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There is a Need for More Ingredient Education

Think of how many products are used every day by the average American in order to keep us well groomed. According to a survey by the Environmental Working Group, EWP, the average person uses 9 products daily which contain more than 126 ingredients. From creams, to balms, to soap, and deodorant, we are spreading topical creams and ointments over the largest permeable organ of the human body – our skin.

With more than two million holes – pores – the skin has the ability to absorb molecules into the bloodstream.

NEW YORK, Aug. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- CeraVe® announced today that 80 % of Americans make at least one or more common mistakes when cleansing their face, according to a national survey examining consumers' overall awareness, common habits and general knowledge of ingredients related to facial cleansing.

The results revealed those surveyed had a lack of understanding about facial cleanser ingredients:

  • 65 percent have no idea what ingredients to look for when purchasing a facial cleanser,
  • 63 percent don't understand the purpose of those ingredients.

The survey, of 1,000 adult men and women in the United States, also revealed less than ideal face cleansing habits:

  • 60 percent of consumers report they feel uninformed about proper skin cleansing methods.
  • 52 percent of consumers (66 percent of men and nearly 40 percent of women) use bath wash or hand soap to cleanse their face, while more than one third only use water.
  • More than half (54 percent) of men and women admit often skipping washing their face before bedtime.
  • 43 percent of those with dry skin use hand or body soap to wash their face, while 55 percent use only water.
  • Nearly 50 percent of those with oily skin use hand or body soap to wash their face, and a third only use water.

"The results of this study are troubling but really don't surprise me," explained Dendy Engelman, M.D., a leading NYC-based board-certified dermatologist. "Despite all of the information dedicated to face washing, many people still don't know how to do it correctly”.

What is the skin barrier?

The skin barrier is the outer most layer of the skin. It is made up of 50% ceramides, 25% cholesterol, and 10-25% fatty acids. Over time, the depletion of ceramides can result in moisture loss, dryness and cracking, and/or inflammation and irritation from allergens and toxins on the skin barrier.

Many of the products we use to get clean—soaps, facial cleansers and body washes—might actually be doing us more harm than good.

One of the main ways your body acquires nutrients, other than eating, is transdermally— through the skin. Your skin is your largest organ—22 square feet on average—and 60 percent of the substances you put on it are eventually absorbed into the bloodstream. This semipermeable membrane allows us to absorb vitamins and minerals, but, unfortunately, it absorbs harmful chemicals we put on it, too.

Chemicals in common soaps are no joke. They can disrupt our hormones, promote allergies, lead to reproductive issues and increase risk of some cancers. With serious side effects like these, we need to be particular about what we put on our skin.

Here are the chemical to watch out for when buying soap:


Parabens are preservatives that are used in a wide array of different personal care products in the United States, including hand soaps. They mimic the behavior of estrogen in the body and are associated with endocrine disruption, cancer, and developmental toxicity. They are also toxic to the environment. To avoid parabens, avoid hand soap containing ingredients ending in –paraben.


A group of chemicals used in hundreds of products(toys, detergents, nail polish, hair spray) to increase the flexibility and softness of plastics. The main phthalates in cosmetics and personal care products are dibutyl phthalate in nail polish, diethyl phthalate in perfumes and lotions, and dimethyl phthalate in hair spray. They are known to be endocrine disruptors and have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, early breast development in girls, and reproductive birth defects in males and females.


Sodium Laureth Sulfate is used as a surfactant and emulsifier to add foaming & sudsing benefits in hand soaps. The health concerns with this are organ system toxicity and irritation of the skin, eyes, and lungs. Even more concerning is the contaminant that can form as a by-product of the manufacturing process called 1,4-dioxane. This nasty chemical is a known carcinogen.


Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is also a surfactant common in hand soaps, meaning it helps reduce surface tensionand increases foaming power. Health concerns with this one include irritation to the eyes, lungs, and skin. Studies have shown concerns about non-reproductive organ system toxicity. Aerosolized products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate or that are used around the eyes and skin have been classified as human irritants by Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments, and some studies have linked sodium lauryl sulfate with developmental, endocrine, or reproductive issues. The CDC lists several negative health effects that can occur as a result of exposure to sodium lauryl sulfate depending on the type of exposure. When this ingredient is inhaled, it can cause coughing and a sore throat. Contact with the skin or eyes can cause redness or pain. Ingesting sodium lauryl sulfate can lead to nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. It’s hazardous to the environment, particularly aquatic life. We think those suds and foam that make hand soaps prettier to look at aren’t worth the risks and that skipping them can be a big step towards a toxic chemical free hand soap.


Methylisothiazolinone & methylchloroisothiazolinone are preservatives used to inhibit bacteria growth in lots of personal care products including hand soaps. Some of the health risks associated with these preservatives include skin irritation, lung and respiratory issues and neurotoxicity. When you’re searching for chemical free hand soaps, make sure to check for this common preservative, as sometimes they are used in more “natural” products to replace other nasty preservatives, like parabens.


Cocamidopropyl betaine is a synthetic detergent and surfactant that is used to increase the foaming action of cleansing products and moderate the viscosity of liquids. As a synthetic surfactant, cocamidopropyl betaine is found in a number of personal hygiene products including hand soaps. Health concerns around cocamidopropyl betaine include allergic skin reaction, contact dermatitis and environmental toxicity. Increasing rates of sensitization in the population led to cocamidopropyl betaine being named Allergen of the Year in 2004 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. This one can show up under different names so to avoid it, look for a chemical free hand soap that doesn’t have these ingredients listed: CADG, Cocamidopropyl betaine, Cocamidopropyl dimethyl glycine, Cocoamphocarboxypropionate, Cocoamphodiproprionate, and Disodium cocoamphodipropionate.


Triclosan is a substance that’s used as an antibacterial agent in hand soaps. You’ve probably read that the FDA finally banned this nasty one in Sept 2016 and gave manufacturers 1 year to either re-formulate or pull their product using this chemical from the market. That means that you probably shouldn’t have to watch out for it too much longer, but we felt we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention it. Risks are that it can accumulate over time in the body and cause hormonal imbalances and organ system toxicity.


Most hand soaps contain fragrances. You can see the word “fragrance” listed on product labels, but it is impossible to know what that means because the fragrance industry isn’t required to disclose the ingredients used in their products. This means there could be hundreds of ingredients in one fragrance. Why should you be concerned? Fragrances are absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream where they pose health risks including endocrine disruption, organ toxicity, allergies, asthma, neurotoxicity and cancer. Fragrances also frequently contain phthalates (which won’t be listed on labels), which are associated with hormone disruption, birth defects and developmental toxicity. Even “natural” fragrances aren’t safe to use because they can trigger allergies & can also contain phthalates. Given fragrances don’t add to the efficacy of your hand soap and introduce some scary health risks, we think they are well worth avoiding.

ORGANIC SOAP BAKERY is proud to announce that all the fragrance oils we use are Phthalates, Sulfates and Parabens free, free of any chimicals. After hearing concerns from customers, we decided to find the most reliable suppliers for our ingredients.

Now...a small controversy wont hurt...:)

Many of the allergens found in so called 'fake' fragrances are the same compounds as found in essential oils Cinnamal(found in Chamomile essential oil), Limonene(found in all citrus peel) etc.

Why are essential oils better? From an

ethical standpoint one could argue that synthetic is better as it doesn’t impact on crops, using valuable land for to produce tiny amounts of oils which are further treated/distilled and processed as detailed above. What about synthetic allergen free, or nature identical, or nature based compounds?

Just look at the Essential Oils Safety Quick Reference by FrannsAltHealth.com and you'll quickly realize that just because it's an "essential oil" and not a fragrance oil doesn't mean it's safe or better.

We are all for reducing the number of harmful chemicals we use in our everyday lives but I don’t believe its as simple and synthetic/fake bad vs all essential oils good.

We just have to learn where to draw the line and make better choices.


OSB mission is to develop simple formulas that help clean, nourish, and optimize the skin barrier while leaving a soft skin with an elegant texture. Our soaps and body butters are made with oils and butters that you can use in the kitchen. Available customized scent, shape, color, for any event available

(2 dz minimum).