Not all Soap is bad for your skin

Soap has always had a bad rap. The main criticisms of it are that it dries out the skin and strips your natural oils.

In many cases that’s true, especially those of the more synthetic variety – and it’s fair to say I would never ever use one on my face!

But for the body, an all-natural soap would always be my preference over shower gels. 99% of these liquid soaps contain detergents such as SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) and are also jam-packed with artificial fragrance.

I’ve had to give them a wide berth for much of my adult life. Heat tends to bring out my urticaria, so shower gel and hot showers are a particularly miserable combination.

Instead, I use a classic Savon de Marseilles and have done for about eight years now. I buy the hefty 600g blocks which are like a never-ending gobstopper!

For those unfamiliar with them, Marseille soaps are made from very high concentrations of olive oil (usually minimum 70%) and are as synonymous with France as berets and brioche.

The high vegetable oil content means they don’t dry out your skin like normal soaps do.  They are also completely fragrance-free. I use mine with a body puff, which massively boosts the lather so you hardly need any at all.

If you have sensitive or allergy prone skin it could be a good alternative for you.  Chronic eczema sufferers may still need to use with caution, and like any new product, test it on a small area of the body before lathering with reckless abandon!

Enjoyed this? Get regular skin advice and Pai news direct to your inbox...

  • Emily

    Where is the best place to get hold of one?

  • Anonymous

    They’re widely available in France and very easy to buy online too. Just be sure to check the ingredients and the Olive Oil content! x

  • AC

    How about Aleppo soap (or Savon d’Alep or Syrian Soap)? I’ve always heard it’s much better than Savon de Marseille.

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t personally tried Aleppo Soap so I can’t comment myself, but they’re a similar product to Savon de Marseille. Just be sure that they’re isn’t fragrance added, as that could irritate sensitive skins. x

  • LG

    Isn’t salt dry the skin out specially if you go under sunlight???

  • Anonymous

    Salt can cause dryness if you leave it on the skin (e.g. sea salt) and this can cause irritation to sensitive skins. Next time you’re on the beach it’s worth showering before you soak up any rays! x

  • Helen

    Thanks for this. Had never heard of this soap but have just bought one. My skin is so dry! I was bought an expensive Jo Malone shower gel which costs about £30 and makes my skin so dry it has noticeable flakes. I’m happy to find a cheaper and effective shower wash!

  • Anonymous

    I hope this works well for you Helen! x

Skip to toolbar