soap came to India in the 1990s, when it was launched as a luxury brand that was not easily affordable. However, the company made changes in their pricing since then.
Features Of Dove Soap
This soap is 1/4th moisturizing cream. It moisturizes your skin and gives it nutrition.
The soap is not pumped with fragrance, but it does give you a mild scent.
The soap is gentle on your skin, making your skin soft and smooth to touch.
Dove has three variations for adults and also has come up with baby soaps.
The Himalaya Drug Company is known for using Ayurveda to create herbal products. They strive to make soaps without any chemicals but with the richness and goodness of herbs. They have an assortment of soaps for individual skin types and have an affordable price range too. Every soap made by Himalaya has some herbs which are tremendously beneficial to the skin. Their products are known for being hygienic and safe to use by all.
Features Of Himalaya Soaps
The soaps contain herbs such as neem, tulsi, turmeric, etc. which are excellent for your skin’s health.
The soaps are safe and gentle on the skin as they do not contain chemicals that harm your body.
The soaps don’t dry your skin but adequately moisturize.
It gives your skin an even tone and cleans out blemishes. Himalaya soaps also have antibacterial properties to protect your skin from germs.
Santoor was developed and launched by Wipro in 1986 as a soap containing the goodness of turmeric and sandalwood. The Santoor ads portrayed women as having younger-looking skin, where people kept wondering about their age. Today, Santoor has become a household name and is among the top three brands of soaps in India. The name Santoor is derived by combining the words’ sandalwood’ and ‘turmeric.’
Features Of Santoor Soap
The soap contains the goodness of sandalwood and turmeric. Sandalwood has been used traditionally in India to moisturize the skin. Turmeric, on the other hand, has antioxidant properties.
Santoor cleanses your skin and makes it smooth and gentle. It adds a glow to your skin.
The soap does not contain chemicals that can adversely affect your skin and, therefore, is safe to use.
Your skin feels refreshed and has a fragrance after every wash with Santoor soap.
Hamam came into existence in 1931 and set the benchmark for other herbal soaps that followed. It owned the natural soaps market for a long time before other soaps came into the market. In their latest campaign, Hamam has come up with the hashtag #GoSafeOutside which targeted women’s safety. The soaps contain neem, tulsi, aloe vera, and other such natural ingredients that safeguard your skin from external impurities.
Features Of Hamam Soap
The soap provides natural skin protection with its richness in herbs and plant-based nutrition.
It provides freshness to your skin and makes it radiant by cleaning impurities and dirt.
You can use it daily as the soap isn’t harsh and can heal and repair your skin.
Doctors recommend this soap, especially for those who are prone to allergies.
When venturing out in the Indian soap market, the wide variety can become overwhelming. There is a block of soap available for every section of Indian society. While the above list can give you a brief idea of which brands you can opt for, there are plenty of others you can consider depending on your budget and need.