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Can Liggetts Old Fashioned Soap Strip Your Hair And Skin?

Posted Apr 04 2010 11:01pm

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AllSmiles says…The product J.R. Liggetts Old Fashioned Bar Shampoo claims it wont strip hairs natural oils, because it is pure oils. Why wont these oils dissolve my oils? Also, will any of the oils in it cause build up or block the scalp or hair at all? (castor oil) The main ingredients I found were Olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, fresh pure New Hampshire spring water, sodium hydroxide (a binder), Rosemary, Lavender, Cedarwood, and other essential oils for fragrance. (what is sodium hydroxide? )

The Right Brain responds:

You can think of soap molecules as little chemical bridges that help oil and water mix together. To a certain extent all soaps will strip some natural oils from hair and skin because they are designed to be strong cleansers. (In fact, in some clinical studies where moisturizers are tested, Ivory soap is used to dry the skin before beginning the test.) If you need milder cleansing you might want to consider some of the more expensive surfactant based cleansers that have been proven more mild (these include products that use baby shampoo type ingredients.)

To find out if an oil will cause your pores to clog (in other words, cause black heads and acne) we look the” comedogencity index ” that measures its pore clogging potential. (Comedogenic comes from the term comedone which means black head.) Liggett’s soap is based on a mix of coconut, olive and castor oils. The rating for castor oil (=1) and olive oil (=2) are pretty low for clogging pores but coconut oil (=4) has a much higher rating.  However, given that these oils are reacted and made into a soap and that it’s not left in contact with the skin for very long, it’s less likely that they will contribute to blackheads.

Lastly, sodium hydroxide is a processing aid that is reacted with vegetable oils to form the soap. Its a very high pH material that is damaging to skin in its native form but when its reacted with an acid it becomes harmless.

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