I love all things natural, including castile soap. In addition however to being pure and natural, it is important that we consider the pH balance of the products we use, to determine if they are ideal for the maintenance of our skin's moisture.
The Reactionary Nature of Skin to pH Imbalance
Skin will react to pH imbalance by over or under-producing sebum, our skins' natural oil. Imbalances in this natural oil may lead to break-outs, sensitivity and make the skin more prone to developing wrinkles, among other issues. It can lead to both excessive dryness and excessive oiliness.
The problem with regular soap - even the purest of soaps - is that the pH is often much higher than your skin's natural pH, which sits around 5.5. Even the most natural and mildest of soaps (including castile) are usually in the 7 to 9 (as high as 11) PH range, which is much more alkaline than your skin that is inherently acidic. So even if a product is technically 'pH Neutral' with a pH sitting around 7, you may find that your skin still feels slightly stripped of moisture after having a shower. The further the pH is away from your skin's natural pH of 5.5, the more dry or 'stripped' your skin is likely to feel within the hours after taking a shower. (And then sometimes your skin will try hard to compensate, by over-producing oil too.)
pH is especially important to consider when selecting cleansing products for our delicate facial area where the skin is thinner. There are many that advocate oil cleansing (of which I am also a fan), due to the absence of ingredients (surfactants) that can generally strip away the important moisture naturally occuring on our face.
The magic happens however when we DO actually use cleansing products that match the pH of our skin. We are able to perform cleansing of a more 'neutral skin reaction' therefore, as skin is indeed responsive and will respond to any imbalances created. Following cleansing with pH (skin) balanced products, the skin is calmed and not prompted to over/under-produce sebum in an effort to re-balance or correct the pH difference created during the cleansing process. It stays calm and moist, while dirt and excess oil is gently lifted away.
With this in mind, all Elva's All Naturals products have been carefully formulated to mimic the natural PH balance of our skin, in the 5.5 to 6 pH range.
We have found that one of the main comments we get about our facial and body cleansing products is that the skin "feels smooth and not stripped" following cleansing or shower.
People, planet, pure.