Why After-training Soap?

Why After-training Soap?
My unexpected search for a martial arts-friendly soap began a few years back when my friend and I were headed to grab some food after training. As soon as he got in my car I was hit with an overwhelming odor of lavender-scented floor cleaner which prompted me to ask him why he smelled like my barracks room floors. He replied, "Well, regular soap isn't antibacterial so I shower with Fabuloso after training." I couldn't help but laugh as I told him that Fabuloso isn't a disinfectant either so he smelled like a freshly mopped house for nothing, but I couldn't deny that his head was certainly in the right place. This is when a quick Google search led me to The Arm Bar Soap Company.

While Arm Bar Soap is marketed towards the Brazilian Jiujitsu community, I have used their soap products daily for close to 2 years now in some of the questionable hygiene standards found in the Muay Thai gyms in Thailand. The grueling multiple-hour-long training sessions twice a day in addition to the infamous Thai heat can make staying dry a challenge. This is why I can vouch for the effectiveness of their products as I have been 100% infection-free while many others have not. If you've spent any amount of time on the mats or in a ring you've probably come across a stinky pair of gloves or a Gi that needed to be washed ASAP. You don't have to be a world champion in a given martial art to know that gyms are breeding grounds for germs and bacteria. Despite our best efforts to be good training partners, skin infections such as Ringworm, Staph, and M.R.S.A. are all too common in the martial arts community.


A mixture of Arm Bar Soap and water is suspended in blood agar plates streaked with a number of different bacterial strains, including E. Coli, Ringworm (Tinea), and M.R.S.A. (Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus). After 24-48 hours of incubation at 37 degrees Celsius in a CO2 incubator, the soap is approved for release only if examination proves it to have both ceased and inhibited bacterial growth on the blood agar plates.


Manuka Oil: Renowned for its antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, Manuka oil (sourced from the Manuka tree) has been used for centuries to treat burns, skin disorders (acne), and infections like the dreaded Staphylococcus Aureus. The Manuka tree can only be found on the island of New Zealand.

Tea Tree Oil: Antimicrobial and antifungal proven to prevent skin ailments such as ringworm, acne, athlete's foot, dandruff, and most importantly, the dreaded Staphylococcus Aureus, or Staph infection.

Grapefruit Oil: Known for its antiseptic properties, grapefruit oil helps treat and clear congested, oily skin.

Bergamot Oil: Contains many antibiotic properties that help to cease the growth of viruses and fungus affecting the skin. In addition, along with its ability to eliminate body odor, this oil also aids in protecting wounds from infection and stimulating the healing process of existing ones.

Bentonite Clay: This clay has a strong negative electrical charge and bonds its self to remove the positively charged toxins, heavy metals, and other impurities found on the skin.

Mango Butter: Has skin softening and moisturizing properties. Effective in combating dry skin, eczema, and dermatitis.

Oatmeal: Ground into crumbs, oatmeal aids in gently exfoliating dead skin.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is used for its anti-microbial properties as well as an exfoliant. A great topical remedy, especially for those acne sufferers.

Aloe Vera Juice: This plant contains two hormones: Auxin and Gibberellin which are known for their wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties. Aloe Vera also serves well as a great moisturizer.

Activated Coconut Charcoal: Activated charcoal draws bacteria, dirt and other micro-particles to the surface of the skin and helps cleanse the pores of any unwanted funk picked up from heavy training sessions.

Lilikoi Oil: This oil is light and non-greasy. It’s a solid moisturizer for all skin types and works well for oily skin as well because of its non-clogging moisturizing action.

Hawaiian Guava Puree/Juice: Guava contains vitamin C which supplements the body’s natural collagen levels and supports healthy skin production

Pineapple Juice: Pineapple juice is loaded with bromelain which is extremely beneficial in reducing swelling and skin inflammation. Great for those of us that suffer from acne.

Coconut Butter: Along with being naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal, the Vitamin E that’s found in coconuts supplements it as being an effective moisturizer for the skin.

Kuku’i Nut Oil: Kuku’i nut oil penetrates the skin easily to moisturize and does not leave the skin feeling greasy. This oil contains vitamins A, C, and E, which are antioxidants known to protect the skin and prevent free-radical damage to the skin cells.

Shaved Coconut Meat and Husk: Coconut meat is full of nutrients, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, B-complex vitamins, and niacin. Paired with the husk, this combination is great for exfoliating and nourishing the skin.

Macadamia Nut Oil: This oil is an excellent source of palmitoleic acid, which is a powerful antioxidant that supports healthy cell membranes, hydrates the skin, and supports skin healing, especially with those annoying mat burns.

Maui Lavender Leaves: Crushed into small bits and used as a gentle, fragrant exfoliant.

Kaua’i Coffee Grounds: Sourced from the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands, these coffee grounds serve as an exfoliant to gently scrub off any dead skin. The caffeine in the coffee grounds also acts as a vasoconstrictor (which constricts blood vessels) allowing the skin to nicely tighten.

Awapuhi Juice: Awapuhi, also known as Hawaiian ginger, is known as an effective antiseptic, and anti-bacterial.

Taro Root Extract: Loaded with vitamin E and vitamin A, the taro root works to eliminate skin conditions and boost overall cellular health, meaning it helps our wounds heal faster.

Papaya Nectar: Papaya is stocked with vitamin C and E, which helps fight off topical free radicals that damage the skin's collagen and elastin in addition to moisturizing and hydrating the skin.

Black Lava Salt: Sourced from The Big Island, black lava salt serves as an exfoliant to help relieve dry, itchy skin as well as aid in serious skin ailments such as eczema and psoriasis.

Alaea: This detoxifying red clay from Maui, has been used for centuries in Hawaiian culture to extract impurities from wounds.

Neem Oil: Neem oil is beneficial for eczema prone skin, psoriasis and acne. Its astringent properties help to cure minor cuts and wounds (Ahem, mat burn).

Tsubaki Oil: Also known as camellia, contains high levels of Vitamin A and E which encourage healthy skin cell production, while its Omega 9 store deeply moisturizes the skin.

Lemon Oil: Lemon Oil is a powerful antiseptic and is used in our soap to cleanse the skin of any residual bacteria picked up from heavy training sessions.

Green Tea Leaves: Green tea contains high levels of polyphenols which help neutralize the skin of harmful free radicals.

Crushed Cherry Blossoms: Cherry blossoms are used as a gentle, fragrant exfoliant to scrub away dead skin cells. They also carry anti-inflammatory properties to help soothe inflammatory skin disorders like eczema.

Bamboo Charcoal Powder: Used as a “skin-purifier” to pull toxins and bacteria out of pores while gently exfoliating the skin.

Rice Water: A natural skin cleansing alternative, as well as an astringent, rice water, has been used for centuries to cleanse the skin and tighten pores.

Matcha Tea Powder: Used as a natural antibiotic, Matcha Tea is also rich in Chlorophyll - a plant pigment that accelerates the wound healing process.

Yuzu Juice: The Yuzu fruit contains P-methoxycinnamic acid, a powerful antimicrobial that is effective in battling the dreaded Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.

Tahitian Vanilla Extract: Besides being a sweet smelling fragrance, Tahitian vanilla is used for its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties to soothe the skin and kill off any unwanted bacteria.

Mono’i Oil: This Tiare flower, coconut oil combo contains high levels of essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and free radical-fighting antioxidants. Its skin-moisturizing and contains methyl salicylate, lending it anti-inflammatory properties.

Tamanu Oil: Tamanu has a rich, spicy scent and is known to help treat acne, scarring, dry skin, scaly skin, eczema, and even body odor (great for your smelly training partner).

Hemp Milk/Butter/Oil: The fats in hemp are similar to those found in the skin. This makes it an effective moisturizer and protectant for skin. It increases the elasticity and brings new life to dry, tired or dehydrated skin.

Patchouli Oil: Patchouli Oil has powerful antifungal properties that are effective in fighting off ringworm (tinea) and athletes foot.

Crushed Rainbow Sea Sponge: Acts as a natural exfoliant to gently rid the body of any excess dead skin cells.

Acai Concentrate: Acai contains powerful antioxidants that aid the body in damaged skin repair as well as rid the skin of any free radicals.

Orange Peel: Orange peel contains high levels of vitamin c which supplements the body’s natural collagen levels and supports healthy skin production.

Banana: This fruit is a good source of vitamin E and helps support healthy skin.

Organic Yogurt: The probiotics in yogurt when applied topically help fight off free radicals and toxins that can damage the skin and also serves as an effective moisturizer.

Lemon Grass Oil: Used for centuries as an all-natural antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic preventative for the growth of disease-causing microorganisms. When applied to the skin, it has also been proven to aid in muscle strains which are common with combat athletes.

Organic Goats Milk: Goat’s milk is rich in essential fatty acids and triglycerides which make it an effective moisturizer. The essential fatty acids have a unique PH similar to humans, so it is less irritating and more easily absorbed by our skin.

Organic Honey: Honey is a broad spectrum antibacterial and antiinflammatory that helps decrease the appearance of scars and increase healing and tissue regeneration.

Rosemary Oil: Contains antimicrobial and antiseptic qualities that make it beneficial in efforts to eliminate eczema, dermatitis, oily skin, and acne.

Poppy Seeds: Poppy seeds are used as a gentle exfoliant to clear dead skin off the body. They also contain high levels of linoleic acid (Omega 6) which is effective in treating eczema.

Peppermint Oil: Menthol properties allow the skin to "breathe" after a long training session. This enables the other healing oils to flow freely into the pores and start doing work on whatever nasty organisms you picked up during your sweaty training session.

Lavender Oil: Sourced on the island of Maui, used for centuries as an all-natural pain & stress reliever, an antiseptic for scrapes & scratches, and an antibiotic against skin infections.

Noni Juice: Juice and pulp of the Noni fruit were traditionally used in Polynesian culture to stimulate healing for bruises, scrapes, and boils. It's strong antifungal and antiseptic properties make it a perfect ingredient for disinfecting scratches picked up during hard sparring.

Cocoa Butter: Cocoa butter contains high levels of fatty acids and anti-oxidants which are effective in soothing inflammation and dryness from skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis.

Crushed Walnut Shells: Used in our soaps as a natural exfoliant to polish off dead skin cells.

Moringa Oil: Moringa Oil is a natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory that helps treat and heal minor skin abrasions (mat burn, gi burn, scratches, etc…).

Chamomile Oil: Chamomile contains powerful antifungal and antiseptic property to help fight off any unwanted bacteria/fungus e.g. Ringworm.

Argan Oil: Argan oil is high in vitamin E and fatty acids which give our skin a natural boost of hydration. It absorbs easily and is non-greasy.

Arnica Montana: Arnica has been used for centuries for its anti-inflammatory properties and helps soothe those achy muscles and bruises after those hard rolls.

Coconut Oil: With its high-fat content, coconut oil yields itself to be an effective moisturizer as well as an aid in accelerating the wound healing process.

Carrot Oil: This steam-distilled seed oil is known for its antibacterial and healing properties. It's also a natural source of vitamins A, E and beta-carotene, and offers much needed moisture to dry scalps.

Jojoba Oil: This liquid wax extracted from the nut of an indigenous American shrub acts as anti-inflammatory and moisturizer, relieving itching and dryness. It also forms a protective layer over the skin, forming a barrier to external irritants, which can be an advantage in the case of eczema.