As you enter the world of natural soaps, you will frequently see the refrain “Good for Eczema or Psoriasis”. The absence of heavy additives in natural soaps is touted as the reason. But this seems to imply that the ingredients are the only issue we need worry about in treating Eczema, which is untrue. Ingredients are very important, but the causes of eczema run deeper and have to be addressed as well.
Treating Eczema with Goat Milk Soap
Selecting soaps that both moisturize and CONDITION the skin is critical. We want to strengthen the barrier function of the skin, not impede it. Fats or lipids are as critical externally as they are internally as part of nutrition. We don’t envision ourselves rubbing fat on our skin. But with the right soap that is “super-fatted”, we feed and nourish the skin cells to remain elastic and strong. Super-Fatting is a term used in the soap industry to mean that less than 100% of the fat is converted in soap….. it is still in the bar.
Super-fatting a bar can occur in a variety of ways. Less Lye (Sodium Hydroxide) is used in the recipe to induce saponification, (converting fat to soap). The milkfat from real Goat Milk is a soothing addition that raises the overall fat content as compared to a vegetable oil based recipe.
Honey Sweetie Acres uses 5 oils and 2 butters as compared to the industry standard of 3 oils. We chose these ingredients based on their fatty acid profile and how that acid nourishes and hydrates the skin. Oils high in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are highly recommended for skin care and the use of plant butters helps hold the skin retain them and avoid evaporation.
When using goat milk products for eczema, the choice of ingredients really is critical. Not all soap is created equal and shea butter content alone is not enough to guarantee protection. Let’s dive into skin anatomy briefly for a full understanding.
It is absolutely true that the skin is the largest organ of the body. So large it is known as the Interaugumentary System. While you may not think of the skin as an organ, it is actually made up of many different kinds of tissue that function together. The skin is made of up multiple layers which function as “one” by support from connective tissue.
Appreciate Your Skin
The skin really deserves more appreciation and respect for what it does for us. The skin works as a protective BARRIER and in dermatology circles, the health of the skin is related to a healthy Barrier Function. This means the body is protected from invasion by chemicals and/or micro-organisms (including different bacteria). The skin works as a sensory organ, it prevents dehydration by regulating body temperature and electrolyte levels and can synthesize Vitamin D. When we perspire, the sweat excreted by the sweat glands deters microbes from over-colonizing the skin by generating dermicidin, an anti-microbial protein with a few natural antibiotic properties. Imagine all this is going on and we never even think about it!!
What Causes Eczema?
Multiple dermatological research centers agree that the Barrier Function of the skin can be damaged and this can be the door-opening event that leads to eczema and multiple other skin conditions. The following is a list of things that can weaken and damage the barrier function of the skin:
- Extreme dryness and or excessive sun exposure leading to moisture loss
- Exposure to harsh chemicals in the workplace
- Exposure to highly alkaline detergents and cleansers
- Multiple allergens and irritants including synthetic skin care additives
- Excessive skin exfoliation and over-cleansing with sodium laden products
- Psychological stress, steroid use and certain prescription medications
This says nothing of the genetic causes and immune system disturbances which also impact the treatment of eczema or psoriasis.
Your skin is actually “acidic” in composition. Certain illnesses like diabetes can lessen the natural acidity of the skin. Incontinence from age, surgery, kidney stones or infections also will reduce skin acidity. When we shower, this “acid mantle” is also temporarily disturbed, but if healthy, will rapidly recover within 15 minutes!!
Protecting the Skin
So protecting the Barrier Function of your skin is priority #1 and the selection of which soap you use is very important! If you are struggling with Eczema or Psoriasis, please contact us! We’d love to help you on the path to healthy, elastic, pliable, and non-irritated skin with a bar of our award-winning Goat Milk Soap. Everyone’s immune system is different, but we have seen improvement in over 75% of these skin care cases after using a bar of our soap for just a few weeks.