In very recent years, the humble bar of soap has come back in fashion. It is now the "hand and body cleaner" of choice to those growing numbers of consumers who want to cut down or cut out their use of plastics. For fifty years, there was a sharp decline in the popularity of bars of soap as they were overtaken by liquid soaps and shower gels. But the bar of soap has started to fight back, starting a trend that fits the ethical consumer's change in shopping habits. And many of today's bars of soap come in such lovely natural colors and fragrances. Who could resist?
What are the best things about using a bar of soap?
Their carbon footprint is lower.
They are better value for money.
They last a lot longer and...
They come with a lot less packaging.
Plus there are so many different styles of soap dish to choose from - to suit every taste and to display that economical bar of soap for weeks to come.
The origins of the word "soap"?
There is a Roman legend that tells the tale that "soap" was named after Mount Sapo (an ancient site of animal sacrifice) where the regular rainfall would wash animal fats and ash down to the river. Local women noticed when they were washing clothes in that river that the combination of the fat and ash made their clothes cleaner - and "soap" was born.
Washing your hands in the most hygienic way
Forget about hand sanitizers, using a bar of soap to wash your hands has been found to be the safest way - even if you have to use one of those dried-out, cracked bars of soap that look as if they have been sitting in the soap dish for the past ten years! A study (many years ago) found that, even when participants' hands were contaminated with bacteria such as staphylococcus and E.coli, while some bacteria remained on the bars of soap after use, it was found to be harmless and did not transfer on to the next person using the soap. This was in direct contrast to another study carried out at the University of Arizona in 2011 when researchers found that liquid soap dispensers could be breeding grounds for bacteria, remaining on the hands after washing. Wash you hands in hot or cold water (taking some twenty seconds to complete the task) rubbing your palms and the backs of your hands as well as in between the fingers and up to the wrists. All the time, you are using a good lather from your bar of soap. Rinse off with some water and dry gently on a soft towel. And once your have washed your hands, add a few drops of our Simply Hand Oil to nourish and protect them. I said forget about hand sanitizers - but they do have a place in an emergency as a back up when clean water is unavailable. And the bar story does not stop at soap. Shampoos, conditioners and even laundry products are now available in bars.
Jane writes for Healing Natural Oils, a producer and retailer of high-quality, all-natural treatments for a variety of conditions as well as a range of beauty products. Apart from writing about those various conditions, she also covers general health, environmental and other subjects of interest. She has lived in Kenya as well as Cape Town, South Africa and spent time in San Diego, USA. She now lives in Somerset, England with regular visits from her far-flung children and grandchildren. She is a keen gardener and enjoys growing fresh fruit and vegetables with her husband on their joint allotment. As a result, there is something available to use in the kitchen virtually all year round. Her regular posts can be found on our blog.