What is soap?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Soap is a skin care product that is used for cleaning the body. When combined with water, soap removes dirt, oil, and other materials from the skin. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a true soap is made only of fats and an alkali (a form of salt). Most products we commonly think of as soap today contain synthetic, or man-made, ingredients.
Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD

Soap is a salt of a fatty acid, made from vegetable oils or butters (such as palm or coconut) or animal fat ingredients (such as lard) and an alkali salt (lye or sodium hydroxide). Often you will see the term "sodium cocoate" on a soap, which is the mix of sodium hydroxide and coconut oil. "Sodium tallowate" is the combination of sodium hydroxide and animal fat. True soaps can be drying and irritating to skin.

Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

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Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

What if a leading dermatologist just happened to be your best friend and you could ask her anything? DR. ELLEN MARMUR, a world-renowned New York City dermatologist, answers all your questions with...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.