Caring for your Badger-Hair Shaving Brush

If you are wanting to remove all or even just part of your facial hair, then wet shaving is tShaving brushhe best option for you as it is least harsh on your skin. When using a natural soap like the Mein Herr Shaving Bar Soap for wet shaving, it is essential to lather up with a good-quality shaving brush. We provide a badger-hair shaving brush as part of all our shaving kits. Badger hair is superior for this purpose because it is particularly absorbent and lathers up well. It is also hard-wearing so if you care for your shaving brush properly it should last you for a good number of years.

Wash your shaving brush before initial use

A new shaving brush should be washed gently, but thoroughly in warm soapy water before you use it for the first time. You may find that some loose hairs come out of the brush. This is normal. These are shorter hairs that did not get firmly stuck in the glue base.

Allow your shaving brush to dry completely

It is important to allow your shaving brush to dry completely before you store it. Since it is made from a natural material it will become mouldy if left damp. The best way to dry your brush is hanging upside down as the water can then drip down and away from the brush. If it dries standing upright the water soaks down into the handle of the brush and could soften the glue so that the bristles are released. A brush stand is ideal for this purpose.

How to use your shaving brush

Before use, wet your shaving brush thoroughly in warm water. Then rub the tips of the bristles over the surface of your shaving soap. Lather up in your shaving bowl or in the palm of your hand using gentle circular motiShaving Brushons. Avoid applying too much pressure. The bristles should not splay.

The problem with applying excessive pressure when lathering up is that the inner core of the brush gets crushed.  The bristles twist, especially in the centre core of the knot, causing them to break off. Also, the full brush loft should be utilised to lather up. If the brush is pressed down aggressively the outer bristles spread and shafts of the inner bristles are then used rather than the tips.

When applying the lather to your face, it is preferable to use back-and-forth motions as this is less damaging to the bristles, although circular motions are also acceptable. Remember that even a light pressure will be enough to gently exfoliate and lift your whiskers allowing a close shave.

Clean and dry your shaving brush

After use rinse thoroughly in warm water. Be sure to remove all soap scum as this too could deteriorate the hair. Allow the brush to dry thoroughly as after the initial wash. Then gently press the bristles together with your fingers to reform the shape of the brush. You could also run a comb through the brush to straighten any bristles that may have got kinked or twisted during shaving.

Where to store your shaving brush

Always store your shaving brush in a place where it can air. If you have to put it in a closed container when travelling, be sure to take it out to air as soon as possible to reduce the chance of developing mildew.

Mein Herr Natural Products

Wet Shaving: for Real Men

Why wet shaving is the better option

Back in the day wet shaving with a straight blade or safety razor was the norm for men who didn’t sport a full beard. But, as with many other good things, the commercial sector took over and managed to convince the greater population that shaving with a multiple-blade razor was the way to go. At first double-blade razors flooded the market. Then men were coerced into upgrading to a triple-blade option. Now you are not with it if you don’t use a five-blade razor.

The thinking behind a multiple-blade razor is that the first blade will catch the hair and pull it up so that the second blade can cut it off really close to the skin. This sounds reasonable until you realise that what is actually happening is that the hair gets cut off below skin level. The result: ingrown hairs and razor bumps. The concept doesn’t sound so fabulous when you look at it that way, does it?

Traditional wet shaving is definitely the better option as it is ultimately less damaging to your skin. Shaving with an unprotected blade may seem a bit daunting at first, but once you have got the hang of it you will never turn back. So if you are a real man that wants to leave home looking and feeling like a prince, put effort into your grooming routine. It’s well worth it!

Steps in the wet shaving routine

The process involved in wet shaving is more laborious than simply using a multiple-blade razor, but the result is much more satisfying. And your skin will benefit from the extra attention. You only have one face afterall!

Wet your face

Before you start, make sure that your face is warm and damp. The facial hair will absorb water making it softer and easier to cut. It is best to shave after showering. Alternatively you can wet your face and then apply a warm wet cloth to moisten the hair.

Apply pre-shave oil

Pre-shave oilThe next step is to apply Mein Herr Pre-Shave Oil. The purpose of this oil is to soften those whiskers and moisturise your skin while providing a protective layer preventing razor burn or irritation. Squirt a few drops of oil into the palm of your hand. Pat your hands together and then gently massage the oil across the entire shaving area to form a thin layer. Wait for about a minute before applying your shaving soap lather. You can use this time to wash the remaining oil off your hands.

Lather up with your shaving brush

Now wet your shaving brush with warm (not hot) water and shake off any excess water. It is essential to use a shaving brush for a number of reasons: it helps to create a rich, creamy lather; it lifts the hair allowing a closer shave; and it exfoliates reducing the risk of razor bumps and leaving the skin feeling softer and smoother.

Shaving Brush

Rub the tip of the bristles in a circular motion over your Mein Herr Shaving Soap and then lather it up in your shaving bowl. Just a small amount of soap should be enough to create a good amount of lather for the complete shave. So your shaving bar should last a long time. If you still have lots of lather left in your brush when you are done you know you have used too much soap.

Once you have a thick lather, apply to your face using gentle back and forth motions. A badger hair shaving brush (available as part of our Shaving Brush Set) is ideal for this purpose due to its ability to absorb water. And if you look after it properly it will serve you for many years.

Use your safety razor correctly

Now you are ready to pick up the razor. Always use a sharp blade. For the first pass shave in the direction of the hair growth – with the grain. Shaving against the grain will provide a close shave more quickly, but also causes skin irritation. If you are unsure of the direction of your beard growth, allow it to grow for a couple of days to check.

Your razor should be at about a 30-degree angle (that is, the handle should be about 30-degrees to the horizontal). This will allow the edge of the blade to just touch your skin. Use short strokes and avoid pressing the blade into your skin. Let your razor do the work. The key to a good wet shave is patience not pressure.

First shave the sides, then your upper lip and finally the chin area as this hair is tougher and benefits from a longer soak to soften. Rinse your razor blade in warm water regularly while shaving. Only shave where there is lather. If you miss a spot leave it for the next pass.

Then apply more later from you brush to prep your face for the second pass. This time you can shave across the grain – not against the grain. For a closer shave you may want to go for a third pass – this time against the grain. Simply re-apply lather from your brush. Avoid over shaving as this too will cause skin irritation. When you are done, rinse your blade thoroughly in warm water and shake dry. Do not wipe with a towel or tissue paper as this will shorten the life of the blade.

Toning After-shave

Complete with aftershave

Wash your face with warm water and then rinse with cold water. Pat dry with a towel. Then apply Mein Herr Toning Aftershave. This will sooth and hydrate the skin. Its ingredients also have healing and astringent properties which are particularly beneficial after shaving.

All products mentioned above are available from our shop.

 

Mein Herr Natural Products

 

A Superior Shaving Soap

When Mein Herr Natural Products started we were specifically focused on making products for facial hair care. A couple of months ago, however, we realised that there was a need to develop natural products for those men who shave as well.

Shaving soap: Developing an awesome product

The first step was a natural shaving soap. Initially we thought this was a simple task. We made a bar soap using oils that, when saponified, are especially bubbly and moisturising. But when we tested it we discovered that it seriously didn’t meet our expectations.

We then set about doing extensive research into making a soap that would have a long-lasting creamy lather. After a number of attempts and sending test bars off to our amazing human guinea pigs, we finally settled on a recipe. The feedback we got was:

“Spot on. The lather lasted significantly longer, to the point that I only needed to later up once… and it’s done o good job soothing the skin as well.”

Mein Herr Shaving Bar Soap

Shaving

As with all our products, the Mein Herr Shaving Bar Soap is hand-made using vegetable oils. All ingredients are completely natural. The oils and butters chosen have been carefully combined to create a soap that is particularly bubbly, but still very moisturising so that the soap will not dry out your skin. The saponification process applied produces a much more stable and creamy lather. The soap is fragranced with Sandalwood essential oil which is known to sooth the skin.

We have added oat meal for its anti-inflammatory and moisturising properties. Oat meal is also a very mild natural exfoliant. We grind our own oat meal from whole rolled oats to ensure that it has undergone no unnecessary extra processes that may reduce its benefits.

Bentonite clay is a common ingredient in shaving soaps as it provides slip. This means that it helps the blade of the razor to glide more easily over your skin.

We have used a round mould for our shaving soaps so that they are comfortable to hold.

How to use shaving soap

To get the maximum effect out of the Mein Herr Shaving Bar Soap in terms of lather, it is essential to use a shaving brush. We recommend a badger hair brush owing to its excellent ability to absorb moisture.

Wet the brush with warm (not hot) water.  Shake off the excess water so that you don’t land up with a sloppy lather that will merely drip off your face. Then hold the soap in one hand and swirl the tips of the bristles over the soap. You should not need much soap to create a lather that will be sufficient to complete your full shaving routine.

Shaving Kit

You can then lather up the soap in a shaving bowl. We provide a bowl as part of our Shaving Brush Set, but it is also possible to lather up in the palm of your hand or in a coffee mug. Once you have a thick creamy lather apply it to the area you want to shave using back and forth motions of the brush. For a second and third pass you can use the soap already in your brush and merely lather it up again in your bowl.

For a more detailed description of the process involved in wet shaving, read Wet Shaving: for Real Men.

 

 

Mein Herr Natural Products

Bug repellent that is safe for you and your kids

Being lovers of the outdoors, we have always had to apply some sort of bug repellent spray or rub to avoid being chowed by mosquitoes or bothered by flies. We always reached for the chemical option since we knew no better. But when our daughter was a baby that came to an end. We decided that if it was not safe to spray the stuff on your children then it was probably not ideal for us to use it on ourselves either.

DEET in commercial bug repellents

Recently, with the onset of summer, a number of people started asking us if we could make a natural mozzi spray. Doing some research I found that all the popular insect repellents that are available in our shops contain a variety of harmful chemicals including DEET. This pesticide was originally used by the American army during jungle war-fare and was later introduced in products for civilian use.

DEET is noted to be a very effective insect repellent. The higher the concentration of DEET in a product, the longer-lasting are its repellent effects. One of our local brands boasts effectiveness for up to 8 hours after application.

What worries me is that products containing this ingredient should not be used on infants under the age of 2 months and should be kept out of the reach of children because it is toxic if ingested. In fact, you should ensure that you do not apply it to an area where the skin is broken and avoid getting any of it in your eyes or mouth. It is even recommended that you wash it off when you are no longer outdoors. Here is the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) fact sheet which describes precautions when using products containing DEET. That doesn’t sound like a substance I would want on my skin!

Repelling bugs naturallyBug Spray

We set about testing different recipes and combining various essential oils that are noted for their bug repelling properties. The result is a spray which repels everything from mosquitoes and flies to ticks. We have had lots of positive feedback from happy clients that were mozzi-free on their camping trips over the December holidays.

So what’s in it?

We use Vodka as our basic ingredient in the Mein Herr Bug Spray. Vodka is, in itself, an excellent bug repellent. It is also a natural preservative which means that the product has a longer shelf-life.

Since Vodka could be irritating to more sensitive skin we have now also developed a Bug Spray: Sensitive which has witch hazel as its base.

The essential oils that we have chosen are Ti-Tree, Lavender and Rose Geranium. Not only do these oils protect you from pests in the household and out in the bush, they also sooth the skin in the case of an insect bite. We particularly selected essential oils that are not stimulating so that you can apply the bug spray at bedtime and enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.

As with all our products, the Mein Herr Bug Spray is made from natural ingredients with no artificial fragrance or preservatives. Its effectiveness is not as long-lasting as the chemically-based alternative, so you may need to reapply more frequently. But the health of your skin and body make it worth while in the long run.

 

Mein Herr Natural Products

Liquid Castille Soap for the Chemical-Free Home

When we first discovered the harmful effects of the chemicals in regular commercial soaps, the easiest way for us to start moving away from these toxins was to make natural bar soaps. Although the process involved in making bar soaps is time-consuming and a little daunting to some, it is actually relatively easy. After doing research online and experimenting with different combinations of oils, we soon developed our first basic range of soaps for both hair and body. Washing our hair with a bar soap took some getting used to, but the results made it worth while.

Although we were very happy with our bar soaps, I still wanted to be able to make a liquid hand soap for my basin… and a liquid shampoo! I tried grating bar soaps and dissolving them in boiling water, but they always separated after a couple of days. Eventually we took the plunge and made our first real liquid soap. And we are hooked!

How we make our liquid soaps

The process for making liquid soap is much more involved than that for natural bar soaps. We use potassium hydroxide (KOH) as lye for saponifying the oils as opposed to sodium hydroxide (NaOH) which produces a Liquid soapsolid soap. Saponification (that is, turning the oils into soap) takes much longer, so the soap is usually left to cook gently for an extended time before it is ready for dilution. We then dilute the soap with purified water till it reaches the right consistency. This sometimes takes several days to avoid an overly-runny end product. When we are happy with the soap the essential oils are added – except of course in the case of the Pure soaps which have no added essential oils. Once bottled, we allow the soap to stand for a further two weeks to cure properly.

As with our natural bar soaps, our liquid soaps are made purely from saponified vegetable oils. We do not add any other ingredients like emulsifiers. The result is, therefore, what is called a liquid castille soap.

Our range of liquid soaps

As mentioned above, all our liquid soaps are castille soaps. This implies that they are made from saponified vegetable oils. Oils have particular properties when saponified due to their fatty acid make-up. We have, therefore, developed three distinct liquid castille soaps, each with a specific purpose.

Olive Oil Liquid Castille Soap

The Mein Herr Olive Oil Liquid Castille Soap contains a high percentage of olive oil. This makes it a particularly moisturising soap. It can be used as a hand soap or shower gel. Alternatively, for those who enjoy whipping up their own DIY natural products, this soap can be added to recipes that call for castille soap.

We have a fragrance-free option, Pure, with no added essential oils. This gives you the freedom to choose your own combination of essential oils to suit your needs.

Hair and Body Liquid Castille Soap

Liquid castille soapThe Mein Herr Hair and Body Liquid Castille Soap is made from vegetable oils that are particularly good for hair-care. As such, it can be used as a basic shower gel, but also as a liquid shampoo. Always remember that natural soap is very alkaline, so it is advisable to complete your shampoo routine with a dilute apple cider vinegar rinse to neutralise the pH. This acts as a natural hair conditioner. Read more about using vinegar here.

The Hair and Body Liquid Castille Soap comes in two fragrances: Berg Rose and Meander. If you prefer a fragrance-free soap, or would like to add your own personal blend of essential oils, we also make a Pure option with no added essential oils.

Coconut Oil Liquid Castille Soap

Finally, the Mein Herr Coconut Oil Liquid Castille Soap (coming soon) is a soap ideally suited to making household-cleaning products. It is a 100% coconut oils soap which means that it is great for cutting grease. You can read more about coconut oil in soap here.

The Coconut Oil Liquid Castille Soap is only available in Pure, that is with no added essential oils. You can add a couple of drops of lemon essential oil and it serves very well as a natural dish washing liquid. Alternatively it can be used as an ingredient in other DIY natural cleaning products.

Our hope is that through making these wonderful liquid castille soaps available in our shop, we will enable you to more easily progress towards a chemical-free environment in your home.

 

Mein Herr Natural Products

Coconut Oil in Soap

Coconut oil has become very popular as a skin moisturiser. However, when saponified (that is, turned into soap) it could have the opposite effect due to its excellent grease-cutting capability.

Coconut oil in hair and body soaps

Saponified coconut oil is very cleansing. It is very hard and also produces lovely bubbles. As such it is a basic ingredient in all our soaps. But the Mein Herr natural soaps for hair and body contain only a small quantity of coconut oil. A soap that has a high percentage of coconut oil can dehydrate the skin as it strips it of the natural skin oils.

Coconut oil in household cleaning soaps

We have harnessed the grease-cutting abilities of coconut oil in the Mein Herr natural household cleaning range. There are currently two household cleaning bar soaps available on our website: the Mein Herr All Purpose Cleaning Bar Soap and the Mein Herr Pure Coconut Oil Bar Soap which is used to make Mein Herr Laundry Soap Powder.

household

Mein Herr Household Products

Mein Herr All Purpose Cleaning Bar Soap contains a high percentage of coconut oil along with other more moisturising oils which make it less harsh on the skin. It can be used to wash oily dishes, countertops and other household surfaces or even to hand-wash laundry. It can also be used to remove tougher dirt from your hands if you enjoy working in the garden or in your garage. This soap is made from natural ingredients with no added harmful chemicals (Why natural soap?). However, due to the dehydrating effects of saponified coconut oil it may be advisable to apply a moisturising oil on your hands after using this soap.

Mein Herr Laundry Soap Powder is a borax-free natural laundry detergent that can be used in an automatic washing machine. It is made, very simply, from a combination of finely grated Mein Herr Pure Coconut Oil Bar Soap and Soda Ash with Lemon and Lavender essential oils for fragrance. Saponified coconut oil is very hard, so this soap powder works best in a warm to hot wash. Alternatively you can first dissolve the powder in warm water and then add it to your load. For tougher stains the Mein Herr Laundry Soap Powder can also be used as a soak before washing in the machine. We have personally found that the cleaning power of this soap is phenomenal. And the best part is that it is completely natural.

Because the recipe for Mein Herr Laundry Soap Powder is so easy, we have decided to make it possible for you to make your own. You can now buy the Mein Herr Coconut Oil Bar Soap, grate it yourself and add the Soda Ash (available from the pool section of your grocery store) and your choice of essential oils. The recipe, with quantities, is included in the packaging of the bar soap.

The Mein Herr Olive Oil Bar Soap can also be grated and added to a sink of warm water for washing dishes. Since it contains no moisturising oils it does the job really well. Just be aware that it is quite harsh on the skin, so it would be ideal to use dish-washing gloves.

All these household cleaning products are very alkaline. It is therefore recommended that you add vinegar to your rinsing water. This will remove any soap residue and also neutralise the pH.

End Stach

Nourishing Bath Salts

Nourishing Bath Salts

Mein Herr Bath Salts are not merely a means of spoiling yourself by making your bath time luxurious. The ingredients used are carefully combined to form a product that will nourish your skin and sooth both body and mind.

Some benefits of using bath salts

The water from the taps in our houses is recycled many times. It has to be cleaned with chemicals that make the water harsh. Adding salt to your bath softens the water. Our bath salts also contain oils which give them a moisturising effect.

Harvesting salt: Machine vs Hand

Mechanical methods of harvesting salt were originally developed to produce mass quantities of salt for the chemical industry. Machine-harvested salt contains many contaminants due to the harvesting method involving dirty machinery. As a result this salt has to be refined and washed. But this also strips the salt of the rich minerals and micronutrients that make salt an important part of our diet. The product is a salt containing only the compound sodium chloride (NaCl) which is ideal for the chemical industry, but not for human consumption. Fluoride and iodine are added along with anti-caking agents, and this salt is then packaged and sold as “table salt”.

Hand harvested salt, on the other hand, is not refined in any way and thus contains all its beneficial minerals, notably Calcium, Magnesium and Iron. Not only does this make it much healthier for consumption, but it also means that your body benefits when soaking in a bath enriched with hand-harvested salt crystals.

Bath Salts

Mein Herr Bath Salts

The sea salt crystals used in our bath salt range are hand harvested from the West Coast of South Africa. We have also added our beloved Jojoba oil for its moisturising effect, along with various essential oils chosen for their particular properties.

Mein Herr Bath Salts are available from our shop in two fragrances: Relaxing Tranquil and Healing Pocket-Full.

Update

After doing further research we have decided to add another vital ingredient to our nourishing bath salts: Epsom Salt.

Benefits of an Epsom Salt soak

Epsom salt, a crystalized form of Magnesium Sulphate, is known to be an excellent Magnesium supplement. Interestingly it has been found that Magnesium is more easily absorbed through the skin than through the gut. This means that your body can more readily access the necessary levels of Magnesium when you soak in a bath enriched with Epsom salt than when you take it orally.

Here are just a few of the health benefits derived from an Epsom salt soak:

  • It softens your skin.
  • It is an anti-inflammatory which soothes sore muscles and other aches and pains.
  • It relaxes the nervous system and relieves stress by replenishing depleted Magnesium levels.
  • It helps to induce sleep.

The Mein Herr Bath Salts are now made from a combination of Epsom salt and hand-harvested sea salt along with moisturising Jojoba oil and our special blend of essential oils.

Mein Herr Natural Products

Caring for your Hair with Natural Shampoo

Caring for your Hair with Natural Shampoo

If you have always used a synthetic commercial shampoo you may be wondering why you should make the switch to washing your hair with a natural shampoo. This article gives a brief overview of the effect of shampoo on your hair in particular. Although there are also far-reaching health concerns due to the use of harmful chemicals in commercial shampoo, we do not discuss these here.

How synthetic hair products work

Commercial shampoos contain silicone which coats your hair, making it feel silky, but leaving a residue. When you wash your hair, the surfactants in the shampoo strip your hair of the residue quite effectively, but they also strip your hair of all the natural oils. This is why most people need to use conditioners – that’s right, add some more chemicals to your hair to moisturise it and make it feel like hair again!

Using our natural shampoo

Mein Herr Natural Products makes a range of soaps that are specifically suitable for Mein Herr Natural Soapwashing hair. These soaps are made from vegetable oils using the same process of saponification as any other natural soap. The difference is that we have carefully chosen oils that are particularly good for hair care. You can read more about the benefits of using natural soap here. And you can purchase our Hair and Body Bar Soaps from our shop.

You would use a natural shampoo in exactly the same way as any commercial shampoo. However, natural soap is very alkaline by nature. As a result you need to neutralise the pH by rinsing your hair with a dilute solution of apple cider vinegar after every wash. The vinegar acts as hair conditioner, leaving your hair soft and silky. And the vinegar smell disappears the moment your hair has dried.

Hair detox

When switching to natural shampoo many people go through a detox period because of the repeated exposure to toxic ingredients. We thought it good to explain this process and how to reduce the negative effects thereof.

One of the results of washing your hair with shampoos that contain surfactants (surface active ingredients) is an over-active scalp which produces excess natural oil to make up for the regular stripping. So iapple cider vinegarf you don’t wash your hair often it becomes greasy. When you wash with natural shampoo your hair retains all the natural oils. You may initially need to wash your hair more often than before, but eventually your body gets back into balance and you will find that you can wash your hair less regularly.

Also when you switch to using a natural shampoo it takes some time to get rid of the residue build-up, because there are no detergents in the soap. Completing each wash with an apple cider vinegar rinse assists in this process. Some websites even suggest beginning and ending with a vinegar rinse when you are going through the detox period. After that, you can go back to only using the vinegar as a final rinse. The vinegar basically helps to remove any soap residue from your hair.

Washing your hair with natural soap is most definitely the better option. Your hair will grow healthier and stronger, and it will soon look and feel more amazing than ever!

 

Mein Herr Natural Products

Applying Mein Herr Beard Oil

Applying Mein Herr Beard Oil

Beard oil is a necessity for the serious beard grower, keeping your beard clean, sleek, and soft. But when is the best time to apply it? How much should you apply? And how do you use it?

When?

Beard oils can be applied anytime of the day to a dry beard or a damp beard. In my experience, and that of many other bearded men, the best time to oil your beard is straight after showering when your beard is warm. The hair follicles are still open from the heat of the shower allowing maximum absorption and effect. As said before though, anytime is good.

How much?

The amount of beard oil required depends on the length and size of your beard.  For an average-sized beard you would use 5 to 10 drops of oil; for those approaching wizard status, more oil would be needed. You’ll soon figure out the exact amount that works for you. If you are left with too much beard oil in your hands, just use a little less next time.

How to apply it?Beard oil

So lets take a typical scenario: You have just finished your shower, you are dried off and are admiring the amazing bush of growth on the lower part of your face. You grab your Mein Herr Beard Oil of choice and suck some oil into the pipette lid. What works well for me is to cup my hand holding the bottle in my fingertips. I can then squeeze the desired amount of oil into my cupped palm,keeping the bottle clean on the outside, and refit the lid without spilling the oil.

Rub the oil between your hands spreading it evenly towards your fingertips. Then rake your fingers through your beard, retrieving more oil from your palms as needed. Make sure you also gently massage it into your jaw and chin area. When my beard is sufficiently oiled I like to take the excess beard oil left on my hands and rub it into my elbows. If you do this, you will quickly say good-bye to dry white elbows. Double whammy!

A quick brush or comb through will get your beard neat and sleek. The brushing also helps to get the oil more evenly spread through the beard. This is especially helpful for longer beards.

Now… go out and be awesome!

 

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Why Natural Soap?

Why Natural Soap?

Natural soap is growing in popularity, but is it just a fad or a subconscious desire to return to the age of tie-dye and bellbottoms? It turns out, using Natural soap is not merely a fashion statement, but a wise life choice.

Why not commercial soap?

Commercially-sold cleansers, including common soaps and ‘syndets’ (synthetic detergents), have complex compositions of emollients (moisturisers), preservatives, fragrances, lather enhancers, chelating agents and, worst of all, surface-active substances (surfactants). Surfactants work by lowering the surface tension on the skin and removing dirt in an emulsified form. In short they strip the skin of its natural oils. Surfactants also induce irritant dermatitis. Some examples of surfactants that occur in commercial soap are sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and dodecyl trimethyl ammonium bromide (DTAB). It may be cheeper to use commercial soaps, but the effect on your skin and hair is damaging.

What is more, the damaging effects stretch beyond the health of your skin and hair. Many of the chemicals listed in the ingredients of commercial soaps are known carcinogens. They are absorbed through your skin and reek havoc in your body. The article 10 Toxic Beauty Ingredients to Avoid is a really worthwhile read in this regard.

What makes natural soap the better choice?

natural soapNatural soap has a much simpler composition. Soap is chemically defined as the alkali salt of fatty acids. The natural soap-making process involves a chemical reaction between oils and lye (sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide). The process, called saponification, converts the oils to soap. All our hand-made soaps and shampoos are made using lye, but there is no lye in the finished product.

Glycerin, a natural byproduct of the saponification process, is a humectant. It attracts moisture and gives it back to your skin. In commercially sold soaps the glycerin is usually extracted and sold to cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies. In natural soap the glycerin, and all its nourishing properties, remain intact.

In the Mein Herr natural soaps we make use of vegetable oils as carrier oils. The specific composition results in soap which is both cleansing and moisturising. Various essential oils are then added for their respective properties and fragrance. All these soaps are available from our online shop.

Using natural soap results in stronger skin, a healthier head of hair and overall a healthier body in the long run.

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