Soap that is intended for use in laundry, etc isn't superfatted at all which makes it a good cleaning agent with a very high pH that isn't safe for skin contact. Soap used on the body is normally superfatted at least 5% and sometimes more, if done correctly. Not all soaps are created equal, and not all soaps are harmful.
Originally Posted by sixelamy
Sorry but I don't agree, alkaline agents are alkaline agents, you are confusing cosmetic sensation with dermatological health. If still a high pH superfatted soap bars are still damaging, the extra oils or butters do not restore the protective acid mantle/ skin flora, nor can un-denature proteins, nor are as good as the skin or hair's structural lipids. I can assure you I have personally had dermatitis from superfatted soap designed to be used on the skin. MildER is not the same as mild or harmless.
Effects of soap and detergents on skin surface p... [Dermatology. 1997] - PubMed - NCBI
Effect of soaps and detergents on epid... [Clin Dermatol. 2012 May-Jun] - PubMed - NCBI
The irritation potential and reservoir ef... [Contact Dermatitis. 2003] - PubMed - NCBI
A new model for assessing the damaging ef... [Acta Derm Venereol. 1997] - PubMed - NCBI

Similarly silicones or conditioning agents in commercial shampoo do not stop sulphate surfactants being damaging - just 1% SLS in an emollient base has been shown to thin and dehydrate even healthy skin.
Effect of Aqueous Cream BP on human stratum co... [Br J Dermatol. 2010] - PubMed - NCBI
Influence of Aqueous Cream BP on corneocyte si... [Br J Dermatol. 2011] - PubMed - NCBI
The effect of aqueous cream BP on the skin bar... [Br J Dermatol. 2011] - PubMed - NCBI

And since we are on a haircare forum polymer chemist Tonya McKay says
"Another very important ingredient to avoid for long, curly hair especially is soaps. In the past, I have written an article cautioning users of soap to be careful, but basically concluding that it was probably okay to use soaps with an acidic rinse and lots of moisturizing agents. Based on the following information obtained from the research of Dr. Ali Syed (a hair care researcher who specializes in African and curly hair), I cannot in good conscience advocate use of any soap products on curly hair.

Soap molecules are salts of fatty acids found in plants and animal fats. They are somewhat alkaline and cause the hair to swell and the cuticle to raise up away from the surface of the hair shaft. These molecules are then able to penetrate through the cuticle and into the CMC where they neutralize the fatty acids in the lipid layer, rendering them water soluble. The fatty acids are then rinsed away in the shower and are gone forever. Use of soap to cleanse one’s hair, especially long curly hair, seems to be a really effective way of permanently destroying the cuticle layer and making the hair very highly porous. This is an example of why natural may not always be superior. It is no surprise that researchers have invested years and many millions (billions) of dollars to develop more gentle cleansers for our hair.
"
Porosity and Curly Hair
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Boots Essentials gel
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect

Last edited by Firefox7275; 09-24-2013 at 11:32 AM.