Medicine: Soapless Soap?

Soap is one of the marks of civilization, but it is still a pretty primitive agent for cleansing the human skin. So says a British dermatologist, who claims that most soaps today get people clean by removing from their skins the very things that nature put there to guard against irritation and infection. Writing in the New Scientist, Dr. F. Ray Bettley accuses soaps made the traditional way, from caustic alkalies and fats, of not only removing grease and dirt but of penetrating the skin's protective layers and leaching out the skin's natural protective emulsion, frequently causing chapping or a...

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