We all want to be clean right? What then is the best way to achieve clean while still maintaining the natural balance of our skin? For thousands of years there have been many ways created to ‘clean’ our bodies.
Throughout history, the cleansing of skin has always existed, just in different forms and which parts of the body. From the times before even Christ, there is evidence of bathing rooms, which was more of a social event than an act of hygiene. Even meals were served while enjoying the comforts of the lapping water. Bathing was not necessarily seen as a ‘cleaning’ activity, however herbs and oils were used to scent the water to make the skin fragrant, soap was used to clean.
What are we cleaning off?
Historically, there was no knowledge of germs therefore ‘cleaning’ was not necessarily a term, much less a practice, that was used. Though some of their habits resulted in cleansing this was usually not the intent or goal. Today, we recognize that cleansing the skin can help decrease the number of harmful germs and therefore increase health. Cleansing, however is not only used to reduce the amount of germs but to assist the skins regeneration by the removal of dirt, dead skin cells, pollution, etc. So which is better at removing bacteria? Neither actually. The purpose of soap or oil are not to kill or destroy those items on the skin you wish to get rid of but simply provide a vehicle by which to remove them. The soap or oil bind to the offensive molecules and are whisked away when rinsed with water.
So if they both simply remove unwanted particles from the skin, which is better to get the job done? Well, as with everything else, it depends on the person and their particular skin characteristics. What works for one person may not work for another. We recommend a perfect blend of both practices to ensure the proper balance of the skin. Soap can strip the skin of natural sebum, therefore causing it to be dry and irritating, while oil if left on the skin too long or not rinsed properly can cause skin ailments such as acne.
The cleansers handmade by B&W Apothecary blend the best of both worlds. Our soap bars are over-fatted, meaning they have excess oils that have not been broken down during the saponification process while still having enough soap properties to provide a gentle cleansing. Our facial cleansers as well have both oil and soap properties for a pleasant compromise of these two techniques.
FUN FACT: A site you can visit that has both a bath house and is Holy,
is Masada in Israel. Not only can you enjoy the history and magnificence of the structures on the top of a mountain but you can buy fresh soap and skincare products made from the Dead Sea in the valley.