Skin irritants are everywhere in our environment. And for those of us who are sensitive to certain foods, perfumes and other scents, cigarette smoke, pollution, chemical products, and other substances, life can be a game of trying to dodge the vast array of irritants we encounter on a daily basis. Except that it’s not a very fun game.
Skin is our barrier between our internal processes and the world; it’s also our connection with the world outside of us. Irritated skin can have several meanings. It can indicate stress. It can indicate that our body is detoxing from a poison or allergen. Prolonged rashes can indicate that the body isn’t able to rid itself of the offending poison. Or skin irritation can simply mean that we’ve sustained an “injury” from the outside, including sunburn, poison ivy, or a bug bite, for example.
Pine tar soap for irritated skin is a remedy that has a history going back thousands of years. Because it has general anti-microbial, antiseptic, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects, pine tar has been used in soaps in a concentration that can be safely applied every day to soothe and refresh dull, itchy, irritated skin.
How Skin Protects Us
The skin has many protective functions that quite literally keep us alive from minute to minute. Skin is stretchy and holds us together, even when we lose or gain weight. Skin filters out germs and bacteria, maintains hydration, protects our organs and tissues from UV rays, tells us when we’re too hot or too cold, is important in hormone production, and heals injuries such as cuts and insect bites.
Common Ways Skin Can Become Irritated
If you have irritated skin, you may be unsure of what has caused the irritation. Is the culprit dietary or environmental? Are you having an acute reaction, or is the cause a food or body product that you’ve been using for years? To figure out what is causing the issue, you may have to do an “elimination diet” for your skin, cutting out common irritants and adding them back in slowly until you discover the cause of your irritated skin. During this process, pine tar soap for irritated skin can be a daily help to clearing skin and keeping it fresh and hydrated.
Consider these common irritants when looking for the cause of your skin irritation:
Body Products—It seems like we have more moisturizers, body scrubs, bath salts, ointments, and oils than ever, and the “natural” products industry has exploded over the past two decades. We may assume that a product labeled “natural” or “organic” is automatically good for our skin, but that’s not necessarily the case. If you are sensitive to an ingredient, you will have a reaction regardless of how natural it is.
Dryer Sheets—Look at the box your dryer sheets come in. You are likely to find a list of ingredients you can’t pronounce. Unfortunately, most dryer sheets are pumped full of chemical softening agents that can elicit reactions when absorbed (or even touched) by the skin. When these chemicals get all over the clothing you wear every day, all day, it’s no wonder that irritation can result.
Synthetic Fabrics—If your skin is easily irritated, consider eliminating synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon, acrylic, and rayon—all of which are treated with thousands of toxic chemicals during the manufacturing process—from your wardrobe and wearing natural fabrics such as linen, cotton, hemp, merino wool, and silk.
Perfumes—Perfume is obviously sprayed directly on the skin, so if you tend toward dry, itchy, irritable skin, avoid perfume, or only use naturally derived scents—and do a patch test before spraying your entire body.
Food Sensitivities—Skin is our largest organ, and it can bear the brunt of food sensitivities that you may not even know you have. Irritated skin that results from food allergies can be easy to miss as you may not connect an irritated rash with the fruit, egg, nut, or other allergen that you ingested hours or even days ago.
Heat and Cold—Temperature extremes are a major cause of irritated skin. When it’s cold and dry outside, skin can flake and itch; when we come inside, indoor heating can make things even worse. In the summer, we need to contend with sweat, sunburn, and heat rashes, all of which can be problematic for sensitive skin.
Soap and Frequent Washing—Hand sanitizer, shampoo, deodorizing soap, synthetic antibacterial soap, dish soap…we are potentially exposed to multiple synthetic soaps per day, which can strip the natural oils from our hands and skin and cause rashes, dryness, flaking, and irritation. Pine tar soap for irritated skin can replace most or all of these, instead exposing your skin to hydration, gentle antibacterial cleansing, and soothing anti-inflammatory compounds.
How Pine Tar Soap is Beneficial for Irritated Skin
Bug Bites and Hives—Pine tar soap purifies the skin of bacteria and germs that can get into the bloodstream via bites and rashes, helping to soothe and calm the itch and irritation. Scratching itchy skin conditions can cause a vicious cycle, as the friction stirs up the histamines in the blood that are causing the itch in the first place, leading to worse itch. Pine tar soap helps irritated skin by lessening the tendency to itch, thus interrupting the cycle.
Eczema and Psoriasis—Eczema and psoriasis can have a variety of causes. Pine tar soap can address many of them, given that it is antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory. Pine tar has been shown to reduce mitotic activity, so it may reduce the proliferation of diseased cells and allow the skin to get back to normal.
Dandruff—Dandruff can be so much more than irritating. Causes may include sensitivity to shampoo or conditioner, dry conditions, and fungal infection. Any of these can cause severe itch along with unsightly telltale flakes. Pine tar shampoo can soothe irritation and promote a return to normal scalp PH balance.Dry Skin—Given its powerful antiseptic and antibacterial properties, many people are surprised at how hydrating pine tar soap is. It cleans without stripping the skin, making it an invaluable daily shower soap.
Acne—Acne is a painful, inflammatory condition that needs to be cleaned and soothed without being dried out. Because pine tar soap is safe for facial skin, many people with acne find it to be a useful part of their skincare regimen.
Contact Dermatitis—Contact dermatitis is irritation that comes from contact with an irritant, such as nickel or cheap metal, poison ivy, harsh detergent, chemical irritants, and any other inflammatory agent. Pine tar soap for skin irritated by contact agents can reduce the inflammation and contribute to clear and comfortable skin.