​Unveiling the Culprits: What Soaps Can Cause Eczema?

​Unveiling the Culprits: What Soaps Can Cause Eczema?

Posted by Joan Tay, Founder of SoapCeuticals on 3rd Jan 2024

As the owner of a natural soap business catering to those with dry, sensitive, and eczema-prone skin, I understand the importance of choosing the right products. Eczema is a common skin condition that requires careful consideration when selecting skincare items. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of soaps and explore what ingredients can potentially trigger eczema flare-ups.

Before we identify the soaps to avoid, it's crucial to understand eczema. Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by red, itchy, and inflamed skin. People with eczema often have a compromised skin barrier, making their skin more susceptible to irritants and allergens. 

Soaps to Steer Clear Of: 

1. Fragrance-loaded Soaps: Fragrances are a common culprit in triggering eczema. Many commercial soaps contain artificial fragrances that can irritate sensitive skin. Opting for fragrance-free or naturally scented soaps can be a safer choice for individuals with eczema.

2. Harsh Chemicals and Detergents: Soaps containing harsh chemicals and detergents, such as sulfates (e.g. SLS), can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. Look for mild, gentle cleansers that cleanse without compromising the skin barrier. By the way, soap-free cleansers are also know as (synthetic) detergents.

3. Artificial Colors: Vibrant colors may be visually appealing, but artificial colorants can be harsh on sensitive skin. Choose soaps that derive their color from natural sources like botanical extracts or clays. 

4. Preservatives: Some preservatives, such as parabens, can be irritating to individuals with eczema. Opt for preservative-free or naturally preserved soaps to minimize the risk of skin reactions. 

5. High pH Soaps: Soaps with a high pH can disrupt the skin's natural acidity, leading to dryness and irritation. Did you know that the pH of tap water in Singapore is at 8.2? Unless you don't use tap water to bath, natural soaps with pH <9 will be acceptable for skin. Natural soaps inherently, are alkaline in nature (i.e. with pH >7), but if formulated properly, they will be suitable for skin, with pH <9.2

Now that we've identified what to avoid let's focus on what you should look for in a soap for eczema-prone skin:

1. Natural Ingredients: Choose soaps with natural, soothing ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile, and calendula. These ingredients can help calm irritated skin and promote healing. 

2. Moisturizing Elements: Look for soaps that incorporate moisturizing components such as shea butter, coconut oil, or olive oil. These ingredients help to hydrate and nourish the skin, preventing dryness. 

In conclusion, the quest for healthy, radiant skin, choosing the right soap is paramount for individuals with eczema. By avoiding soaps laden with harsh chemicals, fragrances, and artificial additives, and opting for natural, gentle alternatives, you can provide your skin with the care it deserves. As the proud owner of a natural soap business, I am committed to crafting products that prioritize the well-being of your skin, ensuring a soothing and nourishing experience for those with dry, sensitive, and eczema-prone skin.