06-26-2018, 03:15 PM
  • David
  • Senior Member
  • Toronto
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So, I’ve just read Beyond Soap by Dr. Sandy Skotnicki. I recommend this book, although you might not like all the information. I make a point of reading books that offer opinions different from my own once in a while, and some of the material in this book fits into that category. (I guess it’s also relevant that Dr. Skotnicki is a dermatologist, and I’m not.)

The key thing to keep in mind when reading this book, is that the author’s guiding perspective is as a dermatologist: she spends her days seeing people who are having problems with their skin. She doesn’t see patients who are getting on just fine with what their doing.

Summing up 296 pages of fairly detailed material in 500 words is next to impossible of course. But, I will say that the book is highly readable—it isn’t like a scientific paper presented at a medical conference. And, even for me, the information is understandable. If I had to sum up her key message in one phrase, it would be this: If you’re not having skin problems, keep doing what you’re doing. Now, please don’t take that as medical advice. She never actually said that in that way—it’s just my interpretation (and, I am not a physician/Dr. House/or dermatologist, and do not know your specific indications.)

One item really hit home with me. I ran out of dental floss last week, and my wife picked up some for me. Oh my goodness. My lips turned a blotchy deep red after using it, and felt weird. I didn’t use it again, and knew something about it didn’t agree with me. I went to the drug store and purchased my usual kind. Dr. Skotnicki mentions that the mint-flavoured floss (which the new one was) usually contains linalool in the peppermint oil, and sometimes people have a reaction to it. My usual one is flavour-free, and I’m having no problems.

There’s advice on face soap, laundry detergent, hair gel (something I don’t have to worry about), deodorants & antiperspirants, sunscreens, moisturizers and skin cleansers. OK, and yes, here it comes— shaving cream. I didn’t care for that last part, so I won’t tell you what she said. Keep in mind my interpretation of her key message.

Some years ago I was having a mild problem with iching and light blotchy redness on my body after I put on clean clothes. With a bit of experimenting, I determined it was the new laundry detergent we were using. I experimented some more, and discovered one that Dr. Skotnicki recommends. How ‘bout that. Yes, she does provide names of products she recommends. The one I found that works fine for me, by the way, is Ivory Snow.

Some of the products she recommends are expensive, and unless you’re having problems, I really don’t see the need to switch to them.

There are some interviews available on-line with Dr. Sandy Skotnicki. I haven’t listened to them, but they might be pretty good. Just google her name. There is also my entry here on TSN, titled “do you have sensitive skin?” http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=53964

I think many of us guys on the forum will find this book extremely interesting. And, if you have sensitive skin problems, you will probably find it useful.

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 06-27-2018, 04:03 AM
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Good information.  I will have to check this book out.  Skin issues, irritation, and eczema are why I started making soap to begin with so I understand where you and the book are coming from.

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