Norse Viking Soap

What does commercially produced soap contain?

Soap is a solid or liquid cleaning agent made from fats and lye. Soap is also used colloquially as a common term for what are more precisely called cleaning agents for body wash (toilet soap, hand soap, etc.), even though these most often do not contain soap in the chemical sense.

In body care, the one-sided positive effect of “soap” has also been challenged. The visible negative effects of frequent “soap” use, such as dry hair and skin, were covered up with conditioners and skin care products, but it was eventually also asserted that “soap” disturbed the skin’s and mucous membranes’ natural bacterial flora and moisture balance. *

* Excerpt from Big Norwegian Lexica.

Here you see one of the reasons why you struggle with dry skin, dry hair and perhaps other ailments. The commercially produced “soaps” are not really real soap, and contain a number of chemicals or additives that your body does not benefit from. Here is an overview of what you should avoid.

Mineral oils

Is a petroleum product.
Placed like a membrane over the skin, and prevents access to nutrients and active substances.
Does not allow the skin to breathe properly, and thus you do not excrete waste products as you should.
If mineral oil is used regularly, you inhibit the skin’s natural functions.
Mineral oil contains no vitamins, no fatty acids, no nutrients.
The mineral oil blocks between 40 and 60% of the skin’s pores, which neglects the skin’s natural oil production. Thus, you become dependent on new products they want to sell you.
May cause damage to the reproductive system.

There are many names for mineral oil. Look out for these in the table of contents of the products you use (the list is not complete, but these are the most common):
Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Paraffinum Liquidum, Vaseline, Paraffin, Mineral oil, Petroleum, White mineral oil, Medical white oil, Oleum petrolen, Oleum vaselini, Paraffinum, E 905, Vaseline Oil, Paraffin Oil, Liquid paraffin, White mineral oil.


Another ingredient in commercially manufactured soaps is synthetic perfume. Researchers at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research have demonstrated that synthetic perfume is stored in the body in the same way as PCBs and DDT.


Parabens are preservatives in a wide range of cosmetic products and creams.
Denmark has banned propyl and butylparaben in products for children under 3 years of age.
Proven hormone-disrupting effect.

These four parabens are the worst: Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben.


Sodium lauryl sulfate is found in, among other things, soap, shampoo, toothpaste and cleaning products. SLS can have a hormone-disrupting effect, and dries out both the skin and the scalp. It may also contain carcinogenic by-products that occur during production. The substance is used to achieve a foaming effect.


Emulsifying and pH-regulating substances. These can, among other things, cause liver and kidney damage, and are also linked to cancer and damage to the male reproductive system.

1,4 dioxane

This is a trick you won’t find on any ingredients list. It is a by-product that occurs when ethylene oxide is added to other substances to make them milder (ethoxylation), such as when you turn sodium lauryl sulfate into sodium laureth sulfate. 1,4 dioxane is classified as carcinogenic and is most commonly found in foaming products.


Siloxanes are emollient chemicals used in cosmetics and many other products, such as detergents and protective waxes. They are suspected of having toxic effects.

Siloxanes break down slowly in nature, and can accumulate in living organisms.
Used, among other things, in cleaning agents and cosmetics.
Animal experiments have shown that siloxane can cause birth defects and the researchers assume that the substance has the same effect on humans.
It is difficult to see on the ingredient list whether a product contains siloxanes, but one example of a siloxane is Cyclomethicone.


When we know that up to 60% of what we put on the body absorbs, precautions should be taken. Also with the soap you use, even if it is rinsed off eventually. Our advice to you is therefore simple: Go for the natural varieties available on the market. They may be a bit more expensive, but it’s worth it.

Sources: Consumer Council in Norway. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority.

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