Health Tip: Comparing Soap and Other Body Cleansers
-- Traditional soaps are made by combining fats or oils with an alkali, such as lye. Most body cleansers, however, are actually synthetic detergent products, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.
There are very few pure soaps on the market today, the agency says.
The product's ingredients and marketing determine how it's regulated, the FDA says. It offers these details:
- To be regulated as "soap," the product must be composed mainly of the "alkali salts of fatty acids," that is, the material you get when you combine fats or oils with an alkali, such as lye.
- Also, to be recognized as a "soap," those "alkali salts of fatty acids" must be the only cleansing ingredient. If the product contains a synthetic detergent, it's recognized as a cosmetic, not a soap.
- To be regulated as a "soap," the product also must be labeled and marketed only for use as soap. If it is intended, for example, to moisturize the skin, make the user smell nice or deodorize the user's body, it's a cosmetic.
- If the product is intended to kill germs, or treat skin conditions such as acne or eczema, it's recognized as a drug, the FDA says.
© 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
Posted: February 2018
Read this next
MONDAY, Oct. 19, 2020 -- A coronavirus strain that has plagued the swine industry in recent years may have the ability to spread to people, researchers say. Swine acute diarrhea...
THURSDAY, Oct. 15, 2020 -- Want to give your kids an immune system boost? Try letting them play in the dirt more often, a new study suggests. Researchers in Finland found that...
SATURDAY, Oct. 10, 2020 -- The truly scary thing about Halloween this year is that it's occurring during a pandemic, but there are safe ways to celebrate, the American Academy of...
More News Resources
- FDA Medwatch Drug Alerts
- Daily MedNews
- News for Health Professionals
- New Drug Approvals
- New Drug Applications
- Drug Shortages
- Clinical Trial Results
- Generic Drug Approvals
- Monthly Update Archive
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Whatever your topic of interest, subscribe to our newsletters to get the best of Drugs.com in your inbox.